Monday, October 04, 2010

Escape from Wynberg-Allen

(based on an incredulous true story)

Ankit, Parvesh and Sudeep stared calmly at the boundary wall. It loomed well above their heads, juxtaposed with daunting iron gates with spikes as sharp as ever. They had been planning their escape plan for over 72 hours. It was a crisp, air-tight plan. Their less audacious friends inside the walls had decided to support finances for the endeavour in any way they could. 'Let these three breathe and enjoy the air outside on our behalf', they thought. The pooled in money from their pockets added up to Rs.130, barely enough for survival for 24 hours once they achieved their escape. They had packed lightly too - barely some clothes and toiletries to survive the world outside.

With as much pomp as the system would allow them, the group bid farewell to their three friends. Soon, it was time.

The dinner bell rang sharp at 7pm. This was the moment. As per the plan, while all the others marched towards the dining hall within the prescribed 30 seconds, they alone were supposed to run towards the back gate instead and jump over the gate.

As Ankit, Parvesh and Sudeep ran, it felt like the longest 30 seconds they had experienced in their 7 years of existence. They tried to silently scale the gate; But instead found a sizeable group of batch-mates who had followed them. "C'Mon! C'Mon!", the little voices cheered. "Go! Go! Go!", they screamed. The shrieks became louder and louder.

The guard near the front gate soon became aware of the ruckus being created at the back. And very soon spotted the source - three 7 year old school boys, with toothbrushes and shorts in their bags, Rs130 in the pockets, consumed with homesickness, lurching over the school's back gate. He quickly decided to end the nuisance by informing the headmistress. A jeep headed out from the school within a few minutes.

By this time, the 3 miscreants had found their way over the gate. They ran away from the school as fast as their tiny legs could propel them. They had covered a distance of around 150m from the school, when the headmistress drove down in her jeep, plucked them from the road and took them back their school. A few scoldings, a few tears and some phone calls later, all returned to normal. All three boys went back to the mess soon to resume their dinner.

Though their attempt was foiled, the three boys basked in the glory of their attempted escape from Wynberg-Allen Boarding School School for a long, long time. According to Ankit, the plan was thus - Run away from the school. Use the collected pool of money to buy bus tickets from Mussourie to Dehradun to reach Sudeep's house. Convince his parents to loan the other two money so they could head back home from Dehradun. All this rebellion from 7 year old kids!

As I heard this story, what amazed me was the dynamite of imagination that resided in boarding school kids. Two decades later, the ones that I've encountered have all been fanstastic people. There is something special that sprouts in their hearts that us normal home kids would never develop - an infectious openess to life and experiences, the spunk to defy sacrosanct norms, a sea of friends and strong network of people who'd do a lot for you and absolutely no idiosyncracies about personal space and personal belongings.

Thank you Wynberg-Allen and other boarding schools for producing such awesome people.

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2 comments:

  1. i think you are really good looking mr.iyer!
    random i know.

    ReplyDelete
  2. wynberg allen has instilled some of the best moments in life..thank u
    manish bhattarai
    ICSE 05

    ReplyDelete