Saturday, March 03, 2007

Nanna Kathe - V

Ninth standard. That year, I can never forget, for many reasons. One of them being our Kannada teacher H S Sriramakrishna. With excellent teaching and speaking skills, he taught us more than Kannada. He amazed us by showing us how each and every alphabet in Kannada can be written by having a circle as the base. He mesmerized us with stories of his idyllic childhood in his native village. His class would never bore us as his lectures were always filled with rip-roaring humour. And it was humour at it’s best.(Incidentally it was he who told us for the first time, about BeeChi-a master of satire that Karnataka produced.). We could never stop laughing in his class. And when it came to laughing, no one could match Swaroop as he could not stop laughing even a few minutes after the class had become silent.

Silence was infact the one of that many facets of my reaction when I was hit by a cricket ball on that part of the body where being hit hurts men most. And it was during a cricket match that we were playing. Behind the wickets to collect the cricket ball thrown from a distance by Arvind, I was hit by the ball when it avoided my hands and hit straight at the centre. Notwithstanding my pain, inhumane people of our class on that field laughed. I suffered in pain, blamed Arvind solely for what happened, wondered what will happen (though I am perfectly alright to this day) to me and also made an impromptu announcement that I was retiring from this cruel game. This was a retirement that did not make headlines outside that cricket field solely because of the inefficacy of our media to have their ears to the ground. A school-cricketer with nearly double-digit batting average was left high and dry on the battlefield. Let alone the media, not even my classmates took my retirement news seriously. Such things happen only to courageous and determined souls was amply demonstrated by me coming out of retirement a few months later and scoring runs as prolifically as ever.

One more unforgettable funny incident in ninth standard was when I took the Vedic Maths exam. It was for hundred marks. It was so easy that almost all those who took the exam scored 99 or 100. I scored 99 because I did not answer the question which asked us to name the organization conducting the exam. Later I came to know that it was there on the question paper itself. How much more an idiot can one be!

Perhaps that was the reason why we played ‘games’ like pen-fight wherein you had to strike out of the table the opponent’s pen using your pen. Pen, as they say, is mightier than the sword. Probably this was the reason why two girls – Chandana G and Chandana P – were apparently irritated (though it was a kind of fear they did not admit) by pens, which were jolted out of the playing arena (table), and falling near them or their bench. But we did not care for such weak-hearted souls. And the game, as they say, went on.

Life too moved on. To where? Only time would tell. But in our journey through ninth standard such mathematical discoveries with world-changing potential like ‘x = half infinity’ were made; This particular discovery by me and Arjun. Being a few centuries ahead of our time, ironically, turned against us. Incomprehension on their part led and is leading ordinary mortals to believe that this discovery was flawed. As I say often, value of great souls is not realized by their contemporaries. But that doesn’t diminish their greatness. Does it?

Then one day, we started our final year in this school. It was a year we took many tests, because our school thought them to be important for us to do well in that year’s SSLC exam. And such was the single minded determination of some students to score marks in all these trivial tests that they begged, pleaded, argued, shed tears and did what all that their cause(of getting marks and more marks) didn’t deserve. To add to that, all test-papers, except exam-papers, were evaluated by students themselves, though not their own paper but of their friends’. And unimaginable and abnormal was the interest, in each of these tests, of many in my class. This single minded focus on tests and exams forgetting that there was a world outside was a kind of disease that afflicted many in our school. Ironically it also affected a boy bearing the same name as the Lord who gave us the Bhagavad Gita. Although this boy did not show symptoms of that disease then, he too was a victim of that then itself was proved by him falling in love with SI units a few years later. What romantic tragedy!

Then came the “Harish became Guru” moment. I stood on one leg on top of a tank and did tapas in a way that would have put Ravana(who also did a similar tapas, although not on a tank) to shame. Did I ? Absolutely not. This was just a story concocted by . . . ., you know whom, and popularized by two equally insane individuals. I, although, have to admit that this made me popular, for good or bad. “At a time when ‘communalism’ had reared its ugly head in the nation, ’Guru’ has arrived”, thought the ‘secularists’. How much more wrong could they have been! God save ‘secularists’.

Well, I am making this story too long. Probably such irrelevant things like secularism and all are making their appearance. I need to end it here. Otherwise God knows what will I start writing. And what a way to end, other than telling you that we all passed out of this school. And everyone lived happily ever after…., until the college began.


Sneha Divakar said...

yen sir, continous aagi chronicles chechchi haakta idira?!!!
chennagide.. keep it up.... i mean keep up the chronicle writing :)

Harish said...

[sneha]Yeno, bareyoNa annistu. Baridvi. Ashte.

Sandeep said...

Olle sarrige ide ivre. Khushi aytu.

Harish said...

[Sandeep]hehe! Thanks-u.

Arjun Sharma said...

x= (1/2)Infinity was an astounding mathematical discovery whose importance was severely and fatally downplayed by disbelieving people of little faith in avant-garde ideas. They believed it was mere mathematical chutzpah and nothing solid.

Olle HSS jnaapka tarsidira, ivre. He was truly a master teacher and speaker. Rarely(in fact, never after) have we come upon a teacher like him.

Olle abrupt ending maadidira.

Harish said...

[Arjun]Yes, absolutely true. One cannot ignore how radical a discovery 'X=(1/2)Infinity' was. It was a truly 'avant-garde'(I liked this word) idea.

KVG, in NCJ was the only other teacher who I thought was as good as HSS. Apart from that none matched HSS quality ever after.