There, there baby,
it’s just Textbook Stuff
‘Light up, light up, as if you have a choice; Even if you cannot hear my voice, I’ll be right beside you dear’.
These words marked the end of just another year for some, the end of life as they’ve known it for the others, and the end of a grueling week for the newly instated class 12s. Life took the ordinary turn once again when the farewell class activity was a hit, and we were back to being everyone’s favorite batch (despite the recent skepticism).
But all the while, brewing beneath the unperturbed exterior, the glossy surface, and the smoothly run series of events- was organized chaos. A mess that was so big, it required the whole class to come together and transform it into something glorious.
We started off ambitious, and maybe overly so. There were of course, expectations to be met and a tradition to be carried forward. At the same time we had to make the show bigger, brighter, bolder than it had been ever before. All of us knew that this mountain of a task would not be easy. We expected the challenges, we fit in buffer-time, and we had a back up. But none of this was any consolation when just five days remained for the final day- interrupted by national holidays, car troubles and rebellions. Nothing turned out as we expected. Our meticulous plans quickly fell apart. Every effort to script a play morphed into another nostalgic reiteration of the ‘good tiiimes’. When it was time to make a decision, our class would be distinctly split into two uncompromising sides. Some arguments bordered on being futile, the others completely inane. There was the ‘red vs. gold glitter’ battle; and of course the epic ‘karaoke vs. instrumentals’ one. We all fought passionately about the most minute of details, threw infantile tantrums and even threatened to boycott the farewell.
But despite all the drama, somewhere along the way we found it within ourselves to put an end to all the bickering. It wasn’t easy, but somehow we managed to remind each other that it wasn’t about us; it was about them. The turn of events after this epiphany was almost magical. Our entire class- every single individual worked tirelessly for five long days; sacrificing their time, sleep and their fiery egos. It was heartening to see everyone take responsibility- not only for themselves, but for one another as well. Each individual shone as a leader in their own way- doing their bit to contribute to this massive whole.
And then it all just fell together. Never had these 90 people been more unified during their 13 years of school together.
All it took was one look into their teary eyes as we sang our group song “one last time for them”, to know that the effort was completely worth it. Not only had we evolved as a class, we solidified the bonds that we had so impetuously built with our seniors. Here was the day we hoped would never come. But as we said goodbye to some of our best friends, mentors, and seniors- we realised this wasn’t the end; it was just the end of one leg of the journey. We knew that with them, no farewell could be the last one. '
Meghna Mann (XII)
A Parting Word
As I write this letter, I occasionally glance at a file which lies on my desk- one that has been my companion for a year of my life. One which represents the ‘crown of thorns’ with which I was adorned on the 11th of February 2008. It contains a copy of every single edition of the Vasant Valley Today published during my term as Editor, along with numerous artefacts from the publishing process- proof editions, lists of work to be designated, graphics to be scanned. I trust that by the end of your term, you will have a file almost identical to my precious “Newsletter File”.
In the first few months, my file went almost everywhere with me. In and out of classrooms, in and out of school, and (believe it or not) in and out of Delhi. Despite the prolonged efforts of my friends, it was in my arms at all times as I walked around, lost in my own thoughts. I probably looked like the type who’d make a good editor, but what the unknowing eye was unaware of, was the fact that I was scared out of my mind. I crept around the place, my mind in an absolute panic about the next edition; and at this point, my file was the only reassurance I had. It was my security blanket, and it made me the editor you knew so very well.
Gradually, as I became well-versed in the editorial process, I began to use my file less and less. Mr Trivedi had once predicted that after three or four editions the constant look of worry on my face would ebb away- and so it did. My file then occupied the front part of my locker, and I deposited the fruits of my efforts in it once or twice a month, besides carrying it for the occasional Ed board meeting. By the end of the year, after trial and error, I had finally attained the perfect balance between my file and my life. Gone were the days where I had the printer’s number on speed dial, and I clung on to my file for dear life. I moved past the weekends that I spent working, the frantic phone calls from MUN summits at Dehradun and Missourie to check on the edition’s progress, and the days when I broke down and wanted to give it all up.
A friend of mine quoted from Spiderman to me on an afternoon that I had lost hope, saying, “with great power comes great responsibility”- and he couldn’t have been more correct. For this is all a part of the process of being an Editor, or being a Prefect, or of growing up. Though you’ll have a thousand challenges to face, you will learn to overcome them. So even if you fail the first couple of times, in the end you will confront them with ease. I hope you have a fulfilling and exciting term, and I know you will live up to my expectations of you (even though, if I may say so myself, you have some pretty big shoes to fill).
Good luck, kid.