ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)

- Memoir - Why Call Him A Peon? He Was the Head Master -

[Devangi T. Chandrashekar]

One summer he had come to Shivamogga. He asked me, "We are thinking of visiting Kuppali. Would you mind coming with us?" There was an invitation in those words. I said "Yes."

The next morning around seven O'clock they came to Theerthahalli by car. I went with them. When the car had moved a little, I asked the driver to stop for a while. The old tiger of Theerthahalli, Arakappa (Aarogyam-Aarokkiyam) was coming from the opposite direction. I turned towards Kuvempu and asked him, "Look, Arakappa is coming- do you remember him?" He hesitated a while and remembered a bit about him. Then he exclaimed, 'Oho!' and smiled. Perhaps the memories of the playful childhood days they had lived in Theerthahalli had come back to his mind. Arakappa bowed his head and said, 'Namaskara my lord.' His eyes were sparkling. Puttappa asked him, "What Arakappa, are you fine? Do you still serve in the same school?" "Yes my lord" he said and then bade adieu. The car moved ahead. Puttappa's son Tejasvi asked his father, "Anna, how do you know him?" Reminiscing those old days Kuvempu said, "When we were at the school here he was the peon. Why call him a peon, many times he was the head master. Like the adage 'an old patient is better than a new doctor', he was better than many new head masters were. While the teachers taught us inside the classrooms, he taught us all other things outside the school. Swimming, playing marbles, collecting honey, making the head master's stick disappear- he was the leader to all of us in all these endeavours.

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