Sugandha Shukla ,IX A , Scindia School , Gwalior : It would be best to start with my very first day at Scindia. The day I attended my first assembly. Like everyone I was super excited and not in the least afraid or nervous at the prospect of studying in an all boys school. During my previous experiences of being in a co-ed school I had rarely been in trouble with the boys and even when I did have fights with them, they were the friendly ones and I would always win. I usually got on well with everyone and was quite popular in my class. I rarely got annoyed when the guys in my class teased me (though I pretended to be teased) and so I was not at all worried or scared to study in a school full of ‘harmless’ boys. Little did I know of what I’d have to face.
There were a lot of fights between the class and me during the first two months of joining the school. I also had to grapple with behind-the-back commentary and on-the-wall remarks. Every naughty thing I did, the report of every boy whom I teased and every class in which I talked went to either my mother or my Housemistress. If a guy teases another they take it lightly but the moment I said anything to anyone the whole class would turn against me and complain. The usually naughty and talkative me was forced to ‘keep quiet’ and ‘behave decently’. I concentrated on my studies and my percentage jumped up from 87 to 96 in the second term. For a few months I earned recognition but this invited the jealousy of a few.The next year came and with our batch becoming the senior most in the Junior Campus I had a chance to mingle and make friends with the boys. The boys treated me as their equal.
Once we had a Chemistry test and I had forgotten all about it. I got 4.5 marks out of 15. That day when I reached the prep, someone had written ‘Sugandha, Chemistry-4.5’ on my prep desk. Later I learnt that some of my classmates had even celebrated that day. I decided to avenge this which I did by scoring 20/20 in the next Chemistry test. I had a lot of fun and participated and did everything my classmates did. This year turned out to be the best year.
But in the starting of the next year, I had a tough time. Although when I started laughing when someone teased me and paid not much heed things ironed out.
It is not just the troubles. There are also times when I do feel lucky about being a girl in an all boys’ school, like being spared when my batch mates are called to the O.A.T in the recess for punishments, being spared the hard work that my classmates often have to do in the Houses and also getting exemption from the Morning P.T, etc.
Studying in Scindia School has widened my thought process. Never before did I ever read a newspaper. I started it only after seeing the boys do it. I didn’t even know that football clubs like Man United and Barcelona existed! Football is one thing about which I’ve learnt a lot after coming here. I never knew I could write articles and essays before coming in Scindia. It was from my batch mates that I learnt a lot about computers, because of which now I am confident enough to participate in various IT activities that take place in the school. It was in Scindia that I learnt to debate after seeing some of my seniors who are great orators and who always helped me polish my skills.
This year my sister and I also joined the Table-Tennis sets. We used to play like Badminton (which happens to be our favorite sport) as the ball would strike all corners of the room except the table. Although at the end of the first term our game improved, we finally quit.
I love being here in an all boys’ school. Life here is never dull.
Surviving here in Scindia as a minority has taught me a lot about how to deal with situations and given me sweet-bitter learning experiences. I’ll always remember these days.