Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The disconcerted mind in the teen and pre-teen days!

We have all been through this and some of us still go through this.....and by that I am talking about the point in life when we don't know what we ought to do, when we are confused and undecided...more like the life of a pre-teen!

When I was a twelve year old girl, I have had a few situations when I was neither treated as an adult or a child. Happens doesn't it. Today I know exactly how my niece Swadhy is feeling about growing up and being twelve years old. She's not yet a teenager but she's almost there. You're twelve years old, and suddenly people expect you to be mature, understand the situation, act appropriately but then they also treat you like you're just a kid, which you actually are. I think its a lot to expect from a pre-teen.

My pre-teen years, thanks to my little friends were wonderful. Looking back on those days, is a joy to this day. To remember correctly, I was in grade 7, in the best school ever, Shri.B.S.Mootha Girls Senior Sec School. That was the time when I actually was deciding the course of my life. There were tough decisions to make. Life was tough being in high school, making friends with new girls, being friends with your old friends as well, playing during the P.T. classes (Banu Mam was the teacher I guess!) although I had always hated it (you see I was never a sports person!!!), being creative (Oh Yes! How I loved the Drawing / Creative class, I think it was called the Work Experience classes if I remember correctly!), putting up with the Yoga, dance and music classes, and also simultaneously study!!! It was a year after they split Social Studies into History, Geography, Civics and Economics I guess. Couldn't one subject do? Why split it into four? The same happened to Science! Suddenly it all seemed so difficult. Science was supposed to be simple and fun, not this complicated. And then there was Mathematics....phew... I still remember Majisha helping me with it !!! All those classes and sessions were just like having so many different options in front of you. I thought, what if I don't do well in Maths, I can still become a doctor if I do well in Science or maybe I am good in arts and crafts, why not just concentrate on that and become an Artist. I go home, I see my Dad correcting all those IIT Physics answer papers and all of a sudden I am full of guilt. If I choose to become an Artist, I would disappoint my Dad or so I thought then.

And who was my best friend then??? That is one difficult question now. I was in good terms with almost everyone and yet very friendly with select few being Kiran Davey, Poornima B, Majisha IB, Usha Surana, B.Kavita, Aarthe, P Sandhya, Sangeetha Singh, C K Arthi. The rest of them were all my friends. At some point of time during my time in SBSM I have been close to different persons, for instance, I was close to K Mahalakshmi and SK Sangeetha during the 9th std if I remember, Aarthe during the 9th and 10th, R Purnema in the 8th, 9th and 10th and so on. All the girls were lovely and it was tough to pick just one best friend and so I was friends with them all :) I remember having small fights with those very close friends at some point of time but don't remember what it was about.

There were things I used to look forward to...going to the library every week and picking up my favourite books, most of them at the time being Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Famous Five , Sweet Valley Twins and Friends, Malory towers and so on!

What according to a 12 year old was the right thing to do? Was she old enough to read teenage books or was she still too young for it? Was she old enough to gossip or listen to her conversations between adults? Sometimes these adults they don't tell us that we shouldn't listen to it and then suddenly they catch us listening in on the conversation and shove us away also adding that we had no reason to have been there listening to it when we should have been playing with other kids. OK. We go and play and then suddenly we are too old to play with our neighbouring kids and must in fact be helping with household chores. I remember I learnt to perfect my tea making skills when I was 11 and 12, there was always too much of tea leaves in it or too much of sugar. And then back to school and we told each other what happened at home the previous evening and there the gossips began, the initial signs of stepping into the teen age!

I tried to think which year it was that Miss. Sai Sudha Rani joined our school to teach English. That was the time when I remember Usha, Poornima (Poori), Seema, Sapna and our tomboy S K Sangeeta being really crazy about her.

The sports days were actually fun when we had to go over to the S.S.Jain Boarding school for three days for practice and for the sports day itself. That was fun. Taking our lunch boxes, sharing our lunch and snacks. We were divided into various groups too around that time and I don't remember much details about that cos like I said earlier, I did it cos I had to :P.

We also had our assembly every day with every week allotted for a different class and when it came to our class, we had our news reading, proverbs section, jokes or tongue twisters. There was competition among everyone but a healthy one. Oh how can I forget...our annual class magazine. I remember our class being very united when it came to things like this...every single one of us used to try to contribute in every way we could.

I remember our radio shows too which were fun with skits, and other shows which was actually in our 9th grade apart from all the inter-class competitions during Jainotsav and the inter-school competitions as well. They were fun. Looking back I wonder how I pulled through it. That school was the one that truly made me who and what I am today. I am proud of being its product. That school was what gave me the confidence that the world is not so bad after all.

Today, life is much simpler yet complicated. Living in the UK, looking at my nieces growing up I am in awe, I wonder how she handles it all and yet I forget I was once there and had travelled the same road but a bit different. I remember trying to talk back to my mom, being rebellious, being angry for trivial things and I can't help but wonder how my mom let me be the way I was and yet not complain (although she did give me a piece of her mind which was often followed by a small consolation). My niece today acts very matured for her age because that is how life is here. She's grown up and she's not that little girl any more. She might be just 12 but the world is too competitive for her to stop pause play or be the little girl she is. She has to choose her specialisation subjects already, which I had to do only after my 10th grade.One click away and she gets to gather all the information needed for her projects or assignments. She was busy preparing for her 11+ entrance exams and made it well but I wonder how much she has missed being the fun little girl. There is no time to play any more. Its just the Nintendo Wii or the Ipod Touch. She a girl just like me, who loves to gossip, who is crazy about actor Surya, loves to watch movies and play with her cousins too but then there is hardly any time.... except during the holidays!!!!

Today I think that inspite of everything around me, being there in SBSM at that time, all those days and much after, was the most fun I ever had.


smitha said...

It was a good ready read Priya...this one came after a long time..wonder how u still remember those small small things...reading through your blog made me go back to my pre-teen days...:-)
looking forward to the next one..:-)

Priya T S said...

Thanks Chechi!!! I have no clue how I still remember all those minor details :P

laddu said...

hi priya...have been waiting to read ur next one.....very memorable i agree..while reading about ur teen days..mind wanders about mine..though am nearing 50...remembering my school days as well as college days..days with mom/dad/siblings/bfs..too....thank u for those moments rekindled..keep writing pls...

sanjai said...

Wonderfully written Priya. U tuk me back to those days. I still remember hw u taught me to make Organdi flowers. Also, do u remember the days we spent at GMS coaching centre? I wish God gives us a time machine with which we can go back or at the least witness those lovely days.