The report, “To school and back — on boat” (Feb.28), brought back fond memories of my school. I used to commute by ferry boat across the Hooghly from Naihati to Bandel in West Bengal in the 1970s. We were known as the “boat children” and always excused for coming late to school. Our fathers used to work in the numerous engineering industries — paper mills, jute mills, and so on — which lined the Hooghly at Halisahar, Naihati and Jagatdal. The absence of good schools on the eastern bank made us commute by ferry to convents in Bandel and Chandannagar on the western bank. One cannot describe the joy we felt. We would be carefully chaperoned by Bahadur, our darwan and Kesto, our majhi. Though we did not know how to swim, we had full faith in them and they never let us down. Commuting by boat across the Hooghly then was a fairly common practice.