My last day in St. Stanislaus H.S.

Many a time during my long residence at the St. Stanislaus High School Boarding, I just wished I could get away for good. From a small 5 year old among 250 boys (many were rowdy), to a rebellious teenager is one long road, especially with the hard knocks. But on that very last day when it was just a matter of taking my trunk and bedroll, and going on my way, I held back. Yes I thought I was going to miss this place which occupied a decade and more of my life. This was the place where I was molded. This was the place where I became an independent individual, one that could survive most hardships, solve his problems alone. I was going to miss the dormitory, the refectory, the play grounds, the banyan tree, the swimming pool, the infirmary, the church, the class rooms, some teachers, some priests, and our gang.

The assembly shed was deserted, except for some trespassers at 2pm that noon. Most of the other boys had left. I kind of lingered as if delaying the moment when I cut the umbilical. Then came Tony Peters with his luggage. In final conversation, I asked him whats next. He replied he would go for commercial flying. I believe he did. Later came Bernard Rodricks, and I asked him too. He replied he was planning to join the seminary. I believe he did. They asked me what I planned. I replied that I was not so sure. Parents and gaurdians came to pick up their children or wards. Then I realized that the St. Stanislaus High School had two simultaneous lives. One was the routine school days when the day scholars came and went back home. The other was the boarders who provided that 24 hour life force. You could tell on that last day, by the dreadful silence that began to engulf the school.

Then I left with a heavy heart, sad yet kind of happy. The happy part related to the unknown future as if an adventure was due. Time would tell. And it did. My mother met all those she knew at our church in Ahmedabad who could possibly get me into St. Xaviers College. It worked and there I was in my first year BA, least interested in studies, more interested in hockey. Before I knew it, I was the college goal keeper (I guess the coach saw that I was reckless enough to head a hard hockey ball, and what with my background of hard knocks). Later I became the Gujarat University goal keeper. Of couse at the end of one year, the principal, my mother and others were convinced I had to repeat the first year. But I beat them to the line. I quit. What happened next? You would never guess, neither did they. Everyone was surprised. More so me!

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