By Parvathy Nair
It was spring; spring fluttering into summer. I was an odd eleven-year old who, at the first glimpse of the imposing iron gates, was already intimidated by the years that would follow at The Assam Valley School. Needless to say, I was a lost soul in the first year. I spent nearly all my time wandering the corridors of the Main School Building and the Sports Complex. Life then held no meaning for me. To my mind, I was sure that my parents had conspired to send me off to boarding school because they had found me quite a bit of a bother at home. Only later did it dawn upon me that this had actually been a ploy so that I could make something out of myself in this competitive nation of teeming millions. Reminiscing about the bygone years has become more of a habit especially now that I am in my final year of schooling. It was in Class 7 that I changed my House and my life took a new turn. On a pellucid summer morning, the Girls’ Department assembled in the main courtyard and after an hour or two of contemplating, bawling and finally deciding, I left my erstwhile House and moved to Jinari, the newest addition to the Girls’ Department. Foregoing this, being as immature as any a twelve-year old, I stood my ground and refused to move an inch to the other side – the new House. Barely had I made up my fickle mind when Tenzin, my alter ego, raised her hand and swaggered off to the other side. In a fraction of a second, I changed my mind and was soon a part of Jinari. The queer fact about this is that in all my eighteen years of existence, I have never flung myself upon such an impromptu decision, and about which I have never regretted. Fast-forward to my final year in school. Since the beginning of this year, I have been irked by this ubiquitous question: “How do you feel about leaving school?” My answer has not yet changed: “I am more than happy”. Do not jump to conclusions yet. I am not happy about leaving The Assam Valley School because I despise it. Au contraire! That is an absolute error in judgment! This school has been more than just a home for me; it has given me more than I could ask for: friends (and foes) who I know will always be loyal, and teachers who have taught me the difference between right and wrong, and so much more. The Assam Valley School has been an experience of suchmagnitude and of so many shades that I know I will be able to survive wherever I might be in the world. Then why am I happy to leave, you may ask. It is because this school has armed me to be more accepting of what may come. Because now, after eight years in this cocoon, I understand that sometimes (in fact, most of the times), you try to overlook the obvious outcome, you become like the veritable ostrich with its head in the sand; you try to change all those things that you simply cannot; thereby, wasting some precious hours of your life. They say that “acceptance is the first step to a new path” and that is precisely what I am after. I don’t wish to spend my last months in school by crying over its twilight moments. Instead, I fully intend to cherish the beautiful eight years of my life in The Assam Valley School and live the remaining months in bliss. For my friends who leave with me, thank you for simply existing with me in this bizarre world. You have been a part of a support system, that will take me through life’s lowest moments. And for the ones who still have years to spend here, live it well. Ciao.