School Life

by Sanya Arora

Oh! How interesting is school life!

Unlike the outside word—no pressure, no strife;

Life at school is beautiful and bright;

With my friends around me, I’m full of delight!

Oh! How wonderful is school life!

Studying our lessons with joy and cheer;

Activities and games that we all hold dear;

Where the teacher is like a mother;

Shaping us into citizens of the future!

Oh! How enjoyable is school life!

With sports that give us strength and grit;

Sharpen our memory and keep us fit;

Where I learn the basic ethics of life;

Sheltered from the everyday struggle and strife!

Oh! How excellent is school life!

***

Sanya Arora is 13 years old and a student of class VIII at Holy Child Senior Secondary School, New Delhi. She loves drawing, painting and poetry.

Social Networking: School Style!

by Mridul Mahajan

‘Socialising’ is coming to be recognized as one of the primary human needs. One only has to look at the formidable outreach of Facebook to see that. Ever since homo sapiens evolved on earth, they have looked for ways to express their emotions. And these emotions have brought into being different types of people and situations.

Stern fathers, soft mothers, harsh officials, quarrelling couples, teenage-drama-queens, cool dudes–human permutations and combinations are endless. And so also, endless are the means and media of expression and communication with fellow beings. But means and media were not necessarily invented–some developed spontaneously out of the human inclination to sudden outbursts of emotion.

One such case in point is the prominent Social Networking Areas (SNAs) in school: Corridors and Staircases (yes, there do exist other avenues, apart from Facebook!)–the venues of so many ‘Gossip and General Committee Meetings’!

The passages where, while ascending or descending the staircase, we always ‘happen to’ meet a friend (or a friend of a friend) and pass on messages, lists, books, chocolates and so on–where a story-teller gradually acquires the centre stage and narrates the latest events in which the climax is usually dominated by some burning issue like ‘How Harry met Sally’ (and someone usually spices it up with ‘How Sally smashed Harry’).

Traditionally, corridors have also been home to the criminals of the highest order (class-bunkers, on the run from the teacher’s ‘Why didn’t you do your homework’ third degree (lecture)). However, since our school has almost see-through corridors, the bunkers become soft targets, but still persist (I guess that’s why they are bunkers).

Apart from the ‘criminal escape service’ the corridors and staircases also provide recreational programmes. Sometimes, when the weather is good enough to distract you from your class (well, actually any weather will do), the corridors are ‘the’ place to shun all worries and walk freely with a blank mind (although, when too many ‘distracted souls’ are visited by the same impulse, the ‘walking freely’ becomes more of ‘meandering’).

Then, there is the morning assembly stage. Easily visible form our classrooms and the SNA,s and a major hub of activity at all times, it is a great allurement. I remember how once, in the seventh grade, I escaped from class with some silly excuse, to watch the ongoing Good Luck Party for Class X!

And the best of all: Corridors are means to reach the sanctum sanctorum of teenagers–The Washroom! After every class, the students wend their way en masse to this shrine to vanity, where the ancient ritual of ‘Mirror, Mirror on the Wall’ takes place.

Here the transformations take place: trousers pushed southwards, towards the ‘blue zones’, and combs flourishing in the ‘red zones’. And the corridors and staircases stand mute witness to the age-old fashion drama that is as regular as the end-of-class bell!

There is a multitude of other activities that are conducted in the SNAs, with ‘student meetings’ as the common denominator–the ‘move-for-assembly’ morning evacuation towards pre-appointed locations; opening of ‘Pandora’s boxes’ of secrets of known people; lamenting falling grades or cheering basketball victories, imitating teachers; being scattered like ninepins and re-herded like flocks of sheep by said teachers–the Social Networking Areas see it all.

It makes school life really worthwhile. And it’s all REAL, not virtual, unlike Facebook!

Mridul Mahajan is a student of class XII at Bal Bharti Public School, Pitampura, in New Delhi, India. He is interested in craftwork, theatre, debates and discussions, reading and writing (with an inclination towards satire and allegory).

Testing Times

by Akshdeep Singh

The sun glowed softly in the east on that cold morning. ‘Wake up,’ it said. But a boy, lost in deep slumber on his bed, was unaware of the rising sun or the golden morning. I was the boy, and very soon, not only the sun, but my mother too was desperately trying to wake me up. I woke up at last and had a bath. Mother waited for me with my breakfast on the back seat of the car so that I didn’t go school on an empty stomach.

Uh-oh! Hindi test today! Got to read up on grammar—compound words and one word for many—horrible! The wretched, boring brain-fogger of a Hindi Grammar book–it shall meet its end after the paper! MUHAHAHAHAHA!

The paper was creepy (though I did manage to scrape good marks despite my apprehensions—but now I’m done with it and have had Hindi studies to last me a lifetime)! I completed the paper before time, desperate to be rid of the miserable subject. After that I whiled away the time, observing the pigeon who had made its nest on the large window sill of the classroom, which was high enough to be out of reach. The pigeon’s suspicious red eyes met mine for a split second. He flew away the next instant.

Trrrrring Trrrrrrrring! Time over! The silence broke. Ma’am collected all our papers.

“How was your paper?” asked my friend Ranja.

“I will get shunya (zero)!”

“Ha-ha! I think I will get chaubees (twenty-four)!” he boasted.

“That’s cool! But you know very well that I am the worst in Hindi.”

“What was the answer to Question2 Part a? Who was the poet? Sur Davi?” asked Abhishek, jumping into the conversation.

“HA-HA-HA!” both Ranja and I laughed in his face .

“It was Sur Das, silly!” scoffed Ranja.

“Whoops….”

“How was the paper Akshit?” I asked, sighting Akshit.

“I don’t expect papers have feelings, do they?” he joked.

“Very funny. I mean, how many marks do you expect?”

“It was okay. I will manage twenty one at least,” he said

“Cool!”

“I bet Deevanshu will get twenty four and half on twenty five,” said Akshit. “He is the champion in Hindi!”

“I don’t think so,” said Ranja. “He was overconfident this time, and he never answered any questions in yesterday’s test.”

“SETTLE DOWN!” came the shrill roar of Harpreet  Ma’am. We jumped. “Are you nursery duffers who make noise all day long? SETTLE DOWN FAST!”

It’s Science period, taught by Harpreet Ma’am. She is tall and fair and has taught us science for years. We love her classes. But today I’m just sooo… sleepy after the Hindi test. She is speaking but I can’t tell the difference between friction and fiction.

“Fiction is a pepper salt between two peppery surfaces,” I write sleepily…

Akshdeep Singh is 14 years old and a student of class IX at Guru Harkrishan Public School, Loni Road. His hobbies and interests include Science, reading and writing.

Caught in Time!

by Aditya Sengupta

Ajay was an ordinary eleven year-old boy. He went to school; he did homework; he watched TV and generally led a normal life.

But one day, he found something that meant two things:

First, that he would never fail a History test.

And second, that he might never see his own home again.

***

Kolkata, India
May 9, 2011
5:30 am

It was Monday morning. Ajay had a Maths exam, and he was not looking forward to it. Mondays were bad enough on their own, the beginning of another round of waking up early every day, going to school before the sun rose, and listening, writing—and worst of all, in Ajay’s opinion—memorizing! He could hardly wait for the school bell at the end of the day!

Ajay started walking down the stairs, towards the bus stop. He reached it and waited. None of his friends came, even after half an hour. Eventually, he saw the bus, and it was empty. He got on without hesitation. If he had known what awaited him, he would have walked to school.

Suddenly, the bus started speeding up, at what seemed a speed of ten thousand miles per second—and that was no exaggeration. Ajay waited for just over a minute, and then, when he could take it no longer, he shouted, “Stop!”

The bus stopped. Bewildered, Ajay climbed out of the bus. It zoomed into the distance, leaving Ajay behind, all alone, in a place that was definitely not Kolkata…

***

Ajay started thinking. This place that he was in did not look like anywhere in India. It looked more like what a foreign country would have looked years ago.

He looked up as the shadow of a Luftwaffe airplane passing overhead flitted past him. He recognized it as he was studying the Second World War in school. The thought of school made him think about his Maths exam. It was probably going on at that very minute.

Wait a minute, he thought. That plane meant that he was no longer in 2011. Luftwaffe airplanes didn’t pass over Kolkata, so that confirmed his theory that he was somewhere else. Was it possible that the bus had not only taken him to a completely different place, but also to a different time? It seemed unlikely, but Ajay always kept an open mind to every possibility.

Ajay suddenly looked up as he heard a loud noise. It was a bomb that had fallen, barely a few miles away! If he accepted the fact that he was in a different time, then the question was which time? Well, there would be time enough to think about that when he was safe from bombs, and possibly, invading armies. He ran to the nearest house. There was a chance that it had a bomb shelter. However, the next airplane flew directly overhead.

***

The Airplane

The pilot did not really want to bomb this peaceful town. However, orders were orders, and he might be killed if he did not obey them.

His finger rested on the button that would release the bomb. Although the pilot did not know it, Ajay was directly underneath his plane, and would most likely be killed if he pressed the button. He had to obey orders, though, so he pressed the button.

To be continued…

Aditya Sengupta is 11 years old. He is a student of Class VII in New Delhi, India. He enjoys reading, music and watching cricket. 

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