As a child, I attended the Lawrence School Sanawar in India. The school, founded in 1847, is considered to be one of the oldest coeducational boarding schools in the world. I recently returned from attending my year’s silver jubilee reunion at the school nestled amongst the hills. I think as we grow up, the memories of childhood diminish in their vividness and the pains and pleasures of childhood are overridden by the trials and victories of adulthood. Wow – talk about an instant magic carpet ride (OK British airways helped) back to the literal ‘child – hood’, the original ‘hood’, home to my early formative years.
Visiting Sanawar was a piercing reminder of the origins of the journey of ‘me’. It forced me to analyze the then, the now and all the life lived in between. Around every corner, on random slopes and in beautiful old buildings, I ran into memories – some good, some bad and some just down right hilarious. It struck me that childhood friendships may be formed by young immature individuals but the foundations of these friendships are embedded in the soundest of principles: the pleasure of each other’s company, shared experiences and loyalty. This is what makes childhood friendships so easy to resume regardless of the time that may have elapsed since one last met. What else did I learn you make you may ask? I discovered that drinking too many rums and coke is always a bad idea!
Boarding school fosters friendships that by the very essence of boarding together, are unique. It was so lovely to see class mates (and their respective life mates), rehash old memories and renew old friendships. I knew that attending the reunion had been a great idea when a dear old friend and classmate, who I have not seen in multiple years, said to me, “one of the things I was most looking forward to was meeting you after all these years”. I second that and look forward to fostering these friendships through the coming decades.
What did I remember about fashion while revisiting my childhood? I remembered observing the teachers and visiting mothers at school, lovely grown up women dressed in their elegant saris and thinking that I could not wait to grow up and wear one. I think my love affair with saris started in school as I have always associated wearing a sari with impending adulthood.
I bought this sari at Delhi Haat many years ago and I can confidently say that I never tire of wearing it. It was as if the beauty of the handloom, the colours and the design were all singing in unison, “Isha is going to buy you and give you a loving home in her closet”. In fact, I remember walking away from it as my bargaining prowess had proved unsuccessful and the vendor and I had been unable to come to a mutually acceptable price. Then, as I had walked a short distance and the reality of the situation struck me – I had returned and admitted defeat (the shame). The seller had the last laugh but I had a beautiful sari and I found comfort in the fact that my joy would outlive his.
Thank you so much for reading and have a great week!