IAK and I have a long and chequered history(of fights and make-ups). For quite a long period of time(maybe 6 years) we were on-off buddies, who would be friends for a few days and be at each other’s necks for a few more days. Well, the significant reason why we were even friends may have been due to a factor called ‘Sections’. In the 2nd Standard there were 2 sections(although later we were split into more, only to be rejoined into two again in the 5th Standard. Now these sections were fundamentally divided on the basis of origin of batch. There were the Parthi guys and there were the Ooty guys.
Ours was the last batch for such an occurrence, because the school in Ooty was closed down after the Ooty guys from my class finished with their 1st Standard(the very last batch of 1st Standard there). So since the school in Parthi already had a section for 1st Standard, the Ooty guys were all just moved in as a separate additional section. Since we two(IAK and myself, although I believe there was also a girl who joined along with us) were new admissions, we were just added to the Ooty section that had been created. We were to continue there until the 6th standard, when after the great ‘gang war’ and ‘great cleansing’, the two groups(Ooty and Parthi) were finally mixed.
I have very few memories of my 2nd Standard, because there were not many really memorable incidents. However the two things that I do remember about my 2nd Standard are:
1. Pin-Drop Stories
To keep the post from getting unusually lengthy, I will only deal with the first one here.
PIN DROP STORIES
Well, to begin with, there is nothing as a Pin-Drop Story, its just a name I have given now to stories that we were told almost everyday. There was this maam called Soumya maam. Everyday(well almost) after bhajans, we were sent to the classrooms to wait our turn for dinner(the dining hall was not large enough to accomodate everyone and thus classes would be sent one after the other), and Soumya maam usually, invariably was sent to ‘mind’ our class until dinner. She would keep us all engaged by telling us a-story-a-day. However there was a small hitch to it, she would only tell us a story if we kept quiet(you can imagine how noisy a bunch of almost 40 2nd Standard students can get). To ensure this, she would call for what she termed ‘pin-drop’ silence(and no, believe me, it’s not the cliche you are used to), which literally meant, she gave a minute to get silent and the she would drop a pin onto the floor(literally). If she heard a sound, she would tell us a story right away, else we were given one more chance to get ourselves a story. If she failed to hear a sound the second time over, it meant we were simply not going to be told a story that day.
Now comes the most important question of the whole exercise, did it work? Well, honestly, for most of the days, say 20 days a month, we used to be told a story. As to the rest of the days, well, there was always somebody or the other(me included) who decided they had to talk when they had to, and this deprived the rest of the class of the story for the day. The most difficult part of the exercise was not just hearing the pin drop, it was about having to keep absolutely quiet until the end of the story. It seems an improbable task, but somehow if a story got started, I never remember it being stopped in between because someone had talked.
to be continued… … …
– GUPTA GHOST