As I walked past an all-boys school, I watched the students enter with utmost discipline. It took me right back to the days of boys wearing ironed shirts, standing like soldiers in an assembly line, and flying paper airplanes flying across classrooms. If you’re a girl, you’d think that the inside of an all-boys school would basically be a smelly combination of boys who haven’t had a shower for days, boys who take pride in winning the title of ‘Most number of burps in a minute’, and the lot that cracks ‘non-veg’ jokes (adult jokes).
However, anyone who has studied in an all-boys school would tell you that the memories and relationships they’ve had a chance to build through the years will remain timeless.
Taryn Fernandes, a software engineer, believes that studying in an all-boys school has made him shy when it comes to talking to girls. “At times, we would have special lectures, where girls from another country would come to teach us. Those classes would be the most exciting for us, and the sex education lectures were especially entertaining. Although I do feel like it would’ve been better if there were girls in school so that I’d develop the confidence to talk to them. If given a chance, I would definitely choose a co-ed school as that would give me and other boys the opportunity to look at girls as being equal,” says Taryn Fernandes.
“My fondest memory from my school days is of Sylvester Uncle – our school laboratory peon, who not only helped us during practicals, but also during exams. Aside from that, the five things that defined life in an all-boys school was swag style, the tapori gangs, funny games, crazy food, and canteen samosas,” says Ravi Tiwari, a 21-year-old research associate.
Female teachers were the only exposure that the boys had to the opposite sex, and many of the boys admitted to developing crushes on them. Ravi also mentioned that he always had a crush on his history teacher. Besides that, boys never fell back on giving nicknames to their teachers to enjoy private talk. Vada, Pav, Bakri, Yadav, Simple, Shantabai, Charas and Gange are the ones that stayed in their memory.
As in most schools, after exams, students are treated to a picnic, and that was the most awaited time of the year. I would assume that it’s safe to say this only for the students, because it sounds like a nightmare for teachers. “Picnics and camps were the days that the naughtiest things happened. The scariest part about picnics was that one guy who always got lost, and everyone would freak out together,” says Deuben Alvares, 21. Throwing teachers into swimming pools were among other stories I’ve heard from the boys.
Deuben further adds that life in an all-boys school was all about being rough and tuff. “Back in school we all used to behave like junglees, and the way we have bullied teachers was terrible. Even as the head boy of my school, I remember bursting crackers in the classroom and toilet, but thankfully I was never caught. We even had easy access to pornography, with loads of memory cards and pen drives full of them.”
It is interesting to note that the opinion was well divided when I asked if they would put their sons in an all-boys school, or opt for co-ed. The ones that opted for a co-ed school seemed to think that it would teach their sons to respect the opposite sex, and understand them much better.
“I distinctly remember during my first week at the school, my friends took me outside the Bishop Cotton Girl’s School in Bangalore just to look at them. I found this very strange and extremely creepy as I came from a co-ed school, and wondered what was wrong with all my classmates,” recounts Siddhant Kapai.
Thankfully, all these boys who indulged in the naughtiest of activities at school have now grown up to be respectable gentlemen in their own fields. After all, it is the attitude and approach towards life that separates the boys from the men.