Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Five Places

Its that time of the year, when lists are drawn, a time to remember what happened. So I am also going into the spirit and take a trip down memory lane. But with the simple life that I have I don't think an year in my life would be worth an entire blog post. Instead decided to put in a post about the five places which I believe have had the most role in shaping me into whatever I am today. By these I refer to the five schools/colleges which I went to. So here goes.

1. Biharilal Khandelwal Comprehensive Public School, Kanhan (1986-88, LKG & UKG)
My first school in Kanhan, a small town near Nagpur. The place where I learnt the alphabets and numbers. To be honest twenty years down the line I do not have too many memories about the place. I remember my first teacher (Ms. Julie), the school's location besides the Kanhan river and the railway line on the other side. I have faint recollections of going to school in a rickshaw. I can recollect the rabbits and the school gardens. For memories all I have are the two report cards and a class photograph (in which I locate myself with some difficulty).

2. Woodlands School, Patna (1988-1992, Std. 1-5)
It was a return to roots when the family shifted back to Patna. I got enrolled in Std. 1 with only 3 months left in the academic year. But still managed to clear it (I was good then :)). Cleared 4 more academic years in the school. From this point on I remember all my teachers. The school did not have any building of its own and separate classes used to run in various rented rooms across Rajendra Nagar. The school though had its own playground with a basketball court. Made quite a few friends here. Still am in touch with a couple of them, thanks to the social networking sites. Unfortunately the school closed a couple of years back. For memory sake, I have the school report cards, class photographs and the little trophies I won during my stay there.

3. Loyola School, Jamshedpur (1993-2000, Std 6-12)
Easily my favorite amongst all my schools. I spent the most time here and feel that this is the place that has played the biggest role in shaping me. The first thing I fell in love with were the school buildings and the huge ground. The friends I made here are still connected. Almost all the memories are still fresh. This was my first time in a boys only school (the previous 2 had been co-ed). The memories I have with Loyola are too many to list down, the buildings, the grounds, the libraries (there were 3 of them), the clubs (around 30 at last count), the events (both inter-school and intra-school) and many more. I took special pride in representing and winning for the the school. The collective joy the entire school took in your success was a feeling which has no parallel. Loyola taught me to believe in myself. After all if you do not believe in yourself , then who will. The school started in 1947 and still is going on strong. And hopefully will go on and on. My memories include report cards (again), the photographs, the various medals and certificates, the honour cards, the yearbook... As I write this I can hear the school anthem going on in my mind.
Till the echoes ring again

4. Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad (2001-2005, B.Tech)
This was one place where I never really wanted to go. Well, after all when someone prepares for IIT-JEE, then you would want to go to an IIT. But having cleared IIT-JEE with a rank of 2724, the IIT option got closed. Not intending to drop another year, I took up the Petroleum Engineering course at ISM. It was an entry to a totally new world. My first time outside the safe confines of home. The age of 18 was the right time to take these first steps into the real world. The campus spread across 200 acres with buildings dating from 1926 to some under-construction did not really seem a home away from home in the initial days. After all, ragging (though much milder than expected) does not make one feel at home. The sight of seniors would be enough to send anyone running for cover. But as time went by, the place did become home. In fact, the number of mid-semester trips to home reduced from 10 in the first to none in the last. This was the place where I got a chance to meet people with varied backgrounds. People who had got together for similar goals. Also this was the first place where I really thought about what I want to do with my life (that I still don't know is another issue). The memories of ISM, well, the semester grade sheets (:P), the certificates for extra-curriculars, the photographs, the degree certificate (:D), the job treats at Mani's Cafe, Ramdhani, the mess, watching cricket in the common rooms, the first steps in connecting to the world, my first computer, the trips to Dehradun, Gujarat and Mumbai for training (:P), the slogging during the semester times and the fun at all other times, the elections and the games of poly-poly, Pratibimb & Srijan. ISM was the place where I got a reputation of being a decent quizzer. And it was also the place from where I got my first job. As I look back they were four truly memorable years.

5. Indian Institute of Management, Indore (2006-2008, PGDM)
Unlike other schools, this was the one place I went by my choice. Of course my choice had been limited to 3 by a few small mistakes (Basically, the choices were IIM-I, IIM-K or continue working in OIL). Continuing working wasnt really an option and after a little deliberation I chose I ;). So 20 months were spent in Planet-I. Wouldnt really go into too many details about my stay there (Already covered). I did feel at home at I from the very beginning. However one thing that the place did do was open up the world. Now I knew more about the options existing in the world than earlier (leads to more confusion actually, I still dont know what I want to do with my life after all). But the time was wonderfully spent. As for memories, photographs & videos (too many of them, but dont want to delete a single one of them), the walks down the hillock, the night quizzing sessions (my reputation as a decent quizzer remained intact), the movies and serials, the occasional trips to the city and outside; All still very fresh.

So this is it. These are the five places which have shaped me. The post went a bit long but I dont feel I have done justice to the subject.

P.S. I would like to get in touch with people with the same shared meories, specially relating to BKCP & Woodlands. So anyone who reads this please feel free to cotact me.
P.P.S This post took up nearly 3 hours of a Sunday evening (phew).

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