By : Nupur Luthra
In school, we would often make fun of one of our PT teacher who would insist on wearing a hair pin to keep his hair in place (to be honest, he didn’t really have too much hair; I wonder what he meant to keep in place). There were various incidents that would keep us entertained and laughing in splits. I remember seeing the live version of Romeo and Juliet between the history and chemistry teacher. It was very hilarious and at the same time insightful, it made us think what it is like to suck up to people just to get ones work done. Apart from all the fun and the entertainment, I also remember important incident. I was in the fifth standard when my principal received a phone call-it wasn’t one of those regular admission phone calls, it was a serious one…. The phone rang, my principal answered “hello? Yes, how may I help you”? From the other end someone said, “Madam, I have planted a bomb in every part of the school to blow it into pieces”… ….. And that’s all! The phone line was abruptly cut….. “Hello? Hello??? Who is this?? Is this some kind of a joke”? My principal desperately tried to get some more information, but nobody answered…. Sweat and fear grew large on my Principal’s face…. She was not even sure whether this was a joke or it was real….. In desperation, she ran out of her office and screamed, “there’s a bomb in the school” and she fainted in the corridor.
The army life had its own share of adventures. I remember my parents and their colleagues telling me stories of their college days. I remember mom telling me once when she was in college, she and her friends were coming back from a party one night, they were drunk and out of nowhere, they lost control and banged into a tree. The tree they banged into was right outside our very own “Empress Garden”. There were so many fascinating stories that at times I think, the army is a lot more interesting than the civil.
She went on to tell me one day, both dad and she had gone for an official function… as the party went on , a young officer, drunk (of course) abused his senior officers.. My first reaction was “Really?? How interesting!! Did he punch them in the face?? My father was sitting next to mom whilst she was narrating the story to me. He was horrified at my question; he looked at me and said, “What is so interesting about someone getting drunk??” I pondered over what dad said for a minute and then I looked him and said “Dad, I have never seen a drunk person and you know I find it fascinating. We in the civil cannot do such things. Can I just quit school and join the army?” Dad looked at me and all he said was, “Goodnight my foolish child. You are so naïve.” I didn’t know why my father said that, I looked confused and lost like a puppy. I wondered if I said something wrong. Did I? Who knew? I went into slumber and decided not to think too much.
After the 8th grade, I switched schools. The new school had a garden filled with flowers I had never really seen before. The school from an outsider’s point of view seemed so different from the rest of the schools that it wasn’t impossible to shut the rest of world out. An all girls’ school all over again. Sigh!!! Till my 8th grade, I learnt how to sing and play the piano in my previous school. Somehow every time I’d get the blues looking at the new girls here, I’d start to play the piano in my head.
I always thought schools are meant to be fun and creative. I was wrong. In this new one, we would have these loud prayers in the morning followed by classes that could put you to sleep, even after having a good night’s sleep.
(Nupur Luthra has completed masters in English literature. She currently works as a content writer with an IT company in Noida. Nupur comes from an Army background. . She wanted people to know what it’s like living two lives at the same time. This was a subject that no one has written about and she knew it’s different and something new. She wrote “A soldier’s daughter”, a book which tells the life story of a young girl, who is brought up in the secluded army quarters, she somehow prefers to lead a normal civilian life. In spite of her parents’ (both army officers) insistence, she opts out of any profession remotely related to ‘Army, Navy or Air-force’. From schooling to college to professional life, she is perennially confused if she belongs to the elite army circle or the mundane civilian world. Having a first-hand experience of living both lives, she narrates the exciting events from her dual life. From the best of both lives to the worst, she gives an unbiased account of what it is to be a part of the army and yet live the life of a civilian. An interesting account of a young girl who reveals what it is to live two lives at once! The book will be released on 11th October, 2015)