Sanskrit dramas in school…

Sanskrit play

In photo, from DMS92: Archana, Vikram, Sitikantha and Bibhudutta

Gyana: Sanskrit dramas were absolutely hilarious. During the Sanskrit dialogues, people start taking breaks. Because of the mythological background for Sanskrit dramas they had a huge cast. Sometimes the cast was bigger than the audience watching the drama.

Vikram: Archana and I once did a Sanskrit drama – yes Sanskrit where I don’t think we understood even one word – we memorized every word of every dialogue and regurgitated it on the stage.

Archana: Sabu ghosi deyithili😄 I hope you remember another incident about this drama. You can see all the ornaments I am wearing. I was playing the role of Queen. In one scene my dialogue was like.. “no no nothing in my hand”. Means my act was to hide the ornaments in back what I was holding. I was not supposed to show the ornaments but the synchronization was wrong. I brought my hands in front n saying that “there is nothing in my hand “Sab ratta mara Hua tha dialogue. Kichi bujhu thile sina😂
Audience was laughing like anything. I realised that I did something wrong.After I finished my role I went inside sir scolded n I started crying. Then Sir said ok ok. No worries. It happens. Don’t cry 😄 My sister was also teasing me until we reached home.

Vikram: 😂 I vaguely remember this incident- I think we all who played a part were actually the “bakras” because no one volunteered to participate. So we were appointed by the teachers


On Vidyarthi Madam…

We used to call her the ‘White Ghost’ or ‘White Elephant’…and although rare, she had a devastating array of slaps when angry. Entire classes along the corridor would turn silent when she chose to lumber along once in a while, surveying her territory.

I also remember, we would bunk class and play cricket at the small ground behind the school which was right  in the way for her when she would walk to school from her home. We could spot her from a mile away given trademark outfit of all white sari. The moment we saw her figure from a distance, we would run and hide until she passed and resume again after it was all clear.

The farthest fielder would have the additional responsibility to keep an eye on the road. The moment the farthest fielder runs or panics there would be a cascading effect and each fielder will start hiding until the White Elephant passes the road. After she crossed, we would resume.

Pratyush, Vikram, Gyana

My memories about the Vanar Sena

Myself Chandu Sandeep R S Kishore Gopal and Samir Raizada (Subho Ghosh joined in later) were having fun playing TT cricket in the corner room. That was one of our favourite pass times when Sanskrit sir used to come late or when he used to miss the class. Well that day P N Mishra sir was teaching class 10 students and we were as usual merrily playing. He came in once and very mildly told us to maintain silence. Well we were Vanar Sena as you know 😄😄

Post that, the Vanar sena got his ire and the blows came in thick and fast starting from Subho Ghosh and ending with Sandeep 😂😂😂

He came in silently and watched Subho bowling and Sandeep batting and then the thrashing started with a chaini on Subho head and slap. No one was spared. Even ‘poor’ Samir too got caught in the middle…sometimes it is just bad luck 😄😄

– Sambit

Further review and round table discussion on the Vanar Sena…

PP: The funny part of the story for me was imagining the total guiltless expressions of all the Vanar Sena as they played their game of cricket as if doing that inside class was their birth right and then the sudden barrage of blows coming as a ‘surprise’…waking them all up to reality…and of course Samir caught in the middle of it all. Though I always felt (while closely observing Samir) even to this day…he always had a massive mischief maker tendency inside him which got suppressed by his equally strong sense of self restraint

GP: So are you saying he didn’t mind getting punishment because he internally he made mischief anyway!
That is a very good way to negotiate the action (mischief) vs result (punishment)

PP: Yes I think he knew very well he was doing a wrong thing..but just gave in to the urge while others were having fun. Vanar sena members, in contrast…never had the sense of guilt…they all thought everything they did was perfectly normal… Their surprise came whenever they got punished …as being too disproportionate to what they were apparently doing

GP: :)) Yes they were true Krishna Bhakts. All their mischief was pure innocent acts. :)) they just didn’t have any attorney to represent their innocence.

PP: Right

GP: Also, all of them were highly regulated kids at home. They came alive at school. They were used to showing puppy faces (perennially been wronged face) of innocence after getting punished, something they continued to carry from home to school

PP: That’s a good observation…the hormones had to find an outlet. But thinking back…both Samir and I were also highly regulated at home…

GP: As one of my engineering proffs would say, you guys were externally silent, internally violent! Not as bad as it sounds but you know what I mean

PP: 🙂probably right…Or perhaps we found a way to channel it unto benign ways…or altogether kill them by practice

GP: Benign ways like actively laughing and enjoying at these gags?!
Documenting mischief stories in Prabhatitara and smugmug ?!

Bhopa Sir’s complaint about Vikram…

I still remember Bhopa sir’s tone and how he used to speak (in a pleading, distraught voice). In the last term exam before our std X board exam, I got in the mid 90s and I think Rayen and someone else also got higher marks. I had made ONE mistake and he cut 3-4 marks for that. Then he met my father in the Ananda Bazaar market and said, “Apanka Pua Babu silly mistakes karuchi, tikkey dhyana deuni. Full marks paaiba paper rey, mistake karila aau marks harailaa” 😳


Thuru on Shankar Sir’s scooter

I remember this incident…i think it was thuru tapas senapati once sitting on Shankar sir’s scooter

Shankar sir saw it and came to reprimand him…

He asked him “what are you doing here”

Thuru: Sir petrol check karuthili…apananka scooter re petrol naahin

Shankar sir checks and says…”petrol naahin? F dekhauchi meter re!”

Thuru: yes sir, F means finished

Shankar sir: acchha! What does E mean then on the meter

Thuru: Sir, E means enough…

Shankar Sir: This country has no hope. Get off my scooter   mad-smiley


– Sumeet

Sambit ke karname-4

It was one of the terminal exam prep times during school days…
Sambit usually panicked with confidence and would start calling his friends…

’Suhel, terminal exam preparation kemiti chalichi…Moon chari thara revision karideichi…ICSE material bhi dui thara practice karideichi..’.

And there were also few like me, who would leave the 11th, 12th chapter exercises for the last day before exam… Sometimes I do get to them, sometimes I sleep with a prayer and hope there would be no questions from these chapters. I started believing ‘hope sustains life’ from my early years.

Anyway, this incident is not about me, it is about Sambit.

I have been a subject to such phone calls when Sambit would call and mention the number of times he had revised the exercises, and make me feel bad to worse.

So, on this particular day, I decided to call Sambit,

‘Sambit, au kan chalichi…’.

‘Bas… tikey revision karuchi…. fo fo fourth time. April 6th rey exam… Paanch din rahila…tension hei jaichi ma…, Au tamare kemiti chalichi preparation?!’

Then I respond back- ’Arey Sambit… sunina ki? Mandal Commission strike payeen, exam shift hei jaichi by a month. The new exam date is May 6th!!’

Sambit ‘Bb Bb Bobbal hela aau..!… Chala amey Dadu gharey carrom kheliba… Ashis gharaku jiba…College field rey cricket kheliba… tama gharey Test match dekhiba…

… and he goes on for the next 5-7 min on all the things he will do because exam got shifted..’

I didn’t have the heart to break it in to him and interrupted,

‘Sambit APRIL FOOL!’

Sambit says,…

‘Gyana April Fool ta theek achee…
…but Exam shift heigala…B..b.. Bobbal hela!’


Panda Sir’s famous quotes…

Class 9A. Period – Economics

Panda Sir is dictating economics notes and the entire class is noting all that knowledge down in pin-drop silence. In one corner of the classroom, R.S.Kishore has the audacity to draw Sir’s picture in his notebook instead of taking notes. Somehow Panda Sir notices this and walks up to R.S. Kishore, grabs him by his head, pulls him to the centre and asks him to “kneel down”. R.S.Kishore having a higher than average Body Mass Index takes a few extra seconds to adjust and place his entire weight on his knees.

Panda Sir: What were you doing?

RSK: Nothing Sir

Panda Sir: Bapa kana karanti?

RSK: AG office re kama karanti

Panda Sir: Bapa AG office re kama karuchi, pua ku KG KG maunsa khuauchi, Pua asiki economics class re teacher ra drawing karuchi…..Motu….Gabdal Khaasu!!!


Class 6C, Period – Civics or Social Studies

Gyana and Ayaskanta (Guguni) used to sit on the same bench, Ayaskanta had the chubbiest cheeks which Gyana was very fond of. In one of Panda Sir’s class, Gyana squeezes the cheeks of Ayaskanta with both his hands and pulls him closer screaming “Gugguneeee…..Gugguneeee”.

Panda Sir sees this and says “Aha ki prema! Ethi kana Sri Krushna Rasalila chalichi?” I think he then walked up and gave a thani on Gyana’s head in his trademark style. He walked back but then turned around and came to Guguni and gave him a thani on his head as well and said “Sie ta taa prema dekhauthila, tu kahinki to gaala dekhauthilu?”


Stories about Sumeet…

First off, Sumeet had this quintessential mischievous boy look…

So, by default if any teacher is not able to figure out who made that annoying noise or stuck chewing gum on the teacher’s seat…they would just eye ball the classroom and would suspect just by Sumeet’s look that he might have some involvement in the mischief and will be first person to get Uttama Madhyama. He was always the “suspect # 1”

Second, Sumeet is a logic guru… Has a penchant for very witty comments…

Once Shashi sir remarked, ‘why is the class so quiet today?’

Sumeet quietly and feebly murmured ‘Line nahin fan band achee, sethee payeen quiet laguchi’

Shashi Sir who always loved witty comments… acknowledged



We were in 7C, sitting in the Primary School area in those days.

The lunch break was about to be over. The noise and entropy level in the Primary Section was very high as the naughty boys just come alive to their thriving best in that hour.
The was this ‘about to break’ desk with attached chair. Some of us about 6-7 decided to help the furniture out of its misery and decided to dismantle it at its loose ends and derived a lot of fun  in course of dismantling it. Then more people started joining the fun of breaking apart the hapless furniture…. It was lot of fun!
We were 80% through and we started to unleash ourselves, pushed the furniture to the corner of the class and then Sumeet joined in and started kicking the stubborn joints. It was a lot of fun and the noise level just kept growing. Almost 1/3rd of the class joined the fun ….

Then out of the blue after hearing all the noise and furniture cracking sound and all the laughs, PN Mishra Sir walked into the class. Most of us saw him and moved aside…. but Sumeet was not aware at all. He was so engrossed in kicking and was so lost in the noise that he didn’t realize P.N.Mishra Sir standing in a corner and watching. He was jumping all over the furniture and had absolutely no idea that all his accomplices had left.

Then you can imagine what PN Mishra Sir would have done to him. He must have unleashed a tirade of slaps… about 50 of them…. Sumeet’s head was like, bouncing between the left and right slaps and in between his head would bounce on one of the walls. It was painful yet wickedly hilarious!
At the end of the tirade, Sumeet was all Red, his large ‘Buddha’ ears bright red as well.



Sumeet himself adds some interesting details about his multiple names and incidents

With regards to above incident, these were some of Sumeet’s comments, a few years back

Who can forget that incident! Everyone in section C remembers. It was P N Mishra who did the honours wearing his white hat. After about a dozen AK 47 style slaps, my face had become numb to the subsequent slaps. When the dhobi ghat session was over and P N Mishra had left, everyone including Gyana rushed to me to check if I was alive. My face had become red with finger marks on it.

Next day P N Mishra spotted me again while marking attendance for NCC and immediately commented “Taking NCC, Breaking Chairs! Shameless”. Someone actually told him that day that the desk was already broken before Sumeet started kicking it. That prompted no change of heart in P N Mishra, but he called me and did offer extra singada and aloo chop at the end of NCC drill.

Several years later when my brother went for English tuition to P N Mishra, our brotherly relationship got strained obviously 🙂

In 6C, it was Sashi Sir who took me to task for laughing continuously even after a few slaps from him. Then of course I was at the receiving end from the most unlikely ones…Basanti madam, Binakar sir, wood sir, metal sir, sanskrit mashtra.

‘Dentist’ name was obviously given by Panda sir.

‘Mausa’ name was given by Hanan sir as I was the last and slowest one to get down from the school bus…he used to be in the same bus always occupying ‘significant’ space in the last seat

DB and late night tuition classes

DB’s birthday reminds me of our tuition classes…DB, me and Samir used to go together, sometimes on our Vespa 150 scooter and sometimes on DB’s bike (forgot which one exactly it was). DB would come to my place and then we would pick up Samir on the way from campus. The classes were in the evening and i still remember the 1st class we went to. Samir’s father was extremely worried and asked DB multiple times if he was ok and good at driving the scooter. DB being the confident scientist he was…replied in the affirmative with a big nod of his head. Samir’s father let Samir accompany us hesitantly…

And the journey itself to tuition class and back late night was another funny tale…during those days police used to catch and harass people driving bikes/scooters with more than 3 adults…so we made a plan…we would invariably squeeze Samir in the middle with the assumption that the police guy wouldn’t be able to catch a glimpse of Samir if we drove fast enough…and in case we were caught plan B was…this little guy was our nephew or some kid we were carrying home with us….luckily Plan A always worked and i don’t remember getting caught and having to explain…☺



Sometimes you cannot let go; you cling onto the past or the past clings on to you, it becomes difficult to discern between the two. The only simile that comes to is like a leech (sounds rather grotesque, nevertheless …)

This feeling emanates from a desire not to let go, as you don’t want to, you find reasons to explain and reaffirm this primeval desire.

It could be a small memory; like  your first love, the very first of your beloved; a place, a city or a school which just stands still in time , like your shadow at noontime, its there yet invisible.

Years have gone by but that visage just refuses to fade away, remaining a constant in a sea of variables..

Such is my memory of DMS, the school building, my very first friends, classmates, teachers all of whom I adore. Only vignettes remain but like a five month old looking at the world around in awe, glimpses of school days peep through in my mind. I seem to be stuck in a kind of time and space conundrum. I doubt there is anyone who while recollecting old times would not have felt that pull at the heartstrings and uncanny prickly feeling.

My very first memorable moments for me are those of the walk to the school. If my fleeting memory isn’t betraying me on this one; myself and my younger sister used to walk all the way from Acharya Vihar . (I never liked the rickshaw/ bus rides to schools that I attended in the later part of my life). There was this small space in the barbed wire fencing at the end of the campus, through which we could snuggle into the campus. Thinking of it today, I cannot imagine allowing my daughter to walk alone and unaccompanied for two and a half or three kms , spanning few streets  and fringes of a highway. School used to start quite early, as in any middle class Odia family, day used to start early with a “Kua-Duba” bath followed by mom’s staple “ Ruti- Khira “ breakfast. With no fancy school bag rather an aluminum box as the only accompaniment we used to march school wards. This box was in all its shine was no inferior to a treasure chest; mostly adorned on the inside with loads of stickers. No fancy heated lunch box, just a packet of then ubiquitous and now almost extinct “Ampro” biscuits

It was all a nice little adventure , the small trek from the point of entry into the campus till the primary block. It was a rocky terrain, interspersed with some vegetation. I used to stop sometimes to watch the dainty yellow flowers peeking through the crevices in the rocks; and at times, post an overnight rain shower, small insects floating atop a little puddle. How can I forget the fiery red gulmohar blossoms heralding the exam and the much awaited holiday season; the swinging eucalyptus trees bordering the boundary wall, welcoming autumn and the fun in picking the small cones , storing them to make garlands for “Kandhei Bahaaghara”.

I remember there used to be a fifteen minutes break after the third or fourth class, I used to run away to a lonely spot, a little away from the school buildings, with lots of rock strewn across in a random pattern. This was my private moment  all by myself, feeling the breeze on my face and gazing aimlessly into the distant. I am told in those formative years I was a quiet, collected child, though it is difficult for me to fathom that myself today. Coming back to the class rooms, we had those large windows with parallel railings, through which one could gaze in between lessons at the screeching parrots on “Karamanga trees”. To me those trees and the rocks beneath them on which you could just sit and ponder, felt like seats of power, radiating some invisible wisdom .

It is difficult to pen down  and shape these memories which have remained buried deep within my subconscious for such a long time. It’s a very personal outpouring and I am not sure how many of you would relate. Those cherished moments found way in “dreams of school days”, sometimes of friends and often of those little treks. I studied in Bhubaneswar for four long years but never made an attempt to visit DMS but always felt that strange feeling of nostalgia whenever I passed by the gate.

I don’t have any anecdotes to narrate, no specific details to talk about but shall always treasure that innocent phase of life and the regret will always remain that I should have never left…DMS.

Thank you dear friends for letting me speak through my words and re-living some of those faint memories that may fade only when the mortal being ceases to exist…