After a five year struggle at a certain school, I got into St.Thomas Matriculation (tuty) for my higher secondary education, and that was one of the best things that ever happened to me. It was when i came to understand what Karma really is !! It was totally different from the school that I came from, initially i struggled a bit to cope up with the education system but then my friends came to the rescue. This post will be something that I could cherish upon all my life time..
First ever striking incident was my first mid-term chemistry exam, Deepak came down hastily to ask me how did it go ? ( Since I used to be raising my hand for each and everything in the Chemistry hour, he assumed that I’d score well ) I told him, well yea I’ve given my best lets see. He was a bit disgusted by the way I answered, because the paper was tough in their eyes. The day came when our Chemistry mam distributed all the papers and to my surprise I scored very low. Deepak came over, chuckled and said, is this your “best” ? I couldn’t help but laughed with him. I showed him my paper, after going through for a couple of minutes he said, you cannot write the answers in your own language and where are the explanatory diagrams that come along ? You need to put it as it is in the book ! He called a geeky guy (Esaki Muthu a.k.a Krishna Murthy) and showed me his paper . Not a single line, a comma or a full stop was missing. It was very difficult for me to learn that art, but then my ex classmates from holy cross boys school caught up with me and they taught me how to “decorate”.. !!
That was about the switch, but here comes the fun part ;) There was this dance group present in our class, who used the same song same steps in almost all the dance competitions held across (anywhere) tuty. It was time for them to perform one at the school grounds, and so our committee gathered on deciding upon the song. Fr.Kumar Raja was the principal at that time and he never allowed any kind of cinema songs inside the campus. It was when “Boyz by Shankar“ got released, and our minds unanimously stuck to that “Sa re ga mae – secret of success” tune. The audio was released prior to the movie as usual and so we thought we can get through as the movie is not out yet. Even if it was released, we presumed that Father would never watch that.. We presented it during the rehearsal and the first question he asked Deepak was : from where did you pick this song ? Deepak (a.k.a. Thaadi picha) used to be the organiser who doesn’t take part in anything but organises almost everything decently, he had a peculiar talent of answering or managing things on the spot given under any kind of peer pressure. He said, Father this song is from a “pop album” recently released for “Kapil Dev” !! The toughest challenges those days was to control our laughter and add to whatever thing that has already been started You must sync up almost instantaneously ! We really didn’t know why he picked “Kapil Dev” who was never in the lime light those days, but i guessed he must have seen his picture in any one of the notebook covers & used it just like “the usual suspects”. That dance program was a grand success, and finally that song became our group song. Few steps were modified (minor changes for the middle dancer and our group choreographer : Manoj) then and there to adapt to every new dance competitions where the proportion of the girl viewers / competitors changed . All was well until that day, when Fr. Kumar Raja called us all for an urgent meeting. Only that day we came to know about Fr. Kumar raja’s other side (no no not as worthy as Baatsha and all), he was the chief editor and a famous movie critic for a magazine named “gnyaana thoothan” (tuty ppl should know). From here, you should have guessed what must have happened to our Kapil Dev album !!
I didn’t know that this was just the beginning of something big, I was totally new to this but I verily tell you that I enjoyed each and every bit of it. Once, we were invited to participate in the Lion’s rotary club competition. I joined them a little late but then there were our heroes Krish and Savio sitting behind a certain girl who’d occasionally look behind in search of her father and that was totally misinterpreted to be looking at them (as usual). Once that competition was over, Krishna wanted a pep up, he asked us to call him “Krish” when that girl passes by he went to the parking lot (with that girl standing near by) sat in Deepak’s fiero and shouted “Hey, pass me the bike key”. We understood what he was trying to do and immediately Prathu replied, “Ela (addressing methodology similar to dei) Esaki Muthu !! I think your cycle is parked here which doesn’t even have a lock, whose key are you asking for ? ” I didn’t know how Prathu came up with such a terrific name in short notice, but that’s how we still call him ! And then Snubbing became such a routine work Asking Ashley to repay his 3 Rupees 50 paise debt just in front of everyone at our biology tuition etc., The word biology brings so many things to my mind , the Biology teacher starts of with Phylum and finishes off at “Please avoid fire crackers during Diwali” did you understand a miniscule of how classification ended up here ? Well, we are still trying to find that angle of deviation.
Ashley’s witty nature impressed me a lot, the one thing that saves us from sleeping post lunch hours are his dance moves (esp like Allen Louie) in the middle of the maths class. We had so many problems within, but one thing that kept us together was our Chemistry hours. Mam used to call out : “I don’t know who is roll number 11 (Mahesh stands up with a sheepish smile), please get up ma” and there goes a question ! The answer for it covers the syllabus of the day. One thing that we still wonder is, how come she calls the same set of roll numbers everyday and still she doesn’t know who it is ! Myself, Ashley, Babu and Chandhu sit together (3rd bench from the front), our daily task was to count the word “there” used by her within that stipulated 45mins. “Never there” used to be her favorite phrase, only she knows what it means ! Everyone owns a set of test tubes for which they are responsible, most often it contains pale white end results except for CuSo4 but Ashley’s test tubes always contained rainbow colors and only God knows what reactions had taken place. Once Deepak spilt some concentrated H2SO4 accidentally on his right hand , mam panicked, the class panicked, but to our surprise Deepak remained still and his hands were unaffected, only then we had a look at the manufacturing date of that soln, which was bought, I guess, when the school was established but the real comedy took place right after that.. Mam wanted to neutralize that acid’s (so called) effect, and so she poured some white base solution which actually caused the burns on his right hand
Nobody could have insulted our school pupil leader like that kid, he said “the only 2 English words that guy (leader) knows are School Attention and School stand at ease”. Ram kumar, a 6 foot tall guy, a man known for all those bike stunts, slipping , dropping things for glory and spits all that he has in his mouth even when someone in the next street utters the word “joke” ! I guess it was while reading Ram’s scrap book, we found this “You are the best disciple guy” we were like WTH !! It took around 2 hours to decrypt the ultimate truth, actually he meant to say that he was a disciplined guy yea, we are cool that way B-) Walking backwards in the veranda, with a goose berry in your mouth, two in the hand right after the school hours (not knowing that the principal is standing behind), he uses a strange language asking the man behind to clear the way for him.. yea he did that and i witnessed it from the parking lot Chandhu usually asks weird doubts during the class hours for which only mam could answer, she replies: “meet me during the lunch hours, I’ll clarify it then”. And yea, we have seen a couple of them washing the pipettes during the lunch hours. Once Moses was completing his observation notebook during our lab hours, and while calculating that titration end results it required few log values. He asked Chandhu, “hey what’s the value of log 20 ?”, mam who was sitting near by answered “1.30” as if in a rapid fire round.. (i guess everybody knows the fact that log 20 is the most commonly used value during titration calculations). Chandhu sarcastically asked her, “mam how come you remember all these complicated log values ?” She could have smiled and left, but you know what she said ? she said, “hey Chandhu i have memorized most of the log values during my college times”. Chandhu immediately retorted, “mam i need to know the value of log 58 for my calculations please let me know”. Mam’s reply was, “Chandhu !! you are such a funny fellow ..” and she started laughing.. ( actually the whole class laughed )
The fun we had had actually created a protective layer or a type of shell that saved us from all this +2 academic pressure that which was placed on us.. Not to mention the adventures that myself & Kumar had, past the tuition hours every day. Except for that 6 hours of sleep we almost spent every minute together. Kumar was a multi talented guy, he can deliver speeches, he can teach well, understands & applies whatever he learns instead of just mugging up, scores well and even writes Urdu (his cryptic handwriting was often referred to Urdu), Around 10 of us would sit near that water tank (3rd floor Kumar’s terrace) within that small 4 x 6 space looking at the dark blue sky discussing all about the tuition related incidents and who met whom details “It’s where most of the accidental or coincidental meet ups are maneuvered” !! Not a single word mentioning about any forms of education enters there, except but once ' (we did seriously try our luck with vol.1 maths book of IIT-JEE but chill, it was jus 10 problems totally lasting 3 days) You will have to forgive me, for we have sometimes discussed on even how to improve the political status of our country :| The most special thing about that place was our Diwali nights.
One post ain’t enough to share them, because there are so much like the meet up at Bp’s house before the results, preparation for the ad-mad competition, akalya parotta shop, Nayar bakery, Fight with the Kaarapaettai guys, all our splendid staffs and what not !?.. I could even write a book out of this, But I’m stopping it here just for Chetan bagat’s sake .. Staffs loved us so much and as they expected, our results were terrific. I relived each moment while writing this, hope you get the same feel while reading this !
-Joe Winifred P Rayen