“The bell is not ringing!” This was a frequent complaint during the last two days from the annoyed teachers.
To understand the extent of the problem you need to be a teacher. In a school the absence of bell means a standstill. This is how one teacher reported, “I came prepared for the 40 min class, but even after completing it, together with some activities I concocted just now, it’s not getting over. 40 minutes, this long? What’s going on?” I looked at the clock and sensed trouble. The bell!
The fed up teachers longed to flee the thoroughly enlightened class; the bored students awaited the next teacher for a different kind of replenishment.
Who was responsible? Who had been ringing the bell all these days? Kaka, a hapless victim of the new laws, used to do it. The bell had been punctual all these years and we never noticed the presence, the effort of a human being behind it. We took his service for granted. Now the person has left, leaving the bell dumb and the whole schedule upset.
* * *
The attendant is reminded once again, the bell goes and the each one heaves a sigh of relief.
The situation rings a bell and I recall O. Henry’s The Pendulum:
Nobody heard the click and rattle of the cog-wheels as the third-floor front of the Frogmore flats buzzed its machinery back into the Order of Things. A band slipped, a spring was touched, the gear was adjusted and the wheels revolve in their old orbit.
I reflect: We miss you Kaka. Grateful to you. May God keep you safe, wherever you are!
[Thank you, Julia, for the inspiration!]