Ever since we joined the Junior School we would we watching, with great envy from the boundary walls, the freedom with which the Boys’ School boys would we running down the hillside to reach the Lower pitch. This hillside from the road above to the Lower pitch gave us the first few lessons in mountain climbing. And the sides of the stairways that went down to the Lower Pitch was the slipway that had been smoothened by the bottoms of generations of Oak Grovians.
We all would go back home with patches on our pants in the area where our bottoms had rubbed down the not so smooth slipway. And the stairways that went down to the front pitch had a vertical cliff on the left that often would challenge our adventurous spirit to try and climb it. Those that have done it know that it was no easy task as the cliff is practically vertical and is some three stories high with practically no toe holds. I remember once while I was returning after a game of hockey at the Front pitch I saw the Khurana brothers trying to climb this rock. The elder Khurana was in my class while the younger Khurana had just joined Boys’ school and was trying to copy his elder brother.
From down below I could make out that this little fellow was shivering with fear as his tiny hands and toes could hardly hold on to the face of the cliff. He would be looking up to his brother, who was a little higher up, and try and copy him, toe hold for toe hold. Well, I managed to get both of them down and showed the elder brother the condition his younger brother was in. That poor fellow was still shivering. When I asked him if he himself had climbed the rock before, he told me that he had done so twice before and that it was something he wanted his brother to do for sure.
Well that was the spirit of Oak Grovians. Come hell or high water, when a job has to be done it has to be done.
Well this practice of hill climbing did help us out once. Some of us boys once decided to go over to the Girls’ School to just chat with the girls. When we were close to their boundary wall we noticed that some of the girls had noticed us and were just shocked to see us . There was some commotion and in that commotion the teacher on duty also happened to come. One of the girls gave us a sharp warning cry and knowing that some danger was imminent we all covered our heads with our shirts and in that blinded condition practically ran down the hillside. And of course the teacher had very sportingly reported that she had seen some boys but as their faces were covered with their shirts she could not identify any one.
Well those were the Oak Grove days and I wonder how crazy could we get.
– Capt. R.N. Ghosh (1971 Batch)
This article is a work by Capt. R.N. Ghosh. This content has been reproduced from a blog posted by Raveesh Gupta on Aug 14, 2010. Here is the link to the original post.