Monday, February 7, 2011

Pen was mightier than sword ! contd.

I am coming back to this series after some time. I had been reminiscing my school days in Jamui Higher secondary school (JHSS).
School was synonymous with the teachers. The teachers made the school and us what we are today. The other day I was trying to recollect names of my teachers and  some of them I still remember, Sri Anirudh Lal Das, Sri Kamata babu, Vikas Ji, Naresh Babu, Chandrika babu and Kesto Babu. I had undergone tuition under Anirudh babu, Vikas Babu and Kesto babu at one time or other.

The other day I could also recollect name of large auditorium the school had.  It was called Rameshwaram Hall. Most of cultural programs in Jamui was organized here. Till first Cinema Hall was opened this was place of entertainment in Jamui.

Due to my admission to High School just after my 3rd class in basic school, at a tender age of 8 I was in the sixth standard, the youngest in my class. Two of my sisters also used to study in the same school at that time. One was my elder Sister (Late) Kalpana Sinha aka Anju di and other was (Late) Madhubala Sinha aka Lilly di - my elder cousin. Several of their friends including Indu di and Kamala di were also in the school. Most were a year senior to me. All these girls considered me as their kid brother. This status gave me free access to the girls' common room. The common room was located safely behind the Headmaster's office and any body going inside had to pass his probing eyes. But I had free access. In the common room I was often invited to feast on chats or chiniya badam (ground nuts) from near by court compound. How ever I donot know why, I  used to feel suffocated inside girl's common room. I was always desperate to run out of the room as soon the task entrusted to me was over.

My sister, Anju di and I were in the same class. By this relation, I became  brother of  two of her  friends - Rita Sinha and Neelam (daughter of highly esteemed  chemistry teacher Naresh Babu).
In class eight we had the option of choosing Science or Arts stream. I had chosen science like many of my friends. Our science classes used to be taken in the new lecture theater near the well. We used to see many litigants in near by courts taking sattu at the well.Girls used to have separate seat near the teacher away from boys.

I was a talkative boy and would often comment on the teacher's remarks. Sometimes I directed them at the girls as well, thinking them to be pretty hilarious. I was soon to know that one of my classmate who had crush on Rita did not like me talking to the girls or making comments at them.
One day I was alone in the classroom. To pass time I started playing with an electric plug on the wall. I felt someone approach me from behind. I turned to find this classmate of mine standing only a few feet away. He was a well built boy and being older than me seemed to tower over me. I was startled to see a knife in his hand. Pushing the tip into my stomach, he said, "Bahut aklamand bante ho? Agar Rita say baat kiya to chhura ghuser denge." (You think you are very smart? If you speak to Rita, I will kill you with this knife)
In my innocence I failed to fully grasp the seriousness of the situation, neither did his threat scare me. But I sure understood I had to get out of the difficult situation. I said, "Theek hai nahi baat karenge par Sir Aa gaye hai." (Sure, I will not talk to now, but look Sir has come in)
He was startled  for a moment, giving me an opportunity to escape. Sometime later, next year probably,  he said to me, "Amitabh pen uthane se kuchh nahi honga.. talwar jyada takatwar hai". (Amitabh, Pen does not do anything, a sword is mightier)
Tab maine use yaad dilaya,  "Tumhara chakku to meri buddhi se ek bar har chuki hai," and again ran away from him.

That was the time "pen was still mightier than sword".

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pen "was" mightier than sword contd.

We were on the subject of Jamui High School, where I studied from class 6th to 11 th. Those days matriculation will be after 11 year of schooling and higher secondary was after 12 years of schooling. I was sent to Patna for my 12th year of school .. that story later..
My initial schooling took place in Basic Schools (school based on Gandhian Philosophy where agriculture, spinning, charkha etc were part of curriculam)  of Begusarai (my maternal grand pa's place) and at Jamui. I bunked classes to Jamui Basic school, I don't know what I did not like there. gardening classes, cleaning routines or just the face of teachers.. I don't know what I hated. Soon this was known to my father. He decided to send me to Jamui high school. Kirani babu or School clerk who lived near to our house was a close friend of my father and my father took his advise on important family matters.

Kirani babu or Kirani Chacha,  late Sri Baidyanath Pandey's family had shifted to Jamui from UP. His father Sri Ramjash Pandey owned 3 houses in one his family lived and other 2 houses were on rent. Kirani  Chacha had 4 daughters and 2 sons. While elder son  "Gopal" was little mentally disturbed, younger son "Babloo" is a established contractor.
Kirani babu suggested to my father that I may be put to class 6th in June 1958. That year session was shortened to six months. I was in class 3 then. In admission test, I was asked what I knew best and I said "Tipu Sultan". I wrote what I knew and at the age of 8 years I was admitted to class 6. I was a good student from class 6 to 9 and stood 2nd or third in class.
Class 6's class teacher was Kamata babu a popular teacher. I was youngest in class (others were at least 10 year old). Kamta babu often asked me to sing the song " Sar jo tera chakraye". In fact he enjoyed my rendering "sun sun sun .. sun beta sun is champi me bade bade gun" I was a popular child who had to keep standing near the desk so as to write.. a feature which continued till class XII examination in Patna. I think I am going too lengthy .. shall I stop for today ?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pen "was" mightier than sword

From a small town boy to my retirement as an experienced professional, I have been privileged to experience an enriched life. Each step has shown me something new, something beautiful. I have long desired to share these experiences in my life with you.

These set of blogs will present before you a collection of my memoirs, not necessarily in a chronological sequence. Instead I will write as they come to my mind. 

Infact just yesterday a visit from an old friend brought back a amusing anecdote from my childhood. Satya Prakash Narayan and I have been close friends since our engineering college days. Our families have been good friends over all these years in Ranchi, often visiting each other.

As usual, yesterday, amidst a variety of topics, someone mentioned the phrase "Pen is mightier than the sword". We all had our opinions about relevance of this phrase in today's times, when I shared a story of my school days in Jamui.

My High School had been established in 1886 or so and at one time was the only high school in the area, now Jamui District. The school had 2 Hostels (now taken over or encroached), one bungalow for the Head Master and 2 quarters for Hostel wardens and one large sport field - part of which is taken over and converted into a so called stadium. The school also has a hard tennis court, where my father used to practice and a large Hall with a Balcony for ladies where cultural programmes took place in our school days. The school has its own share of legends and one particular one I remember is of Mr Ghosh a very strict head master.

Mr. Ghosh was one of the few headmasters of the school who managed to keep the unruly boys in the school under control. He was famous for his strict ways. The story goes that once a student, who had some animosity with him tried to attack him with a sword. Mr. Ghosh was urinating at the time and was in a crouched posture when the attack happened. Just as the pupil lifted the sword, Mr. Ghosh looked up and gave him his trademark stare. His stare itself was so powerful that the attacker did not have the courage to go through with the act. 

I think it is time for a break.. for tea. I will continue to tell the main story in next post ..