A poem I wrote for our school reunion, 25 years after we left...


Some of us kicked and screamed,


some of us clung and cried,


some of us marched boldly in....


certain our mothers waited outside.


Wide-eyed, curious and a little afraid


into nursery we made our way


not knowing that this school would rule


our lives from that very first day.


From the stern class-teacher's thumb


into the corridor we would pelt


burst into the sunshine


at the happy sound of the bell.


"Stop talking at once". "No running


in the corridor." "SILENCE! I said!"


"What is so funny, why are you laughing?"


"Stand up and stop hiding behind your desk!"


"The Highwayman came riding up to the old Inn door."


"Draw a circle and mark the center "WO"


"A triangle has three sides not four."


"What do you mean, you don't know?"


"What, you have  practice, again?


How will I ever finish the syllabus?


That throw is all wrong, you hold the ball like this


Pay attention, I will show this just once!"





Somehow the days chased each other


in sunshine and in rain: time flew,


through shared whispers and stifled giggles,


somewhere, our minds also grew.


Little girls we were no more


we learnt to stand up for our friends


we learnt self-worth; but most of all


we learnt to give. Of ourselves.


We learnt even teachers were human


they too had been school girls once


they were not green-eyed monsters


lurking in corridors, waiting to pounce...


Laughter and music filled our lives


Happy songs followed us about


And in class rooms and in groups


You could hear us sing and shout;




 All at once it was time;


those dreaded words: Madhyamiks!


all at once, we were cramming,


barely sleeping, ‘oh where is that book I seek?’


Late night phone calls, frantic notes


Did I revise that chapter, now?


Can you explain it simply, please?


Gosh, I can't remember anyhow!


A test of fire or so it seemed...


But that too, passed.


We returned to school, jubilant


"That was too easy, yaar!"


We gained new friends, we lost a few


time passed, events changed


and somewhere in the back of our minds


somehow we knew...


our days together were shortening


our schooldays as we knew it


with all its madness and laughter


were coming to a close




The last day of school


came amidst celebrations and noise


little had we imagined


the world outside...


So with heads full of dreams


and our bags packed with promises


we set out on our paths


outside these four walls.


Our hearts were full of love


our travels were long or short


but here we gather again


twenty-five years on.


As we walk in though those gates,


the same friendships shriek our names


the walls whisper a welcome


and the trees call out to play


and that familiar laughter


is echoed in our friends


and teachers who are here


to be with us again.


All of us acknowledge


our debt to Modern High School


which has been our home


and also given us wings to fly


....and in my mind's eye


I'm still a little girl


running in the sun filled garden


for that very first time.

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