Class of 2011
It seems somewhat redundant to say that my schooling years played a formative role in making me the person I am today. Of course at CFL, we would, at this point, have hour long discussions on who this person is, what it is that constitutes our identity, the nature of the self, etc. But for the purposes of this profile, let’s just say that my experiences at CFL, to a large extent, form the filter through which I view the world.
Spend thirteen years of your life in one place, and it’s difficult for it to not be home, especially when you have a campus and a community that’s as lovely as CFL. Having said this, there were periodic bouts of dissatisfaction and unhappiness at various points in my journey: home-sickness, an urge to experience the ‘freedom’ of the outside world, disagreements about certain stances and boundaries… yet, there was something that kept me there. In hindsight, perhaps it was the openness and togetherness that in my opinion form the corner stones of CFL that did the trick. There was nothing we could not talk about, and in this process, there was a sense of thinking together, which I have found to be crucial in any venture that aims at some kind of progress. This, along with the flexibility that a school like CFL can offer, has allowed me to explore and understand a spectrum of things ranging from myself, to immediate social and natural surroundings, and then to larger themes such as the human condition and spaces that are inhabited by nature and wildlife. This exposure was most vivid in my senior school, perhaps owing to the liberty of designing my own programme, which allowed me to incorporate a variety of interests, making it the most enriching segment of my CFL career. I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of it: activities such as art, pottery and photography, projects that led to an intimacy with forests, dialogues that were so thought invoking that they would sometimes take priority over other classes and meals, table-tennis and yoga, the academic component that was headlined by psychology and sociology, as well as the half-hour of quiet time every evening.
Now, having completed an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from St. Stephen’s College in Delhi, I find myself in a similar place as I was in the summer of 2011: contemplating ‘the future’ and trying to find the balance that fits my ideals of what I want my life to be into the canvas of the reality that I am faced with. While there is an affinity towards questions that the humanities engage with, I also experience an increasing urgency to delve into more ‘hands on’ areas such as photography. In either case, I am acutely aware of the fact that my ambitions and decisions are shaped by my education at CFL; it has given me the security to pause, rather than be carried away by the pressures of mainstream society, as well as the independence to carve out my own niche, whatever that may be. Some questions that were discussed in CFL continue to form an undercurrent to my everyday life, like those that address the nature of humans and emotions, in terms of trying to understand insecurities that are sometimes defining and uncertainty that is as inevitable as it is uncomfortable. Most of all, what I learnt from CFL is that the process of questioning is in itself relevant, sometimes more so than the questions themselves. This yields a sensitive and receptive mind, which, for me, is fundamental to the kind of life that I would like to lead.
~ Complied in 2015