Psophometer …….. ?!!!

Though this incident happened almost six decades ago, it is still fresh in my mind, as though it was only yesterday that it happened!

While at the Telecom Training Centre, Trivandrum, we had a subject ‘Transmission Theory’, a rather tough one to grasp, for almost all of us. This subject was handled by a very knowledgeable person who also happened to be our Principal!

The classes used to be immediately after LUNCH. We the trainees, who were all mostly in our twenties, used to gobble up any number of chapattis with huge quantities of vegetables, in addition to our staple food viz. rice. Buttermilk used to be thick and inviting and hence would be consumed liberally. The effect of all this food in the tummy would make us drowsy and struggle to keep our eyes open and remain awake.

Being a first bench student didn’t help either. The sonorous sound from the lecturer was sure acting as a catalyst and most of us were blissfully enjoying the A/N nap, of course making sure that the snoring was not too loud!

One afternoon, to our utter surprise, the lecturer announced that he had completed the portion. He asked us whether we had any questions. As it usually happens, there was pin- drop silence in the classroom.

Now, he dropped a bomb! He had a question for us. It was posed thus: “Can a psophometer be used for ‘ noise level’ measurement? If, yes, how? If not, why?”

All of a sudden the entire class had any number of Vadivelus …..![1]

Like him we were saying soundlessly, “Aaha! Endha pakkam ponaalum anai katturare!’ (Loosely translated from the original Tamil as ‘He is not leaving us any escape route.’)

Then God Almighty took over and saved us ….. yes, the blessed bell rang and the entire class vanished into thin air!


[1] Vadivelu is a famous comedian of Tamil cinemas whose witty dialogues are on everybody’s lips.


Published by Musings of a GO

I am an engineer who worked in almost all branches of the Telecom Department of Government of India. I consider myself to be cool and collected at all times, myself being the operative word .....! I am a homebird and love being with my family. I miss my loving wife of more than five decades ..... she left for her Heavenly abode two years ago.

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