Alma Mater

“So here’s to Kimmins

Dear old Kimmins,

May we be always true…”

We were made to learn this song in the first week that we entered the school. Honestly, we didn’t know why we had to do that, there were a lot of high pitch lines that most of the students used to skip, so why bother singing it every week in and out? I’ll tell you why, when you’re in your last week of schooling, you’ll find yourself humming this tune and holding back tears.

My first day at Kimmins was like any other normal girl’s leaving her parents forever. Okay, it wasn’t forever, but that’s what it felt like. But I was a very strong girl. I did not cry at all. Instead I explored the huge campus. The enormous Gym Khana, the assembly room, the library!

But I wasn’t strong after all.

A week and half inside the campus with all new girls crying around me, I gave in. One night I thought about all the TV I was going to miss and the tears came streaming out, and well, my brain is very vigorous and one thought led to another and all the memories and staying at home feelings came to me.

The next morning, as I was getting dressed for school, I made up my mind. I was going to survive this. I slapped on a smile and marched into the dining hall to start my life as a Kimminite.

Turns out, I didn’t have to ‘survive’ this. I had to enjoy it. Every moment. The classes, the games, the little TV we watched, the drama, the competitions and the exhilaration which was Kimmins. Every teacher I had has a little part in making me the person I am today. Even the several sports teacher, though I suck at sports. (Sportsmanship, yes that’s the one thing I learned that from sports. Thank you Miss Shaw)

It was a different experience for every Kimminite. The social, outgoing ones excelled at making it the best time of their lives, with some drama. But as a quiet person, I only observed. But years later, a few weeks ago I walked into a hoard of people not knowing anyone, guess what? I made friends with my quirky personality and moreover the extrovert that Kimmins made me at the end of my schooling.

The values that the school gave me is the one thing I love about it (after, of course, the Maggi dinner every Wednesday). We girls did everything for the closest of friends, stuck together at hard times (even got suspended together if we have to), but once someone betrays us, that person is sure to see hell risen in our aggressive attitude. And that’s what I like about being humble till the point someone flips you out.

But enough about values and how we’ll destroy the people doing wrong to us, you guys came here for the memories, so here they come. First up, the TV. I’m sorry, I’m a couch potato, and that does come first to me. Every Saturday, girls of all ages (from one dormitory though) came together to fight over which movie we would watch. It was pointless because the seniors used to decide it, or the matrons. And obviously, no Hindi movies allowed.

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The locked TV

So one Saturday we watched The Grudge. I don’t remember which sequel and I’m too lazy to look it up because I have the most hilarious scenes in my mind. Everyone (including my grown up classmates) is scared to death when the ghost is finally revealed who in the entire movie made a horrible sound from his/her throat. So the dark TV room added to the suspense and I can almost hear someone whimpering in their chair, when suddenly an Asian ghost with a blanket over her starts moving in a way to scare the main character, but which is received by us what I like to call ‘break dancing’. Instead of screaming our lungs out (which happened during most of the horror movies) we broke into a laughter curbed 20 minutes later by Miss Young.

Oh, and that reminds me the sweetheart who is Miss Young. I say sweetheart because I’m scared she’s right behind me scolding me to polish my shoes. “These girls I tell ya.” It echoes in my ears whenever I’m about to do something which she won’t approve. I recently visited the dormitories and was disappointed she wasn’t there arranging her papers or killing flies with her old fly swatter. She retired and the coming batches will never know the great person she was, horrifyingly strict, but yet the sweetest matron we had.

So when we were packing our bags and our trunks in the last week of 10th grade, Miss Young gathered us all and told us how we made her life a living hell. But also that we’re going out as talented, independent women and that the world will be a better place with us. As she wished us good luck into the world, we sniffed back tears.

I went into the boot room and wiped my red face with a towel.

Because I wasn’t strong after all.

Eulogy:

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Miss Margaret Gilbert

Miss Gilbert served as Principal from 1969-1979. But she kept visiting Kimmins every Christmas and we saw what a wonderful person she was. Her shaky yet orotund voice encouraged us to sing the carols louder, her childlike wonder while guessing who the Santa was, made our skit nights more perfect.

“A death is not the extinguishing of a light,
but the putting out of the lamp
because the dawn has come.”

 

Even if I write a book about all the memories of Kimmins, I’d have to write a sequel to it. So that’s why there’s a part two. I’ll try putting in as much as I can. Until then, comment what’s the craziest haunted story you’ve heard about Kimmins and its 113 year old buildings.

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. Krushangani shah says:

    Hii shweta, I’m krushangani I’m a ex kimminit. When I was was in 6th that time I left school. But worth being there for 3 yrs.
    I have some blur memories of this awesome school. Today even someone talks about a say a word ‘kimmins’ the excitement in me just get too high and it brings tears to my eye. I still miss my school.. not jus the school but the amazing ppl I met there. Today I am an independent interior designer. I would like to thank kimmins for making me confident n brave n remove my inner talent. I know 3 yrs in this school is very small. But it has done great work for me.
    Loads of love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Krushangani, I wish you luck in your career. And trust me, even if you spend a year in Kimmins, it’s worth a book full of memories. I’m glad I could remind you of those three years in the school. Come back for more. 🙂

      Like

  2. Bhakti says:

    How can I forget all this I spent the most wonderful 10 years in this school. I miss our 10th grade madness especially your haircut (well of course by me) and the dances on your bed

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my God!! Yes, you gave me a haircut (which made me look wild), and Miss Young didn’t notice it was a week after we came back from holidays. She said “These girls getting all kinds of strange haircuts here.” :’D
      My bed was like the magnet to all the girls in 10th grade, of course due to the mirror beside it. I miss the door-breaking we did of the connecting door.

      Like

  3. Anouli Patel says:

    Well written😊.

    I remember the story of Miss Kimmins ghost playing the piano in the gym hall every night and going on rounds at night to make sure all girls r safe

    Another common story which I kept hearing every year was of a lady walking with Payal on the Woden staircase leasing to lower willongdon

    I wasn’t sacred until I was tansfered to lower willongdon during my 8th grade

    Lol apart from the ghost stories the 9 years spent in Kimmins were the best years of my life. It has definitely given me the courage to deal with life as it comes. I think the down to earth nature inherited from my mom n dad flourished in KHS.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lower Willingdon? That was the source of all the horror stories. And I too have heard the ghost of Miss Kimmins playing the piano, I used to wonder which piano was it amongst the hundreds of them around the campus.
      And yes, the values of right and wrong do come and grow in the school. Thank you so much for appreciating the writing. Come back for the next part. 🙂

      Like

  4. Upasana says:

    Shwetttaaaaa i guess this is one of the best thing ive read about kimmins. Nothing else can get such memories collected so beautifully 🙂

    Like

    1. Thank you so much Upasana. 😊 Spread the link. 🙂

      Like

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