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Two samosas for one anna

Two samosas for one anna

-Anand Vishvas

It is about those days when two samosas were available for one anna and sixteen kg of jaggery was available for one rupee. It was the time of Athanni and Chavannes. Primary school children used to write not on paper with pen and pencil, but with a pen made of Niza or reed and with white chalk ink on a strip made of a wooden board so called Patti.

Those were the days when the Patti was made smooth by rubbing it with a bangle of glass. There was something more joyful in writing on that. On one side of the Patti, counting from one to hundred and on the other side tables from two to ten were written. After showing it to the teacher, it was washed with water. And then the handle of the Patti was held and dried by shaking it vigorously in the air. And at the same time, the joy of singing was equally good, when all the children in the class used to sing a song and dry the Patti by singing songs. Everyone remembered this song.

Sukh-Sukh Patti, Chandan gutty,

The king came and built the palace.

They built the hut on the palace,

The hut broken; the Patti dried up.

However, till date I have not been able to know the meaning of this song. But yes, it was certain that the Patti would definitely dry up. Don't know, maybe there was some logic behind it. But there must be something going on, it doesn't seem appropriate to have even the slightest doubt or question in the working style of our elders or their intelligence. Perhaps the aim was to teach songs and music to children.

There probably weren't songs like today then. Songs like Johni-Johni Yes Papa or Baba Black Sheep or Twinkle-Twinkle little Star were not prevalent at that time. The influence of the British and English was not as much then as it is today. At that time, the smell of Hindustan and Hindustani-ness was considered a matter of pride, as much as the smell of English is considered today.

And when the strip would dry, the joy that used to be found in smoothening it by rubbing it with the gutta and then writing with a pen, where is the joy in moving fingers on the keyboard of today's laptop or computer? It was so pleasurable to fill each letter like a pearl with a Niza pen, fill the white ink of chalk in the bottle, dip the pen again and again, and string each letter like a pearl. And that too sitting on a sack. There was no furniture, no seating arrangement, just a classroom was created where the sack was spread.

And after the recess, all the classes of the entire school were divided into two parts and then the talking of Tables from two to twenty-five started. One team would say, two one za two and the other would say, two two za four… and then Dahiya, adadha, pauna and sabaiya. Everyone had memorized everything like a parrot. Which had to be said every day. The brain itself became a calculator and computer.

For committing a mistake, the punishment of five sticks was considered as a normal punishment. Only rosewood stick was prevalent at that time and the children would scream at every stick. But the joke is that someone comes and says, Master, why did you beat my child? Yes, he definitely used to say that master ji, if he commits any mistake, he should correct it by beating him. Consider him as if your child. There was intimacy then and also a sense of duty.

And not only this, there was a bigger punishment than this for turning into a cock. That is, if you make a mistake, then you will enter the cock vagina from the human vagina. And for some time, he was turned into a cock. And sometimes an inanimate chair was also made and a child was made to sit on that chair or a brick was placed on the head and if the brick fell then the same punishment of five birch barks. Yes, the same rosewood birch. There was no compromise with character building and justice. Fair justice was done in Master's court.

I used to study in fifth class. Although I was counted among the good student of the school and all the teachers loved me. Yet the one I feared the most was the head-master of my school and the head master, if there was anyone, I loved the most. were, then it was me.

I don't know the reason, but I used to believe that I am smart in studies and I do all the work of the head master quickly. For example, bringing chalk or keeping the board clean or whenever he was ordered to bring a glass of cold water from the hand pump installed outside. He often drank water from my hand. And I also used to take great care of cleanliness while fetching water. Maybe that is why or something else. But I don't know the reason.

In those days, Municipality Elections were about to be held and primary schools came under the Municipal Board. Election related work was entrusted to teachers and head-masters of primary schools. And all the teachers were assigned to go to the designated wards and distribute election voting slips and other tasks. My house was in the same ward which was assigned to the Head Master. And all this work had to be done only after school was over.

It was evening time when I was playing with my friends in the square outside my house. At this very moment the Head Master arrived. As soon as we saw the Head Master, the game stopped immediately and all the friends out of curiosity went to the Head Master. But I ran home and told my mother that the head master of my school had come out, so she should not come out of the house and stay inside the house.

In those days the practice of purdah was prevalent. And according to my values, it was completely inappropriate for my mother to go in front of the Head Master. So, I hugged my mother's legs and tried to push her inside the door. Thinking what people would say if my head master saw my mother.

And on the other hand, the head master was moving towards my mother at twice the speed with which I was hugging my mother's legs and pushing her inside the house. I had never seen so much enthusiasm in the head master. In this race, I lost and the head master succeeded in reaching his target first. And the head master bent down and touched my mother's feet. Mother had hugged the head master. It was raining blessings.

Sometimes I was looking at the head master, sometimes at my mother, and sometimes at myself. What was the matter? I couldn't understand anything. The head master of my school, whose mere shadow made me tremble, is receiving blessings by touching the feet of my mother.

I was not able to understand whether my head master was blessed or my mother was blessed or I was blessed.

But blessed is our Indian culture which has given us such values. If we forget them then culture in it. What is the fault of?

"How are you son, everything is fine. Haven't met here for a long time. There is no problem." Mother asked the head master very affectionately.

"That's it, mother, it's your blessings. I went to the village, got my daughter married, the boy is an accountant in the village. Everything is fine." Headmaster said to mother.

"It's good son, at least one responsibility has been fulfilled. Sometimes even after travelling, the worry remains." Mother said in a loving tone.

After meeting mother, Head Master Sahib got busy in his election work. Went away after distributing election slips in the locality. But till today he has not been able to leave my mind. And taught the lesson of humility. What did Head Master touch my mother's feet? He touched my heart.

When I asked my mother, she told me, “Son, your head master was taught by your father, that is why he touches my feet. I am his guru-mother, right?”

And then I was able to understand the glory of Guru and Mother. Really, a mother is a mother after all.

The first thing I did after reaching to school on next day, was to touch the feet of Guru ji. In fact, I had touched not only his feet but I touched his heart. The head master had picked me up in his lap and hugged me in front of the crowded class. That day I had seen the thunder-like Himalayas turning into water and the only thing that came out of my eyes was Holy Ganga. And then I came to know that the Ganga of blessings originates from the feet and is worn on the forehead.


-Anand Vishvas