My Primary school days at Churamanipur, Sonamukhi

My primary schooling started in a small village by name, Churamanipur  primary school, Sonamukhi in Bankura Dist. of West Bengal. My elder brother was in the State Establishment department thus our full family could stay in a Govt. Quarter.  A Block Development Officer (BDO) was the head of the administration there.  The colony was comprised of about 50 houses and we knew each other by name.  It was located at a stone throw distance from the Bankura-Sonamukhi  Narrow gauge Railway Line . Across this line there used to be a forest like area where mango, Taal and many other fruit trees were in abundance. We had a group of young boys and girls playing whenever time permitted us. 

My Primary school was about a mile away from our colony if one would take the main road.  But we always used a take a short cut through forest area and it was quite an adventure.  In rainy seasons the forest area would become dense and many a new plants would spring up along our daily route.  On the way to the school we always hurried up so that we do not reach our school late.  Our head master was a nice person but the second Master who looked not only ferocious but used to punish us severely whenever we faulted. For us he was like a  'Jyamraj' , the Lord of Death.  He knew many tricks to pin us down.  There was hardly a day when no one was punished by him. I must give him credit for whatever discipline I learnt in life in my early days.

On the way back home we had no such hurry.  We used to play, collect flowers, pluck fruits mostly wild berries, collect mango plants, Tulsi and sow them in our home courtyard. One day I was coming back home early from the school, again through that short cut route, there was a big reptile lying by the way side.  The moment I saw it I felt a cold shivering going down my spine.  I ran and ran till I reached my home.  I told my Mom in a very excited way what I saw on the way.  Mom again advised me to be careful and take the main road to school to come back home.  For a moment I felt she was right but how could I forget the forest path with her flowers, birds and that too shorter one!

In our school once there came a Magician.  The two magic items I still remember.  The magician took about 10 blades into his mouth and with a few seconds brought them out in a string wherein the blades were lined up.  The second one is he put into his mouth many colorful scrap papers and they come out like a garland.  I wondered like all children; does he really do all these or they were just a sleight of hand!  But none the less it was all real for us perhaps the reason why we enjoyed it so much.

In those days we used to carry a sack bag for sitting and a slate and chalk to write with.  I made a number of friends but now I do not remember any of them.  However I could still visualize our school and a forest close by where we used to go to collect Mushrooms and it too was an adventure. 

I passed my final primary school examination in 'P' division.  Only thing I remember now that English language was first introduced during our final year.  There was a passage given in question paper saying, 'write down the passage given below' and it had about 20 marks.  I just left it thinking it was already written why should I write it again?  Thus I got my poor result.  I am such a fool!

This foolishness cost me a lot in my secondary education.  I could get admission only in a private school and not in a good Government school.