Saturday, October 3, 2009

The name is Bond

In India, we have a strong principle by which everyone works. This principle is so strictly followed, that it is commonly called the MPGD principle. No, I am in no way intending to mean MPs or GDs, as you may know, both are powerfully attractive in the beginning and brutally severe in the end (Actually, THAT is the end). This principle is the Matha-> Pitha-> Guru-> Dheiyvam (மாதா-> பிதா-> குரு-> தெய்வம்) principle. (Mind you, the arrow marks indicate the hierarchy in which you encounter the 4 cardinals. Mess with the order and you'll end up being as unfortunate as myself).

This principle has its greatest tornado in the word GURU. This is so because, hey, have you noticed that the word Guru is not accompanied by the red squiggly line, whereas the others are? Also, it is the Guru who plays the part of the moulder and the guide who brings you up with such care, that one day, you'll qualify to be a person capable of screwing up your own life, without the smallest help of anyone on this planet, or any of the other 8 or 7 planets.

Thinking of principles also made me think of PRINCIPALS. The various Principals of various schools I've come across in life. But believe me I'll be credible.

The first Principal I ever came across was Mr. Kandaswamy, Sri Vaani Vidhyalaya. There's nothing much to tell about him because, i feel
-He is a man of few words (very few, indeed).
-I'm scared of him to this date.
-He did very little to bring on my wrath unlike someone else.
Truly speaking, this person is one of the many i respect from my heart. He speaks flawless Tamil in a striking voice that i wondered, as a kid, what would happen if sir (that shows my respect, doesn't it?) and Kamal Hassan indulged themselves in a war of words.

The next person is Mrs. Lakshmi, Mowbrays. I knew so little of her, that this blog will be incomplete even if i write 10 pages (I'm an engineer, mind it!)
She has
-a tongue for superb English
-an eye for mischievous students
-a word of encouragement for achievers and
-an unexplainably bizarre way of managing the school.
Another person i respect. She was an Aringarosa to Silases like me, saving us from the clutches of ragging (Believe it or not, I've tasted ragging when i was in 6th grade).

Last, but not the least, comes the one, the only Dr. K. Vasudevan, Prince Matric. I can write a book about him and, given i don't incur any losses, a library about his practices and way of life in his school. Since i picked up most of what i have today from his school, I will write a lot about him. So, if you think you don't have time to waste, just close the window, or at least this tab, or navigate away from this page, or do whatever.

I don't know the answers for many questions about this great, great man who manages 3 schools and 3 colleges in South Chennai today. Some are:

1. Why does he stare at the students or parents along the sides of his spectacles. I mean, i've never seen him use his spectacles for any spectacular purpose. If that pair of glasses seems to be an obstruction to sight, why not just throw it away?

2. He calls the parents of students for receiving the scrutinised answer sheets of the main term exams. That's probably because the students have inevitably won a vote of no confidence of his. But, he doesn't even seem to look at the parents who have come all the way from their homes or workplaces, leaving behind them, tons of fatally important work on paper or in front of the TV. If the students are so unreliable, why not make the parents write the tests? Or at the least, let the parents utter a word or two?

3. There is one hour for physical education every week and it's one of the most senseless thing attached to this school (The others, you'll see). The students are asked, or instead, forced to clad themselves in white (the colour you would see in RIN Advanced ad). The games you can probably see are kabaddi, koko and some other stupid games (which, even your great great great great grandfather felt they were outdated, when he was a kid) in a small playground (which is a remodelled bicycle stand; unfit to be called a playground). The children drench themselves in sweat and blood, in the exact centre of the day, only to find their elbows bruised and their shirts torn and stained with mud. கரை நல்லதா? My school has never even thought of producing sportsmen (fit not even for inter-school sports events). Then why waste precious time, money, energy and other resources when the whole world is struggling hard to save them? Is it just for recognition by the govt.? Can't you just replace the P.T. hour by another regular classroom lecture?

4. Then comes the APPLICATION FOR LEAVE drama. The student's grandma who is in a distant city has demised and it is critical that the boy must go (with the customs of நெய்ப்பந்தம் and all). It is for the boy to either take leave uninformed or not take leave at all.
Example:
Boy: Sir, I need to go to Bangalore to see my dead grandma and perform her last rites.
Sir: Don't worry. Your grandma will be fine.
Boy: No sir, she won't be fine. She's dead!
Sir: Your absence from the cremation will not be as dangerous as that from the class.
Boy(sobbing): But sir?
Sir: Ok, i'll give you a day's leave, but if you take more than that, you'll be suspended from the school for 10 days!
What do you know? The boy actually needs around 10 days and he couldn't ask his princi for anything more. And after the 10 days? The boy needs to summon his parents in front of the principal's desk (when the principal is actually out of his office... Busy guy!) and wait for ages until the clerk hands them a small mutilated piece of paper on which is written PERMITTED. An hour's wait just to get a stupid slip, which the boy can very well furnish on his own!!

5. The next one and my most favourite one is the concept of PAPER-MONEY. Newbies, don't think I'm a fool (or do). Currency in our country (all denominations) , is made from paper, but this relatively puzzling term has nothing to do with that. Despite the huge sums of money collected as tuition fees, special fees, term fees, lab fees, library fees, etc., etc., etc. there is one more untold malpractice of collecting fees for the sheets provided to students to fill up with rubbish during exams (Mind you, the sheets offered are worse than those used for flyers and the question papers? Well, even Robert Langdon will not be able to decipher them). This is just like a traffic policeman collecting fine from a person who has not adorned his helmet, not to mention the person is a cyclist... Got it?

6. Next comes the petty case of library. Teachers of Prince matric, please lend me your ears. I happen to learn (and not study or read) engineering, accommodating myself in hostel. My room-mate once told me that he used to sit in the library of his school, for hours together, reading physics books written by multifarious authors (He had also won TROPHIES (not silly bric-a-brac gifts) for being in the library for the maximum number of hours, reading the maximum number of books in the school library, for 3 consecutive years!!!). He asked me about the library of my school and when i occured to say it didn't have one, he laughed his guts out. A SCHOOL THAT HAS GIVEN OUT A LOFTY NUMBER OF STATE TOPPERS HAS NO LIBRARY? Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

7. And the late-runners are the laboratories. Almost no equipment works properly and we were forced to make the best of what is available (Nothing is the answer, as you may have guessed it). What's the lab fee for then? (Well, i think it goes to some poverty-struck family in Zambia, or much worse, to our government). The physics lab has almost no ammeters or voltmeters in working condition; the chemistry lab is always in short of chemicals; the computer science lab is a hysterical comedy (I happened to install Windows XP and Ubuntu distro of Linux on a few systems of the lab myself, when I was in 12th) and I don't know much about the biology lab (How much trouble can you get in? All the animals there are dead).

8. Next is the actual Guru's point of view. I don't exactly know if the teachers get proper wages (But by the looks on their faces and their temper, i kind of figured out that they work for peanuts). I've heard of some schools having separate staff-rooms for every department. In Prince, they are denied the word ROOM (Imagine: You don't even have room to breathe, and you ask for a staff room? Very funny). The only thing, i think, that keeps the teachers cool is the 10 o clock tea (that is cold enough to lower the teacher's temperature as well).

9. The DIARY-SIGNATURE system. Many of us (before or after our prince days) would have had the habit of writing diaries (i actually did). But this, is absolutely different. The principal makes (supposed to) the student read (not study) for 6 hours everyday and the student gets (supposed to) his parent's witness that he actually touched a textbook. The result is this. Either the parents understand the child enough to sign the diaries without care or the boy saves the parent the trouble of taking a pen and scribbling something on the diaries, in ancient Egyptian script, only themselves calling it a signature (Trust me, I've done both). The age-old dialogue "You are not cheating us; Instead, you are cheating yourselves" is not going to get you anywhere. Accept it, the students get smarter every year (unlike teachers)!

10. And another insane of insanes is the vesting of powers to Aayahs or the last-stage labourers. I feel that even the teachers are denied powers the Aayahs have. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. This is one proverb sir hates. Even in work, the students don't acquire perfection. A good example being that I've not seen a PN diode when I was in school, whereas my class mates had seen diodes, transistors, ICs, etc. and they even knew the statistical info about them. What good is a textbook when one actually doesn't see or furthermore, understand what is truth? Eyeing on petty, silly, insane things has made Dr. Vasudevan (The word 'Doctor' here sounds very much like the 'Doctor' in VasoolRaja MBBS) lose track of what is important. And i don't know know why guys at school call him Bond (He is no James Bond).

11. The next is the HOLIDAY HOMEWORK agenda. Students are forced to write answers for the same set of questions; the questions for which they didn't know the answers when they were in the exam hall. I'd personally be neutral about this. But the aftermath is painfully stupid. The teachers, besides assessing the crap the student wrote in the exam, also scrutinise the holiday homework papers. The student has obviously copied his copy of the work from the copy of a friend of his, who had copied it earlier from the copy of another friend and is trading off his copy of the paper for the copy of another one (The repeated usage of the word COPY should be noted here as it does sound synonymous with the process). The deal looks pretty simple and genuine, but it doesn't serve any purpose. Instead, the students can be made to write formulae or numerical problems. But I tell you, I'm neutral.

12. This is the most important of all. The exorbitant fees collected, I don't really know where it goes (Must be something adopted from the movie SIVAJI, where the director plays on money like a child on sand). If a student requires to get TC from the school in the middle of the year, or say the day after acquiring admission, he is supposed to pay the fees for the entire year. One word will describe this perfectly- BARBARIAN.


This is just the tip of the iceberg (and a colossal one at that...) about Dr. K. Vasudevan and his SCHOOL THAT WORKS WONDERS. I really like Vasudevan sir and respect him a lot (Seriously... Running an institution is not a small thing and this guy is a MASTERMIND in school administration), but these things keep haunting me. Why would a person like him support the aforesaid malpractices when he can really educate the students in a sensible way (and avoid jerks like me posting shit on blogs)? Now, I declare to you all, that as long as this school exists, this post will grow. And that's not my fault either...

At ease! At ease!! It has occurred to me to extend this post beyond what is necessary. Not just any reason, my brethren... Vasu saet has done it again... It's been doing the rounds recently that a boy of class 6 of our very same school has attempted to culminate his life. And that too for a hilariously trivial reason.

13. TO BE, OR NOT TO BE... THAT IS THE QUESTION. It is being spoken that a boy of class 6 has jumped off the 2nd floor of our school building. It seems that the boy has obviously forgot to take with him to school, a textbook. The teacher has caught him red-handed (How red is that? You actually don't have anything in your hand!) and slightly deviating from the routine of making the boy stand out of the class for an hour, she has ordered him to bring his parents with him (along with the textbook that he forgot) the next day (Apart from making the boy stand outside the class). Afraid of the consequences (and the teachers) that await him if he brings his parents along, the boy has decided to diminish himself. A wise lesson the school has taught him- "If you can't beat them, join them. If you can't join them, join someone else". I guess it was never difficult for him to choose whom to join. No reports of any case being filed on whosoever has been recorded (Possibly not!). The boy is safe with minor injuries, including a fracture in his leg. Listen to me kid! The next time you wanna send someone to kingdom come, make sure:
i) That it's not you.
ii) And that you take adequate measure to accomplish your task. The 2nd floor is not so dangerous it proves...

2 comments:

  1. i just 've three letters to say.. "WOW!!".. u rememb each and every crap dat happened!! those were de dark days of mi life.. and i don even wish to think bout any of those memories..

    i couldn rememb any happy moment dat happened from mi 7th to 12th INSIDE campus.. God!! it was horrible.. all those class works.. home works.. FOUR SIDED MARGINS.. (mi parents nearly spent half of their savings to get me sketch pens for darwin those)..

    and punishments.. Dr. K. vasudevan used to tak our ears off, if he ever happens to see us standing out of de class..

    i can never forget mi record works.. especially physics.. every time i submit, mi record 'll be returned bak uncorrected, wit a pencil quoted"meet me"..

    u r truly blessed achu.. u r able to put down in words wat ever u feel.. gr8...

    i realli liked
    "She was an Aringarosa to Silases like me"
    "Well, even Robert Langdon will not be able to decipher them). This is just like a traffic policeman collecting fine from a person who has not adorned his helmet, not to mention the person is a cyclist.."

    hope u keep postin..

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  2. Hey cool.....this actually is gr8 and teah it surely makes the readers happy.....u know the real part wer i actually felt it entertaining was the application of leave part......he is one hell of a nut case....i mean does he even knows the difference between leave and suspension....wenever someone needs leave for a couple of days...they can just apply for leave for a single day and they wil be granted leave for the remaining number of days they actually want.....and one more funny thing which i noticed was writing the name of the absentees on the black board....not only s he following it in schools but also in colleges.....to me he s the best entertainer one could ever see....and i dunno why he calls forth the parents to collect the papers which we worte.....i mean he calls our parent....he tells them that we wont get seat in any engineering colleges and will get only commerce(as if it s a detestable group)...and tell us to get diary sign....wats the role which our parent plays in his monologue....i always feel lik laughing at his face and tell him that he is a worthless piece of junk....yeah another part is the ayahs.....i dunno why he trusts ayahs more than he trusts teachers....the sadest part is that the ayahs enter into the class just like a dog and starts shouting at all the boys...sometimes at the teachers themselves...uis tat the respect they deserve????look at them....they studied and spent a lot of money just to get shouted by these ayahs....no offense but do they really deserve it.....just imagine how would you feel when someone who doesnt even know wat ur job is shouts at you for not doing your work properly.....its like a janitor of a company shouting at the company shouting at the manager who s so high in terms of both education and the post....this madness has to stop....everyone needs to get the respect they deserve....its fate that the teachers of prince school hav to endure this kinda humiliation from ayahs for the salary.....

    hey keep blogging....nice one!!!

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