Canes and Tears


One of my senior colleagues came in late to office today morning.She looked terribly tensed and exhausted that even sitting inside the air conditioner made her sweat profusely.

I felt that even her eyes were little moist and she kept wiping her nose with the a soiled tissue.

Over the coffee,she explained me the problem causing her trouble.

She was late to office as she had to visit her only son’s school.

Her son was making too much trouble telling her that he won’t go to school at all.Today when she enquired at the school,it was known that her son was punished by a teacher three days back and poor kid got scared to go to school again.She was angry about the punishment system and the way teachers mentally tortured the kids at young age.

It is human nature that when we hear somebody else who is in more pain than us,we will feel much better.Thus I started off telling her my scary school days.

I studied in a CBSE school at Tirur,Kerala.(I don’t want to disclose the name of the school).I was there from my LKG till 4th std.Those days I used to study well only because I was scared to think about the punishment by canes.Below are some of the innovations done by my school teachers to torture us badly.

  • They tie thick rubber bands at the end of the canes.Then they tie two canes together with a thicker rubber band and then beat us.
  • They oil the cane and then wind a cloth at the end where they hold it so that cane don’t slip from their hands.
  • They use wooden ruler to beat us on a tightly held wrist; between the bones.
  • They make us stand at a hand distance and whirl the cane so that the tip of the cane touches our body.
  • It was a common scene to see dark red and violet patches on hands,wrists,shoulders,knee and even thighs of the kids.

The scariest punishment which I ever saw in my life happened to my dearest friend Shameena.(This is her real name.I have been searching for her for a long time.If at all she happens to read this,then I may get back my friend.)

Shameena was a tiny soul who was scared of everything and everyone.Her father was a doctor and her family expected her to study well.But I don’t know why,she was not able to study anything.She was always the last one in our rank list and teachers hated to see her face.During interval,she weeps hugging me but even I never knew how to help her out.It happened in our 3rd std.One day during Math class,she was asked to solve a problem on the board.As usual she couldn’t even make out how to start off.She stood there blinking for a while.The teacher got furious and made her bend down and stand.He beat her on her buttocks and legs like farmers do so on bulls.That day Math was a double period session so she had to stand that way for nearly two hours.The teacher would give us problem to solve and then will ask her to explain the method.Poor girl she couldn’t even utter a word and that made him more angry and he will beat her again with the cane.By the time it was interval,there was a pool of tears where she was standing.Her legs had become numb that we girls had to lift her back to the seat.I remember pouring water on her face and the water getting mixed with her tears and making a patch on my white shirt and navy blue tie.That was the last time I saw her.Next day she didn’t come to class.The class teacher announced that she left the school and our class will be having 100% pass.She seemed to be very excited and relived.

I looked at my colleague’s face and tears were rolling from her eyes uncontrollably.

I told her that it was such terrible childhood experiences that made me bold and adamant and assertive.All our school kids were matured like 10th std kids when we were just 10.

After 4th std,I left that city and I was relieved from those nightmares which made me cry in the midnight.

PS : I have visited that city only once after leaving from there forever.But even then I never went to see my school.Still my heart sinks upon hearing the school’s name and those teachers which we never liked in childhood.

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17 thoughts on “Canes and Tears

  1. Phew! Makes me feel I went to school in a different planet. The only ‘teacher brutality’ I ever witnessed being a 6yr old tiny boy being lifted up in the air for 20secs by the school principal & scolded. . I thought THAT was demonic. . Naive me!

  2. corporal punishment is another manifestation of agitated mind and never been solution to anything but these days i see students go upto any extent to create trouble for teachers.I think mutual respect and harmony must prevail for better .

    1. Some of my friends who are teachers used to complain that it is damn tiring to make students obey.Like you said,mutual respect will create a peaceful space.

  3. God! thtz sick. even i got caned plenty f times, but somhow i wasnt tht effected or nevr thot of it after… i wish u cn find this girl.. n i reali hope shes doin wel now.. honestli if a sicko teacher do it to my child i’l juz take him/her to court or atleast kick their ass..

    1. I ued to think why 20 years back parents didn’t do that..may be they considered punishment as something good.I remember during parents meetings,some mothers tell the teachers to beat the kid if any disobidience happens :-0
      So who is encouraging?? 😡

  4. i was 11 years old when i faced a very cruel punishemnt of my life which is still a night mare for me. it was a library class , and i was wrongly punished by a male teacher accused of stealing a comic. when the class was over everybody was told to move back to classees and i was told to remain there only. i got 6 canes , 3 on each side a very very hard blows which were very very painful for me as i was very waek and was in poor health and had fever that day. i walked for about 2o feets and then fainted in toilet. I even kept telling the teacher that i have not done anything and kept applealing to frogive but he kept whipping me like an animal.
    How could a teacher do that, how could u beat a innocent child like this without unerstanding him , how could a teacher beat a a child who is just 28 kg and in poor health.Even a judge asks the convict that “Do u accept u crime or do u want say something in ur defence.
    Now i a m matured and trying to trace that teacher so that i can teach him a lesson so that any teacher afterwards will not ever even fream of apluying corpoal punishment to any child.
    The incidence i s still a nightmare for me and i have trying consulting a psychatrist to overcome this problem which has damaged my personality.
    I would request u all to please help me come out of this and also suggset that should i get that teacher killed as a i now also received the license of pistol i applied 3 years back

  5. i was studied in a government boys high school and when i was in 8 th std my mother said now you are in high school so you should go for tution also.then mom came together and we go to a tutorial near our school. when i went there in the principal’s office principal is a bald headed man looks around 40 yrs age,when we enter his room principal said mom to sit and mom said i came here for getting an admission for my son he is in 8 th std,principal said ok very good we start class one week before but that is not a problem he can get the notes and everything from other students or teachers.then he said the one thing i have to tell you we will not allow any discipline violation such as class cutting,coming late,coming without doing home works……… so if any one do that kind of violations should be punish hardly.is it ok for you or not ? if no then we will not compel you to take admission here.my mom smiled and said really i also thinking the same route because he is very naughty and very lazy to study so for me that is very good also.then principal said i like this kind of parents. i was looking around the office and i saw a long cane kept the top of a cupboard.then i start join there i noticed that there was very hard caning for students.one day i was late in the morning so i think if i go there principal will beat me so i go to school and there was some students we played at ground.the next day teacher took attendance and told me to go and meet principal, i went to principal’s room first he ask me why u did not come yesterday i said i had fever yesterday then he ask me then how you come to school ? i was silent then he said ok you have a letter from home? no sir.then he said tell me the truth then may be i will reduce the punishment little bit. then i told him what happened.after that he wake up and took the long cane and come out,he said this kind of things i can’t tolerate so tie your hands in front and look face to the wall.i obey it. then he tighten my pants and said don’t take the hands or move if u stand correctly then u will have a hard pain for few minutes other wise i will beat brutally and u will have pain for long time ok. i was scared and said ok. ohhhhhh my god he gave me 3 strokes with that cane he use his maximum power to beat me.after 3 strokes he said is it enough for you now? i said yes sir.when i went home and check my back the 3 strokes are wounded and skin broken.for one month the dark blue scar was there.

  6. Good article Bhavya.Now corporal punishment prohibited in school.Still I saw this academic year(2013-14) also children going with cane as per the direction of their teachers.Related to corporal punishment my letter published in Malayala Manorama last year.If you are interested I will send it to you.- Seby Joseph,Thrissur

  7. Haha..great write-up Bhavia! just chanced upon this. nostalgic indeed..Getting caned & pinched are part and parcel of a Malayali kid’s growing-up years 😛 ..I still remember after having spent my LKG & UKG in Mumbai, I got admitted to a school in Trivandrum for Std. I..got petrified after seeing the long canes in school..pretended to be sick & stopped going to school..LOL..basically forced my parents to let me continue my schooling in Mumbai, as I knew that use of the cane was rare over there..Alas! to my dismay Mumbaikar teachers used worse alternatives as punishment 😦

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