I feel small and foolish after having watched the trailer of Karan Johar’s latest lollypop Student of the Year (SOTY). Here I was, happily thinking all these years that school days were the best days of my life. Not once realizing how much more fun and glamorous my teenage years could have been had I gone to a school that didn’t look like a bloody cowshed in comparison to what is on display in SOTY. Here are the reasons for my delayed anguish:
Was my school nestled in the Himalayas, with those glorious mountains the backdrop of the school’s assembly hall? Not only that, was my school also a mere walking distance from the most spectacular beaches in the country? Not really.
Did my school have the label of “the most premier educational institution of the country”? Not by a mile.
Did every student in my school look like she/he had stepped right out of a Vogue (and Vogue Hommes) catalogue? Frankly, I didn’t even know what Vogue was till I saw Madonna’s video of the song of the same name.
Instead of being bamboo-pole gangly, pock marked with acne, with bad hair styles and crooked teeth, Dilton Doiley glasses, and a totally uncool school uniform (ours was white and parrot green – serious!), did we, as 16/17 year olds look anything like the 25-year old stars of the film (who are playing 16/17 year olds)? Frankly, if these “kids” were in my class at the time, I would have been tempted to call them uncle and aunty, as I used to call anyone who looked older than 18.
Did our headmaster look like Rishi Kapoor? And did he wear a dandy beige Armani suit with a neon green tie? Sadly, no.
Was our school parking choc-a-bloc with Harley-Davidsons and Ferrari convertibles instead of rickety school buses? (And did we all have driver’s licenses at 16?) No. And No.
Did our school have an Olympic-sized heated indoor swimming pool, complete with audience stands that could accommodate 15000 people? Plus, another recreational infinity pool outside from which school kids would emerge in slow motion wearing skimpy swimming costumes? Hah!
Was our school completely bereft of younger students, say of Class XI and below? On the contrary, all I remember of school is loud, annoying little children as far as my spectacled eyes could see.
Did we have even a single student who looked like a film star and had the brains of Stephen Hawking? Oh, and who was also a total athletic package like Lance Armstrong? Errm, no.
Did girls in my school wear skirts so skimpy that the school authorities were left with no option but to make Brazilian waxing mandatory? No, but clipped nails were an absolute necessity.
Did my school have a gym so well endowed that it would make Fitness First Platinum look like an akhara? (More importantly, would kids have been allowed to use said hypothetical gym to stay fit rather than toss themselves around in the dirt of the school playground?) Our school was perpetually under construction for all the years I was there! There was plenty of dirt to go around…who needed a gym?
During our school days, were we (16/17 year olds who actually looked 16/17 years old) allowed to go sit at the fanciest bars in town and gulp down shot after shot of vodka? (…and still look like a million dollars, not getting sloshed and not throwing up all over the place. But more importantly, could we have afforded to buy anything more than a Pepsi at the time without making our parents go ballistic?) No chance.
Was the entire school brilliant at choreographed group dancing, in the snazzy school convention hall (so brilliantly lit that it would put the glitziest night clubs to shame) where the school DJ and band played a remixed version of ‘Disco Deewane’? Not quite, though a few of us had the original Nazia Hasan LP. And a couple of girls were learning kathak…does that count?
So, there – my sad school days story. I feel thoroughly robbed. Now I will have to watch this new film to fully understand what coulda, woulda, shoulda...