In K-1, our movement was closely watched as we were new to the school. It was also to keep us away from older boys. In K-2, there was more independence compared to K-1. We could come to the classes and go back to the boarding house without any supervision. However, there was still a limitation. We were not allowed to leave the Junior School premises in any circumstances.
Again, the days were full of activities. I enjoyed my classes. Some boys had already developed friendships from K-1 and some were still making friends. Most boys were mischievous in nature. Some were pretty calm and cool.
The evenings were filled with even more activities including evening games. As mentioned earlier, I enjoyed my stay in Aitchison due to availability of spacious grounds and people to play with. Some days, it was Cricket, some with Hockey and some we just hung out and did nothing. It was that care-free time.
There is a big swimming pool behind Gwyn House for Junior School. We had swimming time allocated during summer. Aitchison College is famous for its horses and riding club. But the riding does not start till class K-4. There is also Junior School canteen next to the swimming pool. It has a fruits’ section and bakery section. There is also a tailor shop adjacent to the canteen for the boys. Our clothes were normally tailored in that shop. There is a full ground for swings and slides for the kids in the Junior School.
I think we had three full months of summer vacations in those days. The winter break was for a month in December. In those days, we were only off on Fridays. Tuesdays were the visiting days. The last weekend of the month was a long weekend and the parents were allowed to take their kids on Thursday evening to spend ore quality time with them. Then we had our spring break for a week in March right after the Founder’s Day. Plus there were some days off for Eids and other religious occasions.
I had my boarding roommates from all over Pakistan. Some even came from abroad to study in Aitchison College. There were so many kids from Sindh, Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Kashmir. There was nobody from my hometown. But there were plenty of kids from Multan and D.G.Khan area. The day boys were from Lahore. They belonged to all kinds of family background. There were kids of businessmen, politicians, army men, bureaucrats, landlords etc. All kinds of families were represented too like Qureshi, Gardezi, Jamali, Khosa, Bhayo, Khakwani, Sukhera, Durrani, Wattoo, Chaudry, Malik, Shirani, Sindhu, etc.
I think many of these kids were born with silver spoon and were very privileged kids. Their parents wanted the best for them in this world. No wonder they were sent to Aitchison College in their early days for studies. However, I do believe the environment in Aitchison neither promote nor discriminate on the basis of family background. A kid has to prove his talent and must work hard for it. The high ethical standards have been set decades ago. So we were all judged based on the earlier standards.
Over my years at Aitchison, I have seen all kinds of examples like kids were being expelled for cheating, unsportsman like conduct, plagiarism, bad behavior etc. So we were all aware of these things and tried our best to be on the right side of the history. Nobody wanted to leave Aitchison for bad reasons. That’s why I think Aitchison sets itself apart from other institutions for its high moral and ethical standards.
To be continued....