Thursday, October 13, 2011

Aitchison Days - Junior School - (i)

I remember it was a cold evening on January 17th, 1986, when I first entered into the Gwyn House. In those days, Blue Wing was for boys in K-1. I was put into D-2, if I remember correctly. Mrs. S.S. Baig was our head house mistress and Ms. Aniqa was our house mistress. My dad and grandfather had come to drop me at the school . There were other boys' whose parents and family members were there to drop them as well. But I think since it was going to be everybody's first day away from their parents, nobody cared who was there and not. I still remember when my dad and grandfather were leaving me back in my dorm, I got pretty emotional and hugged my dad. I think my dad also didn't want to leave me. Anyways, they both were gone in next few minutes and my life in Aitchison College started.

After everybody was gone and I had put my stuff in the cupboard and arranged my bed, I stepped out of my dorm. It was late in the evening and a bit cold. This one guy came up to me and asked me if I was new there. I replied yes and he said that his name is Omar Jamali. He was senior to me and welcomed me in Aitchison. So anyways, I remember these first few things because they, somehow, are stuck in the memory.

Next morning, we were all uniformed with the help of our "nannies" or "Ayas". The dress was pretty formal. White shirt with gray shorts. A scarf and a blue blazer with socks and shoes. All the young kids were lined up and taken to various sections of K-1. I think sections ranged from A to G. So there was K-1-A, K-1-B, C, D, E, F and may be G. There was another Ali Raza in that line up too. It was Syed Mohammad Ali Raza Gardezi, abbreviated as S.M. Ali Raza Gardezi. There was some confusion of which Ali Raza was going where. He was placed in K-1-B and I was put in K-1-A. As long as I stayed in Junior School, I stayed in Section 'A', K-1-A, K-2-A, K-3-A, K-4-A, and K-5-A.

Our usual routine was getting up early in the morning like 6 am in the winters, wash ourselves, get dressed. Normally, our uniforms, nails, hair, shoe polish, they all were inspected before the breakfast. Later on, we were off to our classes. We had one break in between where the boarders were provided a fruit or a snack back in the boarding house. The break lasted about half an hour. After school, we would change our dress and get into blue shorts for the lunch. There is a big dining room where all the classes in the Gwyn House gather for the meals at a same time. A small nap followed lunch. In the evening, there was a game time, may be an hour, or little more than that. Then we would change into white shalwar Kameez for Maghrib prayers. Only Maghrib prayers were the formal prayers offered by all the classes in Gwyn House.  And after Maghrib prayers, it was prep time or study time. During this time, we all were suppose to finish any of our daily assignments, read or prepare for our tests and exams. Prep times were observed in the prep rooms.  After an hour of prep time, dinner was provided in the big dining room. We all would go to bed soon after the dinner. Since we were in K-1, the routine was strictly observed for us to get accustom to the routine and develop healthy habits. The older classes were given some leeway in this daily routine. But they were still accountable for not following the routine.

I would imagine how young kids are tucked away by their moms and dads in their cozy homes in winters. And there we were, who were away from their homes, parents, siblings, preparing for the 'Real' world.

Look out for follow-ups. This is only the first in the series of Aitchison Days...

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