He created a lot of ill will in the school; among the teaching fraternity and among the students. From day one, students developed a dislike for him. But they had to hide it because they couldn't have managed to live without interacting with this menacing character.
He used to bring caste and color of students to the fore. He once told the School Pupil Leader [SPL], "Why do you keep the company of those low caste boys ? You are so fair and from a reputed family. You should not mingle with these 'Shudras'". This further diminished his stature in the eyes of the students.
He brought in a lot of new rules and regulations. It was tough on the hitherto happy go lucky life of the kids. One of his new rules demanded pupils to submit a properly worded 'Leave Letter' in English and in advance. One had to give the reason for availing leave in advance. And he wanted all letters directed to him and not the Class-teacher.
A boy wanted to take 3 days leave to visit his grand-parents at Kundapur. Since there was a second Saturday, he could go on a 5 days holiday while taking only 3 days leave.
But he was scared because he had already suffered humiliation from the Headmaster for being from lower caste and for being dark skinned. The Headmaster had called him 'Dim-witted Negro'. So he went to the SPL for help. The SPL was more than willing to help him write the leave letter. Thus the leave letter happened.
S/O Devanna P.
Kabettu, Karkala - 574104
Government Higher Primary School
Kabettu, Karkala - 574104
Subject: Requisition for leave
Hereby I would like to inform you that I will be suffering from fever from 14 December 1981 to 16 December 1981. Hence I will not be able to attend classes during this period. This is unavoidable because I will be sick during these 3 days.
I request you to kindly grant me leave of absence for these 3 days. I will make up for the absence after I get better and will cover all the subjects after I come back from Kundapur.
11 December 1981
The hand of the SPL behind this letter was recognized instantaneously by the Headmaster. The leave was not granted but the boy was caned. The SPL was spared the rod and saved his position only because he was from a higher caste.
The SPL and other students continued to dislike the Headmaster but had to suffer him for just one more year. Sadananda grew up to be a quick bowler. Today, he owns and drives a taxi in Karkala. The Headmaster committed suicide in 1982. Nobody knew the reason, and fewer lamented him.
The School Pupil Leader went on to become a leg-spinner. He is a Doctor today in a far off place. He used his innate talent at mischief to become a Blogger. He continues to recollect, ruminate and rejoice at the cost of his readers, howsoever small the number might be.