When I miss school and cannot visit it, this movie comes closest to reliving my life in an all girls boarding school. 

I remember the first time I watched the movie. Hyderabad Blues had already made Nagesh famous and my sis and me were looking forward to this flick. It released in Ahmedabad when there were no multiplexes. So, we went to a theatre at Ashram road to watch it. For us, Ashram road was old a'bad and we were not allowed to go there. But hey, when you have a 2 wheeler (miss my scooty so much) and some cash nothing can stop you. 

There were less than 10 people in the theatre and we were the only girls, I think. There was another group of guys who would laugh like crazy everytime someone in the movie said 'shagging'. It was kindof silly but now I realize this was the first Bollywood movie where we heard about the word 'shagging'. 

The movie stars Nagesh Kukunoor as a teacher, Nandita Das who has no dialogues, Rohan Dey as the lead, Kailash Athmanathan and Ulrika Krishnamurti.

The movie is about Rajesh Naidu (Rohan) who is sent off to an all boys boarding school when he is 14 years old. He makes friends with Selva Reddy (Kailash) and tries to navigate his teenage years in an alien place. His PT teacher- Johnny Matthew (Nagesh) helps him through this journey by having his back in a few conflicts. Rajesh has a crush on a teacher Miss Vegas (Nandita) and by the end of the school year he even has a girlfriend Malathi (Ulrika) who he has kissed... twice. 

No other movie brings out the journey of childhood and teenage years like this one. Sure, it's about a boys school but most of it is true even for an all girls school.

I know this is a movie blog but am going to do this anyway... type out all the memories this movies brings up

- In the boarding, you are allowed to bring a limited number of clothes only- less than 10. Every clothing article should have your number and name either stitched onto it or written with a permanent marker. Anything extra and non-marked will be sent back with parents. 

- The refectory was where we had our meals. I don't eat most veggies now because I was force fed in the boarding. We had to eat everything and finish what's on our plate. This was so much torture that my parents never forced me to eat anything I didn't like when I went home for holidays. The boarding had it's own weird food - daal with bread for b'fast... milk for dinner... burnt maggi... bhonda as snacks

- There is always that one teacher you have a crush on. For me it was Sir Anurag- our computer teacher. This was only because of lack of options. C'mon, was I supposed to have a crush on Sir Aseem- the only other male teacher who was a bachelor

- We had a uniform for everything- school uniform, walk uniform for Sunday walks, games uniform- for evenings. Civil clothes were allowed only on Sundays. On all other days we were all the same- dressed in weird looking uniforms

- We hardly watched TV. This was the case in boarding and even in other hostels. Movies we watched were mostly classics- Gone with the wind, Shakespeare plays, Chitty Chitty bang bang. But there were Bollywood movies too- Rangeela watched in the theatre, Pyaar kiya toh darna kya and my favourite- 100 days. 100 days was played in the large hall where events happened. All the girls were watching the movie when the skeleton scene came on. I don't think the nuns were aware what the movie was about when they decided to show it to us. The whole lot of us- I was in 2nd or 3rd std, screamed our lungs out at the scene. The movie was shut off, all the kids were escorted out and only the seniors watched the movie. We spent the rest of the night enacting the scene over and over again

- St Mary's fete- one of the two times in a year when we got to interact with the opposite sex. Nothing much really happened there. But even a glance from a guy got amplified a million times and was blown way out of proportion. There would be a whole Mills and Boon written over that one glance. And if you got a love letter, oh man... 

- Sex. It's so much easier and so much more fun to discover and talk about sex in an all girls boarding school. The first time I knew what sex was really about- the whole truth, it was explained by Ms Angela. It wasn't a sex education class. She cared enough to tell us what 'sex' meant. I was in 7th std. We were in the 10th std when we had the sex education class. By then, we knew everything. It was actually a pretty boring class. The only thing I remember is the abortion video. That struck a nerve.... enough to never get pregnant unless you really want a kid- married or not

- I still remember the first time I heard about 'ejaculation'. We were at the playground with a group of girls who called themselves 'Crazy Gals' and someone was saying how guys ejaculated a 'white fluid' when they are excited. This sounded so yuck and unbelievable at the time. This was 7th std talk. Sex was around us after that... in our talks, thoughts, books (Mills and Boon, Barbara Cartland, Sidney Sheldon, Danielle Steele), imagination... everywhere

- There were no 'real' lesbians in the school but the nuns were so scared they imagined 2 girls who were getting touchy feely are lesbians. So, we ended up talking quire a lot about it and there were rumours. But I don't think there was any substance to those rumours. Atleast none I know about

- Bathing on alternate days because there is water shortage in Mt Abu. I remember my mom telling me to take a shower as soon as my periods start. And I was like 'I'll be lucky if I can bathe 2 days after I start my periods start'

- Sidney Sheldon was the source of all the bad words we learned like 'fuck', 'faggot' and so much more. Thanks Sidney for the most useful education of my life

- We were not allowed to speak any language except English unless it was Hindi class. KC laughs at my Hindi and calls it poor and accented. He is right. But it's not my fault. I always scored well in Hindi but it wasn't considered that important a subject in school

- And there is always that 1 friend who is the most perverted of all. Who will be crazy enough to act she is pregnant by tucking pillows under her clothes and then pretend to breastfeed her child. Or tuck socks in her bra for bigger boobs.Or sneak food out into the room (we were not allowed to) by tucking it in her undies- bra as well as underwear. Who will beat anyone at talking trash... even with the guys. Gopu (don't know if she is the same even now so cannot put her name here)- yep, am looking at you. 

If I ever have a daughter she is getting educated in Sophia High School, Mt Abu. There isn't any other school I would trust with her education. But if it's a boy, nope. Incidents of rape and gay stuff are quite common in all boys school. 

There is so much more... but well, I need to take a shower now. Ciao. Watch this amazing movie. Even if you've led a boring life in a co-ed school and lived with your parents. It's ok. 


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