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Kasturba Matoshri High School, Panjim
The School on top of the stairs
March 9, 2015
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Written by Deepali

“Well I know a place where love comes easy

And I know a woman who meets me there

She takes my hand, and gently leads me

And we go up to the room at the top of the stairs.”

Well, this is not just a room at the top of the stairs, but a whole school. Every Thursday, I climb the stairs with my colleagues and we are met by a gentle Principal.

Kasturba Matoshri School or KMS as it is known is situated on top of a flight of steep stairs near the Panjim Church, nestled against the Altinho hillock and forgotten in time. This school has history attached to it as it was started in 1936 as a Marathi Medium School for girls only. Later on it acquired the status of being a Co-ed school and presently has standards 5 to 10 in English medium and Marathi medium up to Std 8.

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I first visited this school in the rainy season and my first impression as I entered the premise was of awe and amazement. A musty smell prevailed throughout reminding one of old wood that has seen and heard children for decades. The uneven steps made one clutch the walls for support but there were children buzzing around wondering if we were approaching their class. The old section of the school gives one a feeling of stepping in a time capsule and going back to another era. Here children spread mats and sit on the wooden floors for some periods and how quaint and cozy it looks.

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There is a hall in the center of the old section on the top floor that doubles up as space for Yoga periods, theatre practice, singing practice and an auditorium for quizzes and competitions.

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Each class here is unique not only in architecture and space but also because of the children studying in them. They have so much curiosity and hunger to learn more about everything and many times this curiosity is evident in noise, shouting, physical movements and a general energy of activity that can overwhelm.

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Ably guided by the gentle mannered principal, who remains unflustered in the presence of any and all crises, the children safe inside the age old, time honored environs of the school, learn how to face and overcome challenges that await them outside in the fast developing modern world.

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In my year now with the school, I have become more hardy to the unique atmosphere of KMS. The school at the top of the stairs has shown me another way to love, less judgment and expectation, more acceptance and openness and love comes easy!

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