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When I joined Barnes School

The luggage were kept in the dormitory after the school tour, My uncle took me to my class and said 'bye' for he was leaving me for a year in my boarding, I was scared and nervous, I could see boys and girls speaking English fluently.

By Sanju Sinha

I joined Barnes School (Boarding) when I was 7 years old, I was just out of Army public School in Bagdogra ( Siliguri);for all those who have not heard about it ( Barnes ) is one of the finest and the best School in India along with Doon School. One can see the School in the Movie IMTIHAN where Vinod Khanna has acted as a teacher.

The school is located exclusively in a hill in the lovely hill station named Devlali(Nasik),with mountain ranges to the west where Indian army regularly practices artillery and one can hear the noise of tanks firing the balloons attached to the aircraft where we were not allowed to go by any chance; and to the east are the breathe taking view of the mountain ranges where Lord Rama met Jatayu and fetched Holy water, to the north was grape yard where senior boys used to sneak in to have a couple of grapes though it was heavily guarded by Doberman dogs but the risk was worth it; and to the south one can see the Air force base which was significant for this huge water tank, in between lay miles and miles of open grass land.

I still remember the day I had to meet the Principal Mr.Huges for a personal interview before I could be rolled to class II, the interview got over in an hour with general questions after which he took my uncle and me around the school, it took us good 2 hour to complete the tour of the school, Mr.Huges also introduced me to my warden Mrs Mecey, an old Anglo Indian lady, with a lovely smile in her face who was like a mother to all of us, I was then taken to my class and was introduced to my class teacher Mrs. Kappor and my class mates.

The most fascinating aspect of the school was a cock on top of the main building which was at the centre of all the buildings in the school, which I was fascinated to and used to gaze it whenever I had chance to do so, later my friend told me that the cock used to turn to the direction of the wind, it was new to me !! Though I have seen all the buildings I kept gazing at them as the British architecture and the huge palace like open spaces and paintings on the walls on each building were amazing.

The luggage were kept in the dormitory after the school tour, My uncle took me to my class and said bye for he was leaving me for a year in my boarding, I was scared and nervous, I could see boys and girls speaking English fluently; I could barely respond to them, this was a new environment, new place, new faces and the most important fact was; there I was alone and I knew that my parents are not going to see me for a good one year.

After few days I made friends in the School and then onwards the School environment was smooth for me for 8 years, during which I learnt lessons of my life, writing letters to my parents was my hobby, dreaming of seeing my younger sister back home and having food prepared by mom these were just fascinating infect I saw each and every one talking about their parents and how much they missed them here, some used to cry day in and out some used to go back again to become a day scholar, growing up in a boarding school was never easy for it was always a struggle, you have boys bullying you taking you for a ride snatching your pencils and notebooks at their will, small fights show off and the fight to impress the lovely girl in the class and so on.

Despite having said and done there were brighter side to all these, as I got enrolled myself to Karate classes which were compulsory for students from class v onwards which I carried on with Kung-fu in Guwahati till my 12th Standard, I also learned Sanskrit and Marathi language which was a new experience though I know Spanish and French now, we had regular horse riding classes on Friday and swimming classes on Saturday which again was mandatory, skating, jogging and cross country was a must.

The School maintained a high level of dress sense, we all were supposed to wear clean and tidy ironed clothes and socks up to knee level the day the sock goes down the knee we were canned by our honourable sports Sir Mr. Patrick who was also our karate teacher.

I still remember the day when Sarah walked in and sat beside me she was a Canadian and had joined standard III in my class, we became good friends and maintained that for 8 long years and I knew most of the boys were jealous of me as she was one of the prettiest girl in our school we shared stories, homeworks, food, icecream, pictures and gifts all in all she was my best friend, finally the day came when we had to part, we both had passed our 9th grade, her parents were suppose to shift to US so they took her back and my parents took me as my Parents settled in Guwahati by then, after which I never heard from her anymore, but the memories of my boarding life is still fresh in my mind as though I was there few days back...now I work in Bangalore and want to revisit my School..School days in BARNES have been the best years of my life.

Comments

  1. From my childhood I had a fascination for studying in a boarding school. I tried a lot to motivate my parents but was unsuccessful till my days of graduation. I always thought how it would have been to be in a boarding school. But this article of your have given a very real description of the inside of a boarding school. While reading it seemed that the description of the school, the fights with your fellow class mates, Sarah sitting by your side in the classroom and the gazing eyes all are so real.

    In one sentence liked your post very much. Very well written.

    regards

    ReplyDelete
  2. Indeed a very nice writeup. Very much refreshing. Liked a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  3. captivating, exuberant
    it is heart pouring description...
    good writing
    u have been able to take me in your school days..

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear Sanju,
    It is a human nature, one always expects appreciations,
    you deserve it today through your
    article.We readers hoping, more and more people,like you, to come forward with such topics.Today again I would like to thank shri Risikesh Rajkumar for this unique B.M.blog, also I would like to thank myself for finding a good writer for the blog.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I can feel how you were feeling at that time and how much you are missing your school days. Ya, this is true that you can not forget your GOLDEN DAYS, that Student life which is the most beautiful part of life……..Because in your Childhood you have to face many problem and have to do struggle also mainly in BOARDINGS…..where you have to maintain yourself, care for yourself and have to do your work yourself…….Actually During this Period you can easily judge who is your good friend and who is not…… Great experience of your Boarding ………..And All the Best

    ReplyDelete

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