Talkalittledo – For Life Is Funny

Real Life. Real Stories

Archive for the category “School is Fun”

She Saw The Genius In Him .

id-100275260When I was in college all those years ago, I would spend my Saturday afternoons in my best friend’s house. Her mother whom I called Kasturi aunty, was a teacher in a school in Chennai, where we lived.

Kasturi aunty used to speak to us about some of her students.

One of her favourite students was a young boy, who was a wizard at playing the key board. She described his prowess at making soul lifting music on the keyboard and would always end her story of the boy by saying:

“Mark my words, this boy will go places.”

“One of these days, he is going to become a renowned musician.”

“He will become very famous when he  grows up.”

But after a few years, the boy discontinued from her school for unforeseen reasons. She later heard that he had joined another school in Chennai itself. She felt for the boy and wished him well in her heart.

In the year 1992, when my sons and I sat before the television watching a special telecast on Independence day, the lilting music of a song wafted across the screen and filled our rooms and our hearts with the song, “Chinna Chinna Aasai” from the Tamil film Roja.

A musician was born. No. Discovered!

My father called me from his house, even as the song was being telecast, “Are you watching TV? Are you seeing this Channel? What a song! Who is the musician?”

Soon “Who is the music composer of the film, Roja?” was on everybody’s lips.

Kasturi aunty jumped with elation.

“It is him. My student,” she said taking pride in a student as only a teacher could.

The young musician showcased his brilliance in  film after film and soon he became a byword in the music industry.

IN 2009, when he held aloft the two Oscars and said in all humility, “All praise be to God”, Kasturi aunty was not alive to witness the jubilation that rocked our hearts.rahman-birthday_sl_5_01_201

But I am sure, she would have been the happiest person in all of India, had she been alive, because she had predicted this a long time ago.

I don’t have to mention, that the person I am talking about is our very own music sensation, the Mozart of Madras, Isai Puyal... A.R.Rahman!

Jai Ho!

Story by Gulsum Basheer@talkalittledo

Image courtesy of cooldesign at


Why The Ex-President Of My Country Talked To Me

ID-10094065When I think back on my school days one incident comes vividly to my mind. It was the time the ex-president of my country talked to me.

The centenary celebrations of my school was being celebrated on a grand scale. Many dignitaries were invited to grace the different events that were being conducted as part of the celebrations.

One person who had won the hearts of the children and encouraged them to ‘dream’, was our honourable ex-president. He was a scientist, a thinker and the beloved of many Indians. He was the chief guest at our school that day.

A red carpet was laid out for him. The students lined the path he was to take to reach the dais.

The great man arrived and walked down the carpet, flanked by the school teachers, security and of course the pushy photographers.

He walked briskly for his age, his trade mark slightly longish hair flying about. He was smiling, accepting our salutations. Then the students put forward their hands in an attempt to shake hands with him and he obliged, touching their hands briefly as he walked by, very fast in his customary fashion.

Among all the palms eager to shake hands with him was mine!

And it was adorned with Mehandi designs.

The previous day as part of our religious festival, I had applied mehandi or henna design on both my hands, from finger tips to elbows and it was turning a bright maroon the next day. Among all the plain unadorned child-like hands, my designed hands stood out.

He paused in his stride right beside me, and pointing to my hand he asked,

“What is this, what is this?” ( I am sure he knew what Mehandi was, but questioned me anyway, just to tease me )image

I stood startled. My tongue refused to move and I simply blinked and stared. My friend standing next to me came to my rescue and explained why my hand had those unique patterns.

The ex-president paused just a second to ask the question, receive my friend’s explanation and he moved on. In fact it was almost as if he had not stopped at all.

Then all my class mates surrounded me and laughed and joked and said, ‘Lucky you! The president talked to you.”

For many days after that I narrated the incident to all my family members and to everyone else who cared to listen, “The ex-president talked to me.”

When the photographs of the day’s events were published in the school notice board, I searched and searched. But there was no picture of the great man talking to me.

You know something?

The ex-president of my country talked to me.

But I did not talk to him!

This is what I rue to this day.

Story By Roshan.

Written By Gulsum Basheer@talkalittledo


Image courtesy of [Aravind Balaraman] at

Image courtesy of stockimages at

PS: Mehandi or henna is a traditional art in which hands and feet are adorned with a paste made from powdered leaves of the henna tree. It looks like tattoo but is temporary. The colour fades slowly in a few days.













Monkeys Do Not Like Gold And Cash.

ID-100300422Do monkeys like gold and cash? Apparently not! That proved lucky for one man and not so favourable for a few others.

Hyroon’s father was a teacher in a village school. His village was set in the foothills of the Eastern Ghats Mountains. It was a picturesque place, verdant, cool and peaceful.

Except for one menace.


Stray monkeys would descend on the village from time to time and be up to a lot of mischief.

Once, Hyroon’s dad had been paid his salary by the management. He put the money in a yellow cloth bag, which he always carried with him. It contained his spectacles, his lunch box and some examination papers, which he wanted to take home with him to scrutinise.

As he was walking towards his two-wheeler on which he used to drive home, a monkey swung by out of no where and whisked the yellow bag right out his hands and made off with it.

While Hyroon’s dad and few teachers stood aghast, the animal sat on a tree, peered into the bag and started inspecting the contents.

First came the spectacles, which the animal found uninteresting and let fall to the ground.

Then it was the empty lunch box.

Soon it would be the turn of the answer papers and then the sheaf of money.

The monkey would definitely not drop the papers, just like that. It would surely shred them into pieces.

Luckily for the unhappy man, another teacher had a smart idea. He hurried to the little shop outside the school and bought a bunch of bananas.

He placed the yellow bunch near the tree and the teachers pretended to walk away.

Immediately they heard a thud.

It was the sound of the bag falling down, with the money and papers and all.

In a twinkling of an eye, the imp of an animal had plucked the fruits from the ground and was back on its perch happily munching away, oblivious to anything else.

And Hyroon’s dad went home a richer man.

 Hyroon remembered this incident when she read a news item in today’s newspaper.

A few friends from Chennai got together and went to the Hogenakkal Waterfalls. They were rich businessmen and of the flamboyant type, wearing expensive rings, watches, bracelets and chains.

Just before they went into the water, they unclasped their jewels, put them into a bag and hid it among their clothes, which they had just removed. Their valuables were right in front of them They were hoping that no thief walked that way.

They never expected a little monkey to jump down from the trees and make off with the bag, right before their startled eyes.ID-100170950

Then the monkey did its monkey business.

Sitting on a comfortable branch, it opened the bag and peered in. Finding no eatables, it withdrew the jewels and disgustedly threw them, one by one into the Cauvery River.

Suddenly it was raining rings, watches, bracelets and chains into the surging waters.

The friends and other tourists jumped into the water and tried to retrieve the valuables.

According to the newspaper report, they got everything back except for a twelve sovereign chain, which the paper says might have been carried away by the current.

But my friend Hyroon thinks otherwise.

If someone found a gold chain in the riverbed, they would never return it.

She has one question.

Why should men wear so much gold?

PS: Guys and girls, please leave your expensive stuff locked up in the car or better still, leave them at home before embarking on a visit to a tourist spot.

A thief you never anticipated might literally jump down from the skies.

Story By: Gulsum Basheer @ Talkalittledo

Hi! There is a comments box at the end of the page. Do leave your thoughts on this story here.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Pots Of Money

ID-10068770As a young boy, my brother was always up to some mischief or the other. I remember the numerous times when he was at the receiving end of my dad’s wallops.

 This incident is still fresh in my mind and I rag him about it even today.

 In those days, Guide to English Grammar by Wren and Martin, was considered to be the Bible of English Grammar. Students trying to polish their tenses or struggling with their  verbs were eager to procure one. My father got the grammar text for my brother. His class teacher asked my dad if he could buy one for her too as it was not available easily then.

 My father bought a copy as requested by her and sent it to school through my brother. He told my bro that he should not take any money for the book, even if the teacher offered it to him.

 That day mom who was standing in our seventh floor balcony looked down into the garden below and saw my brother digging the mud in one of the flower pots kept there.

 When he came home, she questioned him, casually at first, when he had taken up gardening as a hobby. But then seeing my brother stammer and swallow and come up with bizarre answers, she became suspicious.

She referred the matter to my dad. My father was a strict disciplinarian. Just a stern look and a little raised voice, my brother started spilling the beans.ID-10022913

 He had hidden money in the flowering pot.

 From where did he get the money?

 The teacher had paid him for the Wren and Martin Grammar Text. He had refused it at first, saying that his dad would be upset if he took the money. But apparently the teacher had forced it on him.

 He was sure that  his dad would be displeased if he knew that his son had disobeyed him. But the teacher would not take the book for free.

 So he did what he thought was safe and innocent at that time. He took the money from his teacher but did not tell our dad about it. Feeling too scared to bring the cash home, he had hidden it in the pot.

 I remember the resounding slap my brother received that day.

Poor lad, I still tease him about it asking him if he thought he was growing a money bearing plant, when he hid the loot there.

 My brother is a big engineer now and doing well in his profession. He turned out to be a brainy chap despite the earlier hiccups when my parents thought that he was going to turn out to be a nincompoop.

Story by Aditi. Written by Gulsum@talkalittledo.

Photo Credit :

Photo Credit:Pixomar@freedigitalphotos,net


You Don’t Always Kneel Down to Pray.

ID-100174977Have you witnessed your favorite teacher’s wedding? I have.

And in what a way!

When I was nine years old, I was in the fourth standard in a village school in Killyanur in South India. My class master was Susai Maria Das and he was my hero. I adored everything about him; the way he talked, the way he walked and his interaction with us students.

I came from a well-to-do Muslim family in the same village and everyone in and around my hometown revered my grand mother.

One day, I was surprised to see my teacher and his brother-in-law (who also happened to be our family tailor) in our house.

They had come to invite our family to attend the wedding of my class master. I was thrilled beyond words and was sure that my family would go.

But no.

My mom said that the master had come to invite my grand mom out of respect and we would reciprocate by calling the newly married couple to our house for lunch one day. But we would NOT be going to the wedding.

At that time I did not understand the significance of her firm refusal to attend the wedding. Later I realized that the wedding was in a church and Muslims did not frequent a church.

But my mind was made up. Some how I would go to the wedding, which was taking place in a nearby village 4 Km away.

My only aim for the next few days was to witness the wedding of my favorite teacher and ‘shake hands’ with him.

The wedding day dawned. It was a fine day. I remember that well even after so many years. It was a Sunday and a holiday and I was ready to go.

I was dressed in my home clothes, a lungi and shirt. I did not dare change into better clothes, or even don a pair of pants, as that would have given the game away.

My father was away in Singapore at that time and it was kind of easy to hoodwink my mother.

Pretending to be going out, to play with my friends, I slipped out and walked  all the way alone, on the dusty path leading to the next village.ID-10066234

Mind you, I was only nine years old at that time and my perseverance surprises me now.

The church in the next village did not have a proper concrete building. It was more like a garage. The wedding was taking place outside in the grounds under a ‘shamiyana.

Only the bride and the groom were seated in chairs. The rest of the congregation was seated on the floor. I quietly joined them and sat at the very last row. I was tired and perspiring but exhilarated with a sense of achievement.

Soon people began to notice me and they started to whisper and giggle among themselves. A lonely frail kid in a crumpled lungi must have looked out-of-place at church wedding, where everyone was in his or her Sunday best.

I could not see what was taking place in the very front, as I was in the last row, and every head in front of me was obstructing my view. I fidgeted this way and that. Suddenly I found some people kneeling.

I thought they were doing so to have a better view of the ceremony and I followed suit.

I witnessed my teacher’s wedding, kneeling down on hard ground and I was filled with happiness and pride.

It was only some years later, on seeing a Tamil film about Mother Mary, I realized that people knelt down in churches not to see what was happening in front.

But to PRAY!

I will not elaborate on what happened next, on how the groom’s brother-in-law (our tailor) was surprised to see me alone or how I slipped out again without partaking of the wedding feast.

Suffice to say that I was jubilant with just this thought as I walked again the 4 Km back to my village.

I had attended my mentor’s wedding!

And I had shaken hands with him on that special day!

Story By: Talha Rahman, Chennai. 

 Photo Credit: tiverylucky @

Photo Credit: Ohmega1982 @


Why He Cried His Heart Out During The Farewell Speech

 ID-100217771It was a tearful farewell for this primary school boy. Or was it?

In the school where I studied some years ago, boys were allowed only up to the fifth standard. After that they had to leave our school and seek admission else where, while the girls continued up to twelfth grade.

 We had a separate SPL or school pupil leader for the primary school selected from the fifth grade. At the end of the academic year, the SPL had to give a farewell speech at the assembly.

The SPL during my time was a boy name Rama Krishnan.On the last day of that academic year he was called on to deliver his farewell address at the morning assembly.He walked up the dais, stood behind the mike and started off his speech with great aplomb.

It went something like this :

“It is with great sorrow that I stand before you all to bid good-bye. I feel like crying when I think that I will not be meeting my beloved friends and teachers again…” he began.

He paused and then he really started CRYING! Right there in front of the whole school.

He seemed so overwhelmed at having to leave his school that he could not continue with his speech. Everyone was amazed that a boy, at such a young age should feel so much at having to say goodbye.

Many teachers and students walked up to him and patted him on his back and consoled him. He was lead away from the podium amidst loud applause.

The story should have ended there.

But no, it does not. Fast forward to last month.

Few of our former school friends started meeting on Facebook.  Where else?oNtoWUK

They had this great idea of having a “get-together” of the old students of that batch. It was with the stupendous effort of some of the students that forty of us old school fellows met at a party to renew our friendship.

When we were recollecting past events, some of us remembered Rama Krishnan’s teary farewell.

Rama Krishnan who was with us at the party that evening, started laughing and he spilt the beans about that crying bout.

Apparently, our class teacher, who had a great big soft corner for Rama Krishnan had said that she would write the farewell speech for him. But being a busy woman, she could give him the copy of the intended speech only two days before the event

It was all of two pages in length, hand written in her tiny squiggly cursive writing. He could barely decipher the rambling message.

He tried to memorize the speech as best as he could. But on that day, he could not recollect anything of it, beyond the first few lines.

He had actually cried because he could not remember the speech!

He had felt ashamed that he was letting down his teacher. Also after a sterling innings at the school he was going to cut a sorry figure on the last day.

But when the teachers thought that he was crying because he was going to part from his friends and teachers, he decided to play along with their wrong assumption.

“When the teachers patted me and consoled me, I cried some more and every one thought what a sweet little boy I was!”

He laughed so much as he recollected that day and we all laughed with him.

We wondered what the teacher would have done if she had known that Rama Krishnan had failed to memorize her thoughtful message.

Or that he had shed just crocodile tears!

Story By : SM. Written By: Gulsum Basheer@talkalittledo

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit :rakratchada torsap @



Not Just A Mathematics Teacher.

mflh6BGHating a certain subject doesn’t entirely depend upon the contents. It also depends upon who’s teaching you and how you are taught. 

Usually people hate math. But I am not one of them. I love math.

I shouldn’t really brag, but I’m actually really good with numbers. Sometimes (by sometimes I mean very rarely) my friends call me Aryabhatta.

But I love the subject more because of Mr. Syed-ur-Rahman, our Math sir.

If you are in his class, math is fun.  You can trust me on this one.

Rahman sir is one of the tallest persons I’ve seen. Also, he is humorous, practical and an amazing teacher to top it off.

Sir tries his level best to keep the class in sync with him and make it lively and humorous as much as possible. He’s one teacher who feels the pulse of the students.

One day in class, Sir was teaching statistics. You just needed to know the formulas and  in statistics, it’s just addition and multiplication! So he asked us to finish up the exercise.

Now there are few things in math, which annoys me the most:

1.   Writing actual words in a sum. I prefer math when there are just numbers in it.

2.   Adding a bunch of huge numbers. You miss a number or do a small mistake, your whole answer goes wrong and you would have to do it all over again. It’s really frustrating when that happened.

We were in grade 11 then. Most of us in class brought our phones to school. Our phones really came in handy as calculators.

Sir found this boy using his phone for adding a bunch of numbers. Obviously, he didn’t have the brains to use it in a way that Sir could not find out.

Sir looked at us and asked, “Has anyone brought their phones to school today? There might be an inspection after break.”

We didn’t really fall for that trick, but all of us just shouted out random things.

“No sir. Not today!”

“My mom took away my phone last night!”

“Sir, I don’t even have a phone!”mi2Zavo

Obviously no one ‘surrendered’ his or her phone to sir.

Sir just gave a smirk and turned to answer a girl who had raised a doubt. Mean while, all the students tried to find ways to hide their phones, in case there really was an inspection.

The class continued to work on their math problems.

 After sometime, I noticed Sir with a phone in his hand. I was sure it wasn’t his, because he had a blackberry and that phone in his hand was Nokia.

He dialed a number, referring to his blackberry. Something seemed fishy.

But I just continued to add that set of ten 4-digit numbers.

All of a sudden, a boy sitting in the middle row ducked down. His phone was vibrating. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and whispered, ‘hello.’

There was no reply

I could guess it was an unknown number looking at his puzzled expression.

 The boy straightened up and found our 6-foot tall Math Master looking down on him with a grin.

It was Sir who had called that boy. He had been caught red handed.

We couldn’t stop laughing. Sir took the boy’s phone and put it in his pocket. He didn’t utter a word, while the students around that boy continued laughing.

Now, if it had been any other teacher, we all knew what would have happened next. The phone would have been handed over to the authorities; parents would have been called … the usual stuff.

But to our surprise NOTHING like that happened. Instead Rahman Sir returned the phone back to the boy at the end of the period.

He just said, “I know you won’t stop bringing your phones to school no matter how many times we warn you. So I’m just going to ask you all not to use it during class. Thank You.”

Wasn’t that magnanimous of him? Did I not mention that Rehman sir was the BEST!

PS: For some days we abstained from using our phones in class and then we were back to square one. You see our frequency with grown ups just does not match. So what ever they say we just listen but don’t dwell on it.

I’m sure we’ll get the hang of it when we become grown ups.

Guest Post By: Rumanaah Ruqaiyah. UAE.

Photo Courtesy:

The Bravest Rabbit In Class.

nssW0UCChildren have a mind of their own. Even if they are just three year-old kindergarten kids.

My nephew was taking part in his Kindergarten Parent’s Day Event. My sister was very excited about it. He was her only child, born after many years of marriage and was the apple of every one’s eyes.

Twenty kindergarten kids from his class were to come dressed in different costumes and speak a one-line dialogue before a small audience of students and their parents.

My sister decided to send her son as a Rabbit as she thought it would be cute and suitable for a three-year-old.

My excited sibling went to great lengths to make the fluffy dress and the cap with pink floppy ears.

The line he had to say was “I am a rabbit. I go hippity hop, hippity hop.” She even taught him a hopping motion to perform along with it.

His kindergarten class teacher trained all the infants, everyday in class. My sister also coached my nephew at home till he was perfect. The Rabbit Fever was contagious and all of us were repeating ‘hippity hop, hippity hop’, every time we saw the boy.

The great day arrived. The children were dressed in their costumes. The anxious parents were seated in the hall waiting for the event to begin

The curtains went up. The tiny tots came forward, one by one in ingenious attires, painstakingly put together by their loved ones and spoke their lines. Some said it well. Some forgot and kept blinking piteously and had to be prompted by the teacher.

Then it was my nephew’s turn. The little one came to the front and started “I am a rabbit.” Then he paused. My sister and her husband held their breath, waiting for the boy to finish his lines. Their hands waited in readiness to applaud their progeny’s first public performance.

“I am a rabbit,” he began again and then raising his hands in a big wave he concluded, “I have no fear, I have no fear, I have no fear at all.”o8UJx42

The whole assembly burst into loud laughter and thunderous applause. Who would not love a fearless rabbit? Except perhaps, his parents!

They understood the reason for their child’s mix up when the next boy took the platform. He came dressed as Bharatiyar, the Revolutionary Tamil Poet and recited the bard’s famous lines: “I have no fear, I have no fear, I have no fear at all.”

My sister later told all of us at home:  

“It is my fault. I should not have seen just to the cute factor. A boy, would rather be portrayed as fearless, than go hopping about on stage as a bunny rabbit.”

And hugging her shamefaced son to her, she asked:

Next time, you want to go as a Policeman or as Superman?”

Story By: Hyroon Abbas – Written By: Gulsum Basheer @ talkalittledo

Photo Credit:


You might also like:

Smart Kid

The Story Of The Angry Grandmother

nCXFR7IHell hath no fury than a woman whose grandson was scorned.

This happened to a girl I knew, some years ago, in a non-descriptive south Indian village. 

The girl, lets call her Amudha, was in the fifth standard. She was a bright girl, cheerful and friendly.

There was this boy in her class who developed a crush on her. He talked to her often and one day, he gave her a slip of paper with the words “I love you” written on it.

The brat also told her “I will marry you, when I grow up”

Amudha immediately complained to the teacher. The teacher should have dealt with the problem in a softer way, considering they were just kids. But she made a big ruckus  about it. The boy was scolded harshly. Then she made the kid kneel outside the door for half a day. 

That evening the youngster went crying home. He had no parents and lived with his grandparents. His grand mother doted on him. When old lady heard her grand son’s story and the punishment meted out to him, all hell broke loose.

Delirious with anger, she barged into class the next day.

There was a melee of sorts between the old lady and the  class teacher. Harsh words were exchanged. The grandmother maintained that the boy was too young to understand the magnitude of his actions.

The hysterical woman asserted that the teacher had been wrong to shame her grandson in front of the whole school while the teacher stood her ground and said that this was to be an example for other boys who might be tempted to do the same.

Suddenly in this mayhem, the grandmother spied Amutha who was the cause of all this trouble.ID-10034436

“Are you the girl my grand son wants to marry? So be it”, she said and suddenly removing her thalli (yellow marriage thread) from her neck, put it around Amudha’s neck.

“There now, you are married to my grand son,” she said triumphantly and walked out of school.

What happened afterwards was utter pandemonium. 

The boy was dismissed from school. Amudha’s parents fearing for her safety, removed the yellow thread from her neck and left it at the village temple. Then they packed her bag and baggage and shifted her to Chennai to a relative’s house.She never went to school ever again.That was how Amudha’s scholastic aspirations came to naught.

This story seems straight out of an old Tamil film , right?

As for the battle-axe of a grand mother, makes us want to say: “Hell hath no fury than a woman, whose grandson was scorned.”

 Story By : Ammu. Chennai…..Written By: Gulsum Basheer.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:africa @


Clash of the Costumes at the School Dance.


What would you do, if right in the middle of a stage show your costumeID-10051258 got entangled with your dance partner’s bangle?

I am studying in the seventh standard in a school in Chennai. Last year, our school introduced  “Smart Classes” with much fanfare.

‘Smart Classes’ means, teaching by using technology. Instead of using textbooks with the teacher droning on and on, in ‘Smart Classes’, there is a TV screen in each class. The lessons are explained in a simple way with inter active sessions using audiovisual media. It is easy to learn even tough subjects like Geography and Science this way.

In my school, this was hailed as a great break through. On the day the smart classes were officially inaugurated, we had a colorful function. The Governor of Tamil Nadu was the Chief Guest.

Parents and teachers gathered for the opening ceremony. We had dance recitals, singing and recitation by the students.

It was during the dance recital by a group of primary school kids, something funny happened.

The dance was an Indian Folk one. The girls wore elaborate costumes with a dupatta round their head in Gujarati style and jewelry, like lots of bangles and chains.ID-100254722

When the two girls in the front were twirling to a fast beat, one girl’s bangle got caught in the dupatta of her neighbor and would not come off. Even as she danced, the girl tried hard to pull her hand away. But her bangle  was well and truly caught in the embroidery work on her friend’s dupatta. So the poor girl went through only the leg movements and the left hand movements of the dance, with her right hand stuck to the head region of her neighbor. While the girl with the dupatta had her head tilted at a funny angle by her neighbour’s wrist.

It was so hilarious. The whole school and the parents laughed and laughed.

But the two brave girls danced for the whole song like conjoined twins.

Only they were joined not at the hips or shoulders, but at the wrist and head!

Story By : Parveen Dilshad…..Written By: Gulsum Basheer @ talkalittledo

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:Boians Cho Joo





Post Navigation