Home Away From Home
It was difficult for me to paint a picture in my head what a boarding school would be like. One month from the last day of my tenth-grade board exams, my mother randomly walked up to me and asked (more like persuaded) me to fill a form. It was the application for Mayo College Girls’ School. Deep down, somewhere in my heart, I knew she always wanted me to study there.
I had not graphed a proper plan on how I wanted to establish my place in the new school. In fact, I hadn’t thought about it at all. There was no predefined notion. I was just another girl who walked in with an overfilled, tightly packed grey metal trunk.
My vision of Mayo College Girls’ School was very fancy and luxurious with spacious dormitories, well-kempt classrooms, and girls with eloquent speech, wearing crisply ironed skirts everywhere. I formulated this opinion from an amalgamation of the information I had picked up from the website, the social media handles, and the very frequent conversations between my parents.
It somehow did not bother me if my expectations didn’t match the reality. I was loving every bit of it. I will not deny that the initial days were tricky. It took time for me to get used to the “unsaid” rules of this entirely new schooling system that I was exposed to. I was delighted to make friends with a bunch of new people.
When I look back, I realize that it didn’t require significant efforts from me to make a place for myself. Everything fell in place on its own. I was conveniently in a position where I was able to associate myself with people. Sitting on any one of those high wooden beds and striking a conversation with any of my dorm-mates was no task.
I distinctly remember this one night when my entire batch gathered on the brightly lit auditorium steps for a batch meet. The school captain used to carry a little notebook to these batch meetings in which she used to pen down the topics of discussion. I always found it utterly adorable.
I can recollect her exact words, she said “Mayo should be known for its culture. We have to make it happen. The bloomers will learn from us and follow.” It has somehow stayed with me ever since and I want to believe that it has stayed with every soul that has lived on campus.
Writing about this enlightens me with a lot of experiences of my own. My heart is filled with a plethora of stories to pen down. Standing in the white passage of the main school building and watching the sunset forming a silhouette of the temple blending into the humongous mountains was exhilarating. Walking through the well-paved roads measuring lengths of the boundaries of the school, popularly known as campus rounds, were longed for.
Birthdays were the best days. If it is your birthday, it is the entire dorm’s birthday. Though not all days are full of the joys of spring, these days add just a little beauty to the journey.
Fortunately, I never had to go through the trauma of being “de-batched” or “de-dormed”, but I was well versed with the entire process after having heard the stories from my friends. Those were probably the most horrific stories I had heard in the two years.
Running till the mess gate after the captain’s call used to be the most painful task. Sneaking in tuck inside the dormitory was an art that only a few excelled at. A Piri-Piri bottle owned by one is owned by all. The most awaited meal of the week used to be Rajma Chawal for the majority but somehow I equally liked the Kadhi Chawal.
Plotting a full-fledged plan to bunk the study time and stay back in the dormitory required hours of brainstorming. Frequent fights and arguments were fun to watch and be a part of. One will not realize when the smallest moments get added to the memory book.
There are so many more stories, many more experiences, some of them difficult to jot down.
Mayo is a feeling in entirety. It prevails in every Mayoites’ heart. The peacock is Mayo and every Mayoite a feather in its train.