Samaja Seva Mandali in Thygarajanagar become my new school. This is the school which had humble beginnings in a small shed where the enterprising Mrs Radha Doreswamy started a nursery in a thatched roof…has grown today to become one of the biggest education colgoromate with nursing, engineering colleges. Mr Doreswamy has grown from strength to strength.
The first cut problem I faced in the new school is adressing the teacher. In my old school we were taught to address them as MISS but here kids started laughing at me as I stood up to answer my attendence on 1st day and said “present miss“.
It seems its wrong to call the teacher miss, but should be called as teacher!. By this mistake, I was immideatly famous till 5th standard boys who came to see the new joinee . It took me 3 months to get adjusted to the miss teacher universe.
Prema miss err teacher was my class teacher of 4th standard. She taught us everything from ‘Barisu kannada dindimava’ padhyas to Moughals and British conquering India one piece at a time. The most toughest subject was indeed Hindi. The characters resembled the legs of cocks being reared around the school.
Since mother left for work at 10AM, i too would trudge along with her at 10AM for the 12 Noon class. I was the first to come to school and sit in the shades of the nearby roadside houses, even Saibaba temple which was looking forlone. I used to catch up with my homework in the serene atmosphere without disturbences and by time my first friend suresh or venkatesh came, it would be 11.30.
Then it would be full fun. The roads did not have the kind of traffic we are used to today.Somebody used to produce a ball and we used to pile all our bags on the road pavement and shoot out Lagore.
If we were lucky, somebody would produce a piece of wooden club – this doubled up as a bat!!. On days when we were bored with Lagore but interested in cricket and the wooden piece is mising – we invented the new leg cricket.
Leg cricket is simply using ones leg as a bat and rest rules are the same!! But no LBW now.
Girls used to draw the square houses and start off with their kunte bille. One of the enterprising boys would be fielding in long on, snatch on of the ‘billes‘ and run for the ball.This would be followed by the howling sowmya – ee kodu, ramesha teacherge helthine – nan bille kodo.
If you notice, we mostly spoke in kannada even though we studied in a english medium school. In usli pisli, the teachers used to speak strictly in english and fine anybody talking in kannada except for A,AA,e,EE class.
Slowly I forgot english and mastered kannada to extremes. I could realize the mistake of this only after passing preunivercity!! Your job demands written and spoken english. Otherwise you are fit to work only in African chemical factories where they only speak swahilli!.
Prema teacher was also my immideate neighbour. Having accidentally found this out, taking leaves was quite easy. I would just climb up the rock fence and shout – Prema teacher. She would frown and put her head outside and say – yeno? ( ninna golu was not spelt as my mother could also hear from kitchen). I would say ‘teacher – ivathu madhuvege hogabeku adake leave letter and put out my hand. She would frown futher thinking ‘you fool – you disturbed my cooking just for this?’ and say ‘OK. nale thagonba‘ and slam the door.
Finally before I knew, I had made 4 close friends and even visit them on saturdays for exchanging our cigerrate pack and match box collections. I slowly forgot my old school and started enjoying the new ways – so much but except for the day result had to be announced!!
Prema teacher called me and my waiting mother for the result card. I was trembling like a leaf and stood behind my mother – it was phull fun and very little work for the year!
Prema teacher said ‘ Yeno – 24th rank bandide – kushina?’. Hearing that I had passed the 4th standard was a big relief for mother and I couldnt even hear anything beyond as I started planning my summer holidays already!. We gave the mandatory sweets of 2 nutrin chocolates each to prema teacher and came out with the yellow marks card with ‘promoted‘ sign on top. Prema teacher called mother and said ‘ We can not fail anybody this year since 3rd standard is overflowing. Make sure mohan catches up on maths and english – he is quiet bad’.
Who cares – I promised mother to be a very good – fine boy and ran on the roads to tell all my friends – that am a 5th standard boy now!
to be continued…