Classes started at 10:30 AM everyday. It was an English medium school in the southern part of the city, fifteen minutes bus ride away from Ary’s house. With the state government adopting Bengali as the only medium of instruction until middle school, a lot of middle class parents sent their kids to the mushrooming English medium schools in the city if they could afford the higher fees.
Daily proceedings in school would begin with the “assembly”. Students assembled in the hallways outside their classrooms, dressed in cream white shirts and chocolate brown pants. The teachers, mostly women, in yellow and red saris, paced along the hallways keeping a watchful eye on the students while they uttered their morning prayers adapted from some Vivekananda text pledging to search the almighty in the poor and desolate country men. Then the principal, a tall and elderly lady with a lot of personality, addressed the students from her office on a microphone. Her carefully chosen words uttered with a thick voice and a smooth English accent, unlike a lot of the other teachers, traveled to the hallways through the loudspeakers with most students listening to her with utmost veneration. Ary too had a lot of respect for their principal, but on that day he was way too excited about last night’s cage match and couldn’t focus on her words at all. He beamed at his fellow classmates- Sourav, Soumya and Rick who were also into pro-wrestling like him, and muttered, “It must be Kane! It must be Kane!” They giggled back.
As the students got back to their respective classrooms after the “assembly”, Rick reminisced a creepy promo by Undertaker’s ex-manager, Paul Bearer, a distortion of the word “pallbearer” which referred to people with the profession of carrying coffins in funerals, from a few weeks back on Monday Night Raw- “Remember what Paul Bearer was saying? Undertaker was playing with a matchstick the morning Paul visited the household. His little brother Kane was with him.”
“Yeah, then Undertaker set the house on flames. His parents died, so did his brother. At least that’s what Taker thought”, replied Ary as Rick, Soumya, Sourav and he occupied the wooden desk and bench in the last row, counting from the teacher’s table. Each set of desk and bench would be occupied by three to four students, and there were about six rows of them on either side of a large stretch of space in the middle of the classroom, where the teacher usually strolled while delivering the lecture. Ary and his cohorts usually occupied the last row. Whenever they got a chance they avoided the eyes of the teacher and played games, ranging from the common “pen fight” to games they innovated in class, for example writing down maximum number of names of wrestlers or wrestling moves in thirty seconds. But on that particular day, those games weren’t engaging enough for them and they were eagerly waiting for the recess…….