Thursday, September 29, 2011

School days

Prakash was his grandmother's pet and thus immune to a lot of chastising and house-hold chores.
He had time to spend. He enjoyed reading books variously called Naubatan and Kissse depending on the length of the story.
Naubat was a full length novel and  a kissa was a short story.
In the village school there was a Britsh teacher for English. Urdu was taught by a local master.
There were no other languages taught. So typically all people who went to school in North India in the 1940s or thereabout  can read and write English and Urdu excellently but have no knowledge of the Devnagri script or Gurmukhi (Hindi and Punjabi).
Stories of magic and the exploits of  detectives ( jasoos) abounded, ready to catch impressionable teenagers like Prakash and hold them in their sway, forever and ever.
An interesting tit bit is that mischief makers from the extended family would deliberately press story books into the hands of young boys. Hoping to make them read these and become addicted to them, thus wasting their time and  failing the school exams. All this so that they did not become TOO GOOD for the others. Some logic!
At least the grandmother thought that all were jealous of her handsome strapping grandson and would try to lead him astray.
Lead astray they did but only to land him in the British Army.....that is another story.


  1. Yes, this is from my father's school days.
    Thanks for visiting my blog.


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