Having got the ‘clothes letter’, I got ready for school after 2nd Standard vacations. Upon reaching school, I found myself at the end of a long line of students checking in(rejoining) after holidays. The best part of school was the timetable. It was always perfect about two things:
1. Holidays would always start on April 1st(some used to leave on March 31st evening). An interesting coincidence being that April 1st was also HM’s Birthday.
2. School would always reopen on June 1st(This has been the schedule for all the years that I have studied there).
Coming back to the line, I don’t recall them checking the luggage so thoroughly during my 2nd Standard, but I would recall them do so from now on for every year. It was always a list in the teacher’s hand compared against actual luggage. God help those who bring 1 underwear less or one white pant less.
The line was how I learnt that our class teacher for the year was Uma maam. Was never much fond of her, because initially she was one of the ‘pinching stars’ of the faculty’. However my opinion of her gradually changed, when I found that if you knew how stay on the right side of the fence, there was a lesser chance for you to get pinched, unlike other maams who would pinch for the glory of pinching(quite a few readers will know who I am referring to).
The most prominent events of 3rd Standard that still linger in my memories are the diseases(or should I rather call them epidemics). I went through one after another. First it was Measles. No sooner did I recover, I was struck with Chicken Pox. And of course not to forget the evergreen ‘Eye Infection’.
The best part about these diseases was that they were highly anticipated and awaited like springtime. Those who were ill were placed in a separate dormitory(the sick room was never sufficient for the number of students that were down everyday), and did not need to attend classes(for obvious reasons of contagion).
Those who were down with measles(am talking of the lucky guys like me, who were early birds) were taken to the room near Sai Srinivas(guest house) on the way to Mandir. There we would laugh, play around, jump and shout, and enjoy all day long except for the few hours that ‘medical amma’ would appear to apply a pink lotion all over our bodies and bring us breakfast, lunch, tiffin and dinner. We would also get those lovely cars that Swami gave, for playing, and cars would be hotly fought about(I still remember that the most ‘in-demand’ car was the pull-back car, which was a very prized possession, and Sanjit got one in 4th Standard as a prize). In fact they were the reason a lot of us became sick, to play with cars. Unfortunately, for those who came in late, for measles I mean, because the number grew too large for the room, they were kept in the school itself in a separate dormitory(well that was fun in its own way, but you can never compare it with the charm of a few guys staying in a room, having fun all day).
Even the chicken pox guys used to be housed in a separate dormitory, but that was after a lot of them got down with it. Luckily even in the case of chicken pox, I was what I would like to call a ‘pioneer’, and the chosen few of us got to stay in that room again. This time it was one hell of an enjoyment purely because of the classes we were going to miss(all of us missed about nearly a month), and that made it feel it like heaven, although then, the sick room was a kind of mini-heaven even otherwise, because of the food we used to get and simply because of the schedule.
And to talk about eye-infection will take me to the end of this page, so it would be better to talk of it in the next post, along with my other adventure of the 3rd Standard(library).
to be continued… … …
– GUPTA GHOST