Sunday, July 01, 2007

Of text books and such like

Just remembered days long gone by...of the School Report Day. Whence the family would proceed to school to pick up the Report for the year for the children.
The freshly filled in page, with the statement 'progress to next class'.
And then off we went to the book shop across the road, to buy new books and new pens, pencils, ink pots and also compasses, protractors and dividers...and the lot. There used to a Camel Geometry box, which was a popular thing in school. This used to be expensive then, these days it is about Rs 65.00. We used to also buy rolls of brown cover paper to cover the various notebooks and also labels to put on top for identification in a class of 30-35 students.
The shopping list ended with buying new bright white school shirts with the School Monogram on them. And then it was off home to start to process of covering new books.
There were notebooks with lines for writing, note books with blank pages on one side for science, geography and history. There were squared notebooks for maths and a book known as Mental Maths, which I used to hate. There was also a sheaf of blank physical and geographical maps of India and later on the world for the geography class. I used to wait to reach a higher class where I would be asked to buy 'registers' which are letter size lined notebooks. The older children also seemed to carry a lot less books. I think watching parents spend money on all this was not something I noticed, it was more the ownership of something shiny and new that I liked at this point. It made me look after my things. Something I dont think I see anymore.

My father would sit and cover all my books and then fill in the labels neatly with my name, surname, class, section, and the subject. As I grew older I was handed down text books that my doodle loving older sister used before me. She had a strange fondness for daisies and so I would have spiraling floral decoration in my margins. I would also have squares coloured in and random notes, which were squeezed tightly into the space just above the text on the books. The back pages of these books were absolutely covered with writing and flowers. Being the good girl that she was my sister did not vandalize her books by using them as bats for cricket or as a paper source for throwing around in class. She did not particularly like chewing paper so all pages were intact. Its just the daisies that did my head in!! My poor younger brother left school to join a different one in a different city so he needed brand new books. I think I was the only one with recycled books in the family. It would have been great to see what he would have made of my weakness for Paisley patterns :)


SpaceMonkey said...

"My father would sit and cover all my books and then fill in the labels neatly..." - Wow, woman, you had it made ;) Kaam nikalvaana koi auraton se seekhe ;) Just kidding.

Morpheus said...

Monkey - i am talking about sometime in 1985-86 when i was under 10 years old and could not be trusted with a pair of scissors :)

Deepak said...

Hilarious recollection! :D

I remember now that even my father used to cover my textbooks and notebooks with brown laminated paper. And the stickers, we used to barter them at schools. He-man sticker in exchange for spider-man and so on. :)

I guess what you've written is something which is generally found in any Indian family. But you were the one to recollect it and write about it. :)