..young boy, like all kids I enjoyed going to school. Yes, I learnt different things, saw different faces every 45 minutes, and did the routine stand-up-sit-down at least a minimum 8 times a day (excluding toilet emergencies and other times when punished) 😉
However if there was ever ’30 minutes’ out of the total hours I spent at school, it was the 2 breaks in between.. the little break between the first 4 periods for 10 minutes [basically a tea break for teachers] and the 20-25 minute break for lunch.
I would never know what to do during the first 10 minute break. For starters the toilets would be full with bladder filled boys (10 minutes wouldn’t be enough to have all the boys relieve themselves) while others would be running around aimlessly dashing against other boys while students like me would either be sitting in class or just conversing with another equally bored student in some corner of the school, waiting for the bell to ring so we could go back to class and do something productive. 👨💻
Now, by no means was I a studious student, but one thing I learnt early in age was – breaks are not meant for me, for one I don’t understand why breaks are needed, and even if there are – 10 minutes is way too long for one! Who needs a break to drink tea? Wait! I guess that’s time for the teachers to gossip about their students to each other – male & female teachers alike.
The 2nd break however was even more painful – The LUNCH Break. I was and still am, a normally fast eater, [how long could you delay in eating a couple of pao’s (goan bread) anyways!?] ..that gave me more time do… well nothing really productive. That’s how I discovered the love for books, I’d go to the library – Yes. I’d pick up any book, from the Sportstar (sports magazine) to Readers Digest and simply read… some of which went into my head, some bounced off, I enjoyed looking at pictures too 😜😛
For one, there is supposed to be silence and order in the library (which wasn’t found in the corridors with hooligans running around screaming and sweating like pigs) How is that fun? Like seriously! Catch and cook? Okay pen-fight did seem the most non-violent game of all, those days I stayed back in class to play 😃 otherwise you’d find me in the library. The best part however was, when it was time for assignments and other related classwork that needed ‘library time’, I chose to use the town library, simply because the noise and the distractions ‘now’ came inside the school library.
Secondly – I got to read something extra which otherwise I wouldn’t read at home. Everybody thought I was kind of a nerd 🤓 which I wasn’t.. but when your classmates see you every lunch interval at the library, they are bound to think you are one.
When I finally passed out of school, it was more of a relief than anything else.. however the love for the library and information still remains, maybe its easier to find info on the internet nowadays, but if I see a library, I will enter if not do anything research, at least pick up the newspaper and read. There was a compliment I received many a year later (by my only girlfriend)
She once said “I love the way when I use a new word, you go look it up later, find more about it and then we can talk more” [she was in the medical field] with a smile 😀 on her face. Yes, I would do that, not only for her, but generally, it is just the thirst of knowing one more word.. one more meaning. 🧐
I have my school days to thank that for, especially that painful ‘Lunch Break’.
When I taught in schools, the ‘Lunch Break’ came back to haunt me once again, but then this time I was the teacher, no longer a student. I would eat my bread or whatever I’d prepare and come back and interact with students while they had lunch. I’d enjoy that. That’s where I learnt my second lesson, as much as gathering information fascinated me, it was conversations that kept me going. I loved talking to people.
I might have not scaled great heights in my life, but I’ve learned so much about myself in these years that no matter where I land up, I’d always know, the hunger in me will never die. That said if that ‘hunger’ ever dies, that is the day I’ll be truly dead – of course from the inside.
This blog post is inspired after watching several episodes of ‘Young Sheldon’. I did see a lot of me in him (at least on how the episodes were shown)