Beginning of the renaissance: Class 9th,
My first day at Hamdard Public School was a really nervous one, I remember there was a Turkish boy who was new too & was allotted the same class...he took T.C the next day, so yeah it was a pretty tough 1st day but fortunately I had my cousin to keep me company, during my first week many boys and girls were taking advantage of the fact that I was new (won’t mention names tho hehe) but just then I met Arifa ma’am who was sooo caring and supportive she really understood my situation and helped me in the best of ways and so did Qamar-ul-din sir. Arifa ma’am was the one who gave me the initial nudge towards participating in class and school activities which back then a whole lot more students used to participate in as compared to the last years and they all were so intimidatingly darn talented. The first person I could talk openly and comfortably with was ma man Yaqshan and then Arshad and Hammad followed shortly, they made me feel at home in the best of ways.
Class 10th was exciting, full of life and colour, it was from that time on that i started to attack all the inter-house competitions & activities & I found the best mentor who only kept that competitive streak in me on the rise & it was none other than our then compassion house in charge and English teacher, Iffat ma’am. Her trainings and motivations were what lead to one of the absolute best days of my life till date, the day I gave that debate speech on the topic of feminism, that event will continue to bring a smile to my face whenever I shall think of it. Our batch was the last to have an option b/w home and external board & it was also the last batch to give the boards with from only half the syllabus (lucky blokes we were) so boards turned out to be pretty chill, except for that one day when I accidentally brought my phone into the hall and almost got bamboozled!
Class 11th sure was a huge jump for literally everyone. The brain boggling syllabus made the previous year syllabi (if that’s a word) feel kiddish. I took science, hahahaha!! Cuz, why not eh? I participated in a TON of inter school & inter house competitions which was genuinely epic (except for that one cringey speech I gave where I stopped talking half way in ugh)! Sumbul Hafeez ma’am (then house in charge) made me captain of house during the great march past in preps for a sports day that we were gonna have after so many years, she backed me up for it even tho i wasn’t a council member which was the most COMPASSIONATE thing ever!
We had new phy and chem teachers for that year (cuz those subject teachers had been changing every year since 2016 exactly like the D.A.D.A teachers in harry potter lol), Surender sir who had a great potential of becoming the best phy teacher left us before that even happening and Ayatullah Sir who deserves all my gratitude as it was only cuz of him that I topped my JEE, NEET, AIIMS & boards by HUGE MARGIN, THANK YOU SIR for not ever being absent and for those extra entrance prep classes, very cool. As months passed my marks along with others started to plummet to the point that “just passing” became an event to party over.
How we made it to class 12th? I have no idea, but we made it, we lost some soldiers due to them failing their attempt to cross the canyon of 11th , though some brave souls made it through the chasm by passing what we call a “compartment exam”. For the first 4 months or so, Amaan and I were basically the head girl & boy of the school cuz everyday only we got to handle the morning assembly stuff on the stage (which is basically the majority of the work a head boy or girl ends up doing) and boy was it fun to always look at the crowd from a totally different prospective (thank you, Fauzia ma’am). Not much happened in 12th really except for studies and 0 extra curricular stuff. Games period were getting scarce but our section had Khwaja Sir (the ultimate games giver, our math teacher & the principal of the entire freaking school!). December 31st was the day which showed one of the first and sadly one of the last signs of “a fun school activity” as we headed out to a field trip arranged exclusively for us, Graduation ceremony followed shortly after a few days then the Bada wala boards exam came and that was frankly the end of it, the end of a significant era.
In conclusion I’d like to say this: what I loved about school & schooling was everything BUT the padhai wala part. The only education I’ve ever got from school is that which has resulted in making me better as a human being, that which helped me develop my personality and that which turned me into an ambivert from a very isolated introvert that I used to be. Education was not in any way those arbitrary formulae and reactions we were forced to memorise solely for some exam that’d award us mere numbers that have no meaning whatsoever as to who and how we are unique in our own individual lives. Those classes have no meaning in my life nor should they have any meaning in anyone else’s, the only education is that which helps you in becoming a better human being, someone who’d do their very best to improve the world we now live in.