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Beautiful Landscape

A reflection of the many experiences with my school friends

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OH MY GOODNESS!.. It's friendship day. Winnie the Pooh is the ambassador of Friendship assigned by United Nations. International Friendship day came to being through the initiative of one Joyce Hall, who was selling "Hallmark Cards". He came up with the idea to commemorate a day where people will celebrate their friendships. The first Sunday of August henceforth came to be widely celebrated.

With the explosion of social media and the digital revolution. It has been so easy to keep in touch with our friends. We are like in a perpetual High School Reunion, every time we log in to a Whatsapp Group or Facebook Chat Room. However are we able to transcend the confines and comforts of these digital connections. Let us have a journey from the perspective of a 90s kid who experienced friendships first hand in a completely different world.

I am immensely grateful that God has adorned my life with lovely friends. Life is a wonderful gift from God, where we meet many people. I believe all of us know each other not by chance but through a divine plan. One of the gifts from heaven in purest form is friendship.

 

The first friend of my childhood was Shirly Viveka, who taught me what it is to be a friend.

We were tiny tots in the A.G. Matriculation School, Surandai. Never can I forget the love of her father Mr. Arul selvan, the tamil teacher of Tmt. Manjammal Girls school. He always had the warmth of a father whenever I reached him. It was my friend Uma Chellam who taught me what it is to love a friend with an unchanging attitude. My heart aches that she is no more. Losing a friend for life is a grief which can never be described through words. I truly miss the way she related with me.

 

My life's most carefree days were when I studied in the Tmt. Manjammal Girls Higher secondary school.

 

Tmt. Manjammal Girls Higher Secondary School is my alma mater and I am so proud to be called as an alumni of the highly respected institution. Whoever is that noble Tmt. Manajammal, may she be blessed beyond words. The hearsay is she was a mother or wife of a noble king. It would be great if we could check the annals of our school's history and get to know more about the history of our great institution in Tenkasi near the Railway Feeder Road.

We used to have our Assembly time underneath a huge tree. In the Center was the Stage where our teachers, and student leaders will stand and do the morning prayers (that is the place where our class's dance stars Saranya, Sharadha, Dharma and Seetha used to rock with their applaudable dance performances.)

 

We sang Tamil Thai Vaazhthu, the national anthem, "Jana Gana Mana", and also recited the Pledge.

I had always felt this huge patriotic feeling when I said the pledge of the nation with my friends. I used to stand at the end of the row. Once the assembly was dismissed, we will go to the class which was right behind us. It was a simple 90's kind of classroom where we had asbestos sheets as the roof, huge windows made of steel, big black boards.

 

The unforgettable friend in the first row was little Anu, who was very cute and timid.

All of us used to be so very alert in the English period with our 'Abracadabra' sir. He was a huge man, with big paunch. He had his spectacles at the edge of his pointed nose, luckily never once it fell down. He was always carried his cane stick to the classroom. The whole class will be tensed for the first few minutes, as he will do the correction of the handwriting notes. During those tense moments, the bond of friendship can be seen everywhere, somebody will be passing the note to a friend to be copied, some wrote for their friends. After this the teacher will ask questions from previously covered syllabus. I always used to disturb my friend Saranya asking her to whisper the answer to me even if I knew it. All friends will be mildly prompting the clues and answers to the next person. We were too good at helping each other to escape the cane of Mr. Abracadabra.

 

Our girls' school taught us to accept simplicity everywhere. We were a melting pot, there were tall, lean, stout, short, fair, dark girls. But our unifying factor was we all were blessed with beautiful hearts. There were both rich and poor. It was not a place like the elite institutions, as these days education of a person is valued much based on the top brand school he or she attended. We got pure education, a no-name unbranded education for life. We learned to accept each other, to love each other, to respect each other and to be humble. We were even taught musical classes and craft classes. The sports time was simply extraordinary.

 

There was this Carnatic singer Deepthi, who was the favorite of the music teacher. Deepthi sang 'sa-re ga-ma pa-tha nee-sa' or any other song as our lead singer during every music class. When she sang, we cannot even notice much movement in her lips, her mouth opened only a little, yet the trained voice of hers filled our ears. Once our teacher was absent. All of our friends started to sing the songs they knew in their own known tune. My turn came, I was sitting near Dharma, we practiced the song, "Vande Mataram" by A.R.Rahman and sang it in our turn. Truth is we never knew the lyrics clearly. So we improvised and filled in with our own lyrics to the popular song and sang it in our own way. A.R. Rahman would have cried had he seen our performance, butchering his song.

Another task that we have learnt from the school was cleaning the classroom and decorating the board. I dreaded the work, but the decorating part was simply awesome. We were given freedom to decorate the board with colour chalks.

 

One day we were leaving the school unfortunately my sandals got torn, I was limping so consciously near by me was my gracious friend Saranya, she took mine and gave hers, it was a huge help for highly conscious embarrassed me. That little thing touched my little heart very dearly.

 

We played many pranks on each other at school. One day I brought a crab shaped soft toy which was stuffed with beads instead of cotton. I pranked Jariya that I have bought crab for Lab test. God knows what lab test will use a crab! My innocent friend believed the story. I asked her to close her eyes so that I can keep the crab on her hand. She closed her eyes then I took the toy out and touched her fingers. She was so alarmed with the bead texture and jumped from her seat, then looking at what scared her we both laughed. (She might have believed me to show the crab, as my naughty Saranya previously presented her a frog on her birthday ).

 

Our playground time was another cherishable memory where we played a game called kho-kho. Some of us practiced for tennis games, athletic games and have won many district level competitions.

 

The girls were given an overall education at our school. We have learned so many lessons from our classrooms, play grounds, exams, teachers and from our dear friends. We girls have this cute way of celebrating our friendship by tying a friendship band to each other.

 

Here, I share this card of love virtually to all my lovely friends from my school. They say only when a person is not near the presence will be valued more. I missed these precious friends more when I left them for another school.

 

Thanks to today's technology, we are once again together as one, virtually. Happy Friendship day to each and everyone of you.

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