Saturday, February 17, 2018
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Students love to play the truant. But not all do that. And if the  teachers are indeed good, students from even other sections would  enter their classes to take advantage of such brilliant lectures. Our reader Rajiv Dave tells me, ‘When we saw teachers like Prof Mehta from a distance, we automatically bowed in reverence for them’.

He even suggests that coaching classes should be banned. I remember when I was studying, students from other sections would invade the lecture classes of Dr P.E.Dastur in the English department, some would sneak into Firaq’s classes when he was teaching Shakespeare; and in Economics department, whenever there was an extra class on a Sunday, the large lecture theatre used to be overflowing with students in case Dr P.D.Hajela or Dr S.L.Parmar were taking classes. So great was the enthusiasm to listen to their lectures that many would forego the pleasure of watching a Sunday movie at the Palace Theatre.  I remember the first 3D film, ‘House of Wax’ was showing in Palace on Sunday. Students missed it. The Palace re-staged the film on the following Sundays.
There were some students who, despite being very brilliant in studies, would play the truant and at the end of the year would find their attendance short. Their attendance was seldom condoned. We have that famous case of C.B.Rao who later on became Vice Chancellor of AU, also Allahabad’s Mayor and had succeeded in ICS examination too. C.B.Rao was told at the end of the year that he could not appear in the examination because his attendance was short by  just one day. I may mention that C.B.Rao was  the son of the  legendary editor of Allahabad, Sir C.Y.Chintamani who had especially been invited by Gandhiji to join him for the Round Table Conference with King George.  Sir Chintamani did go there. But with all the power and reputation he enjoyed, Mr Chintamani did not put in a word for his son and the boy was detained. But boys will be boys. Mr Rao took his sweet revenge on the Vice Chancellor (Mr Kaul) who had frankly told him that he could not extend that favour to him as then he would have to condone the attendance of several more students who had missed the attendance by a day. Mr Rao rang up a Restaurant on the University Road (Jagati Restaurant it was) and told them that he was speaking from the Vice Chancellor’s residence. He asked them to make tea arrangements for 50 at the VC’s residence and put on a shamiana, chairs and tables. When the VC returned home from the University he was stunned to find arrangements being made for a feast for 50.  You can imagine the rest! No slogans, no stone-throwing, no verbal brickbats, no processions—and yet the protest was there! Today that may not be possible because caterers cross check before executing orders on phone and also demand a fat sum in advance.




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