Cork ball and Library ‘Miss’

September 5, 2006

Teacher. The word brings so many memories in my mind. Good and bad. Serious and funny.

I consider it great when you meet your teacher at the market and he/she remembers you. Just imagine the number of students they would have seen in their career? And to remember most of the students is really an achievement. It is another matter why a teacher remembers a particular student. Maybe the student was too mischievous and the teacher had punished him/her so many times that both have never been able to forget each other to this day. Or maybe the teacher found the student so bright and academically oriented that the face is etched in the teacher’s memory.

I wish to narrate an incident related to the former because I was never a bright and academically oriented student.

I remember all my teachers. Because I have given most of them tough time in keeping me silent. According to most of my teachers, I was an ‘Outstanding student’ i.e. I was always ‘Standing out’ during their class. So you can imagine to what extent I have terrified them. But the best thing was that I used to hone my drawing skills whenever I was made to stand out. So I am thankful to all the teachers who told me to ‘Get out’. I am what I am for all those hours I stood out sketching the school building, the teachers, students, the trees around Malleswaram 18th Cross, the passengers waiting at the bus stop opposite my school…(I studied in Kendriya Vidyalaya, Malleswaram.)


Padma Miss during the Alumni meet at KVM on Jan.26, 2013 

I liked the Librarian Padma Miss as she had all the magazines like Champak, Chandamama, Tinkle, Sportstar, CSR and MISHA, a Russian Magazine for Kids. I was the first to enter the Library in the morning and dig the shelf for new arrivals. It was all fine until one day she found out that I was carrying a Cork ball into the library. She grabbed it and put it atop a tall shelf. I begged her to give it back but to no avail. I really cried that day because after a lot of pestering, my father had bought me a ‘Cork ball’. For the fear of losing it, I always had it in my shorts pocket. And now it was gone forever. I hated the ‘Library period’ then onwards as by default she made me stand out.

I knew Padma Miss stayed somewhere close to the school as I had seen her come by walk. I used to see her in the market sometimes. And sometimes in a temple near Malleswaram 8th cross. Whenever and Wherever I saw her, I used to pester her to return the ball. And she would give a stern look and go away.

One day, after missing the cork ball for nearly 9 months, I followed her home and told her father that “Miss has taken my cork ball.” He called her and she was shocked to see me in her house. When they spoke to each other in Telugu, I could only make out the words ‘Cork ball’ and ‘Naughty fellow’. She told me to meet her the next day in the Library. I went home with some hope of getting the ball the next day.

My school was between 9 am till 3.10 pm. I was in the Library at 8 am the next morning. I waited and waited for Miss to come and was in no mood to even read any of the newly arrived magazines, which were waiting on Miss’ table to get the School seal on their fresh pages.

At about 9 am, Miss came. And she scolded me for standing in the Library without attending ‘Prayer’. I just about managed to tell, “I want the ball Miss”. She told she will take this matter to the Principal. She told, “Why do you harass me like this everywhere, I say? Why do you fellows come to school? Take a bat and ball and play on the streets the whole day.” I don’t know what made me tell “Miss give me my ball miss, I will never see this school, I will play wherever I want”. She became red in the face and hit the back of my head with a newspaper rolled in.” And for the umpteenth time, another teacher told me to ‘Get out’.

After a few months, the academic year was over and I had crossed primary school level. I still hated the ‘Library period’ although I could enter the Library. One day, I saw that Padma Miss was cleaning the old magazines in the shelves and called me to hold a bundle of books. She told me to check if any magazines were on top of the shelf. I stood on the wooden stool and saw to my amazement the ‘Cork ball’, my treasure, lying in a corner like an orphan, covered with cob web and fine dust. The manufacturer’s name was still visible: Malcom. I was about to pick it up when Miss shouted, ‘What are you gaping at?” I told there were no magazines. The bell rang. She got busy collecting the books my friends were returning. I took the red cherry and wiped the dust like a fast bowler does. And ran away to show my friends the gem in my hand.

Even today, sometimes I get to see Padma Miss at the Malleswaram Market. After talking for a few minutes about my classmates and teachers, I invariably ask her, ‘Miss, I want my cork ball”. She raises her hand to hit me and just taps my head. And both of us have a hearty laugh unmindful of the fellow shoppers staring at us.


35 Responses to “Cork ball and Library ‘Miss’”

  1. Prashanth Says:

    Thts one lovely incident to remember and laugh at oneself!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Veena Shivanna Says:

    Bellur, I could even imagine the scenes with you & the padma miss. Well narrated, probably you can try some script writing seriously. Probably we can suggest to TNS or Raghu samartha if we meet them anytime.

    Fantastic post. Reminded me about my PT period where we used to go & beg for throw & volley balls which would be very small in numbers for the whole of school & the person who is more studios at class used to win the ball from the teachers. I generally was a very average student upto class 8th.

  3. usha Says:

    Bellur you were an outstanding student and i was a backbencher who always used to be punished to sit with boys , so i ended up playing more lagori, choor chendu and markothi aata than kuntebille,kho kho etc

  4. Hi
    Some incidents leave everlasting impressions. I wonder why some teachers are so harsh with students…. after all they are only students…to be nurtured, cared and loved.
    A very good read.
    Came here through Ganga’s blog.

  5. travel plaza Says:

    Great post RK. I know I say that of all your posts, but they are all super. This one is amazing. Made me remember my school days. I too studied in a KV. But not Malleswaram. Also only till 7th. Then, I shifted to another school because we moved.
    Thanks so much for inquiring about me. Thumba santhosha aayithu, neevu nanna bagge vicharsiddake:))I just started working part time and am also taking a few courses part-time. Being a full time mom and part-time student is taking up all my time. Once I settle into a proper routine, I will be back blogging. I really miss all of you. We had a long weekend for labor day and so we went for a short vacation. Will blog about that soon:))Once again, thanks so much for caring.

  6. rk Says:

    Welcome. Glad you liked the post. 🙂

    Bahala dodda maathu (script writer….), but thanks for your comments. yes, this was very common. whoever was more studious, got the preference. but usually, such students were below average in sports and rarely could throw the ball a few feet high.

    neevu maathadodhkele andhukonde, chikkavayassalli bejaan aatagalu aadidheera antha!

    MoodsAndColors ,
    Welcome to my blog. Maybe some of the teachers are so strict coz their teachers would have been strict to them and our teachers will want to take revenge and we become easy BAKRAS. (just joking)
    Ganga’s blog is fantastic, isn’t it?
    Do visit again. Good luck.

    Great to see your comment. And felt nice to know you have become a part-time student. In fact, I feel, all of us are students for life!
    But good luck for your classes & your job.
    Ok, Labour day in US is in September is it? Gottirlilla.
    Thanks for liking this post.

  7. Shruthi Says:

    A very endearing story, RK! 🙂

  8. Vijay Says:

    RK.. good one… I always assumed that teachers took home what they confiscated… which was not true ’cause my mother did not bring home anything.. need to ask her one of these days..

    I like your “loyalty” to your cork ball (even to the extent of following her home)… I am sure your “I want my ball” was a recurring nightmare for your teacher for a loooong time 🙂

  9. Srikanth Says:

    Reminded me of Swami!!!!! I think u can guess which Swami!!

  10. rk Says:

    Thanks. 🙂

    I am sure your “I want my ball” was a recurring nightmare for your teacher for a loooong time.
    lol 😀 😀 Glad you liked the post.

    Who else but the one and only SWAAAAMIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII of Malgudi Days! 😉

  11. Mridula Says:

    As a student I was oh so different than what I am as a teacher! I wonder if you read Calvin and Hobbes? I so much enjoy the interactio between Calvin and Miss Wormwood. Your incident comes quite close to the enjoyment I derive from the Calvin and Hobbes. And thanks a lot for your wishes for the Teacher’s Day.’

  12. madapura Says:

    i had a similar ‘cork ball’ incident. I took a brand new cork ball (taken without informing my brother, who had just got it) to school and was showing off to my classmates and one of my friends borrowed it in the evening saying he will return it the next day morning. Next day, he tells me that a junior threw it somewhere and was lost. i panicked ! (seeing visions of the thrashings my brother would inflict on me) and went looking for this junior. I then ‘confiscated’ his belonging and he promptly complained to the ‘princi’. …who in turn ‘confiscated my bag’; gosh — i had a torrid time explaining the absence of my bag (to my parents and sis) and the ‘cork ball’ (to my brother); Later after about a fortnight, i managed to get my bag back (but that’s another story!!).

    Your post brought back vivid memories of this incident in my school life !! Thanks.

  13. Vijay Says:

    Madapura…A fortnight without your bag? How did you manage to get away with that? Just curious to find out what story you gave them 🙂

  14. Gangadhar Says:

    This’s a fantastic post,RK..
    yeah we do have some nice memories with our teachers during our childhood..Some of them could be funny or some of them could be hurted ones..But all in all those’re the most enjoyable days. Your case with Padma miss was so funny..but i loved your patience in getting your gem…hehe..And Padma miss’s a little bit(?) stubborn too.
    Well,for me too..had a chain of nice experiences with my school teachers as well as college ones..But u know,i had a crush with my basic electronics lecturer in BTech,Prem Pyaari(Amala look a like),who’s just five yrs older than me…heheh..And i don’t know what she’s doin right now…

  15. rk Says:

    Thanks for your comments. Reading your posts and comments makes me feel you are both lenient as well as strict with your students. Hope you had a memorable Teacher’s Day!

    Thanks for sharing your incident. As Vijay has asked, how did you manage without the bag for a fortnight and what excuse did you tell your parents and sister?
    Do visit again, to narrate the other story as well!

    Even I am curious to know how Madapura managed a fortnight without the school bag.

    Yes, Padma Miss was really stubborn those days. Would never let us read a magazine unless they were defaced with the school seals. Only when we came to X, XI and XII standards, was she friendly with me and my classmates.

    Maybe ‘Prem Pyaari’ is commenting inher blog saying ” A student of mine seems to have had a crush with me, Prem Poojari, who’s just five yrs younger than me…heheh..And i don’t know what he’s doin right now… “

  16. Gangadhar Says:

    Hello RK,
    prem pyaari dint know abut my crush!

  17. Gangadhar Says:

    Hello RK,
    prem pyaari dint know abut my crush! just an info..

  18. rk Says:

    is it so?
    anyways, i was just joking…. 😉

  19. Gangadhar Says:

    yeah..i now..u r joking..

  20. Vijay Says:

    Hey RK… Dwaraka Hotal .. when??????????

  21. some body Says:

    which year did you pass out (Xth) from school – just curious.

    – s.b.

  22. rk Says:


    Thanks for the treat!

    I did my 10th in the early years of the last decade of the 20th century! 🙂


  23. […] we were in the Library, Padma Miss would say: Aye: Can you not read Silently? She would point to 2-3 fellows and say: Stand out. […]

  24. […] managed to record the interview in a audio tape. At school (I did my Plus Two in KVM), I asked my ‘Library miss’ if there was any book of Laxman’s cartoons and she gave me a copy of ‘You Said It – […]

  25. preethi Says:

    such a beautiful memory..
    u made me remember all the Indian and russian magzines I used to read..
    Champak,chandamama,sputnik,misha …

  26. Koushik Chakraborty Says:

    Hi! This is hilarious….well scripted and you must ensure Padma miss read this one…

  27. Kristo Francis Says:

    Man oh man.. that’s a very good thing to remember. Even i was kept out of library class for almost 3 to 4 months due to some mis-understanding my Padma mam. But i still do not remember the exact reason. But i enjoyed it. reading lot of newspapers during that 1 hour. and only thing i prayed to god is that my brother kretil Francis should not see me.

  28. Govind Says:

    Nice nostalgic lines.
    I do remember padma miss,She really inculcated the use of library in us.
    We even had a proze for the Library category for the school day,I am not sure if some of us remeber this! I do bcos I got the prize several times.
    I did use the library a lot,for the HOw and Why series.
    I do hope we continue to share these nostalgic rememberences ( hope this is not wrong english)more often.
    Govind Babu

  29. Satish S.R. Says:

    Really enjoyed reading the post.Looking forward to more such posts.
    Satish SR

  30. Anoop Khanna Says:

    To spend a lazy Sunday morning with memories of days long gone by! Can there be anything better than that? Thanks Ram, for providing the link between the present and the past. I too remember Padma miss and the library…got into the habit of reading Science Today and Science Reporter from KVM Library! Continued to read these till they vanished from the scene in their original avataar. Not sure if any one is, but Ram on a serious note can’t we begin a project to chronicle the facts, memories, pictures, and everything else about our days at KVM at one point….there are several FB pages, Yahoo groups, and many more but would it not be better to have everything at a single point.Think…

    • rk Says:

      hey anoop,
      glad you liked the post.
      the idea of chronicling is great.
      we need to put in some thought on how to go about.
      you can mail me on: ramblingwithbellur at rediffmail dot com

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