My daughter, Deeksha had just turned eleven a month ago. This was January 2010. My parents had come on a visit to Miri. They were enjoying her company. She studies at the ‘Piasau School' in the Shell Camp. One day she came back excitedly handing out leaflets of boarding school. We as parents were surprised to see her bubbling with enthusiasm. But in the heart of hearts we did not then give a serious thought that day.
From then on every evening at home, the only topic she loved discussing was boarding schools. The kids in her class seem to be only conversing about roomies, independence etc. She was enjoying every bit of it and had decided about it.
One day at the school, the teachers had explained pros and cons of joining a boarding school to the class. All the kids including my daughter seem to have paid attention only to the pros. At the end of the session, kids were asked to inform verbally if they had decided about it. Deeksha confirmed to her teachers the same moment and told me that evening about it. We were speechless.
We as parents had not even taken a final decision on it. On enquiring she replied that she is the one who has to decide and not us. It is she who is joining a boarding school. I was aghast at her answers. I tried explaining, but all my efforts were futile. She was so determined about it. My parents also made an attempt to reason it out with her. But nothing worked. Her only reasoning was she wants to be independent, take her own decisions.
Seeing her so determined, my husband thought of giving her a try. We realized that our daughter was growing up. We started surfing for good international residential schools in India. We decided on India since we had our people back home. I already started having motherly pangs. I had left my parents house when I was twenty three years old to get married. My husband left for boarding when he was seventeen. She is just eleven. But her positive spirit ruled over us.
We visited India in April along with her and finally decided on a school of her choice. It’s the first week of June now and she is leaving us in August. Deeksha, influenced by the school and her classmates, has persuaded us to take the biggest decision of our lives.
She is the first child in our entire family to leave home at such a young age. When I moved to Miri two years ago, I had never even once imagined once that she would leave us so soon. Her peers and the school had such a lasting impact on her.