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The speech I never got to make

I’ve been meaning to pen this down for a long time now and I feel like I need to do this.

I don’t know where or how to begin which is ironic compared to how I am never short of words, today everthing I have and everything I own will be put at stake and there’s absolutely nothing I can do to change that, after all you can’t conquer time.

when I tell people who I’m emotional about graduating high school nobody takes me seriously, I agree that it isn’t a great academical achievement considering ICSE pass percentage is 98% and that’s there’s a long way before I finally say goodbye to being a student but here’s the thing, I’m not emotional because I’m graduating, I’m not proud because I’m done with highschool, it’s the deviation from the norm that make me sad, it’s knowing that wherever I am from here, it won’t be like this again, it may be better, it may be worse but it will not be the same again.

honestly, it’s been the most painful and emotionally draining ride and everything that has happened will not be forgotten, My school has given more than a mere academic certificate, it’s been highly influential in my growth as a human being, I’m forever indebted to it because I’ve had the privilege of knowing some of the bravest and funniest women, I am not going to forget any of you, even if I don’t return your calls or make it to reunion, I will take home with me the stories of yesterday, the ones where we were happy and thought we were invincible. Thankyou for your companionship, thankyou for teaching me how to be brave, thankyou for letting me in on your most painful experiences, thankyou for the love.

I remember, when my friend and I was younger we had a deal that on our last day of school, we’d go and confront everyone who said something mean about us or hurt us and 4 years later, we both were sitting at the same spot, it’s my last day and we have absolutely no intention of hurting anyone, not even the ones that deserve it and that’s when we realized what a long way we’ve come.

Middle school was probably one of the most painful days of my life, to being verbally harassed by sixth grade class teacher to being academically weak, I hated every bit of it, it was difficult because of my classmates who are by far the worst people I’ve ever dealt with, it was painful to go to school, I had hit rock bottom at that point, I barely had any friends( No offence, Vaish) and it was soul-crushing to sit in a class filled with pseudo-intellectual, pompous, insolent people with no voice of their own and their herd mentality annoyed me even more and the teachers seemed to love them and find fault at literally everything that I’d do, there in the midst of this delusional chaos, I lost myself, every bit of me was morally discouraged and I didn’t find a purpose in school.

4 years from now, I’m not in sixth grade anymore, I do not share a class with them anymore, I do not have to put up with the teacher anymore but I’m so bloody glad all those things happened to me, I’m grateful for that teacher who always found a reason to put me down on a personal level because of which I got really good at academics, I’m grateful to all those people who spread rumors about me, to all those people who refused to acknowledge my presence because I’m cool now and I’m with right people, people who would only want my betterment and I might be laughing now looking at all them, laughing at how stupid they are but I’m grateful for this evolution.

I remember, talking about this to my friend who recently shifted to our school and she laughed for a straight 10 minutes, she thinks I’m incapable of being bullied and she thinks I made it up,  I don’t why but that made me so happy, the fact that she thinks I’m incapable of facing social boycott is testament to how far I’ve come and how well I’ve fit in and that’s exactly why I am emotional about leaving this place, it has placed me on both sides of the ladder and I would not change a thing, it’s had taught me to fight for what we believe in, it has taught me to  have a voice, it has taught me to forgive, above all, it has taught me to think, which I think is the main purpose of education, to think rationally, to be tolerant in an intolerant nation, where justice and education is the monopoly of the rich and the powerful, it has taught me to  be kind in an insensitive world and most important, it’s made me a secular person, I love how during morning assemblies, while singing ‘our father’, the call for the prayer from the Mosque and the vishnushasranama from the nearby temple play in the background, I don’t know if anyone’s observed this, but it’s the most peaceful hour of the day, I’m grateful to this school because if hadn’t introduced me to Christianity, I would have resorted to atheism, I’m not going miss school for all it’s unwanted, sexist rules or even tying my hair with blue ribbons, I am going to miss it because of the impact it’s had on me, everything that I have in life right now, other than my family and materialistic things is because of my school, I’ve hated it here, it’s been incredibly unbarring at times but it’s taught me to survive, it’s taught me to love, it’s taught me that studying in a girls school was probably the best decision ever, It’s the bond of fraternity that we all share is what makes us different from other group of girls and we may not all like each other but we’d never go against each other. When the clock strikes at 3.30 on the 22nd, we will be free, free to grow, free to learn and free to live.

To the class of 2016, I am a small tree. The leaves are everyone I love. But you turned out to be a bigger part of me than I grew you to be. You’ve become my roots.

Reshma Ram, you and I are building that business empire together.

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