……………………….And there are so many other things I can go on writing about. Today when I reminisce these people I have utter respect for them, for what they managed to do….(to make men out of people like me). Come to think of it without them….. how colorless our childhood would have been. Maybe those funny things that we associated with these people makes us remember them and their lessons so fondly even after couple of Decades.
My tryst with this Esteemed institution goes back to one December of 1979, when my father packed our bags from the pristine locales of Aruvankadu (in the vicinity of the more pristine Ooty) and shifted to this place called Ayudh Nirmani Chanda. From a small nursery converted to Std. first school in the lap of a mountain in Aruvankadu to a dilapidated cluster of leaking roves in this flat mainland, this was a huge culture shock for me. Yet, I took it in my stride as the prime reason behind this movement for the family was to get me an admission in Kendriya Vidyalaya which wasn’t happening in Aruvankadu due to some funny rule which was beyond my understanding then and even now.
So thus started a story of my academic life, which became a saga over a period of time, with many memorable personalities playing crucial characters in making a man out of me. The initial 4 years were in this dilapidated cluster of huts (if I may call them) surrounded by acres of plain ground which used to be our playground, and at a far distance lay some Teachers Huts (If I may call them so instead of Quarters). And those 4 years were unique because I was growing up with my Big Bro watching me all the while. Even a casual utterance of “Abe Saale…” might have attracted an unexpected rap. It was here that I met some friends who would stay with me till the end of my school life (Sudha, Anuradha, Nisha, Rajeev, Nitin, Nilesh, Mohsin, Sanjeev …. Those are the names I can remember). I was in the section B all the while and I don’t know but somewhere always got the feeling that there was a prejudice amongst teachers against the letter B. They always construed B to be Bad and A to be Achcha (Good). So here I was with a class full of new faces and got my first nickname of “Motya” because of the well rounded exterior that I possessed.
I remember distinctly Mukherjee Madam who was my first Class teacher, and Manish Satpute my first benchmate. Mr. Gondane was our principal a person who was very efficient when it came to organizing Student engagement initiatives – The one I remember is a Gudda Gudiya ki shaadi. Of course those were the days of PT, Annual Days, Sports Meets, and Project Works (where my mom tested her creative juices standing in for me).
Out of those 4 years in that Dilapidated structure I remember the 3rd Grade more distinctly as that was the first and last time in my academic life that I stood first in my class (2 marks more than Anuradha – she had a different name then). But she took care of that in the next many years to come by not letting me the numero uno position ever again.
In 1984 we moved to a new plush building more nearer to the Estate where we stayed, with bigger classrooms, better Green Boards, and better rest rooms. A bigger playground awaited us, and a new principal was soon to come in. And we got the taste of studying in a big and better school.
Of all those years in this institution there were so many teachers who touched us (some of them quite literally, and it hurt real bad). Let me see if I can recollect some of them just an ode to those amazing band of academicians
Mishra Sir: Taught Hindi in Std. 1 & 2, used to be very jovial and angry. Got transferred when we were in 2nd grade.
Kolte Sir: Who had this fetish of whacking on the behind and while doing so going around the class. It used to one hell of a spectacle.
Patil Sir: With those Tasmanian Moustaches, he used to teach us Drawing, God only knows what he taught me, for I cant draw an egg for nuts.
Sathe Sir (and his harmonium): Forever he was in the Bade Ghulam Ali khan world…Kaa Karoo Sajani !!!!
Dongre Sir: I remember him in 3rd Grade when he hit me so bad, I wet my pants. (Well now I can share it). I always felt this gentleman should have been booked for Culpable Homicide because he used to really use his fists on your back, whacking the wind out of you …Gosh !!!
Gajbhiye Sir: He had waves on his head, and used to be the Kool Dude teaching Social Studies which I hated (No wonder Social Studies hated me too….)
Mukherjee Madam: Used to teach us English ….She did pinch me once…!!!
Sheikh Sir: Used to teach English for seniors (my Bro), used to direct a lot of plays and he too had this habit of pinching…(Whats with English teachers and Pinching !!!!) Chee !!!
Shobhana Madam: Grapevine was she aspired to be an airhostess. And they were supposed to be kind, not her, She hit on knuckles …as if that’s not all…with a metal scale…..I got it once.
Pande Madam : She was born with Hindi and Duster. Hindi to teach and Duster to hit …Got it on numerous occasions. She had officially stripped me of my class monitorship in 8th Grade….she was transferred soon after ………..(trust me I didn’t have any hand in it).
Krishnamoorthy Madam: She was a darling, I have never come across someone so passionate in her teaching. Loved her classes, especially when she used to make us enact plays in the class….. I remember her enactment of Bard’s Tempest in the class distinctly.
Satpute sir: Always wanted to know who stitched his clothes. They always seemed a coupel of sizes bigger than him …. Loved it when he said “Kyu bhaiiya, masti aayi kya. Inke liye chanda ikattha karna padenga aur ek gold medal dena padenga….”
Vasudevan Sir: Noone came closer than him in making me like Social Studies. He was a dynamo, who never referred to the book yet could make history into His Story. He was awesome !!!
Shankariah Sir: He should have been an actor. He was a true gentle man who reminds me of Anil Kumble ….. tall frame, gentle demeanour, baritone voice but a hidden aggression. His enactment of “The Sniper” in the class with his Sandal as the Gun is still fresh in my mind.
Mr. R. P. Sahu: The Man, The Principal. He surely was a strict administrator running a tight ship yet a very humorous and caring soul too. I got whacked by him every year …..from 5th Grade to 10th Grade at least once. Yet I always admired him for the way he ran that institution. A no nonsense man when it came to discipline …. But a very caring person at heart when it came to thinking of Students. I still remember him catching a lizard in the class and saying “Kyon ghabra rahe ho bhai…chipkali hi hai…..” … Biology was never as interesting as Sahu Sir made it to be … !!!
Tiwari Sir: The Stud Boy. I can write a book on him. Hindi Teacher with a strong anti Congress sentiments which he never hid in the class, had a temper which was mercurial, certified March Past consultant (the parade never moved without his intervention), Volley ball champ, Claimed that he used to do 400 Dand baithak once upon a time, Self Certified Cricket Coach for the School, Hit me on numerous occasions before I became his close confidante under his class teachership, so on.
Verma Sir: Geography teacher, smoked in the geography department room. Don’t remember much of his teachings.
Gajula sir: Sports teacher…did a lot for improvement of sports………….. by playing himself and never letting others play. Always used me as a bowler in the nets and never giving me the opportunity to play for school.
Pande Sir: Classic example of teaching English with a UP accent and he almost added the word “Ki” in English vocabulary
Jay Pee Yadav: “Ess….masti le rahe ho….” Attained the feat of teaching an empty class for full forty minutes and even managed to ask a few questions. We never got along. He always had a grudge against the trinity of Me, Feroz and Bunty (Shashi)
Thul Sir: If swaggers could make John Abrahams out of you……………….. !!!
Kanthimathinathan Sir: He had this old worldly charm in him as a maths teacher….always reminded me of Ramanujam !!!
Giridhar Sir: He became a friend …… could not make me fall in love with Chemistry !!!
Kawadkar Madam: She was Sandeep’s mom but that never helped in her class…punishments and reprimands flowed whenever they had to…without any levy.
Agashe Madam: She made me feel sorry that my father bought a TV…she complained to my mom thrice
Thapa Sir: He taught me photography and made world’s biggest Dinosaours…and turned the school into a design studio…………………………………thanks to him I fell in love with Photography..if only we have more people like him at School…!!!
Last but not the least Lal Madam (who is still there): Sanskrit teacher and it was her class that got me one of those mass thrashings from Mr. Sahu !!!! (Thanks to the Girls of the class)’