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I don't know how it is in the rest of the world; but in India, school children are burdened with oversized bags. You can't help feeling sorry for the little ones having to lug heavy backpacks each morning to school and then back home after dispersal. I couldn't escape this ritual either.

Packing the bag for the next day was a particularly tedious task, and dad helped me during the early days. Actually, he did it all by himself! Then came the dreaded day when he refused to go through the chore as he was busy teaching didi something. The task of packing my bag all by my own looked infinitely intimidating. However, a man's got to do what a man's got to do! So I braved the challenge ahead and emptied my bag. Out came the school prospectus among other books. The back cover contained my time-table.

Dad used to arrange book according to their subject, refer the time-table and simply inserts the relevant books into my bag. A foolproof method, I must acknowledge. I proceeded to imitate him, and the task at hand was accomplished with great ease. I stuck to this simple system for years to come. Only occasionally did I deviate, like when I was too lazy or the succeeding day's schedule closely resembled the current.

Attending classes was a different ball-game altogether. I hated studying and spent my hours daydreaming about inventing a gravity-defying machine that would help me become the real Superman, or discovering a new planet. The teacher's supremely dull blabberings would fade into obscurity while I dabbled with the fame I found in my virtual world.

My bag packing mechanism seldom failed me during all those years of boredom. Only when the teacher issued ad-hoc instructions regarding a change of schedule would my tried-&-tested method fail me. Well, it wasn't really my fault...or the fault of my technique. Who had asked the teacher to deviate from the schedule? Now, what were the repercussions for bringing the wrong books? The implications were usually not serious, though some strict teachers would not spare the erring student, who would promptly be asked to stand outside the class or kneel down. Those were the days! Some of my classmates would be so terrified of being punished that they would take out another book of the same dimensions, so as to fool the teacher into believing that the required book was bought! However, the contents of the 'imposter' book would be concealed so cleverly that the teacher never got a chance to peep into its pages! However, fear of being caught hung like a sword over his head! The ringing bell that signaled the period ending sounded like music!

Some bravehearts who knew that the teacher would invariably punish the erring student by banishing him outside would say that they had not brought the book even though they had! They preferred the tranquility of standing a loner in the corridor to the crowded interiors of the classroom. Well, they belonged to my league of school-haters, though I never had the heart to volunteer to be punished! Imagine what happened when the teacher veered from the norm by making the erring student kneel down! A boomeranged idea!!!


Vivek said…
You seem to have had a 'Calvin-esque' school life.
saurabh said…
Now that u have mentioned "stand outside the class or kneel down", I remember being thrown out of the classroom, TWICE, ALONE and in class X, for talking in the class. Also, I have the distinction of being the only person in my section of 40 students to FAIL in a chemistry internal. That time, our chemistry teacher made me stand up and asked me helplessly "whats the problem with u?". Its another matter that after that day, of all the subjects, I got highest marks in Chemistry and I can boast of being really good in it, right upto class XII. Yeah, right Deepu, those were the days
Deepanjan said…
Sanskrit vexed me the most. Well, we all had our cup of woes!
Anonymous said…
I don't know how many of you have heard of this subject called 'Hindi' that was taught to us at school. Man, that subject used to stink and only the most repugnant witches were ever assigned to teach it to us poor students. And whenever they used to forget to bring their favourite toad to make their potion, I would go in their cauldron.

Oh no wait!!! There was another subject that gave it a tough competition at being the yuckiest and it was 'Marathi' which was taught to us by a ghoul.

Gosh!! What sort of idiots do you guys suppose, converse in these languages?
Anonymous said…
hindi isn't for idiots!
Deepanjan said…
Hindi gave me a tough time too. Ironically, however, I got a 90% in this paper in ICSE!
Anonymous said…
I got the same in IXth! Except, I adored it...
Anonymous said…
Hey J, why don't you become a Hindi teacher? The job should suit your personality pretty well..... ;)
Deepanjan said…
Who'll learn Hindi in Canada?
Anonymous said…
Quite flattered to read that Sameer ;)
I don't mind the Hindi part (though it's getting rusty by the day), but teacher...well, that I'm not suited to be. I'm not a very patient being when it comes to imparting valuable knowledge.

Deep: Surprisingly, considerable amount of students take Hindi courses or are willing to learn it.

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