I am 90 years old now. I think I would be the oldest person reminiscing on talkalittledo . I feel like beginning my story , “Long, long ago, very long ago,” because I was a student in the 1930s, much before all the face-book era kids or even their parents were born.
I did my SSLC at Kumbakonam Town High School in 1939-1940. We had very good teachers who took their profession seriously. They were mostly dressed in crisp white dhoties, long kurtas and a turban. They commanded and demanded respect.
One of my favourite teachers whom I cannot forget was Shri G.V.Iyer. He was the author of our geography and history textbooks. He was a strict disciplinarian. There used to be “pin-drop” silence when he was taking class. He often said that a student should have ‘photographic memory.’
Sometimes he too would say something that evoked laughter, because he could talk quite humorously
Once he was teaching us about the ‘Grand Canyon of Colorodo’. He was telling us about its depth and how it was over 6000 feet deep trying to make us imagine how far down the earth cavity that would go.
At that very moment one of the boys seated near the window in the class, got distracted by something that was going on outside in the grounds. He peeped out of the window. The master caught him in the act. Instead of scolding him for being inattentive, the master called out to the boy “Hi you, don’t peep like this into the grand canyon. If you do, we will not be able to gather a single bone of your’s.”
Another incident that I can recollect quite well despite the long interval is this. Once we boys were talking about ‘absent minded professors.’ We were regaling each other with stories of what a really absent-minded teacher would do. One boy said that one professor walked late into class one day with his umbrella. He put the umbrella on the chair and went and stood in the corner where he normally keeps the umbrella.
We knew these were mostly fabricated stories, but I remember we enjoyed these anecdotes and guffawed delightedly. That’s why I still remember the incident quite clearly.
As by: Mr.Manoharan. Chennai…. Written by : Gulsum Basheer.