There Is Always a First Time

I got up in the morning with an unexpected flutter in my tummy. The first day of AS Level, the new chapter in my life after the gargantuan ICSE board examinations. Oddly, my mind was a tabula rasa. I wondered who my classmates would be. I felt apprehensive; a little clueless. I changed my T-shirt at least four times, confused. My thoughts were all jumbled up and though I disliked admitting it, I felt nervous – a feeling that was completely new to me.

I walked into the school building. Familiar turf, comforting. It was now beginning to feel like just any other school day, till I dipped into the Spartan corridors of the 12th floor. Earlier, I simply traipsed here for VMUN, Greaders Club, EUMIND meetings and orientations and yes, for an occasional peep into my younger brother’s judo pummelling.

So anyway, I had a few minutes to myself before the others filtered in. Despite the presence of fifteen odd people in the space, the quiet, clean confines reminded me of a sanatorium. The strong whiff of a lemonish floor cleaner, the silently positioned ancillary staff added to the pallor. Where were the rush and the din and the chaos and the screaming that rather lustily laced the corridors of the 8th floor? This was a different world, serious, grim, business-like, bereft of warmth, seemingly a place where there would be no time for conversations, zero old familiarity, no backslapping… Instead there were new teachers, crisp books, ironed manes, and finely tuned timetables. I was already slipping into auto pilot mode.

The flutter in my tummy grew into a monster by the time lunch hour arrived. My mother had packed my favourite foods in boxes. Chicken sandwiches, peaches, and biscuits……..nothing worked. Suddenly, the food lost its lustre. There was more fun in snatching and bartering. Barter rights worked till the 10th grade: if you had a chocolate, it fetched a premium, you could trade it for anything ranging from half a chicken sandwich to schezwan rice with an extra dollop of sriracha sauce thrown in.

The classroom was full of mostly new faces, trying to drum up an acquaintance rather awkwardly, and I did not feel like responding to anyone. Something was not right, my heart was missing. I felt…lonely, amidst a class of twenty eight students. I was used to roaming in the hallways and gossiping with my friends during recess. Suddenly, it was too civilised, too formal, too starchy, and it annoyed me at some level.

The day was over, I had never been so glad to hear the bell ring. I wafted through a range of emotions that evening till my head hit the pillow. The next morning, I awoke fresh, my thoughts sorted. I strode confidently into my classroom, as if nothing had happened, slipped into a new daily routine, set up my locker, poured myself into work, articulated interesting conversations, made friends…..

Perhaps this is what they call growing up.

Anoushka Madan
AS Level, VIBGYOR High, Goregaon






16 responses to “There Is Always a First Time”

  1. Prita Dheer Avatar
    Prita Dheer

    What a command over the language! Loved the write-up! Well done Anoushka. Looking forward to reading more articles from you!

  2. Farzana Irani Avatar
    Farzana Irani

    Beautifully written. An interesting read that most of us can relate to. Descriptive choice of words brought upon a feeling that I was present there.

  3. Shehnaz kachwalla Avatar
    Shehnaz kachwalla

    That’s so very well penned Anoushka. Wishing you the best ahead

  4. Roma Avatar

    A truly brilliant blog written by Anoushka .The words are used in an articulated way making the language rich .Every fine details are well described making it very interesting …top notch ..great work

  5. Sonal Nangia Avatar
    Sonal Nangia

    Very well written and thoughts beautifully expressed. Proud of you Anoushka!

  6. Shalini Goel Avatar
    Shalini Goel

    Very well written driscription is awesome it felt reading it as if all this was going on within me

    Grt Anushka

  7. Dipali Madan Avatar
    Dipali Madan

    Amazing Vocab ,
    Waiting for more blogs .

    Way to go Miss Madan ?

  8. Swati chadha Avatar
    Swati chadha

    This article brought back memories . Very well written and heart felt. Wishing you success and happiness in your new phase of life. All the best

  9. Seema Talwar Avatar
    Seema Talwar

    Very well expressed & articulated Anoushka. Best wishes !

  10. Gayatri Sharma Avatar
    Gayatri Sharma

    Very Well Written Anoushka. All the very Best

  11. Gargee munjal Avatar
    Gargee munjal

    Anushka Madan your descriptions were outstanding.It sounded so realistic and expressed so well.Very strong command in grammer and expression .Wishing you All the very best for a brilliant future.

  12. Sujata Devdas Avatar
    Sujata Devdas

    Well expressed Anushka Madan. The flair in your writing expresses all you want to convey. Keep it up dear.

  13. Nandita Bhatia Avatar
    Nandita Bhatia

    When you can picture in your mind what you read…the writer becomes the master.
    Anoushka, you are a master at this craft. Hats off to your descriptions that made my nose get a whiff of the lemony cleaner and my legs walk the spartan corridors. Commendable. …keep up the good work. Love

  14. Naomi Rajput Avatar
    Naomi Rajput

    This is so relatable. You did a phenomenal job right here. When can I read the next one !!!

  15. Naomi Rajput Avatar
    Naomi Rajput

    This is so relatable. You did a phenomenal job. When can I read the next one?!?!?

  16.  Avatar

    Very well written Anoushka ….wishing u all the best for your future!!!!

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