A Gift And Memories

Each student here at The Peepal Grove School, an alternative boarding school in India, when they leave, will carry back with them a gift- something they have either learnt or improved upon, during their stay here. For me, that gift will be music. In many ways, this alternative boarding school in india has proved to be, at least for me, an experience that has greatly helped me expand my horizons in so many areas. In the area of music, however, it was more than an expansion. It was an explosion.

It is difficult to explain the lure of music. It has an intangible addictive quality to it- enticing you without your knowledge, and only once you’re completely drawn in, do you realize the intensity with which those soul-stirring melodies have affected you.

So, too, it was for me. It started as far as I remember, as an innocent-enough session of singing whatever the latest songs were, in the alternative boarding school , every Saturday and Sunday evening. As time went, I discovered a couple of other girls who seemed to be interested in the same kind of music as I was; and from there it took off.

One of us happened to be an instrumentalist- she played the keyboard. She also happened to possess a flair for notes- the musical kind. Coincidentally, the other happened to have a voice beautiful enough to bring life to the tunes we churned out. And me? I just went on doing what I did best- waxing lyrical!

What helps about the atmosphere of Peepal Grove is this freedom that is given to you to explore. We’re encouraged to question stereotypes and barriers. And so we did.

Focused on variety, on being different, and inspired by the love for what we were doing, we each used our own special gift to create something we would hold close to our hearts for the rest of our lives. Three strands, three vivid colors, intertwined together to form one brilliant braid. And as the braid grew longer and stronger, so did our friendship.

The Peepal Grove school proved the setting where I found one of the greatest loves of my life. Peepal Grove provided the atmosphere and encouragement required for this love to grow into a full-blown passion, a considerably healthy addiction. And Peepal Grove also provided me with two of the closest friends I could have ever found- partners in practice, with whom I shared the simple, yet priceless joys that music brings.

My legacy from alternative boarding schools in india – music. And along with it, memories and friendships to bring me happiness for the rest of my life, wherever I go and however long I live.

– Sreelakshmi (2010 student at The Peepal Grove School, an alternative residential school in India)

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