School is the first place for many of us to fall in love (yes, that naive, hand holding type) and that love always holds a special place in our hearts. 

As teenagers, battling with puberty, first crushes, and restrictions, falling in love during school, that too school time during the 90s, was an experience unlike any other.

If you still remember the 90s era, and falling for your very first love, one that existed when girls sported pigtails and boys rocked the military-cut hairstyles, then these are some things that you will relate to! 

1. Filling slam books 

They were our bible because open declarations of love were rare, but friends writing code names for your crush, or hesitantly asking your significant other to fill your slam book was all too common.

2. Making phone calls at fixed times on landline phones

From planning a time to call to preparing an excuse in case a family member picks up the phone and using scratch cards for recharges, multiple efforts were put in, even before the conversation started. 

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3. Playing ‘FLAMES’ 

Results of FLAMES were treated as Gospel Truth and if anything other than L or M was selected, new rules were invented – from counting the same letter twice, to including last names to what not!

4. Finding a common friend

Days spent in finding the friend of a friend of a friend AKA the common connection to introduce you to the person who caught your eye. *I am your sister’s classmates’s younger brother’s gully cricket friend!*

5. Meeting during lunch break

The time that allowed you to have a conversation away from the teachers (and right in the middle of all your friends and classmates), lunch period was the perfect way to catch up with your significant other.

6. Going for tuitions

These were official dates because leaving the house for anything other than school, tuitions and pre-approved birthday parties was very rare.

7. Borrowing notes

For a lot of us, this has been the first way we’ve either approached our crush, or been asked out. This was also the official excuse that a guy could use to drop into your house or to call in late!

8. Meeting at secret spots 

There was no WhatsApp, and we obviously couldn’t share selfies on Snapchat or tag each other in memes, so interactions at that time were real and secretive, and every school had a secret meeting point, and every locality a favorite garden spot! 

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9. Using a friend’s name as an excuse

You couldn’t meet your school love, if you didn’t have friends you could use as an excuse, or have them act as a lookout against teachers.

10. Going for school trips together

School trips allowed you to shed the school dress, officially hang out with your crush while checking out the school-defined exhibits, and share sweet nothings, when the teachers slept.

11. Dressing up for farewell parties

From ensuring a photo together, to dancing together to the latest Bollywood tracks and the forever favorite – Summer of 69, the first dress up during Farewell was as much for your significant other, as it was for yourself.

12. Giving personalized gifts

Restricted pocket money translated to handmade cards, mix CDs and collages. And hiding the gift from your parents was the norm!

School time romance was naive, filled with simple gestures and the belief that love is a mushy feeling. We grew up to realize the practical side of it, but that is no reason to forget how that mushy feeling made us feel, at one point of time! 

Feature image by Richelle Dante Photography.