My Secondary School - Krittibas Mukherjee High School
(1963 to 1971)
I somehow got through my 4th grade final with bare pass mark. My elder brother who was working in the Govt. Establishment dept. got transferred to Bishnupur, a subdivition in Bankura District at that time.
In my school days I had many friends. One was a singer, Gautam Sur and he had a very good voice. He used to entertain us in our get together. Our first boy was Pratap Chatterjee, a smart young man with a good family background and that reflected in his physical feature and conduct. He never joined us in our childish pranks but never reported our mischievous adventures to our teachers as well. He was really a goody goody good boy. The third friend was Himanshu. I quite often used to fight with him on petty issues and stopped talking to him for one or two days and again we became friends. In our class I had a good following. Everyone supported me whatever I did - wright or wrong.
In class five I remember I had a prodigal memory power. In History I learnt by heart the whole history book and I scored highest marks, 65. Another memorable marks I scored was in Physics in class Nine, it was possibly 79 and also in mathematics I got third highest. In general I was a play loving, non-serious and friendly chap.
Just before the summer vacation would be announced, we used to decorate our class with wild flowers collected from a close by forest area to welcome our teachers and also offered them sweets. In turn our teachers would invite us to their houses to partake sweets on the occasion of Vijaya Dasami. This Vijaya Dasami used to be a very sought after festival for us as we students would line up for offering our 'Pranam' to our teachers and get sweets or Halwa. Reaching out to all the class teachers in the evening with friends and meeting many on the way was really a delightful experience. The sad thing about this is that those days will never come back in my life again.
In class VIII we had a history teacher who would come to class and ask a student seating in one corner of the first bench to start reading a chapter and he would go to sleep snoring profusely. We all used to enjoy his class immensely as we were left to ourselves.
Like every school we had a prayer meeting regularly before our classes would start. First we would sing some patriotic songs and end it with 'Jana Gana'. When we were in class XI, the most senior students of the school, we used to skip our prayer meeting instead we would make some caricature of the same in our class room. One day we were caught as someone reported our misadventure to the Head Master, they laid a trap. As the Jana Gana started in the assembly, we too started our caricature but that day the assembly of students stopped after a line but we continued our caricature thinking other students were busy singing the national anthem. Many teachers led by our Headmaster headed to our class with sticks. Our class room was in the first floor and we had to face a number of teachers on the way down. The most ferocious teacher was if I remember right 'Anathbandhu Nandi' he was manning the exit point on the staircase. As we descended along the staircase, we were whipped one by one. But I escaped as I had a good reputation as a very good student but I was the person who started this caricature. We had a student in our class who got severely beaten by Mr. Nandi. Thus we had an excuse and went on strike. The whole school stopped functioning and our demand was that Mr. Nandi should apologize to this boy. Now I feel it was such an unfair demand but we got away with it and He did apologize. This was one of the blackest incidents in my life and I still repent for it.
Among my friends, Binayak Banerjee was the closest one. He was very lean but had a lot of grit and courage. He always was in a fighting mode. His father was in the police service so he was never afraid of anyone. In studies he was very poor but not unintelligent. He hardly used to study but be always was busy with birds and dogs. In examinations, he would always copy from my paper but would get better marks! The invigilators would be afraid of him and never challenged his unlawful activities. He always stood by me whatever may be the situation thus he won me over.
Once we were playing in a hall adjacent to our school and Binayak somehow got one of his fingers cut while showing some kind of tricks. We all took him to the hospital and forced the doctors to attend on him immediately although his cut was not that serious. As we were a group of students, we took management of the hospital under our care for a while. Once he was treated fairly we all left and no one reported this incident to any teacher.
When the results of the Higher Secondary Examination were out both of us got second division but in terms of marks he got 15 marks more than me that too copying from my answer papers! After this result both of us got admission in Ramananda College in pass course Science stream. He continued his studies there but I left due to my brother's transfer to Bankura. I wanted to continue my studies there but commuting everyday for college from Bankura to Bishnupur was economically burdensome.
Possibly in January 1972 we left for Bankura where my brother was posted.