Dr. Hussain Randathani
Historian and Author
My Days III
I started my school life in June 1964. It was a rainy day. On the way to school there was a canal carrying the heavy rain water from the town. I moved to the school with my father through the rushing waters of the canal. Unlike the madrasa, school was quite big and I could see the newcomers crying and shouting and the parents and teachers consoling them...
I started my school life in June 1964. It was a rainy day. On the way to school there was a canal carrying the heavy rain water from the town. I moved to the school with my father through the rushing waters of the canal. Unlike the madrasa, school was quite big and I could see the newcomers crying and shouting and the parents and teachers consoling them. I entered the class and took a seat near a stranger who was also crying. I also began to weep when father left me and got relief only my elder sister Fathima who was in the third standard came to see me in the interval.
When I looked around I was surprised to see the hall full of children and the teachers standing at different corners. When the bell rang my teacher came with a small stick in her hand. She was Kalyani Teacher. She could sing well. So I liked her very much. I got a colourful Malayalm text and within few days I could read and write Malayalam starting from TARA, PARA, PANA, TALA …….. Komu, Husain, Mammudu, Mammu……were my friends. Moideen Kutty Master was our Head Master. At noon I got Uppu mav (suji rava) and sister gave me a piece of sweet called Kadicha Parichi. What a tasty sweet!
After few days I caught fever and I couldn’t go school for few days. It took ten days to cure the fever. When I came to school again the teacher was a bit furious. She scared at me and asked the reason of my absence. I said that I had fever. But she never believed me and gave me blow in my palm with the stick. I began to weep not of pain but my beloved teacher does not believe me. When I reached home I revealed the whole stry to my grand pa. He became angry and the very next day he came to school and put a heavy load of abuses up on my teacher.I saw my teacher was weeping before my grand pa. I never thought that grand pa will take such an action. I was helpless and felt sorry of my teacher. My temper was loosing and I thought of shutting the mouth of my grand pa. Fortunately head master came by hearing the shouts. He smoothened my grand pa and I got a sigh of relief.
I feared that my teacher will be angry towards me. Next day she came near me and rubbing my head consoled me. From that day onwards I became one of the best friend of Kalyani teacher.
How can I forget my Raman Master? That short man always with a piece of annoyance on his nose. He seldom smiles. He use abusive words in the class. He used to sleep always by stretching his legs on the table. His slack shirt with big pockets on the breast made him funny looking. There was a talk in the campus that Raman master had breasts. The pockets on the lower side of the shirt always hanged out like pouches. One of these pockts carried his murukkan chellam (the box containing ingredients of chewing betel leaf) and the other pocket contained his beedi box and a packet of Talis powder which was used to clear his throat.
Our head Master Moideen kutty Master always warned him of his lazy habit of sleeping in the class. But the poor master couldn’t avoid this habit. Once our peon Bappu told us that the master used to taketoddy at night and was always at quarrel with his wife. So he was not in the habit of sleeping at night. To trap the Head master Raman master decided to forge a complaint and sent to the authorities. Head master smelled out that our Raman master was preparing the complaint from the class room. He directly came to the class and snatched away the paper and tore it into pieces and threw out. How ever, the Head master didn’t take any action against our mash by thinking his wife and children.
I was then in second standard. Ours was II B. Being in a corner we can look to the whole ‘L’ shaped hall which was packed with six classes . Our classes were without walls. Mr. Abdussamad, (now a school teacher) and Mundan (who is now a carpenter and his known name is Balan)were my close friends. Then there were others who always were known with their nick names such as Kaithappuli, Kari, Peruchazhi, Vedi etc. Most of them are now in better levels and ask them pardon for writing their former nicknames.
Alavi was a boy with some sort of mischief and was always at quarrel with Raman master. When Raman master started sleeping Alavi used to shout and disturb him. I was the leader of the class and my chief duty was to write down the names of those who speak in the class while our beloved teacher was sleeping. Name of Alavi was always at the top in the list. One day Raman master was a bit late in the class. He was also angry and sleep less. He even didn’t call the attendance of the pupils. He gave warning to Alawi not to make any disturbance during the sleep. Alawi only gave a foul smile. When mash fell asleep and snooze Alawi began to imitate him and began to snooze. I told him not to snooze intentionally. Alavi gave the same smile to me also. I began to write the names of the culprits. Alawi was on the top. When master woke up I handed over the list. Master took the long stick and heavily applied it on Alawi. He was always furious at me for giving his name in the list.
Alawi was not to pardon the mashr. Next day he came with a concrete plan to avenge his teacher. When Master was deep in sleep he gave a hard blow on the left cheek of the mash with the corner of his slate. Master was relieved of his two teeth at once. Blood came flowing out of his mouth. Alawi saved himself out of the class. We all were afraid. We were anxiously waiting for what will happen next. But nothing happened. Master simply went out of the class and he narrated the story to no one. The teeth rested in his side pocket for few days. The episode didn’t end here. Alawi was not satisfied with his revenge. After few weeks Alawi simply came to the class and patiently continued his mischief. It was now the Pakistan India war came. There was class wise contribution to the war fund. Our class gave the maximum amount. Alawi was active in collecting the contribution. There was an Anti Pakistan Procession by the students. Alawi shouted the slogan for us. He was active in sports and games. But he disliked Raman Master because he was not sincere to his students.
Raman Master used to stretch his legs on the table while he sleep in the class. He always published his private parts while sleeping. The under skirt called konakam hanged on the air and parts of his secret used to glimpse out of it. We always felt shamed out of this horrible sight. One day Alawi brought some kodithuvva leaves( an Itching plant) in his tiffin (thukkupatram). Kodithuvva was freshly kept in water. He was waitng to here the snoozing of the mash. Oh, the siren started. Alawi simply opened the tiffinand took out the leaves. We couldn’t get what he was going to do. He suddenly applied the leaves on the private parts of the Master and ran away.
Raman master suddenly got out of his sleep. He began to scratch in his private part. The sight was very horrible. Like a disco disco dancer he began to dance while scratching on the same spot. The students and teachers from other classes fully enjoyed the dance. All the students and teachers crowded around Raman master. The itching was so acute that mash forgot the place where he was standing. His mundu had fallen down. Koupeenam was now free. His fellow teacher or the students couldn’t get what had happened. I told them what had happened. Then the teachers also began to laugh loudly. The also had some grudge with the mash. Some one informed the matter to Head master. He and the peon and remaining teacher rushed t the spot. No one could stop their laugh. The dance was still continuing. I found tars coming out of the eyes of the mash. Kotha mash and Husyn mash took him to the office room. It was said that the Head Master brought some oil and Raman mash to aply it in the privae parts. Howoooo….. There was a complete relief for itching. Raman master got to his senses.
From the very next day Raman mastr stopped sleeping in the class. He stopped using intoxicants. He became well with his wife and children. He befriended with the students. Head Master and staff was relieves off his colleague’s bad habits. We, the students also happy to see the change in our beloved teacher. But there was no one cared of Alawi. No one thanked him. No one enquired of him. He left out of school. He was a living martyr for the cause of the institution…for the cause of the students and teachers.. No! for the whole school..