Saturday, April 10, 2010


TC: (abbr) Transfer Certificate. To be asked to leave the school. Often considered the toughest form of punishment doled out to students at Parthi. Some argue that being asked to clean Ram Mohan sir's room is the worst. Is generally used as a threat. Synonyms: 'kicked out'

TC - The very mention of the two letters made a person freeze. The utterance of these letters by a teacher caused a thousand prayers to be shot up into the heavens, along with a thousand promises. "Please God, I will not watch any films when I go home. Please forgive me this time and I will do 108 pradakshanas around Ganesha temple"

The two scariest letters if you studied in Parthi. I do not know about you people, but I was under constant threat of a TC. The very mention struck fear in my heart. And this was pretty much the case with all my friends. After our holidays were, the journey back was troublesome for me. Not because I was homesick, but because I did not know if I was going to be allowed to continue. One of my friends, KSR (K.Santosh Reddy), also felt the same way. I remember him telling me that when he arrived at the bus stand and saw the 'KSRTC' buses, he thought it was a sign from the heavens!! In our younger days at PS, it was said that every year, the worst behaved student would be given a TC. I am sure this was hogwash, I studied there till 10th standard. With TC always came legendary tales of misbehaviour. A guy in our class was given TC and it was rumoured that he was found at midnight sitting on top of the Parvathi statue's head. (Or heads, actually).

The closest I came to TC was in Class 6. It happened in the afternoon on a weekday. It so happens that this well-known foreigner friend of mine was as usual spending his time away from the class, discovering the small joys of life (catching frogs, going up to the dormitory and screaming "Go for dho" to the teachers from the windows etc.).

He sees an amma spreading clothes in the old prayer hall for us to collect when we came upstairs after the classes. Creativity gets the better of him and probably taking inspiration from the painting of Padmapada on the walls, decides to walk on each and every one of the shirts that were being spread out. The concerned aunty reprimands him for it, and soon realises why none of the teachers bother doing it. He screams at her, along with graphic details of what he'd like to do. Traumatised, she takes him to Warden Aunty. When interrogated, he coolly states that I had taught him all that.

Of course, I was blissfully unaware of all this. I was sitting outside a Neela Patel mam's class, obviously not figuring in the list of 'my good students' on that day. Now, the good part about being punished outside the class in 6th standard is that the senior girls' classes were right in front of you. On the flip side, a teacher from the Staff Room could see what you were doing from the windows in their room. I was furiously trying to catch a glimpse of somebody through the windows, when Vimla aunty came asking for me. On realising that I was already punished, she gave me a look as if I was a Kaurava whose thighs Bheem had forgotten to tear off.

I was taken to the dining hall, where tiffin was being served in the yellow Indian Airlines katoris.

"Is he the guy?" "Yes, aunty. He was already punished outside the class." BOOM! Punch to the nose!
'Shameless fellow, is this what you teach your friends?"
"Aunty, what..." and before I could say 'Tyson', another punch to the nose.

I was then called to HM aunty's room. I had always wondered what this room looked like while waiting in line outside the dispensary. But this was a wrong way to find out. Everywhere I looked, I could only see my impending doom. Tears after tears flowed, but I was unable to convince her that I had no clue what was being talked about. I was asked to pack my suitcase and Oblesu was called to take me to the station. (I know, there was no station in Parthi back then, but try mentioning that after receiving two punches that sent you out of the orbit!)

After much begging, an investigation was carried out. My friend said that I had taught him all that one day in the class. What probably tilted the case in my favour was his track record of how many times he actually came to the class. Finally, I was asked to go back to the classroom. I could have walked with my nose in the air, the problem was that I could not feel it in the first place. I was given strict warnings not to talk to him again.

That, of course, is a different story altogether!!