A room full of boisterous boys and a few graceful girls,equally vivacious,arrayed in a languid disarray is what a classroom of 17 year olds looks like to a teacher.
Their effervescence brimming with energy, in every pore of their being, seem to ooze out in all of their acts which is sadly mistaken by the adults , whose youth is lost on them, as insubordination .
Every time a class begins what teachers do is to invade their raucous disorder by forcing on them the meticulously planned rigours of life. Even during a lecture, it is only a meagre, negligible percentage of their attention we hold.
Their senses act like a defence mechanism, shifting for brief moments during that inevitable period of torture only to spring back with renewed vigour. A wilderness that spreads and captures every iota of space nature has provided; breathing freely the oxygen given; soaking in the sun and greedily lapping the water to grow untamed. This is them.
A beauty of nature embellished in their clamorous approach towards life and daily activities. Lectures are but a brief spell (whether we could even call that a spell is doubtful) and teachers constantly attack their space with assignments, tests and projects and cause a ripple. Mind it! Just a ripple as their world is too deep to even cause a wave.
Such vivacity and energy exhibited so guilelessly is what makes their character. There is a rare, unique combination of wildness and order, the order of nature, in them. I see the ubiquitous jungle that holds all and sundry plants, trees, shrubs, grass, moulds and wild flowers growing at odd places and yet creating an exclusive pattern paving space for all.
In every interaction with them, teachers feel their surging verve, straining under the thin wall of rules, regulations, time tables, orders, discipline etc. BUT every moment is theirs.
Within the confines one can see their strength, their spirited nature exhibiting in ebullience to spill and splash outside the lines of limits; one can hear their bubbling life coming alive taking a distinct note, in tune with the nature; one can feel their warmth throbbing in their veins and charging the air around them with a wave of joie de vivre.
In this current of youth and pizazz, our intervention is but a small boulder in their path, which their river of zing simply circumvents and joins again to continue unperturbed. Strangely we are part of them too. They have accepted us in their own way, reiterating their closeness with nature.
Giving lectures, thrusting assignments, posing them challenges (tests), all are accepted norms of invasion, but checking their bags? Yes! We did that too! (how certain actions get coloured and become accepted as a rule, the moment you call it a rule just beats me!).
Some with practiced fingers, some bold and yet some hesitating fingers we bared open their bags to ‘discover’ unacceptable items (as it was purpose of the search program).
What did we see? smell? feel? hear? A new facet, a new shade of their being, their personality, the same orderliness amidst the disorderly arrangement of books, crushed notebook papers, crumpled chocolate wrappers, pencil shavings with all due respect gracing the base of the various small pockets of their bags.
The moment we zipped open, a gush of their persona, a waft of their élan mingled with dirt collected by constant lugging of their bags from home to school and viceversa and a fair amount of sweat attacked us. Undeterred we ploughed through.
Slipping fingers through the layers of pouches, in between the books, we again felt their life a neat shamble and were transported to our own school days and in a zap, we felt young again.
Their cry of innocence belying all evidences against them reached our hearts, but, stopped short of reaching our brains resulting in strict disciplinary actions.
We were undoubtedly tuned to being the marshals of order; hence we bared those innocent wrappers and hooked them all to dry on the line of chastisement.
Time passed. We teachers sat and shared our findings, read in between the items and analysed the motives with a seriousness that even outshined the purpose of that invasion.
Lo! There they were! Having sprung back to their earlier zap, they continued with the same fervour. Did anything change? No! Our intrusion was but a small inconsequential block on the road that is just by-passed.
A raid that never overran them just happened.