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26th August 2002 - Page 3

...and they sang till sunrise

It was difficult to hold back on the excitement. As August 14 dawned closer, almost 50 odd class 12 students looked forward to staying the night at school. 

Everyone was ready to 'slog and slave' for the Independence Day preparation. Energized with positive thoughts and spirits, class 12 students endeavored to make the best of the night. 
The fun began at 10:00 p.m. when dinner had been wrapped up and the night was still young. A good 40 minutes were spent acting and imitating various teachers of the school, with all due respect of course. Mimics Dhananjaya Chak, Karan Talwar, Aeshna Singh left the crowd roaring with laughter. However, it was Nyamat Bindra, who emerged the star of the show. With an uncanny accent, she held the show together and persuaded more 'actors' to use this opportunity.
By 11:00p.m, most of us got down to work (supposedly). Arts students seriously engaged themselves in making banners under the strict supervision of Mr. Balakrishnan. Others involved themselves in separating petals, breaking flowers, drawing rangoli patterns or just busying themselves by doing errands for others. For a brief time, thumping music kept everyone's spirits alive. However, when that died away, Mr. Chetri took over with others, and serenaded the night away.
Not everyone participated in group activities. There were some who preferred to sweat and steam playing basketball in the odd hours of the night. Others enjoyed the 'thrills' of 'truth and dare' in Mrs. Narang's office. Some madeperiodic visits to the 
jhula bari trying to recapture lost memories of Junior School. There were others who just slept.
We all learnt that morning had come when the big bell was sounded at 4:00 am. Most of us had not slept all night. We staggered to the toilets to freshen up and change into our uniforms. With crest fallen faces and red eyes, we stood ready to go for the prabhat pheri. Initially, our singing was good, but our voices soon cracked and we sounded like a bunch of toads! Thanks to the junior children we could afford to lose our voices. It was hard to ignore the beauty the changing sky. Its colour changed from a midnight blue to a vein purple, and lighter colours of sky blue, under the morning light. This experience was rejuvenating and refreshing.
We returned at 6:30 am, and feasted on halwa with matthi. After that, some of us still had the energy to fly kites (which wouldn't fly at all), the only successful kite being that of Bharrat Dabas.
Exhausted, tired, sleepy, most of us rested in the relative comfort of plastic chairs and tables, to grab a brief nap of 20 minutes. We tried hard to keep our eyes open during the special performance… but in vain.
However, at the time of flag hoisting, we all stood erect and sang with complete clarity in our voices. A clear indication to all that we may be exhausted, saturated, beaten… but our spirit can never be broken.

Piya Kishore
Class XII

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