There are some persons who linger in your consciousness even though you had a very short association with them in distant past. One such person was our scout teacher Shree Parasmani Krena., popularly known as Krenajee. I was eight and a student of class four at the time.
Krenajee had a very attractive and magnetic personality. He had a slim body, bob cut hair and an ever smiling face. He was a scout personified. We had the privilege of his company for hardly one year, but he was able to leave an indelible mark on each of us. Those boys, who are now more than seventy years of age, whenever they happen to come across banana peels, pieces of glass or any such undesirable things on road, their hands involuntarily picks them up and safely deposit at some safe corner. They cannot afford to be unmindful of the call for help by some needy person. Krenajeee used to say a scout salutes by his left hand so that his right hand remains always available to respond to the call of a needy person. He used to share the inspirational stories and anecdotes of the father of scout movement Mr. Beden Powell in a very lucid style along with detailed history and principles of the scouting organization. In addition to that we were amazed at his agility in performing various types of asasnas( the word yaga was not a part of our vocabulary at the time) and other physical exercises besides drill with band, drum and trumpets. It was such a pleasant and inspiring activity.
Krenajee would make two boys catch hold of strands of his hair from opposite sides, lift them by holding at their waist and make rounds. His hair did not yield, the boys did not fall. It was an amazing circus like feat. There was workshop like sessions for training boys in skills for rescue operations as part of disaster management. We were trained to tie different types of knots in a rope. This training has served us throughout our lives.
Once he organized a practical demonstration of evacuation from a building on fire. Shambhu Babu, a teacher of our school, was being evacuated from the roof of the double storey building our school building. A rope was tied around his waist; a big cloth piece was stretched up to the ground floor. Two men holding it at each end at the roof end and at the ground end respectively. Shambhu Babu was seated at the roof end with the rope tied around his waist. The other part of the rope was tightly held by Krenajee himself. Shambhu Babu was lowered carefully. An accident was tactfully averted. It so happened, that when the evacuee was midway, the chadar tilted. Krenajee did not lose his cool. He very firmly kept on directing all the involved persons, including the mock evacuee to keep calm and to hold the chadar firmly. The tilt was corrected and the mock evacuation drill was a grand success.
.A session would conclude with a loud rallying cry:-------
Kya karoge ------- "Chamatkar"
Kya Karoge------- "Paropkar"
Kya Karoge-------"Chamatkar, Paropkar. Deshoddhar"
Krenajee disappeared from our midst suddenly in a most dramatic way. Quit India movement was at its peak in the year 1942. Krenajee was an active participant in this movement. He had organized a group consisting of students and laborers of Bidi industry. The group had created upheaval in Deoghar for several days and made a mark. Ganja and wine shops were looted and there was arson at several spots.
Once four political prisoners were being transported by police to District jail at Dumka from Deoghar jail. A group consisting of Bidi- labourers . Bajarang Dal and Sonta samaj members blocked the Deoghar-Dumka road by felling several trees under the leadership of Krenajee. The lorry carrying the agitating prisoners under police surveillance could not proceed further. The crowd armed with lathis, spears and axes surrounded the lorry and freed the prisoners. The police personnel stood just as onlookers.
Police shadowing of Krenajee got intensified after this incident. One day Krenajee entered the school premises by the back door all of a sudden. The boys assembled around him in no time. Kreajee addressed us in a very deep voice, “ Police is following me. I would not be able to be amidst you. I call upon you to remember that fight for liberating the country is on. Madan lal Dhingra has taught a lesson to the oppressors in their land He was not much older to you. This is time to get ready and alert. Pay attention to your studies and keep well. Before we could react, he swiftly slipped out by the back door of the school. Thugh police was not able to get hold of him at that time, Krenajee was arrested later.
We were excited and concerned. It was learnt that Krenajee is kept in the local jail. Many of us got restless. We wanted to see him, so we hanged around the jail. We learnt that a written permission from the deputy superintendent of the subdivisional hospital is needed to meet a prisoner. I recall those days. I was then just eight years old and a student of class fourth. I had just learnt the alphabets in English. I drafted the application in my not very legible writing and met the Deputy superintendent in the hospital accompanied by one of my friends. The Doctor seemed to be very much impressed by the earnestnes of the tiny tots and readily granted permission. Armed with the permission letter we went to the jail; we were taken to the inner gate. Krenajee was on the other side of the gate. He was holding the rods of the gate. He was fresh as usual , only a little emotional perhaps due to us. “Be brave, be courageous”, he had told us.
And then Krenajee got lost in the stram of time. His image lingered in our memory. Ke was a very ordinary person, he was not much educated. A REAL SCOUT. Therefore devoid of the tact, trivialities and meanness required for being successful.
He came out of the prison after a few years. But he did not find any place in the list of leaders History does not remember such persons. Though it cannot be denied that he had contributed in making the next generation better.