High School was a ball
We were inseparable. And, oh-so-loud. I don’t remember not laughing with these clowns around. And God,there were quite a few of us. I still cannot place my finger on the one tangible factor (Food) that bonded the seventeen of us together. Maybe, that’s because there wasn’t one. It was rather, a web with multiple silver interconnecting threads made up of friendship bands, drama, Macarena and an overarching love to laugh. Heartbreak and petty jealousies felt with one were eased and laughed away by the wisdom of another.
We thought we were terrific. Proud owners of the best senses (?) of humor in our sleepy little town, we were sure. Sarcastic burns and lame practical jokes were practiced with equal enthusiasm. And we lived in a far removed world where romance was conjured by Mr.Darcy’s and often accompanied by almonds, canteen samosas and ‘mystery donuts’.
Ugly, grown up, losses visited some of us, and the rest, in turn, learned to keep a friend afloat whilst their world crumbled. We #adulted without knowing it. We learned that friendship could sustain a soul.
I feel blessed. Blessed, knowing that this was my high school experience, and that the famous years of teenage angst and rebellion were but stories(athough ONE notable exception does come to mind.). Studying in that quaint universe of a girls-only Convent in a sleepy town in Southern India meant that the agony of make-up wearing, dressing up, partying and boyfriend stealing didn’t hit us until we were a little older and potentially wiser. There wasn’t any crying in the loo or sitting alone in the cafeteria or longing to fit into the clique. No, we had movie nights and pyjama parties and awoke to hot puris or dosas.
All the same, our especial demons did dance merrily by, in the surprising forms of authority figures. A gangly, straggly, bunch, once much loved and teased as ‘Teachers pets’ were now accused of ‘gangism’ and likened to rotten apples ruining the pure Catholic souls of our dear school mates.What a hard/hitting blow to us, over-achievers and school-nerds, blessed with our unfortunate smart-mouths! The memories remain slightly bitter, but thank God for sensible parents.
(Insert inappropriate Amen, here)
The sheer biases and discrimination showered upon young girls in very many schools across India, is fodder for a whole book (and public movement), but I shall leave it to a more objective and concise author.
A decade later, we are all in each other’s lives fleetingly thanks to the silver lining afforded our generation, by Whatsapp groups and social media. Thank you.
We might need to catch-up on the ins and outs and ups and downs of our grown-up lives. But the soul remains. We are ourselves. We are our 13, 14 or 17 year old selves. Cheering our adult highs with beer-mug emojis and sending virtual hug smileys to world-weary souls. And there couldn’t be a more comforting feeling.
Also, seventeen is probably not the right number, but it’s definitely in the ballpark.
It’s nice to know there must be so many such tales across the globe.