What I miss in college

By Vardhan Chheda

(Vardhan is one of our dear alumni. He keeps coming back to Shishuvan to soak in the energy, teach a few classes, and participate in our celebrations. He is now helping the school organize ‘Anuraag—The Festival of Love’ on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.)

16th July was a Monday and the start of a new chapter in my life. It was the start of my college, marking the end of school and I was really excited about the journey ahead. As I started to learn what college is like and what I was going to get ahead, deep in my heart I felt something was missing.

The missing element was the atmosphere and learning of Shishuvan, the conversations I had with Neha (our Principal) and Kavita (our Executive Director), the “You are always welcome” attitude of Shubadra (our Head of Department in High School), the constant debates and arguments with the teachers, the fun I had with my friends and a lot more that I can’t describe. But in college everything is different. It seems that the heads and authorities focus more on momentary discipline than bringing the discipline within. The other day I was moving down the stairs and two of them were standing there, sending everyone to their classrooms. I didn’t understand why they had taken up menial responsibilities. I later realized that our Principal was in college and the governing Board meeting was going on that day. I got to understand all this was to impress the board and our dear Principal. But in Shishuvan we had nothing like this. We never put up a pretentious image. We were always ourselves even around visitors. We didn’t have to hide who we were.

The other vast difference was with the teachers I have in college and what I had in school. I have yet not found a Sneha who will solve all my doubts in class and even entertain me after school hours for extra help. I am still searching for a Prachi who would not proceed further with a concept till everyone would have understood it. I once asked my English teacher the difference between two figures of speech which I hadn’t understood well but instead of explaining the difference, she began to shout at me and left my doubt unsolved. But if I had Lalita there, then she would have made it a point to answer my query, and that would have given her the satisfaction of teaching that day. There are many more stories of many more teachers who I have not mentioned here but I am really thankful to them for being there with me during my life.

By this, I do not mean that I hate my college. It’s the best college I could have got into but I miss everything about Shishuvan. But this is not the end of it.

7 thoughts on “What I miss in college

  1. Rightly said, Vardhan. I moved out of my school years ago (1983!) and miss it dearly. My daughter is in Shishuvan and I am sure someday she too will feel the same. Time flies by so fast so make the most of it. After that only the memories remain. These are the best years of your life and will never come back. Some day the song “Purani Jeans”, the movie “Dil Chahta Hai” will make a lot of sense to all of you like it does to us even now.

  2. Hello Vardhan,
    Your writeup is sentimental ! It conveys the feelings that you have for the school and teachers. Sometimes I wonder that why is life in a school and college so different. Surprisingly both the teachers and students mindset becomes different. There is a definate element of distance in the relation maintained between the students and teachers in colleges (most of the times). I might be wrong but this is what I have experienced and observed. In Shishuvan luckily we cherish this relationship. We might fight with each other or argue on any matter, but at the end of the day, its like friends coming together again!


  3. Hey Vardhan, that is such a well worded, and deeply felt piece. You’ve articulated both, the reality of a different kind of learning climate as well as your instinctive response to the difference which is newly felt. It’s what I think they call a culture shock. This going to be felt more intensely by all Shishuvanites compared to students from other institutions . What you could be thrilled about is that you’ve been in Shishuvan first and no one can take that away.
    It was warming to see you reminiscing and reviving our own days with you all.
    Wishing you the very best,

    • Miss all of you! Am glad we’ve started working on “Anuraag”….let’s find more opportunities to connect with the Alumni.

  4. Vardhan has composed an eloquent, exquisite, and lucid tribute to his alma mater.
    More Power to Your Pen, and ViCtory shall be yours, in Mind, Body, and Spirit!

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