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.