Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The good old gong bell, STS' prized possession

"…. H2SO4 + V2O3 = V2(SO4)3 + H2O ….. Balance the equation…. "

Mrs Chatterjee’s voice sounds like an echo. As if she is announcing the rise of teacher’s reign from a faraway castle. The students are digging so deep in the mine that we can’t hear the news either.

“Hello you sleepy head. Why are you eating moongfali (peanuts) in the class? This is a chemistry class, not the lunch break, let me call the principal..” 

I could see her thin pursed lips with red lipstick mouthing some words, apparently meant for me. 

“…Did you hear what I said…” 

A poke of the chalk woke me up from the dreamland. My eyes were wide open, as if I was just up after 6 months of hibernation. It took me good 10 seconds to realize I was sitting in IX – C, studying Chemistry, Mrs Chatterjee was glaring at me, and the whole class was in no mood to react.

Suddenly my eyes darted outside the classroom. A senior was walking past the room, and as per her monthly duty, she was going to ring the bell!!! Oh my God. What a relief. The electronic bell switch was opposite our classroom. Therefore the relief of “class over” used to dawn on us a couple of minutes before the rest of the school. How privileged we felt. But, but I couldn’t hear the bell ring. Oh have I really gone deaf? What happened. Did the senior go to the water cooler!! No, goodness gracious, help me.

Mrs Chatterjee stood there checking my notebook. Thanks to my genes, I was sharp enough to learn quick. All my work was complete, except the last two equations, just when I dozed off in eternity. Some murmurs in one corner of the class… 

bell, bell, ring ring…”.. 

she glanced across the room. Silence!! She was not completely flattered by my notes, but I could see some empathy towards all the students, who were longing for a break after a double period of our favorite subject, “Chemistry” (pun intended).

My mind went back to the mystery of the non-ringing bell. Well, I was spared, and as soon as Mrs Chatterjee turned to walk towards the board, for yet another equation, it went 

dong dong dong dong dong dong dong dong

There was no current/ electricity, and therefore the old gong bell was brought to our rescue. Relief!!  Mrs Chatterjee threw a cursory glance at me, with a secretive smile. She was hungry as well. :) 

The good old rusty brass gong BELL, was STS’ prized possession. It had witnessed almost 60 years of schooling, girls in ponytails and tunics to girls in skirts with hair styles. Not that it was unkempt. It had a special green colored pedestal, made of brick and mortar. And the bell hung from there, relieving us from teachers, exams and theory classes.

I wish I had a picture of the STS bell. Unfortunately, I don’t have any. Rings a bell, a visit to Alma Mater is due!!

A new middle school wing, next to the canteen

PS: I adore Mrs. Chatterjee. Chemistry wouldn't have been the same without her. :) And ma'am knows it. 

This post is dedicated to the A-to-Z blogging challenge - the largest Blog Challenge in the history of Blogkind. My selected theme is "memories of St. Thomas' "- my Alma mater. This is the second post of the challenge, and is linked to the letter B - B for Bell. The good old gong bell, STS' prized possession.

Linking this post to UBC too.