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Can we have our bench back?

I would like to share an incident of my junior college days. We were around 17 or 18 years old. We were in higher secondary school - the academic year where almost everyone is almost done with their studies before the actual start of the year. Hence, we friends were on revision. We would attend college only in early hours of day where we had got practical classes to attend. That means an hour or two of college and before even a proper morning would rise we would be back at home. As I was a keen learner my dad had offered me to join his business to learn and also to help him. Hence he had asked me to be available at 9 in the morning.

I would wake at 5:30 and reached college by 6:30 attend the classes, which would last till 8:30, and reach to help my dad at 9. This went for days and months. It was not only me who was following this schedule but a lot of my friends and classmates too would do this. Until one day the head of the college realized that lesser and lesser students are attending the lectures.

One day comes the breaking news. The news reached to us even before we reached home. Mobile phones weren't common at those days. So when I reached home I got a call from my friend. She said “Our benches are removed from our class!” Apparently the head teacher was of the opinion that if you do not want to attend we no longer need that many benches in the class. He had also asked other students to inform the class bunkers to 'bring a letter from your parents that you would not bunk any more henceforth' - that was 'if you need your benches back'.

After I heard the whole scene from my friend we both were silent for a moment and then laughed out loud. 'Who could think like that?' Was that a punishment or a joke? After getting ourselves into our senses we gathered the importance of the matter and gave a serious thought to fix this situation. We were determined to go the class next day. 

That night I spoke to my dad about all this and convinced him to write a letter and sign it. I could not believe what he had to say, "Where do you go after bunking the classes?" I was shocked to hear that. I quickly replied, "Dad, everyday sharp at 9 am I am with you". My dad looked at my mom, "I hope you are keeping an eye on her!" My mom smiled and signaled me to be calm. I kept the letter with me and tried to sleep early. But the thought of next day kept me awake. 

Next day we reached the class. It was difficult as we were forced to either stand or share the benches. We all were laughing as, for the first time in months the class was full and benches half. Four students on a bench! Phew! The 30 minutes went like hours. Soon after the first lecture we went to meet the head teacher and spoke to him. It was a smooth talk. We understood that he was more concerned about other students who required to study without external help. After a brief discussion we all came to a solution those students who are far more ahead than the college syllabus can exempt from attending the class.
We went back to our home and benches went back to their places. I cannot remember what I did with the letter that dad had signed for me. May be I crumbled and threw off or kept it safe for future use or... cannot remember.

But all I remember is asking the head teacher "Can we have our bench back?"


  1. Interesting story, and it all sounds a bit crazy to me. yet to be fair it did encourage people to return!

  2. That’s what teachers are there for - to teach us in a damn smart way!


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