Thank You, School.

Tu Shaheen hai parwaaz hai kaam tera;
Tere saamne aasman aur bhee hain
– Iqbal

“You are a falcon. Soaring high is your nature. There are skies yet for you to conquer.”

January 30, 2016. School’s over. Forever. Twelve years in a place that I sometimes hated, sometimes loved, despised, desired, longed for, a place that became my second home over the years is no longer my own, and all I wish, contrary to what I’ve been wishing the past twelve years, is that it doesn’t end, not now, not forever.

My school has given me knowledge, it has given me strength and support. It has taught me to trust and to believe in the goodness of people. It has taught me to think beyond myself and in the power of relationships not bound by blood. It has taught me all that I know and will be the foundation of all that I will ever know. But most of all, it has taught me about me, about myself, my identity, my strengths and weaknesses. I have found myself and there is probably no one else, albeit my parents, who I can credit this to.

My school is not the best school in the world. It is not the worst school in the world. It doesn’t have the best teachers, the best students, the best infrastructure, but my school has what no other will. It has my childhood- all the dropped food, spoilt skirts, torn papers, table art, my blood, my name, my tears, my laughter, every inch of me that once existed there- in the classrooms I’ve been in, in the tiny scribbling on the walls and the desks and the corridors and the school ground and the auditorium and the swimming pool and the basketball court and the canteen and the middle and junior block and beside the hostels and the bookshop and the uniform shop and the library and the computer and physics and chemistry labs and in the reception and maybe memories of my favourite teacher and my favorite junior and somehow, somehow, that is enough for me to feel like the luckiest student in the world- to have had the privilege of studying in the best school in the world. I can say with pride that I am a Apeejayite forever.

Perhaps yesterday was the last time I’d ever be there, perhaps it is the beginning of reminiscence and nostalgia that I would feel when I talk about my school and when I would bring my children to be here, but the memories of the times spent here, the bonds made, the teachers who cared for us like our mothers, will stay with me forever, till my last breath.

In the course of twelve years, I made some amazing friends, some who aren’t friends anymore, some with whom I’ve grown closer, some who have been there since forever, some who left midway, trusting me to cherish the memories- Anahita, Anusha, Simran, Riti, Sakshi, Aideed, Naru, Ekam, Rishabh, Arushi, Akriti, Preetika, Kriti, Ishika, Mansi, Aayush, Garima, Pragya, Mahima, Nitya, Ananya, Shreshth, Mayank, Kritika, Ishmeet, Rahul, Aayushi, Preetha, Kareen, Falguni, Dhruvi, Deepika, Raksha -to name some of them, and some amazing teachers, to whom I’m indebted to- Anju Ma’am, Bipasha Ma’am, Surabhi Ma’am, Rukmini Ma’am, Manjari Ma’am, Kumkum Ma’am, Alka Ma’am, Ashu Ma’am, Salila Ma’am, Varun Sir, Kanchan Ma’am, Lubna Ma’am, Susmita Ma’am, Meenakshi Ma’am, Ruby Ma’am- to name a few who have moulded me, comforted me, understood me, and loved me.

But as they say, every end brings a new beginning. This was just one chapter in my life, a pretty prolonged one at that, but it will always be with me. This is curtain drawn on a part of my life, a piece of heart left behind. And it will be there. And it will be here. And for the moment, that is enough.

“Besides, what makes any highschool special? That’s where it all happened for the first time, the pain, the heartache, the happiness.”