Vijay (veira) wrote,


I have 2 brothers, which meant that I grew up in a male dominant (in terms of numbers) family, went to a boys school, studied Mechanical engineering and probably, the rest of the story was more or less predictable. I am sure many of us do have similar pathways in life. Looking back, at least in school I think it was always the “he” which was talked about, since that was the world we knew. This in hindsight led to many nice, funny instances which I could laugh at now.

If there was a guy who knew a girl, that would have been the end of it. He would be ragged till he actually starts believing that there was some cosmic connection between him and her. Tuitions with a mixed class were a welcome change to spending hours and years in an all boys set up. It was a good opportunity for the boys to impress them with their knowledge of calculus or literature or the carbon rings. Speaking about literature, it always made a difference to be a good speaker or have the correct accent! At Loyola, the annual basket ball tournament gave another occasion for the show off. There were a few schools which were regulars in the tournament. Unfortunately Holy Angels being a girl’s school never participated in the tournament. (we would wish to believe it was their loss!) Amongst the others, St Joseph’s and Christ Nagar did play well, but hardly had any value to many of us since they were boys’ schools as well. In those days there were a few schools were co-education was practiced and St Thomas was one of them. Apart from the fact that they had a very good team, the co-ed factor also made them pretty popular at Loyola. Not that we had a girls tournament, but it was probably the only chance of seeing some girls in our campus cheering for their team. Unfortunately unlike cricket, basketball is a game which gets over in forty minutes. (as a game I could never master nor play to any amount of proficiency, I always used to envy our team who were treated like stars in front of the home crowd)I remember in the 11th or 12th standard, since our team got into the St.Thomas trophy finals, we went along as cheer leaders for the team. One of those small thrills in life! Call it the NBA or the ‘crowd’ influence, I would think that many in our team would have tried to dunk the basketball, though it was physically impossible given the heights.

We were the first batch of the 11th standard at school and one of the discussions centered on whether we will have co-education introduced in those classes or not. It probably was an informal talk, but is worth mentioning in the context. In any case Loyola decided to be a boy’s only school and we all thought that it was the only and right way. At college too (specific to Mechanical Engineering), the boys only attitude meant that very little interaction happened with the girls and it was the familiar “Indian crab” story whenever some guy tried to talk to a girl. Everyone joined in pulling his leg so much that, in most cases nobody dared to pass anything beyond a smile to the girl you know. Some did develop the escape velocity in spite of all the challenges and as they say, the rest was history.

However as we grew up, many went abroad and to other cities for higher studies. Interaction with the fairer sex became a normal thing, but I believe it would have taken some effort to shed the traits since childhood. But the boys tag still remained etched so much so that my wife still feels that I behave with a boyish mentality. And similarly one more thing has happened. As we all grew up, the same girls we knew at school or college, have in some way re-connected through social networking sites like the facebook. It is wonderful to see all of them come a long way, preparing the next generation to face the world. But I am sure they too would have their own impression of us “boys” if they were to rewind to some 15 -20 years back.

While I did mention about what my wife thinks about me, the other fact that I never would have imagined is that I am now a father of two very beautiful daughters. That makes it a three-some for life. Probably making up for those lost moments while growing up! However at least for them, with the changes which have happened, they would grow in a mixed environment rather than in an all boys or all girls set up avoiding the situations we were in. And I believe, they would develop as better human beings as well.

ps – Not for a moment repenting the fact that I studied in a predominantly boys environmentJ Cheers!


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