Flag Post Rope

by K Jambulingam

The Flag Post Rope

It is commonly said that life after retirement is difficult to spend. I joined a school after retirement. The same profession continued therefore I didnt feel so. The other day I read the horrid news of two school children drowned in the sea when the class went for a picnic. Parents must teach children swimming during summer holidays. When we were young our uncle taught us swimming in the farm- well. I got a job in a school after my studies. It was a defense school.

When I was sent for scoutmaster training, the instructor was very happy about my swimming and gave me A grade. That helped me to pass the course with distinction. I became the Scoutmaster. In school, much work was volunteered and done by my scout troop. I kept a limited number of scouts in the troop. I used to take the troop for hikes and camps. When we went for camp, a cook from the mess was detailed and rations were plenty: enough for us and to spare for the people on the Besant Park Camp site. I love the Besant Park camp site spread over a hundred acres of forest land with a huge lake and boat house. The area measures a hundred acres of mixed jungle. Here you find small streams that pour into the large lake. Water birds and reptiles add beauty to this wonderland. The scouts would love this camp and requested me to extend the stay for a few more days. We used to visit one of the villages and the scouts contributed their used clothing for the urchins and the scoutmaster gave the villagers blankets brought from school donated by staff. In the evening the scouts entertained the villagers with the songs (mostly Hindi and a few English and local language songs.)

The Besant Park Camp site is situated on the road leading to Nandhi Hills and about two kilometer away from the Railway Station. ALL trains stop here for the benefit of people going to Besant Park Camp site.

Every year I used to camp there with my scouts. Since I was working in Military school, the transport was not a problem area. 0ne of my students had a spinning mill on the station road. He arranged a visit to the mill and the scouts were given Tea and Lunch. Our camp report was read by the scout who attended the camp, in the morning assembly. The result was that more number students apt for scouting. We conducted scout camp fire on Deepavali and Holi celebration on the school Parade ground. Meanwhile two of my scouts qualified for President Scout Badge The scouts celebrated this in a grand scale. To my delight I became the Bangalore District Secretary(Scouts) and I got my long-awaited promotion in the school also.

As usual the scout troop was taken for their Annual Camp at Besant Park. It was in the month of 0ctober.

I took the scout for exploration of the camp area. After some to me , I asked the troop leader to check whether everyone was present. He reported to me that one student was missing. Some told me that he saw him near the boat house. We went to the boat house. The boy pushed the boat and got into it. The boat started moving towards the wind blowing direction. He was so much afraid , started shouting for help. I was terribly confused. The troop leader stopped me from getting into the water fearing the slush.

I looked for some rope. I couldnt find any. The troop leader ran to the flag post and brought the rope.

I throw the rope and asked the student to catch tightly. We pulled the rope. The boy was saved. He thanked me and other scouts for saving his life.

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