Last Christmas we hosted the annual family potluck for the in-laws. Our home was decked out in luminescent LED lights and lit up with softly glowing candles to match the winter-wonder-fairyland theme we had going. Everyone found the chasing snowflake lights hung from our hallway arch spell-binding and mesmeric. There was magic in the air and an atmosphere that was so ethereally enchanting. Our Christmas tree stood twinkling and slightly askew under the weight of dozens of pale blue and silver balls. I’d spent half-a-day putting them up and a good two more taking them down!
It took a newspaper article – written with all the clinical objectivity of reporting – to jolt me off the couch and onto this post. After educating generations for 125 years, the walls of St Aloysius Anglo Indian Girls’ Higher Secondary School, as we proudly called it, were going down. A routine inspection had found that they could no longer hold up to further repair; the structure had slowly yet steadily succumbed to the ravages of time resulting in the painful decision to tear down the old building and construct a new one in its place.
I couldn’t make up my mind which nagged me more – the impending demolition of a 125-year-old-school, my school, or the article’s trite description of its heritage as one of tiffin lunching in the shade.