Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cluny Nostalgia

11th Main, 13th Cross, Malleswaram” – If you ever went there, this will resonate with you.

If you are wondering what I am writing about, it is the address of the school I went to.

To be honest, I have not stepped into school ever since I passed out more than a decade ago. But don’t know why, the last few days I have been thinking a lot about Cluny. So it only seemed natural to dedicate a blog with all the special memories… Things that I will never forget… Things which I am pleasantly surprised are still so vivid in my mind… Images which flash through my mind with the clarity of 14 Megapixel camera. I guess if you are a Clunyite and studied in the time that I did, most of these will resonate with you.

• The rustic school building – I used to love the texture, color and feel of the stone
• As soon as you enter the school gate, there’s a road up to the chapel and one which slopes down to the ground. I used to love this view – As if it almost said, you can choose the path and the destination will unfold accordingly
• The school uniform – And whoever designed it did a spectacular job. And I have seen thousands of school uniforms for the past two decades, but nothing can really match the Cluny one – It was so comfortable, so stylish, so classy – Almost as if it had a character of its own
• The school houses – Xaviers, Lawerence, Thomas and Joseph. I know the names changed later, but I don’t have any recollection of the new names. And it’s so silly, but even now when we speak we still ask each other “Hey! Which house were you in?” – Like it really makes any difference in our lives today. But still there was a sense of association, pride and belonging – as if the house you belonged to was synonymous with your identity
• Our favorite hang-outs in school – The nursery school water taps, playground, hallways outside the classrooms…
• “Here upon St. Josephs mount” – The school song. I still remember the words and that took me completely by shock!!!
• Teachers who most of us will never forget – Ferny (I guess she will be on the top for 95% of us), Miss Hoppi (I don’t know if I got the spelling right), Miss Susheela, Miss Joyce (In retrospect, I am amazed and amused at how much power she actually wielded!!!), Miss Rosamma, Miss Kumar, Sister Basil, Sister Geraldine.. All for different reasons, but they have etched a place in our memories
• The school picnics of primary and middle school (I will never forget the one to ITI park where a bull came chasing us!!) and the excursions of high school (I will never forget the North India trip)
• The idol worship and fan clubs – In hindsight, it just seems so silly!!!
• The school assembly
• The Christmas Play – The three kings, The carols, The crib, The rehearsals, The decorations, The Christmas tree – All had a charm of their own
• The Jumping Bean – A play which will always be close to my heart
• The groups and group wars – Akin to national politics :)
• Sports Days –  The sports uniform, “Stand at ease”, "Attention", "St Xaviers house…. ", The band (I loved the drums the best), The races, The victory stand, The sashes (I loved the feel of them), The boring long speeches, The eager wait for the prize distribution and announcement of the Individual Championships
• Annual Day – And the eager wait to listen to who won the General Proficiency award
• The stupid Looney joke – which initially bugged me, then after a point it amused me, and today it does not really bother me. In case you are wondering what the joke is, let me refresh your memory
X : Which school did you go to?
Me : Cluny Convent
X : What? Looney Convent.. Ha Ha Ha
Me : Bah… (Dude! I heard that joke in 3rd standard. Please let’s have some originality!!!)
• The Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar and our favorite dialogue “Et tu Brute… Then fall Caesar” (I knew every single word of these Shakespeare’s plays by-heart), Poetry, The Gift of the Magi which brought most people to tears, After Twenty Years which made most of us sign pacts that we will meet after 20 years (Wonder if people kept the pacts!)… and the many other stories
• The formation of the school leadership and their oath / swearing-in ceremonies. And this was really so well organized and formally done - Almost like the Indian parliament
• The Needle work and SUPW (if I recall right) – I think I made things like tea cozy, pot holder, apron, skirt and top, hankeys, embroidery.. And I will always remember how one of us actually made a hole in the middle of a hanky during an exam and thought it would pass of as art work
• The Help Age India foundation and all our collective efforts for a good cause
• How we burst crackers in class, made teachers cry, made teacher resign from their jobs, made teachers complain about us…. Gosh! We were a naughty bunch…
• The practical records and how we used to wait to see the comments and grades (Esp. Ferny’s on our Biology practical records)
• And then of course, the socials / graduation parties in which you wore a white sari and donned a red rose – The many cries, laughs, hugs, photographs, autographs (And I still have them and it’s so cute to read what we have written)
• Finally, the D-day when you get the ICSE board results – the anticipation, the joy, the byes, the wishes, the hope for tomorrow….

And then we all take our own paths, follow our own dreams, aim for different destinations

I guess you never really can describe and explain how your school days play a role in what you eventually become… But here’s what I do know.. They play a part which you can probably never fully comprehend, never fully verbalize, never fully appreciate…

I just happened to Google on Cluny. And found that they have a website - http://clunymalleswaram.org/

And it made me happy to browse through this site – Almost as if I am re-living some of these memories..

In case you are a Clunyite, I hope you enjoyed reading this and it took you down memory lane...

If you know any Clunyite who will enjoy reading this, do forward the link

And in case you want to add to this list, do leave a comment…

6 comments:

  1. am so nostalgic after reading this post! esp the shock that I remembered the 'here upon st.joseph's mount.." when I read your post. My thoughts resonate with you on I think most of it. Just dont remember crackers in the class, but I do remember other instances when we troubled the teachers. Thanks for posting this! Great to relive some cherishable moments.

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  2. Guess, school is one memory which cannot be wiped out..just sets u back to a pleasant memory lane..probably the most carefree, innocent time of one's life... amazing to recall some of it.

    btw when did we burst crackers in class?

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  3. I guess my school days in Cluny will forever take a special place in my heart. Those carefree days where life revolved around friends, tests, grades, teachers and our houses. Ah ! life was so simple :) Cluny made it even more special. I consider myself extremely lucky to have studied in Cluny.

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  4. wow! I live so close to school but haven't gone back after graduation day! After reading your blog, I wanna go to school! some sweet memories!
    Did you really burst crackers in classs????

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  5. Cluny days were truly special. Thanks for sharing this write up....brought back some very fun memories.

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  6. Very nicely penned down, Nischala. There are so many memories that bring back smiles and tears and you have put in so well in this blog post. I still remember the first day at nursery when half of us entered the school crying, those parrots that said "goodmorning", the way we sung "My grandfather's clock", the school bell that rang after every period and those funky moral science classes that I now realise made quite a difference to what we are today. Cluny days are the best moments of my Life….spent at my most favourite place in this world…MY SCHOOL...and no matter where ever we live, and however far we go, we'll all cherish them likewise. No one can steal these moments from us!! :)

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