I looked forward to Children' s Day as a kid only because it was a day when there were no classes in school. Functions were held, civil dress was allowed, and toffees or some snacks were distributed in all the schools I attended during this day.
One school was different, it was a girl's school - VDJS - a school I never thought I'd attend or even like. Yet, this was the school where I ended up spending the largest amount of time - 4 years. Typically, due to my dad's job, I only spent a year or two in a given school. So, 4 years was a really long time! I also made a very good friend in this school and she continues to be my best friend till date. I have beautiful memories of the time I spent in this school and I even read Enid Blyton's Malory Towers series in this school and could totally relate to it.
The school celebrates Children's Day in a special way. Food items are sourced from the city, and teachers-students set up game stalls and food stalls in the school ground. My favourite was the Art Dept stall, where, material made by the Fine Arts teacher and students was sold. I still feel proud of the fact that 20 greeting cards made by me and 1 or 2 paintings made by me were sold in this art stall and I even handled the store once.
The celebration is called Bal Mela, and students spent a lot of money on various stalls. We really looked forward to the day and really hated going home that day. Parents/siblings or friends of the school students were also allowed to attend this unique fair. The objective of Bal Mela was to gather as much profit as possible and this profit used to be spent on the Grade IV school employees such as sweepers, office boys and maids. Everyone used to love spending as much as possible for this good cause.
Another special part of this day was the Alumni Meet, it was held in the later part of the day. Ex-students of the school had a function where they just met or shared their experiences. Another highlight of this meet was the availability of our famous school mess 'kadi' on the dinner menu. The school mess 'Kadi' deserves a special blog post and I am not kidding, it was lip-smacking delicious! :)
My best friend and I loved this day a lot, we used to spend it together checking out various stalls in the Bal Mela. We also made a pact one day, that if ever we don't get to meet again in life, we will surely meet once in our school on Bal Mela. We will attend the Bal Mela and we will attend the alumni meet and have that awesome kadi, the mere mention of which makes our mouths water like anything. According to our pact, we will do this when we are 99, I hope we do it before that but I know one thing, the promise of this pact itself will keep us alive and rocking till we are 99!
Its been 11 years since I left this school, I went to 2 more schools after this one but till date - Nov 14th, my heart goes back to Bal Mela at VDJS. I imagine being with my best friend roaming around our school corridors and being a part of the fun and frolic that was Bal Mela. My heart feels a sweet warmth and a smile finds its way to my face and I relive my childhood once again :)