If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

May 4, 2008

The Novena to Mrs. Savant.

Because you don’t pay attention in class. Or you have a single digit IQ. Or the Hindi teacher is on maternity leave and the French teacher is the substitute. Or you're the only person with a moustache other than Mrs. Lobo , the teacher. Or all of the above. You need tuitions. So your mother asks for the strictest or was it the most economical ok cheapest, tution teacher. makes a down payment and you lose two hours a week of play time.
Every Monday and Thursday you have to report to Mrs. Savant ( Hindi and Marathi ). you sit there trying to figure out the mysteries of another language. You don t really care about other languages. So what if its your national language. So what if it's your mother tongue ( if you're EI that is. All you want is to get that magic figure of 33 marks. They then give you two grace marks to reach that magic passing percentage of 35. So while Mrs. Savant tries to imbibe great literary attributes to stories you don’t even wish you cared about you keep looking towards the wall. That’s where the clock hangs. Present perfect and other tenses have you craving for the future. When you just might be able to get in a half hour of road hockey before it turns dark. And then adding insult to injury you are given tuition homework. Oh cruel world !
hockey today ? you'll be lucky if you can get a game in tomorrow. Did they make Marcellus suffer like this ? Or was he left free to practice dribbling and penalty strokes. It's Mrs. Savants fault I'm not going to be in the Indian hockey team for the LA Olympics in five years. And the first terminal exams come around and you don’t reach 33. You've just about made it from units to tens. If you'd plunged a knife into Mrs. Savants bosom you couldn’t have hurt her more. It's a personal failure. After all the practice tests after all the homework after all the answers she personally took up. Not one to linger over past defeats she gathers her forces. She has you reporting at 8 o clock in the morning. She’s sacrificed her morning cuppa to hold your hand on your text books. Michelangelo didn’t put so much of work into David. She asks her daughters to take your work up on the odd day that she gives something else more priority than she gives you,
Hockey ? It’s been sudden death for your hockey games. Your hockey stick is looking at you with despair. The last time he was used, was to kill a rat that dared venture into the staircase. Is that what The Indian Maharaja has come to ?
The exams come around again. Mrs. Savant has offered up her prayers for you to the whole pantheon of Hindu gods. Your Mother is saying flying novenas to the Infant Jesus. The Bania is happy because his candle sales have gone up.
How did you do ?
Good.
That’s what you said the last time and you failed.
No, this time I really did well.
Ha ! Lets see when the report comes.
And you wait for the postman. With bated breath. That’s a lie. The report is the last thing on your mind. With the summer club on. With swims at what passes for a beach at Carter road. But one day it arrives. The large brown envelope. With the school stamp on the back, telling you and the world that you’re born for greater things. [ For all the Non Stanislites our school motto was “ Born for greater things “ ]
And you’ve passed you haven’t just passed you’ve got a first class. In everything. And theirs a little note that says that you got the highest marks in Hindi in the class.
Thank you Infant Jesus but you know you really did’nt do even half as much Mrs. Savant.

8 comments:

David said...

Hey Clement that was an amazing write up about our dear old Mrs Savant. I always remembered her cute chubby hands where those green bangles just about fit her wrists. And not forgetting how she would bang the book on the table when there was too much noise in that little room that she took the tutions in. Shucks it brought back real good memories of her. And the homework that we dedicatedly did of writing each answer thrice oh shucks that was too much!!! But as you rightly said eventually we scored good marks in Hindi and Marathi. I must say you are one hellofa writer you could write a book about the good old days.....La Noel

David said...

Hey Clement that was an amazing write up about our dear old Mrs Savant. I always remembered her cute chubby hands where those green bangles just about fit her wrists. And not forgetting how she would bang the book on the table when there was too much noise in that little room that she took the tutions in. Shucks it brought back real good memories of her. And the homework that we dedicatedly did of writing each answer thrice oh shucks that was too much!!! But as you rightly said eventually we scored good marks in Hindi and Marathi. I must say you are one hellofa writer you could write a book about the good old days.....La Noel

Anonymous said...

Stanislaus insiders may remember Mr. Tamhane used to say "if you get 33 full chance for Grace" ... Now there was Ms Grace the class teacher... and more than a few wanted to get exactly 33.

Cheers. This brings back memories.

Anonymous said...

Wot men! You didn't go to Sir Vora's? Everyone went to Sir Vora at ungodly hours on saturday & sunday - missing He Man and all the good stuff on TV.

Anonymous said...

Oh Yes Clement, Aunty Sawant is unforgettable she taught us 2 language but we also got 1 bonus language from her stupid wretched old landlady. That language was so flowery, each time we left the gate open she would shower us with her dirty words or water (which I hope was not dirty)
The Andy Park

Scribbler said...

We had no Aunty Sawant, but we did have Mrs Usha, who used to go to people's houses at first and later, much later, took tuitions in Babanagar. She is a Gujarati, but her Marathi was (is) impeccable and her patience neverending. Somehow I feel that there is much more to the Aunty Sawants and Mrs Usha's of this world than we know as children -- and by the time we're old enough to think about other facets of their personalities, they're far behind in our pasts.

Floyd said...

The good old tution days. For us Andreans there was Tyagi in the 7th, 8th and 9th and then there was dear old Fudnis ( I hope i have spelt his name right). If I remember right all he cared about was "Shivji ka Raja bishek" thats all we learnt for 3 months.

Anonymous said...

Clem, didn't go to Mrs Sawant but for my 12th I learn't my Hindi answers by heart. The result English 61 Hindi ......63!

Too mucking fuch!