To My Students With Love

by K Jambulingam

To my students with love

I joined Military School in the year 1967 and completed thirty seven years of service. In addition to my work I carried out many duties assigned to me from time to time by the commandant/Principal of the school. First of all, late Mr. CR Mitchell, the most popular Anglo Indian Scout master retired the Principal was searching for someone to take up the assignment voluntarily. No other teacher came forward to do this honorary work. I was the youngest and the mantle fell on my slender shoulders. I went for Scout Master training course. I became the Himalayan Wood Badge holder after finishing my premilaminry scout master's course. That was enough to be a scoutmaster in a school. Thereafter nothing could stop me from doing my best to the boys at all times. The scour troop was taken for weekly cycle hikes and annual camps. During the camp fire evenings I used to tell ghost stories to the scouts which were an integral part of the scout camp in those days. To my great delight two of my scouts qualified for Indian President Scout badges. R John who joined later on Indian Army and after a meritorious service laid down his life for the nation. Krishnamurthy went to States and became a staff of New York Road Transport System.

The next assignment was Stage in-charge. I was behind the curtains. I had directed plays enacted by our cadets during Annual Day celebrations. During this period of time we planted a number of saplings on the campus and now they bloom and beautify the campus.

I am not blowing my own trumpet when I say that I was in charge of school band for a while. When I took over the photography club I made a video film of the school. This was the first ever made video film of the school.

During winter vacation we undertook a trekking expedition from Kollegal in Karnataka to the sounding cataracts of Hogenekkal in Tamilnadu. Master PP Uthappa and Sajji of class eleven joined the expedition never before arranged. My Scoutmaster's training helped me to read map and I acted as the navigator. When I was the Secretary of the Staff club I arranged a number of picnics. I grew gray in service. I was asked to look after the seventy six year old School temple. Our boys sought the blessings of the God during examinations.

My friends used to ridicule me as a jack of all trades and Man Friday of Principals. But appreciation came from different quarters. Many of my students occupy a place of pride in the Indian army, Navy and Air force and other civilian fields. Whenever they paid a visit to their Alma Mater they met me. They fondly remembered the golden days they spent in the school. They never failed to talk about the campfire ghost stories.

0n 5th September Teachers day is celebrated in India. A senior boy gave me a card that read-"I thank you teacher because you are an all rounder. You were my Scoutmaster when I was in Sixth. You taught me photography when I was in seventh. You were my English teacher when I was in Eighth. You acted as my friend and guide when I was in tenth".

This alone gave me the strength to work for some more years with the children and The Principal Bethany School was kind enough to take me in his school after my retirement and I hope to serve the children some more time since I strongly believe that once a teacher always a teacher. ( KJAMBULINGAM)

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