‘How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?’- Winnie the Pooh Saying goodbye to Scottish has indeed been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Everything that I used to dislike and complain about is now a part of the bittersweet memories that I have of this great institution. Bombay Scottish was never just a school to me. It was and will always be my second home. As I pulled up in front of the school gate, I thought of all the times when I had rushed to this very same place, early in the morning after having missed the school bus because I had been too busy grumbling about the early hours. Now, I can give up anything to have just one more day in that same school. The sight before me was all too familiar- the watchman shepherding children across the lane outside Gate No. 1, the KG students waiting impatiently in line for their ‘bus didis’ to escort them to their respective buses, while the older kids crowding around the favourite Shri’s Franky Shop to get their personalised frankies! It was then, that I realised just how much I’ve missed it all. I met a few of my ex-teachers and friends – delighted to see them all after a long time. We chatted animatedly about the times we’ve had together- the good times and the bad. We talked about the Annual Christmas Concert, which used to be the highlight of my school year. Sometimes I still can’t believe that I will not perform on that stage ever again!
We reminisced about the assemblies that I once found long and boring, the various Inter House competitions that we’d always want to be part of (only to have an excuse to get out of class), and most of all, our friends. We giggled at the way we used to run to the canteen in the hopes that we would be one of the lucky ones to get the delicious brownies, our endless lunch break chatter, the way our entire class used to come together during concert time or while organising projects for the science fair! Most of all, we talked about how we missed our spectacular teachers that made my last year in school, one of the best years of my life! It all seems so far away now; like another soul living another life… I watched the yellow buses full of exhausted but still excited children drive by, leaving me in a cloud of grey smoke- not alone, of course, for Sunil Sir’s ever-present voice conducting the buses accompanied me. Staring at the impressive grey gate, I watched wistfully the students who came out of it. Each of them with a different story to share, different life to live, different experiences to narrate. However, we had one thing in common- we were all part of the Scottish family, and I have never been prouder to belong to something so extraordinary and unique. “Come on Kashish, let’s go!” one of my friends said. “Just saying goodbye..” I replied. But even as I turned around to leave, I knew in my heart that this wasn’t a goodbye and it never will be.