The story-part 1

It was a sunny hot morning in May 1981. It was an important day for many including me. The SSLC (the term for Xth standard exam) exam results are due that day. As usually happens for going to school, I changed into a Mundu (Pants were not that common then) and shirt, and headed to catch the bus. I was studying in the town school – Govt Model Boys High School, Irinjalakuda. Situated in the midst of the town, it was a popular school in the area. And private schools had not caught up that much, nor were people that bothered about English medium schools. There was a Don Bosco school for those who cared, and those who could afford. The word Model in the same indicated a better quality than others.

Till the end of 7th (what is called Upper primary stage), I was in another Government school in my village itself. That is the place where I started my journey (well, almost). It did not have “high school” stage then; now it has got that. So, after 7th I needed to move out. There were a couple of other options, a little closer to home, but this town school ended up as the choice. I vaguely remember that the advise of my teachers in the school had some role to play in the choice, considering my academic performance.

In Kerala then, there was a strange notion of student concession in buses. Student unions were very strong. So even when the adult fares went on increasing, student fares would not be touched. Irinjalakuda was about 6 kms away from home. We walk down about one kilometer, and catch a bus. The fare was 15 paise!! Adult fare in those days were 40 paise, in effect a 25% concession. ID card was mandatory, but no one bothered. Hardly anyone will dare to play with anything that looked like students! Even when the adult rate reached one rupee, the student rates remained the same! Later some where this stopped. I think now it is more humane, like half of adult ticket. I think the adult ticket now is 10 Rs.

That day also, it was the same routine. I caught some bus, got off at one of 4 stops in Irinjalakuda called TANA. The school was about half km walk from there. There were a lot of students around, all eager to know if the hurdle is cleared or not. I too walked quietly to the school assembly area. The school gate was facing a set of classrooms, and you need to cross over that to the Headmaster’s room and Teacher’s room. Next to that was the assembly ground. On right side was the male-teachers’ room, drawing class, etc. On the left there was a two-story building that housed our classes. Most of my classes in 8 and 9th were in that building. For 10th, we had classes in a building after the assembly area, a few steps down.

As I look at the buildings, many teachers’ faces and incidents came to my mind. That diversion is for another day. Right now, with mild tension, I moved to the notice boards in the assembly area where the results are put up. Watching the results from your home, with a mouse click or touch will take almost 40 years to come. There was a long series of result pages. First was the just-pass category, then those with first class. 100% percent pass was the privilege of very few, and as a government school, a hard to get one here. Anyway, I only needed to pass, because the rest of my plans were already in place!!!

… to be contd…


4 Responses to “The story-part 1”

  1. Manju Kurup Says:

    Awaiting for the next part Sir.. very interesting

  2. Prashanth Chengi Says:

    Even the teachers had separate rooms based on their gender? Damn!

  3. Sabrina Pereira Says:

    Anxiously awaiting Part 2 !! Well written and absorbing…

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