I was just about eighteen when I started teaching at CHS. I was Form Master of Form 2D that year. To this day I can still see the faces of all the students in that Form, though I have forgotten the names of many of them. I can still visualize their youthful faces as I walked in every morning to take roll call (“mark register” as we used to say). I also used this as an occasion to make the class stand and say a silent prayer to start their day. Some of the names I remember are Nazimool Gafoor (from Rose Hall Town), Suenainah (from Bloomfield), Maharanie (Belvedere), Atma Jailall, Ramoo (Williamsburg), Miss Grant (probably Limlair). There was a very quiet boy from Black Bush Polder in this class by the name of Deoraj Jamna. One morning when I went to mark register I was told that Deoraj passed away. I asked the class to stand and observe a minute’s silence. In those days it was my job every afternoon to give Mr. Parkinson, a fellow master of the school, a ride (“a lift”) to the public road on my bicycle. The street was not paved so I had to choose the smoothest path so as not to irritate Mr. Parkinson’s arthritis. That afternoon I mentioned to Mr. Parkinson about the passing of young Deoraj. After a few pensive moments, Mr. Parkinson spoke words that I have never forgotten. At the end of the term I had to send a report card to Deoraj’s parents. There were no “marks” (test scores) to enter except to think of the anguish of his parents when they receive their son’s last report card. For Form Master’s Remarks I wrote the words Mr. Parkinson had spoken: The night of death puts an end to the labors of the short day of life. Rest In Peace, Deoraj.

Rishi Singh