I had a crazy dream last night. I was delayed to the school assembly. I was running to the entrance gate but they shut it on my face. I had nothing to do and nowhere to go but wait for an eternity, till it finally got over.
That episode reminded me of this whole affair – “the morning assembly” & the hilarity of events that followed with it (side effects).
Chapter 1 : The Assembly line – It was meant to measure your worth (height) everyday
If I think of it now, I might have not discovered that I was short, had it not been the school assembly. That tradition of ordering the queue by your relative height made me envious of other fellas. I was glad, I was not the shortest. But, I was disappointed when someone ahead of me, grew an inch taller to take away “my original spot”. 😥
That assembly line was a fierce competition, to stay behind, as farthest as possible from the dais and the teachers. (You didn’t want ’em to notice you, in case you were bored to death.)
Chapter 2 : It challenged you to stay awake.
Assembly was the first thing in the morning , a mix of prayers with some over practiced speeches (mostly by children). It lasted for one full hour and sucked away that day start energy. Needless to say, everyone was yawning, constantly. Which is why, they decided to turn it into a full fledged TV.
Dance choreography was introduced along with the prayer songs. That meant we had to jump and sway to match the lyrics. (as we sang) 😳
It was a damn pretty sight to see from a distance except that it disturbed our sleeping momentum 😡
Chapter 3 : Some even fainted!
In summers, the temperature soared easily from 35 to 40 degree Celsius.
We were all used to the heat of course (being from an equatorial country) but that didn’t mean we championed an hour long survival.
It was not unusual to witness someone fainting in the middle of the assembly. That didn’t halt the assembly. We watched, while they carried the casualty inside the building.
We danced to the prayers while a few more weaklings fainted.
That taught us a key lesson – Survival of the fittest 😛
Chapter 4: An exception was your birthday
Birthdays meant special attention in morning assembly.
For starters, you were allowed to wear casuals on that special day. So you could dress like a celebrity & grab some eye balls.
To top this up, you didn’t have to join the queue. You were promoted straight to the podium. So, while everybody sang the birthday song, you could just relax & watch ’em from a distance. 😎 Those crazy fellas even choreographed the birthday song.
Chapter 5 : And then it was abruptly dismissed
Believe it or not, that morning assembly was a deadly place! (especially for those who played the band). That one time, there was this guy playing drums alongside the pianist. We were all singing the prayer in chorus when we heard a sudden “thud”. A glass pane fell from the top floor and landed straight onto his head. The glass shattered into pieces and this guy dropped unconscious, drenched in his blood.
The drumming stopped and so did the morning assembly (suddenly dismissed)
That shit happened twice. So they barred the patch of the ground below windows. (forever!).
Turns out, some kids (while playing) scraped off the clay from windows. That (clay) was meant to hold the glass together. Of course they didn’t know it then and hell broke loose in the morning assembly.
All the things that went on in that school assembly, makes me chuckle even today. No wonder why I can still recall it in my dreams!
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