Do memories become stronger as you grow old? I wonder about this because these days I have been thinking about my childhood a lot. So here’s another memory for your reading pleasure plus for me to browse when I am old and probably senile.
A small background before I start – when I was young, I remember my dad telling me that our area was designed to be an educational hub when the city of Bombay was being expanded. So if you draw a circle of around 2 km diameter around my home, you will find many educational institutions like schools, colleges and even higher educational institutions. This includes my dad’s alma mater as well as the school me and my sister went to.
This memory is around the time I was about three years old. Since we had many schools in our vicinity, it’s quite usual to see students on their way to school in the mornings. Growing up, there were many people around my age group (give or take five years) in my building and when I was around three years old, they were all in school too. My mum was handling me and my sister who was a toddler around that time. We also had a fulltime mum’s helper named Maria who would come in the mornings and go back in the evenings and her main job was to help my mum look after two young children and play with me. Maria stayed with us for about two years and then left as she was getting married. By then I started formal school and my sister was also slightly older so my mum was able to manage without a helper.
When I used to see my friends go to school and also see all the children going to school from our home, I also decided that I wanted to go to school. However, the school my mum had decided for me would only take me in for Kindergarten 1 at the age of four which was still a year away. I have spoken more about the discussions and arguments my mum and grandmother had in deciding the school I would attend in a previous post.
I started throwing mega tantrums about going to school and used to create a ruckus at home because I wanted to go to school. Exasperated, my parents decided to send me to a school which was literally next door. This school would allow me to get into Kindergarten 1 or Junior KG as it was known in Bombay then. So I started going to school and was thrilled. I think I started school after the formal term had started because I don’t remember wearing the school’s uniform and used to wear my normal clothes to school. Most days, it used to be either my mum or Maria who would take me to school around 8:30 – 9 am and bring me back around lunchtime.
I must have been a model student there because the teacher who used teach me remembered me right around the time I was in college and would ask my mum about me when she met her on the streets. I used to be so touched when my mum used to tell me about her encounters with the teacher. Someone who in her career has taught thousands of students who pass through her class still remembers this one girl who was so determined to go to school, even though she was there in her class for less than a year. I actually have no memories about this teacher and don’t remember her name or even face.
So this is how I repeated Junior KG!