Wednesday, October 12, 2005
THAT WAS THE LAST TIME
We humans tend to have a funny memory system, a brain that tends to forget most of the things that happened but instead chooses to remember certain select episodes or moments from the past.
Statistically speaking, I have spent 13,870 days from the time I was born till I hit 38, that’s enormous number of days and nights that has elapsed but surprisingly very few have left behind memories worth remembering. There is one episode that’s worth sharing with all you fellows from SVTS 84 batch that has remained with me and hopefully will for a long time, unless of course I end up with Alzheimer’s like so many these days.
It was a fine spring evening in 1984 and our written exams that we studied so hard for had come to an end, also worth celebrating was the joy of finally walking away from a life of a Boarder lived in captivity. It was like any new found freedom, the joys and thrills of experiencing it all for the first time.
Today it looks so mundane to stay out late, to have a cigararette, to go out and see a movie, but then it was a different time in a different spatial dimension. It’s very hard to express the true feelings and I guess you can only know what I am talking about if you have lived through that.
Anyways coming back to my story, we were having our shower in the bathing room , one side of the wall faced the road and across the road was a three storied building that housed various classrooms , on the third floor we had the Brothers quarters. In one of them facing us down directly lived this gigantic Irish guy called Br. Hughes. He was indeed huge with a towering 6ft 4 big built. To us puny 15 year olds he definitely came off as a monster from another world.
It so happened that while we were having our shower, Stuart Grocer was passing by the road walking with a couple of girls. I don’t recall who they were, but if I correctly remember one of them was Peter Manion’s sister, Judy. I need not describe you all how Judy looked, because I am sure we all know it. Wink wink Nudge nudge!!!. As these girls passed our window they looked and giggled.
We at that point of time were in nothing but our bare minimum when someone from us spotted them walk along. What do you expect will happen next, some of us who had a reputation and penchant for trouble making got very excited and jumped up on the window making noises and hanging on the window sills. The noise level crossed all levels and I think at one point of time we were just monkeys. I must add here, that the girls on the road were having great fun watching us perform and giggling like crazy.
I recall, Alok was the good boy and he along with a few others had finished their shower and had not taken part in the jamboree. They were getting ready to go, when we in the shower room saw Br. Hugh step out in a white vest and looked down at us. I distinctly remember, seeing him come out of the room, take a look at the happenings below, walks back in, and grabs a shirt and a cane and started walking down.
By then, we knew what was in store for us. We tried to hurry and get out, but too godammed late. We were all wet when he walked in.
Now here is the funny part, he walked in and got hold of Alok and caned him near the door (poor fellow did not do a thing) and then came to all of us and told us to line up wet underpants that too.
Now you must not forget that class 10 guys generally did not get caned. This man was angry as hell, I don’t remember what he said but we were all caned about 2 -3 shots each. They were also the hardest hit. Now when he told us to line up, Alok came back and stood in the line and got it twice. Now why would he do that, why should someone get punished twice for a crime he did not commit?
So we got caned too bad for behaving like monkeys, but the story did not end there. We were all very upset that evening with Br. Hughes for behaving like that and also with Grocer and the girls for walking down a road that was forever out of bounds for Girls when we men used to have our shower. To add insult to the injury, I think we were banned from going out to town that evening.
We met our Beloved Br. Parton and spoke to him about that, and like so many times before, he must have sympathized with us , because he let us go to town.
I think we all went to bed that night very angry with what had happened to us.
Today after 21 years sometimes I feel I don’t mind doing exactly what we did then , jumping on the window silling, making catcalls and getting caned just to go back to where we once belonged, all of us together.
Dtd: Oct 12th 2005
Batch – ICSE 84
I am also from SVTS Asansol. We are planning a website for alumni association. The beta version is launched, www.svs-alumni.org
We will have the formal launch on the school premises in October.
Batch of 1992
Solan, himachal pradesh (firstname.lastname@example.org
For some time, the guys did work out a way of putting a thin copy inside their pants. Though it did hurt a little, the major brunt of the blow was absorbed. Like all goood things this too ended very soon when some ingenious wizard came up with the idea of placing a hard board copy instead to eascape even that little paid. I don't quite remember who it was, but this much occurs to me that he received those lashes on his bare buttocks at the back of the study hall. (Not bragging, but I was never a receipent of this pleasure)
Guys, who can forget Sister and Qasim. Every year she would administer us the vaccinations. I don't quite believe it now as to how she managed to accomplish the feat. (There must have been over five hundred of us in the boarding. Taking the injection felt the easier part, the pain that followed in the arm for the next three or four days was unbearable. The arm had to be carried around as if in a sling. It had to be protected like a baby. One couldn't walk properly, let alone run or play. One would get up with excruciating pain if in your sleep you happend to turn onto the side of the injected arm.
There was also Brother Christopher who once raised a Doberman named Satan.
Father MaCann (I think we named him Khew-Khew. Perhaps because he had raised ears like a monkey. Sorry Father).
Then there was Mrs Neelam Sibal. Biology teacher in Class 9 and 10.
(I can't forget her for personal reasons. After leaving school i wrote to her at her Delhi address which she had given. No response).
There was also this SUPW teacher, i dont remember his name. Don't think he taught us much SUPW, beacuse of the time spent on listening to his stories about tigers and hunting a-la Jim Corbett.
Sundays were reserved for going to St.Patricks to watch a English movie.
Guys, at the time boarding may have sometimes seemed like a prison, but looking back i for one can put my hand on my heart and say " Thank you SVTS. You are still the best part of my life".
Rajeev Sharma, Solan Himachal Pradesh
God will always bless you for you good deeds and I will not trade a friend like you with thousand acquaintances.You are one SVTS lion- we are all proud to have.
All our years together in the boarding school has paid off just by this one act of yours. All the discipline, toil, struggle and hard work of our parents and brothers have been a grand success.YOUR BIRTHDAY IS A VERY SPECIAL ONE MY FRIEND.I pray to god that all your dreams come true