Sunday, April 10, 2011

Random Memories: Institute Clock

I hated the after-lunch session of classes. The excellent food made me drowsy, and the constant chanting/recitation from the classrooms acted as a lullaby. Somewhere around the last class, I would say, "Ma'am, toilet"

"No.1 or No.2?"

"No.2, ma'am"

"Dirty boy, go."

I remember how the dormitories would look when classes were going on. It was calm and quiet. Sunlight would stream in through the yellow, meshed windows and you could see the dust particles in the streams of light. The beds would be piled in between the blocks of shelves, and banians would be hanging on the strings and underwears on the windows. The only noise was some tap that was left open, or wouldn't close, in spite of the rope tied to it.

I would walk into the 3rd-4th dormitory. There were two doors, one the main door, and the other one near the wall, that had no 'door'. If you stood near the other door, you could not be seen by teachers who were going up or down the stairs to the girls dorms.

I would stand there and stare at the Institute Clock. It was a big, square, white clock with black hands and lines. This is a distinct memory.

I would stand there and stare at the clock. I could see the institute building, and specks of white coming in and out of the buildings. Big brothers would walk in lines to the mandir, and somewhere in the distance, you could hear a class go,

"Swami hamaare aage hai, Swami hamaare peechhe hai.
Swami har jagah mein hai, is liye to Swami...

(Dragging tone) Hum theeeeek hai, Hum khush hai

It was the best place to bunk a class. I would stare at the clock for minutes at a stretch, till I heard a chime. The clock would give out a small melody, followed by a gong. Four bells to signal it was four o clock.

Immediately, the bell would ring. There would be an uproar from the classes. And I would rush down to eat custard from the yellow, Indian Airlines katoris.