We entered the month of April, this month takes me back to OG life for many reasons. New session, excitement of becoming more senior, Inter School Cricket, Hockey and Basketball Tournaments, DM Swing (marking and cheering), Founders Day practice and all. Apart from these, what I missed more in my past eight years after bidding adieu to OG was sneaking down the front pitch near rest house for cooling ourselves with ‘Shaaka’. Hope all of you remember what ‘Shaaka’ was.
Well, those who have encountered this word for the first time, let me tell you, it was a flavoured liquid filled in a square-shaped plastic almost frozen to ice. It was sold by one of the IOW staff in his residence. It was of Rs.2 or Rs.5. We didn’t have an ice-cream parlour inside our campus and it was actually supplement for ice-cream. When we were in Class VI, it was very difficult for us to cool ourselves with Shaaka as crossing auditorium’s back for our own work was prohibited according to tid-bits. So only option we had was to bunk the class and sneak towards our Shaaka destination from behind the art room down towards Mr. Shee’s residence and crossing rest house and residence of Mr.Bahadur Singh. Most of the time we used to wrap Shaaka in our hanky and keep it in our packets. And the best way to eat was to tear one corner and let whole packet be wrapped in hanky, take one bite or sip and again keep it back in our pockets in the fear of being caught. And the best destination for eating Shaaka was a little below the IOW Office, hiding in bushes. Well, this sneaking was done for two years only, once we entered Class VIII, front pitch was allotted to us for playing. During class time also we went easily as we had PE Periods or any free periods. In Class VIII, we were free to eat Shaaka without being panicked about Seniors.
But, the best moment we had with Shaaka was in Class VI. Altogether, It was a different experience, bunking without even thinking of the consequences. The excitement we had in bunking for Shaaka was unbelievable. Constant warnings came from Principal and teachers, but still we didn’t shy away for Shaaka. It was a very difficult situation when we had Shaaka in our pockets and we happened to bump into any teacher or senior. The longer the talk used to be, more the eagerness to eat Shaaka grew, which used to melt and left with flavoured water. And it tasted horrible. And our trousers would get very weird spots due to melting of Shaaka. Well, apart from Shaaka, we were also served hot Aloo Parathas with spicy tomato chutney and not to forget cream-roll. If we had our class party, we used to order eatables from the same place. Soon, we got to know about other destinations as well where Shaaka was available. The month of April also reminds me of one of the sweetest memories we captured in Boys’ School. One of my classmates, who lived near Girls’ School, happened to be boarder. So, again sneaking to his house right down from back pitch, down the hospital backside to the back of Valley’s Changing room and then again climbing towards the Girls’ School crossing back of Swimming Pool and finally to Rahul Chauhan’s house. Again, this journey-cum-trekking was full of excitement with a little shadow of fear. I really miss the month of April the most, as almost all of my OG life’s achievements and sweet memories came in this month.
– Modassir Mushtaque
This piece was shared by Modassir Mushtaque (School Vice Captain, Patel House Captain & School Cricket Captain, Session 2009-10) on March 31, 2018.