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Rohan Khanna’s day off

Malls and the metro have made it easier for students to skip school. Saudamini Jain reports.

delhi Updated: Dec 19, 2011 01:28 IST
Saudamini Jain
Saudamini Jain
Hindustan Times

Just like the protagonist in the 1986 film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Rohan Khanna loves bunking school.

While Ferris and his friends roamed through Chicago in a Ferrari, ate at expensive restaurants and visited fancy galleries, Rohan and his friends like to budget their excursions.

There’s breakfast at McDonald's, catching an early morning show with the ‘Vodafone Tuesday’ movie ticket offer, waltzing around malls, and some hookah as the grand finale.

Bunking school has become accepted protocol — as long as it’s rare. "One category of students bunk everyday, others do it, say, once in two months," says Saanya Bhatt, a class 12 student at DPS, RK Puram. "Everyone does it sometime."

Delhi Metro aids and abets. “You don’t have to show up at school, just take the Metro to… anywhere,” says Sameer Singh, a class 11 student at Amity International School, Saket (AIS).

“You can also make friends with the bus driver, and ask him to stop at PVR Priya on the way to school, and slip out from the back door,” he adds. And then there are the daredevils who run across the field and jump over the school walls.

Apart from breakfast, movies and hookah, playing poker is also on the itinerary. Modern School, Barakhamba road(MSBK) students usually hang around Connaught Place and Bengali Market, students of Sardar Patel Vidyalaya and Air Force Bal Bharati School go to Khan Market, those in south Delhi schools infest the malls in Saket. But thanks to the Metro, where you go no longer depends on how close it is to school.

The only trouble for students is that many malls don't allow them to enter wearing school uniforms before school ends. At Select Citywalk, exceptions are made only during exam time when students get free from school earlier. But, many places, in Greater Kailash or Khan Market, are not fussy. Besides, most students carry a change of clothes.

“You can change clothes at big metro stations— like Rajiv Chowk—or at some restaurant. No one really cares,” says Gurmeet Sahni of MSBK. “We've even changed in deserted alleys near our homes or school; neighbourhood parks work well too,” says Achint Shorewala, another student at AIS.

“Some parents are really cool. So, you can always crash at their house,” says Ashima, a student at Springdales.

It's really that simple.

Names have been changed to protect the students from the wrath of their teachers and parents.

First Published: Dec 18, 2011 21:25 IST