That intimation from the school in the capital, must have come on a day, as ordinary and yet filled with the excitement of the growing years. It must have been brought to your attention by your father or mother, as you came in, muddy and disheveled after an evening’s worth of game in your neighborhood playground. He would have probably called you to the living room, and with equal parts of pride and paternal seriousness in his voice, would have matter-of-factly told you that you have got through the Nation wide Sainik School entrance test, and that you should be joining there.
The realisation would have slowly sunk in in the next couple of days. It would became as mysterious, dark, dismal yet somehow curiously exciting, if you had been a child, growing up in your warm comfort zone of your loving parents and siblings, with your every single childhood issue, addressed, resolved or taken care of. This was going to be different.This was going to be way, way different. From what your limited faculties could process and gather about the ‘Big, Bad, Wide World” (read more education), you were going away to this residential school for the next 7 years, away from your comfort zone, away from security and general fun.
You would be managing every single activity connected with yourself, on your own, right from combing your hair to washing your clothes to even tying your shoelaces. As the grim realities slowly unfolded, the excitement at some point became mixed with dread, and together formed something so heavy and grim that lay like a millstone round your neck, and to your surprise, seemed to gather a little weight with every passing day.
There is frantic shopping, trips to the local tailor, getting to know new terms like”Oxford pattern Shoes” which you run through your head, a couple of times, swirling it inside like fine cognac. You are happy that you would be wearing one pair of those, soon. You are amazed at the detailed description, down to the last sewing kit that is a requirement with the rest of the stuff, amused as to what you would be doing with a needle and sewing thread in the first place!
There is a set of uniform for every part of the day, for starters. And a different kind of shoes with each. What kind of deranged people think this stuff up, you wonder.
And before you know, the day arrives. And mayhem.