Thursday, March 01, 2007

Nanna Kathe - I

[For the benefit of those readers, whose reading of this blog I am not aware of (there might even be no such readers), I am posting the chronicles of my school and college life that I had written and mailed to most visible readers of this blog a few days ago. ]

When the mind becomes encumbered by the mundane office-life, the memories of a much pleasurable school and college life gives you a lot of joy. And when you have studied in schools like Parents Teachers Association(PTA), Vijaya High School and colleges like NCJ(die, if you don't know the expansion of NCJ) and BIT, those memories can also be very very funny.

Majority of my schooling happened at this school abbreviated as PTA. It started along with my schooling career. This school, almost reflecting the fractious nature of politics that was starting to become evident in the country at that time, was formed in 1988 by a breakaway group of another school called East-West School. For the first few years, it was like any other school. When I came to third standard, it started exhibiting its uniqueness.

That this school was, and still is, housed in a nondescript building rented out by the Karnataka Hindi Prachara Samithi (which carries out the altruistic task of spreading Hindi in Kannada land), is one of the many things that were(and still are) not normal in this school. And one of the limitations of this building was(and still is), it cannot accommodate too many students at a time. So in a move that had innovation written all over it, the school started working in two shifts, with the primary school working for four hours from eight in the morning followed by the rest of the school from twelve to five. That year, 1992-93, when the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao started facing the troubles of a coalition government that he led and barely managed to survive a confidence vote, our Principal Lakshminarasimhiah too started feeling the heat of a rebel group within the breakaway group that managed the school. The motive of both groups, as was in the case of Narasimha Rao saga, was to retain or capture power. There started murmurs of the Principal being sacked or the school being closed. 'O what will happen to our kid's education' wondered many parents. My parents too started thinking of changing the school although I resisted it, but they were not succesful. I completed yet another year of Primary education, third standard, successfully.

Fourth Standard. The kind of political intrigue that shrouded the school atmosphere, probably, aroused in a few of us, the interest for political news. This impacted, mainly, the game of 'Twenty Questions' that we played in the van on our way back home. Me and one other politically inclined kid called Praveen in one team, pitted against Arjun and one guy called Ramakanth, both of whom knew about everything except politics and Ranji cricket players. So when they were asked to guess the name of a local MLA or a Ranji player with weirdest possible name, we would always emerge the unstoppable winners. That, they then would retort with a literary person of a bygone era or a medieval scientist to defeat us, is an altogether different matter. Sad way for kids to grow up, is what you might think. But, it was surely fun, atleast at that time.

Narasimha Rao, after having survived the confidence vote, now was the target of bribery allegations. He was alleged to have given bribes to win over MPs. As ever, our school was a mirror to such developments on the national scene. Stories of embezzlement of school funds by the Principal came to be heard more often than ever. One Mr. Stanley, who was considered as the Vice-Principal (some even said he was the Principal-in-waiting) was more wily than his bald head would suggest. He was behind these stories, argued the Principal loyalists. The turf-war between Stanley and Lakshminarasimhiah was getting intense every moment.

In the midst of such supremely unacademic events, we the children of PTA, completed our primary education in a way very different from kids in other schools did. We spent more time on the field playing cricket than inside classrooms. We knew nothing about homework and such other schoolish stuff. We had mastered the art of bunking classes at such an young age. One day, it was a drawing class, we headed straight to the field to play cricket. We met the teacher on the way and told that we would not be attending the class. It hardly surprised us when she obliged. And I skipped a few monthly tests too since I could not be in station during that time because of family trips.

[What will happen to the Principal? Will Stanley succeed? What will happen to students? All that and more in the next part.]


Arjun Sharma said...

Olle suspense-u!

Arjun Sharma said...

Drawing teacher alla, it was the library teacher:- Deshmukh(as Ramakanth put it, CountryFace). We met him, said we'd go to play. He said ok. And that was that.

Harish said...

Drawing classgoo omme haage maaDiddvi.

Yes, yes even in CountryFace's class.

Hey, I forgot to write about CountryFace, How did I do that!
A librarian such as CountryFace newver was and never will be. He only IS.