Gleanings from the past….
I went through my past today…
Yes, I went to school today…!
When I entered the gates everything
looked alien and mauve,
yet there was a fragile bond
which was making me move.
The tall arches, the lush green lawns,
the stilted front corridors,
were a mute spectator
bidding me welcome once more…
Set against a back drop of sparkling snow–capped peaks, the distinctive grey and scarlet British architecture of Loreto Convent, Tara Hall, whether touched by the brilliance of the summer sun, or veiled by the frosty whiteness of winter snow or bathed in the deep hues of a vivid monsoon sunset, is ever a source of pride and joy to all those associated with it.
My recollections of the school are so mixed that I want to talk about concerts in the hall, the silent library and monkeys and the walnut tree that used to grow in a corner of the tennis court all in one breath!!
As I write this, I take you on a ‘tour de tara’ a walk through the place where I perhaps spent the best days of my life…! As you enter the boundaries of discipline and knowledge, a circular paved passage encircling a lush green lawn takes you to the entrance porch standing in front of the two storeyed structure housing the senior school hall on the ground level with our beautiful wooden stage, the Loreto crest hanging above it and the footlights shining up the lovely shot silk curtains. The classrooms with a corridor opening into the lawns were placed on the upper floor, the entire façade punctured with rosary windows on regular intervals and veiled by the scarlet sloping roofs…
Flanked on both sides of this central block were two symmetrical blocks with a stilted corridor on the ground floor. The arched stilted corridor of the left wing made passage to the silence of the library and the offices.
As the site is highly contoured with the slopes of the queen of hills, the entire planning is scattered and on various levels. A corbelled stone pathway, from the tennis court leads us to the senior classes. A mezzanine floor is created in the block of senior classes making place for the science laboratories. On the lower level, the space between three classrooms is very interestingly used for jam sessions. We all tapped to the rhythms of Bryan Adams on its wooden floors in the summer of ‘99…!
The secluded infirmary became one of the most frequently visited places in the school. All history classes were spent there…they were always such a source of headache…! The table tennis room, the fine arts room, and the convent were in the twin building Belle Vue. This hub always mushroomed with ghost tales… Viewing galleries for the basket ball court, which was right below this echoed during summers with loud cheers for the players and houses.
The ’orange’ parlour, in the main administrative block, where the visitors would meet the nuns and teachers, can be mistaken for a Barista Espresso Bar ‘without' a cappuccino..!
Rosary time, was a good time in school. I can remember the tranquility of that half hour, for nowhere have I found the simplicity and peace that was there in our little school chapel.
I look around and tears
fill my eyes.
The gay happy faces of
peep back at me from
the window panes.
The parlour and corridors
echo with my screams
and vibrating in my ears are
the classroom scenes…!