Do You Want to Send Your Children to “Boarding School”

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:


No small child likes to go to “Boarding School”.

No parents would like to willingly send their children to “Boarding School” – especially at a young age.

There is always some reason why parents send their small children to Boarding School.

In my case – I was sent to Boarding School in the 1960’s – at the tender age of 9 years and 3 months – because my father was posted to remote places where proper schooling facilities did not exist (In the early 1960’s – Kendriya Vidyalayas had not proliferated all over India as they are today)

So – we had many “Defence Brats” – children with “military” parents in transferable jobs to remote locations with no schooling facilities.

In another case – parents were undergoing “non-amicable” divorce and fighting a bitter custody battle for their only son – so they thought it was best to send their small son to a Boarding School till the case was decided.

Some parents feel that Boarding School will inculcate a sense of discipline their children – so they send their indisciplined “spoilt brats” to Boarding School to get disciplined.

Recently – someone suggested that Boarding School was a good option for “career couples” (especially those in long-distance marriages).

Boarding School has both pros and cons.

It gives you uninterrupted education (in case of transferable parents – you do not have to change schools every 2 years because of your parents’ posting) – and – it makes you independent and tough.

But there are disadvantages as well – you lose out on family relationships – and you have to make a special effort to learn your own mother-tongue and culture.

So – when a “Techie” couple asked me whether they should send their child to a Boarding School – I was reminded me of a story I had written long back during the days of the “IT Boom” in Pune – a story narrated by a small girl who is being sent to a Boarding School.

Dear Reader: Here is the story…

Short Fiction

NB: I wrote this story long ago – around 20 years ago – in the 1990’s – during the days of the first Information Technology Boom (IT Boom) in the end 1990’s – which transformed Pune from a laid back salubrious Pensioner’s Paradise – into a bustling cosmopolitan metro.

This is one of my favorite stories – A Small Girl’s Story – narrated in her own words…



It all started when God took my baby brother away.

Poor thing – my poor baby brother – poor little thing…

God took him away even before he was born.

And – Mamma was never the same again.

She changed forever.

We were all so happy then – before God took my baby brother away.

A happy family – My Papa – My Mamma – My loving Granny – and cute little Me.

We all lived in a cute little house in a place called Madiwale Colony in Sadashiv Peth in Pune.

In the morning – Papa caught the company bus to his factory in Pimpri – and Mamma walked me down to my school nearby on Bajirao Road.

And – in the evenings – we would all go to the “Talyatla Ganpati” Temple in Saras Baug – play on the lush green lawns – and if Papa was in a good mood – he would treat me to a yummy Bhel prepared by the man with the huge flowing beard at the Kalpana Bhel stall at Parvati Chowk on Tilak Road – on our way back home.

On Sundays – we would go to Laxmi Road for shopping – eat Misal at Santosh Bhavan – and have Amba Ice Cream at Ganu Shinde – and – maybe – a Marathi movie at Prabhat, Vijay or Bhanuvilas.

And – once in a while – Papa would take us on his Bajaj scooter to Camp – or a ride on the Jangli Maharaj Road – or to picnic spots like Khadakwasla and Katraj lakes – or hiking up Sinhagarh Fort – and once we even went all the way to Lonavala – Papa, Mamma and me – all 3 of us riding on our beloved and hardy scooter.

It was a good life – and we were happy and content.

Two things are a must for a happy home.

First – you must love your home 

And – you must always want to go home – because – your home is the best place in the world for you

Second – your home must love you 

Your home must want you to come home – beckon you – yes – your home must welcome you and wait for you to come back – and – just like a pet dog – your home must be happy when you come back – and – your home must always want you to live at home.

Our cute little house in Sadashiv Peth – with all the loving people in living in it – was indeed a happy home – we loved our home – and – our home loved us.

And – I had lots of friends all around.

One day – they all said Mamma was going to have a baby.

Being a girl myself – I wanted a baby sister to play with – but Granny scolded me – and she said that it must be a baby brother – so I said okay – I would manage with a baby brother.

And suddenly one day – when Mamma’s tummy was bloating quite a bit – they rushed her to hospital – and God took my unborn baby brother away.

Yes – God took my unborn baby brother away.

It was at this moment that Mamma changed forever.

I sat beside Mamma in the hospital and consoled her: “Don’t worry. God will send another baby brother.”

And on hearing this – Mamma started crying.

She said she would never be able to have a baby again – and I was her only baby.

My Mamma looked pale – and she had a sad look in her eyes for many days – even after leaving hospital.

And most of the time – Mamma would sit alone – brooding by the window – or moping all alone in her room.

“She will go crazy sitting in the house all day. Your wife must do something…!” everyone said.

But Papa was adamant: “Who will look after the house, my mother, my daughter…?” he asked.

“Don’t worry – I will manage everything…” Granny said.

So Mamma joined a Computer class nearby.

And soon – she started becoming normal and happy again.

“She is a natural programmer…” my Mamma’s teachers praised her.

And when she finished the course – my Mamma was offered a good job in a top IT software firm.

“No way…” said Papa, “I am the breadwinner. I don’t want my wife to work. I want her to look after the house.”

“MCP… MCP…” everyone said to Papa.

I did not know what MCP meant – but it made Papa very angry.

“Let her work. I will manage the house…” Granny said.

“Don’t worry, Papa. Please let Mamma work. I am a big girl now and I can look after myself. I will study regularly and come first in class…” I promised.

And so – Mamma started working.

And when Mamma brought home her first pay cheque – she gave it to Papa.

My Papa did not take the cheque.

Instead – he said proudly:

“I will be the last person to touch my wife’s money. I would rather starve – than live off my wife’s money.”

So my Mamma gave the money to Granny.

And Papa did not say a thing – he just sulked for days.

Life was hectic now.

Mamma got up very early – cooked the food – did the housework – got ready – and then both Papa and Mamma caught their respective company buses to their faraway workplaces – he went to his factory in Pimpri – and she went to the IT Park at Hinjewadi.

And after that Granny made me ready – I walked down Bajirao Road to my school.

One day my Mamma’s boss came home with Mamma.

He said the company wanted to send Mamma abroad to America to work onsite on a project.

My Mamma’s boss had come to our home to convince Papa to let her go to America.

I thought that Papa would argue – and I hoped he would not let Mamma go to America.

But surprisingly – my Papa meekly agreed – probably thinking it was futile to argue – and Mamma went away to America for three months.

Then there was an “IT Boom”.

IT… IT… Software… Software… Everywhere…

That was a turning point in our lives.

Mamma started doing better and better – becoming more and more successful – doing more and more projects – and earning more and more money.

Papa felt jealous that Mamma was earning more than him – so he took Voluntary Retirement (VRS) from his job – and he started a business.

I don’t know what he exactly did – but his business was something to do with software and hardware.

My Papa got so busy – that he came home late in the evenings.

Now – Papa had no time for me – but his business seemed to be doing quite well.

And then – a competition started between my Papa and my Mamma.

And soon – they both were making so much money that – one day – they said that Sadashiv Peth wasn’t a good enough place for us to live in any longer – as it did not befit their new found status…!

So we moved to a luxury apartment in a fancy township in a posh suburb of Pune – and I was put in a famous elite school known more for its snob appeal than academic accomplishments and studies.

Our new house was in a beautiful colony – far away from the city – with landscaped gardens – a clubhouse – a swimming pool – a gym – and so many facilities.

It was so luxurious – and the people living here were so highbrow and snobbish – that Granny and I were miserable.

“It’s like a 5 star prison…” my Granny would say.

She was right in one way.

For the whole day when we all were away – Granny was trapped inside the apartment with nothing to but watch soaps on cable TV in airconditioned comfort.

I too missed our cute old house in Sadashiv Peth – the Bhel – the trips to Saras Baug and Laxmi Road – and – most of all – my earlier friends who were so friendly – unlike the snobbish people here.

Oh yes – this luxury apartment was indeed a better HOUSE

But – our cute old place in Sadashiv Peth was certainly a better HOME

But Granny and me – we managed somehow – as Mamma increased her trips abroad to America – and Papa was busy expanding his flourishing business.

And one day – suddenly – God took Granny away.

Mamma was abroad in America on an important project – and she just could not come home immediately.

She came back after one month.

And then for days and days – Papa and Mamma kept discussing something.

I sensed that they were discussing about me – because whenever I would come they would keep quiet or change the topic.

And tomorrow morning – I am off to an elite boarding school in Panchgani.

I do not know whether what has happened is good or bad – or what is going to happen in future.

But one thing is sure:

 If God had not taken my baby brother away  I would not be going to boarding school.

Yes – if God hadn’t taken my baby brother away – Mamma wouldn’t have taken up a job – and – I wouldn’t be going to boarding school.


Copyright © Vikram Karve
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


This Story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:

No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:

This is a revised updated version of my Fiction Story WHY I AM GOING TO BOARDING SCHOOL – A SMALL GIRL’S TALE Written By Me Vikram Karve around 20 Years ago in the end 1990’s and also posted online earlier a number of times on my creative writing blogs at urls:  and  and  and  and  and  and  and  and and etc

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