Me Thinks

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

School Bus

A few weeks ago, I got a big compliment from one of our family members - a 12 year old, that I was a "cool" adult. She said that because of an observation I had made the previous day. I had said "Adults always under-estimate the pressure kids feel at school or even school bus". The "school bus" was not added unintentionally. I have had the school bus experience and was actually reflecting on that more than saying something to empathize with a wanna-be teenager. But I am perfectly happy with the compliment.

As usual I have a story to narrate. After completing my first standard (or grade if you will), my parents switched me to a new school. And I was to travel to school by the school bus. Every school that has a bus has a school bus gang. Even if they belong to different age groups, kids who've been "bus students" stick up for one another and a new entrant is always viewed with suspicion/contempt. The new ones are not given seats, which would be reserved by way of placing school bag, lunch bag etc for people who'd never come to occupy. New school and new bus-gang kind of scared me. But since it was my brother's first school experience, I often pretended to be very confident.

A few months later, the hole in my right ear had to be fixed. It wasn't at the center as is the norm. So after a small medical procedure, I had a center hole and thus two holes in my ear. When my mother tried to put earring, she couldn't do it the usual way as the new hole was too tiny. So she put the earring from behind and screwed it tight from the front. So my earrings were on the inside while the screws were the ones anyone could see. I thought it was strange and told my parents tat people at school would make fun of me. They came up with a brilliant solution and said "If anyone asks you, tell them this way of wearing it is in fashion". They probably thought they gave me a smart idea and I was too dumb to revolt too.

The next morning school bus arrived, I got in and some annoying kid (who happens to be my father's friend's daughter) noticed my ear and said I was wearing it wrong. Being the kid that does what parents say, I gave the practised reply. She laughed so loud that her laughter invited 10 more kids who laughed along with her without knowing what had happened. After she stopped laughing, she mustered enough energy to tell the crowd what I had told. And the laughter was even louder. Even though the time between our boarding and the bus reaching school was less than half hour, it seemed very very long. And the taunting continued promptly that evening when the bus left school. It continued for many weeks and months. And I was desperately hoping that another kid would do or say something silly that would make these kids forget what I had said. I don't exactly remember how long it continued but I think that was my first experience of "peer pressure". And to date I hold my parents responsible for not preparing me well (in other words making me a fool) and their reaction has been the same in all these years - they laugh.

I definitely know about the pressure, dear niece. Maybe I am a cool adult.:-)


Blogger The Kid said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:02 PM  
Blogger The Kid said...

wow! wonderful post! I totally can imagine how it would have been to wear the earring backside front.

Sometimes, parents just ignore the the school and schoolmates as completely insignificant. Thy assume peer pressure is only for the adults!

3:03 PM  
Blogger Karthik Sriram said...

Aaha - so u were gullible enough to not only fall for that, but told it too??!?! Anyways, yeah I've had the new school syndrome - I joined PSBB from pretty much a non-entity of a school and I remember not wanting to even think about going to school... not that its a kid thing... recently i changed jobs and so felt the same kinda lost in my new workplace too.


3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You write well, I know one of your friends, or well atleast someone who reads your blog, and I had subscribed a while back. You post so infrequently that it took me a while to figure out why your post showed up in my feed reader, but it was funny and I remembered why I had subscribed.

And I totally get being a kid and the peer pressure and feeling that your parents were out to make things worse. Have a nice day. :)

10:51 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

12yr is very correct. and unless someone is really out of touch, would understand that. school bus, PT classes.. children today live in complex world. we had very simple lifestyle... one simple example-- when i was in school, only TV one channel to watch(DD) and whole school is talking about the same program. but now, its impossible to keep up with so many different programs in so many different channels..


11:12 AM  
Blogger Me said...

Deepa andha 12yr old onna vechi kaamedi-keemadi pannalayae..:p

2:49 PM  
Blogger Lavanya said...

haa haa haa...I can imagine...Thank god I was not a bus student too... I would have made sure that everyone accepts you don't know fashion and would have made them called you a liar!!

I remember how we used to claim we are cousins/sisters and I would wait in the balcony to say bye to you...So aloud, that it helped stand a chance for parade commanding!

10:24 PM  
Blogger Oracle said...

"Cool adult"....jillunu ice vechu what did that lil one extract out of u?

There is no such thing as a free lunch with kids these days

11:35 PM  
Blogger ashok said...

cool... :)

8:46 AM  
Blogger Mahadevan said...

Every one of us has undergone peer pressure of some kind or other. And yet, when we become parents, we fail to realise this. I was a front bencher and I faced enormous teasings from back-benchers and hence my Blog 'Blessed are the Back-benchers'.

Anything which is broken becomes an antique and anything nor worne correctly, becomes a fashion.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Sudha said...

Nice post.Liked it.So i have found out that you wear the ring upside down .ha ha ha.(joke)

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

deepa where is the customary tendulkar post?

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i remember those bus days...luckily i was either part of the antakshari group or the gk quiz group so i did not have to bother with that 'rowdy' group or whoever their next target was!

10:45 PM  
Blogger Prabhu Chinnappan said...

tats a nice post. keep going yaar...

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why can't I commment on your latest post?

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why are you not posting anymore?

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool Blog Deepa. Only after reading this post did I realize that I used to call 'stamp collection' my hobby when I was kid. In fact I think I also collected coins. There are indeed so many things I laugh at several years later, but then kids are kids, and you're right - we were probably under a lot of pressure. Looks like we have some common blog friends too btw.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it varies from era to era, bus to bus, and also one's luck. among the most enjoyable moments in my life, were those spent in my school bus, and school-bus-stand, when i was in Delhi (1966-7,69-72) and later in Kathmandu (73-5). but in one of the schools i went to, in the bus, 2 of my class-mates were sometimes bullied very badly by a the same bus, i had a gr8 time with my bus-stop-mates ( as well as with the above 2 classmates if they were not in a torture session with the senior).We used to play all kinds of games at the bus-stop. in the bus, we enjoyed and cheered loudly, when we overtook other buses on the way.

2:27 PM  

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