July 1979 The Sherwoodian Times 12th Issue

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The School Concert June 5th The English Play- 'Refund'

The scene opens on the office of the Principal (A. Dhariwas) whose ordered existence is shaken by the announcement that the person wishing to see him is neither parent, pupil, nor the School inspector (he looks far too intelligent!), the only species of humans he knows. He is further shattered by the blunt demand of his visitor, an old student called Wasserkopf (R. Sinha), who claims that, as he has been unable to hold a job, it is clear that the school has not prepared him for life and hence he demands a refund of his tuition fee. Clearly the situation calls for a staff meeting and the harassed Principal is given the brilliant suggestion by the Maths. Master (G. Anand) that they re-examine Wasserkopf, taking care to pass him whatever his answer.

Wasserkopf is equally determined to fail but the 'loafers' as Wasserkopf so eloquently describes them, prove that in the art of manoeuvre not even the crafty Wasserkopf can match them. Hence Wasserkopf's answer of '7 metres' to the leading question of the History master (A.K. Pall) 'How long was the 30 Years ?' was cleverly deduced as an interpretation of Einstein's theory of relativity and in like manner he was declared successful by the Physics master (S.K. Rao) and the Geography master (R.K. Jha).

The Maths. Master (G. Anand) has but two questions to ask : "One easy, one difficult. The easy question : If we represent the speed of light by x and the distance of the star Sirius from the sun by y what is the circumference of a 109-sided regular polyhedron whose surface area coincides with what of the hip-pocket flask of a railway employee whose wife has been deceiving him with a regimental sergeant - major'. Wasserkopf' answer was declared out by the smallest fraction, but the Maths. master declares him a failure. Aghast at this act of treachery, the Principal and the other masters urge the Maths. master to reconsider but, claiming that it would damage the reputation of the school, he refuses. The jubilant Wasserkopf is asked to calculate the tuition fees to be refunded which he does accurately down to the last penny. Where-upon the calculating Maths. master announces that was his difficult question and declares Wasserkopf successful in the examination.

After the unfortunate Wasserkopf is rescued from the menacing Masters and is ejected forcibly by the servant (R. Juneja), the Principal basking in the after-glow of success pats the masters on the back for proving yet again that in their school 'a pupil simply cannot fail'.

It is needless to point out the enthusiasm with which this play was received, especially by the boys (for obvious reasons). The impudent young Wasserkopf, so well-captured Sinha, must surely be school boy's dream and the superb portrayal of character from the dithery old History master lost in the past and equally lost in the present, to the harassed Principal always 'on his dignity' and ever so slightly pompous, the 'nitwit' of a Geography Master, the vague Physics master and the dominating Maths. master, each one held the audience captive.

Although there was little movement and action we could visualize the slightly moth-eaten, convention -bound, stuck-in-a-groove established school unshakeable in its complacency, not even by the wild antics of Wasserkopf who causes but a mild flutter before it settles down into its dusty existence once again.

AK Amitava

The Hindi Play

Mr. J.B. Singh's play had for its theme the social problem of dowry. At the onset, credit must be given to the Director's mode of presentation for had it not been for this factor, the play with its well-worn theme, would have degenerated into a 'B' grade Hindi film.

The story revolves around a 'munim' who is appointed to look after the affairs of a 'Sahu' in his absence. The 'munim' has a daughter and the worry of arranging the huge sum of dowry drives him to deception. He decides to play the role of the 'Sahu' in the hope of obtaining an eligible bachelor for his son-in-law. He has two servants (who are the inevitable clowns). They round up the fake 'Sahu' suspected of murdering the actual Sahu but as it turns out, the real Sahu has been away on a tour of Europe. He learns of his munim's trickery but pardons him as his son wants to marry the munim's daughter.

Tyagi, who acted the Sahu's part, seemed to be tailor-made for the role. He is rather good at delivering speeches and though he tended to overact a little, he made amends by hiss acting in the 'comic' scenes. The most appreciated character of the play was Arun Marks. He suited the role of the father who comes to arrange his son's marriage with the Sahu's daughter. He gave a superb impression of the real thing.

Another character, who deserves special commendation was Atal Patel. The experience that he gained as a servant in the last year's play, helped him play the same role to perfection and his excellent acting won him many admirers in the audience.

I must not forget the girls who made a very significant contribution to the success of the play.

There were so many characters in the play that it is hard to comment on the individual performance of all, but each in his or her own way contributed to a very successful play.

In conclusion I would like to comment on the fact that had play stuck to the theme, it would have had a more 'tailored' effect. As it was it detracted from what was otherwise a very successful play because of wheels within wheels, that only served to complicate the play. 

M Parashar

The Founder's Day Orchestra

The essence of our great cultural heritage is kept alive in Sherwood by the Indian Music Society, whose commendable performance was greatly appreciated on Founder's Day.
The 'Drutta gata' from 'Raag Bihaag', a melodious composition by the eminent composer, Amir Khusro, was chosen. After brief but careful observation, the final selection of the orchestra was made and, thereafter, a month of regular and earnest practice followed.

The orchestra began with a short note on the 'santoor', followed by a 'cut' on the tabla and then each instrument with its own timbre blended with the rest to produce perfect harmony. The performance lasted for only ten minutes-an unusual happening with 'Indian music' programmes, but nevertheless it succeeded in making a considerable effect on the audience, and met with an unanimous comment-short and sweet', which it indeed was.
Our thanks are due to Prof. G. Srivastava Head of Department, Music, D.S.B. College, Naini Tal, who devoted his precious time to help polish our performance.

G Sarin (Class XI)

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