A Heart Full of Memories – Basanti Mathu (R-73)

Date: 20- 06- 19

A Heart Full of Memories

    Basanti (Mathu) Sathu (R73) ISC 1967
    My best carefree days have been at PPS. There’s so much I have gained from there; I do not know from where to start. I am full of memories from PPS.
    I remember when we were in class 8 (1964) during our Prep, I think that’s what we called homework time then, two boys from our class (I don’t remember the names but
    (they do) got a match stick and started burning paper in the metal rubbish bin. Soon there was a small bonfire in the class. Seeing the bonfire in the classroom, we all got excited. The boys in our class were not stupid and knew they’d be in trouble if they got caught.
    Mr. Cowell was on duty that day and as he used to wear shoes which were very silent, they told Jyoti and me to keep a watch by the door pretending to sharpen our pencils suddenly. Suddenly I saw Mr. Cowell turning around the corner, heading towards our class. Oh God! How scared we were! Guess what the boys did? They put the rubbish bin, along with the bonfire, into one of their wooden desks. You should have seen our speed. By the time he entered our class we were all seated at our seats and there was pin drop silence in the class. Luckily for us, he looked around quickly and left our classroom. When I look back and think about this incident, I still wonder what would have happened if he had stayed just a little longer and had the wooden desk caught fire!!!!!
    The other incident that comes to mind was when Mr. Mellon once put me on detention. Don’t recall why but, I suspect I must have been chatting with Jyoti during Silent Reading time.
    The detention was during playtime and I had to write/copy a couple of pages as punishment. I wrote the pages and gave it to him.
    Next day, I saw my handwritten pages displayed on the notice board with remarks by Mr Mellon on the sides in red. He had pointed out a couple of my letters which could be improved on and for the rest he had written, I remember very vividly, “A good example of Marion & Richardson writing.”
    ” I was thrilled and was happy to have got that detention. What remained in my memory since then was that I had good handwriting and, though I wonder if I really have it, I always to this day feel I have excellent handwriting. This seemingly small incident, of having my handwriting displayed on the noticeboard, always made me feel elated.
    Another one I remember was in 1967 when once Jyoti, Vineet Mehta and I were discussing what we would become when we grow up. We all said doctors but Vineet commented “Both of you will not become doctors.”
    Both Jyoti and I thought we had proved him wrong when we got admission for Pre-medical in Chandigargh. Somehow, due to some reasons, both Jyoti and I had to leave pre-med studies. It seems what Vineet had prophesied had come true.
    No hard feelings Vineet, I love and enjoy my teaching profession.
      Once Jyoti and I decided to wear salwar-kameez for a movie. This was the first time both of us wore salwar-kameez and we were very self conscious, (this was when we were in class ten 1966). All our classmates stared hard at us (made us feel we had come straight from a zoo) making us feel very uncomfortable. They were feeling equally uncomfortable. Nobody talked to us as and behaved as though we were aliens, maybe because they had always seen us in school uniform. This made both of us feel still worse. Finally one of our classmates came up and asked,”Why are you wearing this?” Both of us felt as though we had done something wrong & we never wore salwar-kameez again during our school tenure.
      In 1967 when we had our farewell dinner. As per tradition, it was a costume part and Class X students had to decide what the XI graders (us) were to dress up as. Guess what Jyoti & I were were told to dress up as? ————–NUNS!!!
      I must admit something, in 1968 when Jyoti & I joined Govt College For Women in Chandigarh, both of us felt very odd and it took us sometime to get used to having only girls around us.
      Will send a few more.
      Wishing you all the best
      Basanti (Mathu) Sathu (R73) ISC 1967