A few years ago, when i was a school student living in a hostel with infinite number of rules, we used to really curse the administration. The strict rules that we had to follow, about study-time, curfew, lights out, visiting other rooms and especially interaction with the opposite sex really got on our nerves sometimes. We used to sneak out and come back way after curfew, with the late leave form signed by one of us claiming to be “Rajesh Khanna”, or “Sanjay Dutt” (Everyone knows Shahrukh khan, even in this country, so we could never sign his name). Study hour was a time for conference in our room, which was shared by four girls. the essential gossip of the whole day was discussed then, and more often than never, we would laugh and talk so loudly that our voices could be heard in the office, which led to the boarding mistress come to our room and give us warnings. In the one hour break where we could go down before lights out time, around 20 of us, girls and guys, would meet to talk, and joke and plan the next outing. This was really fun, although we never failed to get eyed suspiciously by the persons on duty. At that time, we used to think that the grown ups were really mean and had nothing exciting to do in their lives. The truth was, that we were just a bunch of angry teenagers, who thought they had the world at their feet and could do whatever they wanted to.
And now, the tables have turned. I find myself as being labeled ‘the mean one’, ‘the pain in the you-know-where’ and ‘the one could cannot rest without making some students miserable’. My duty night, i had to counsel and punish people for coming in late. I was reliving my school years and , in a way, realizing how much trouble we used to cause the office and the people who are incharge of 200 odd rooms, who personally make an effort to go down to each and every room to check whether everyone is safe and paying attention to studies. But of course, I also know that there is no way to make these students understand that the slightly stretched rules are to make sure that their school days are safe and their parents, who mostly live abroad don’t have to worry about them every moment.
In a way, I think these rules, and breaking some of these rules are important. They taught me a lot about being courageous, and sticking up for my friends when I needed to. Rules show you that there are people who are concerned about you. When you are late, they get worried. When you do something wrong, you are not unwatched and you do need to be watched, especially if you are still in high school. I am getting to see my school days again, by stepping into someone else’s shoes. It’s funny how something that is so wrong when you see it from one perspective, is absolutely correct, when seen from another. Oh, I feel like I am a different generation from people who are just 5 years younger to me!