Joe the Medicine man

If there’s anyone who remains firmly in my memory, it is Joe who ran the infirmary. He was always dresssed very neatly, if I remember his favorite was a khaki pant and a white bush shirt worn out (as against being worn inside the pant) and it gave the impression of being clinical. He was also well groomed with a sharp moustache and hair that did not move out of place. His speech was crisp and to the point as were his actions. I should know because I spent a lot of time in the infirmary in my early days. But what was most amazing was his technique of giving an injection. He would throw the needle from close enough as one would a dart. When I last saw him during my visit to India, he had not aged and seemed to be as fit as a fiddle.

Another individual who more or less inspired me was Master Gregory. By the time I joined as a boarder, he was retired and ran the canteen. But come Christmas time and he would be as busy as a bee. Every year he set up the Crib at the space for the side altar on the left. I watched fascinated until he invited me to help. And help we did. We really enjoyed that part. But we were naughty as can be and during regular school days when it was recess time, we would join the crowd at the canteen to flick groundnuts. He caught me a couple of times but felt sorry for me as he felt for the poor boarders. As most old timers who ived during the British Raj, Master Gregory wore half pants and was quite tall. He was a really nice guy.

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