Pilelo-Ho!
#Throwback16: Our Sweet 16 stories
#Throwback16: Our Sweet 16 stories

Shaikh Abdul Rehman Amin, Karjat

Diary entry 1:

I was in the ninth standard when I was 16. I was active and therefore, was selected as a class monitor. If a teacher was absent I would stand in front of the class with a stick in one hand and a chalk in the other and jot down names of the most talkative children. I would complain about them to the teacher the following day.

One day, we had a visitor in our class; he was an army pilot. He gave us tips on how to study smart. After the session, many children started talking about their ambitions. When it came to me I was totally confused and didn’t know what to say. I kept quiet and after few minutes the teacher shouted at me and told me to sit down. The class burst into laughter!

I came back home and shared this with my mom, she counseled me and said, “Don’t worry; just concentrate on your studies”. After a few days, I forgot everything.

Diary entry 2:

I am the youngest in the family. By the time I turned 16, my sister was married and my two elder brothers were working.

My school timings were 9am to 4pm. I used to get up early and take a cycle ride for almost 1.5 kms to buy milk and bread. I would come back, have breakfast and then rush to school. After coming back from school, I would quickly finish my homework and help my mother in the kitchen.

All this helped me learn how to deal with people, bargaining, calculating on finger tips, and decision making.

Those were the days when I would be out on the streets all day. There was no curfew for me and my parents trusted me. My friends would tell their parents that they are with me and they would be okay with it.

Sometimes it was also a headache for me because my friends would lie about being with me and would sneak out to other places. Their parents would ask me about their children and I would lie to them saying that they were with me.

Red Letters from my 16th:

Anirban Sarkar, Noida

Being 16 in a Bollywood-affected cultural atmosphere, a teenage boy started to look around for faces, for the curls in the hair, or for a piercing stare. This search reached its climax when one day, on a crowded street of Gariahat, I saw her! She was waiting for somebody or someone with a cigarette in her hand. The red lipstick, the smoke... took the left side of brain into a different world, a world of endless walk.

PO! PO! The bus was waiting continuously for me to get out its way....so I crossed the road.

For the next few days, I turned up at the same hour she appeared, rushing to the same spot where she stood and waited, and I succeeded! Although I knew she was waiting for a man I didn’t care...who cares...it was a relationship between her eyes and mine!
One day her wait lasted for an hour and I gathered the courage to walk upto her and ask,

-“Whats the time?”
“You have a watch!” she said.
-"mmm"
“You want to talk to me?”
- (silence)
“Bring a red rose the next time you come. I will think...”
With a pocket money of Rs.80, and that rose cost Rs. 15.... but I never saw her again.

“She smiled at me on the subway.
She was with another man.
But I won't lose no sleep on that,
'Cause I've got a plan.
Flying high....
And I don't think that I'll see her again,
But we shared a moment that will last 'til the end.

You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
You're beautiful, it's true.
I saw your face in a crowded place....”

-You’re Beautiful, James Blunt

Life as we know it: such was 16!

Rahul Brahmbhatt, United States of America

I turned 16 in 1995. I was in the 11th grade at my hometown of Baton Rouge, LA.  Listening to music, playing basketball, and studying - that was how most days came and went. Around us, the US, and the world, was changing rapidly. 

A new way to view media had just been announced, the DVD, and a small company called eBay tried convincing people that one could use a personal computer to buy and sell things to complete strangers.  Most people didn't think anything of it, probably because of their attention during my 16th was focused on the OJ Simpson double murder trial.

16th brought with it a lot of excitement: I got my driving learners' permit and my first car, a 1991 Nissan 240SX sports car.  I remember the day I got it: August 4, 1995.  I drove it to school and to the library for all the research papers and terms papers I had to do. Those were the non-Google days!  

It was the year I studied and took both the SAT and ACT, the US college admission examination. I took them twice and did quite well on both the occasions.  Applied to 10 universities, and a year later, I got a call from seven of them - Universities of Michigan, Texas, and Louisiana State University were the memorable ones.  

Looking back, I was a good kid at 16- playing by the rules and living by the book.  It's a good thing we're not recalling how life was at 26- that would be a very different story!

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