May 12, 2010

Catching a Copybook Crook

The celebrated sixth standard again. This time it was the English class. And the thick moustached English teacher with his punishment stick in hand was very much obstinate about our regular submission of neatly written copy books on his table before he reaches the class on the second period of all working days. Since he was a fear factor of the students, everyone was keen on not disobeying his demands and if someone fails to bring the updated copybook, even the next classes would go silent hearing the fearful swishing sounds of his flexible stick immediately followed by the moaning sounds of our fellow mates.

This was just like another day. After the first period, the English teacher came to our class and after asking some questions from the last day lessons, he took a new chapter. He first gave us an outline of the story and after telling us to read the entire lesson silently, he started to check the copybooks one by one.

After checking all the available books, he said, “Has everybody submitted the copybooks today?”

A unanimous uproar from the students denoting affirmation was the reply. But the teacher felt that not all the present students had submitted the copybooks. He asked again to confirm the reply. But, what he got was the same answer.

Without trusting the students he asked the class monitor to count the copybooks on his table. He found that there was a difference of five between the number of the copybooks and the number of the present students.

The English teacher became furious. He asked us angrily raising his voice to stand up those who had not brought their copybooks. First, there rose a head, a back bencher, and then three more students followed him in the confession process. He asked all the four to come forward and stand at the corner of the class.

He asked again, “who is the fifth one, come...come...don’t try to fool me!”

But, no one moved.

The teacher did not give up. He asked the monitor to read out loudly the name on each copybook. “When the monitor calls your name, come forward and join with those who are at the corner of the class,” he said to the class.

That verification process was on. The class monitor began to call the names of the students reading the name-slip on each copybook. Students one by one began to walk to the front side of the class to join the corner. The number of students sitting on the benches was shrinking and the number of the students standing at the corner was growing accordingly.

Finally there remained only less than ten students on the benches and it became so soon.

When the monitor called out the spectacled one’s name, there were remaining only four more students on the benches and I was one.

When the monitor read the next name, I decided to surrender as there were no means of escape remaining.

I picked up my bag and pretended as searching it. And I said, “What a surprise, I think I have not brought my copybook!”

“Tom! You!” that was actually a scream from the monitor.

Everybody in the class shared the broken pieces of the monitor’s scream.

The English teacher wondered, “I never guessed it would have ended like this”

He picked up the stick and asked me to extend my palm, I obeyed. Usually, the punishment for these sorts of ‘crimes’ was one beating. I got two.

Not for not submitting the copybook and not for the teacher had some grudge for me, but for not becoming truthful.

Did you guess the suspense?


  1. I guessed! Fear factor teachers scare me so much that I too prefer(red) the refuge of silent lies!

  2. Young children always want to avoid punishment.

  3. @Sucharita Sarkar

    "Silent Lies"..I Like that phrase very much!!!


    So, you can't blame me for being not truthful..can you?

  4. Very nice picture!! Your memory is great!!

  5. No:)..blame is one word I dont use for young kids, they are always innocent.

  6. Your English teacher! He sure knows to waste time to exact time! The exercise of checking and doublechecking was a waste of time!

    No, I did not guess the suspense.

  7. We always remember those moments in school that shamed us the most, which is probably worse than any punishment. I didn't think it would be you, Mr. Tom! Do they still administer corporal punishment in schools there?

  8. @Swatantra



    Thats the innocent side of you!


    Sure, what he did was actually wasting time..


    Dear walk2write

    Yeah..those moments surely are embarrassing as far as girl students are concerned. But boys do not feel so..

    No walk2write, the neo generation kids are much luckier than us as the govt recently felt that corporal punishment is a savage way of teaching in the classroom..
    no more beatings are here now..

    thanks for ur wonderful comment..

  9. Very nice and funny picture. I was thinking about my childhood days while reading your wonderful post. Children are always scared to get punishment and when the teachers are very strict they avoid to do any sort of mischief.

  10. Though I guessed the suspence...The climax build up was supereb, cunning, kept things intresting....

  11. @ The Holy Lama

    Yeah Poor me:(


    Thanks for ur comment. I am very happy knowing that my post made you think about your childhood days


    Thanks for ur sincere comment..and welcome back after a brief interval..

  12. stopped by from renu's blog to say hello.enjoyed reading this post.

  13. Thank you Starry for your visit..Happy to know that u enjoyed the post

  14. Actually I thought, maybe the Monitor forgot to count!!!

    But then hats off to u..for ur courage and over confidence to not accept till the very last moment of all the drama...Gosh, I would have admitted to my crime, well before the class tht I could get less embarassed in front of the class...hehe!!!


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