12 years old?

Gosh that seems light years away!

Let’s see…I would have been in my 7th standard at my first school, an all girls Anglo-Indian school. I was (and still am) the type of person who centered their life around an academic purpose (currently my center is my work), so I’m going to have to retrace my memories of school to actually remember my birthday.

I never really saw birthdays as anything special, especially not in school past our 7th standard. That year marked the end of “colored dress” at school on one’s birthday. My final act was a strikingly ghastly red suit with gold buttons (that served no real purpose). I remember being adamant about wearing a suit to school. I had always fancied the idea of being an adult independent working woman, so naturally, it had to be a suit! I picked it out with mum at Boston (the then hot-spot for trendiest outfits). I never really liked it….it was red….bright red….it was a tad short for my lanky limbs….but it was the only suit they had!

The morning of my big day, i will never forget. It was one of those childhood bruises that i swore would never heal (I’m extremely good at keeping bruises). I wasn’t happy with my outfit (being a spoilt brat) and my hair, my ghastly hair that I am only just starting to come to terms with, just wouldn’t look as sleek and sophisticated as i imagined. I was a mess. I asked my elder sister (who is probably reading this blog and who is exceptionally talented in making things right and in making me mad) to help me set it right-she tried….she gave up, putting in three braids on one side of my head and clamping them in place with retardly colored beads that were the dying trend of the season. In between the failing, mum tried her hand at curling and ironing my treases out, yet another fail. I remember walking into school late….crying quietly; frustrated at my outfit, my hair, my unhelpful sister and mother that couldn’t understand me (yes, i was a bit of a princess in my own way).

I’m guessing the rest of the day played out rather well (suddenly lost focus…maybe I’ll re-write this someother time) . I still have a photo of me and my friends having lunch together in the back seat of the car. I learnt valuable lesson that day; to quote Phil Dunphy:

The most amazing things that can happen to a human being will happen to you if you just lower your expectations.

p.s – i love phil

That was my last birthday wearing “colored dress” to school; then a few little girls decided to go rowdy; using the priveledge of wearing “colored-dress”,as we called it, to play hooky for a day with their puppy-love lover and other unimaginably scandalous blush-worthy acquaintances. After the act had been reported to the school by some infuriated parent, who decided that inorder to keep her child inline the entire student body had to be kept inline, we were banned from wearing “colored-dress” to school on our birthdays.

It was all white, six-piece, box-necked frocks, belted at the waist from then on.