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I was seventeen, sort of confident, sort of not, but eager for adventure. We didn’t have mobile phones, only hand written letters and telephone booth, which meant limited communication with parents. I knew things would change. I will be out of the shield and protected environment. A bit scared and a bit excited. I left home with a bag full of cloths and two bags full of books.
I remember going out on my own, chatting (read gossiping) whole night, sleeping whole day, eating Maggie for lunch, bunking classes, studying whole night before exams (without parental monitoring) etc. It was an amazing sense of independence, and this staying away from the “comfort” and “protected” environment of home did teach me some valuable life lessons which otherwise were very difficult to know. Few of which are:
1. The value of that phone calls from home. When at home we craved for some private time with friends and now nothing is more joyous that one phone call flashing on screen “Ma” or “Papa”
2. Realizing that living on own is not as cool as we use to fantasize when we are “stuck” at home.
4. You realize your mother is a human with magic powers. There is simply no other explanation for how she manages to keep the whole house clean and in place when you don't even know where to begin when it comes to making up your own bed. Forget the rest.
5. Food at the right time and temperature is a myth. Unless of course, you are somewhere in the vicinity of the magician mentioned above. Gradually like me you too will develop love for cold food.
6. You have to take each decision (career and relationships) and have to take the onus of it. There is no chance of faltering. This in my eyes has been the biggest challenge of all.
Now that i am a working Mum, Juggling jobs, shifting places give me less time to devote to my son, but what are those fee-charging boarding schools for? This has certainly given my child 24/7access to teachers and learning facilities and supervised homework sessions each night, which usually means far better grades. He has developed a sense of independence while still being in a safe, secure and supervised environment. Travel time to and from school is eliminated, allowing more time for study, sports and social interactions. He is learning to live with others outside the family and the life-skills that go along with this.
And perhaps because of these reasons I strongly believe that making a child stay in the hostel at some point in his academic lifetime is very important for his character development.