Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Our teachers' nicknames

Our high school teachers were referred by their name initials.   Their initials were marked in our time table against which subject they took. The 1970-73 batch was lucky in the sense that the old timers were still around and started retiring. I was in 'C' Section.

As in most schools and colleges, students are renown to expand the initials of teachers to make funny nicknames. In our school too, there were some funny nicknames. They were not to disrespect them but purely meant for fun. Some teachers also seemed to know of their nicknames.  Some nicknames both silly and intelligent, were coined many batches back and passed on to the next batch and the next and so on.

I try to list out some I remember.  A few are not necessarily on initials. Many are not alive now, except probably 3-4, NSS, KRK, PV and CVR.  I have met the first three in recent years.

AVR - Ardha Vaday Ranganna - His real name was A.V.Ranganna.  English teacher, short man, chain smoker who had 'smoker's cough' and never seemed to know Kannada.
ASL - Lal Bahadur Shastri - because he had a resembled our Prime Minister in the 1960s. No initial expansion.  His name was A.S.Lakshminarayana. He was poverty-striken after he retired and used to walk the streets selling incense sticks to earn a living.  It was such a sorry state to see of a teacher. He took Civics and Geography.
MNL - none as far as I know. He was the Head Master when I joined 8th and retired at the end of the term. His name was MN Lakshminarasimhaiah. English teacher. No known nickname for him.
BN - Beedhi Naayi [Street dog]. He was B.Narasinga Rao. He took Chemistry.  His son was in our class, B.N.Ramesh.  There were six Ramesh-s in our class!!
MKG - Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He was M.K.Gopala Iyengar.  I think he took Science or English occasionally.
NSS - NoNa Saayso Shoora.  N.S.Seetharam. Took over from MNL as Head Master in 1971. Algebra teacher, renown for his neat writing on the board.
NSV - NoNa Saayso Veera.  NoNa is fly.  His name was N.S. Venkata.. something [not sure]. Physics teacher.
MRK - Madhya Raatri KaLLa [mid night thief] - M.R.Krishnamurthy. He took Physics.
KRK - Krishnamurthypuram RoTTi KaLLa.  K.R.Krishnamurthy [RoTTi is flat bread, KaLLa is thief]. The strictest Maths teacher.
SNC - GodhamoTTay.  His name was S.N.Chakravarthy. Biology and Chemistry [?].
SK - Cannot remember if there was any for him. He came for Biology.
VK - Vodakal KunDi.  Cracked buttock!  V.Krishnaiah [our PE teacher].
NL - Naayi Laddhi.  Dog Shit.  N,Lakshminarasimhaiah [he was my father's classmate in school, 1930s].  Geography teacher.
CVR - none for him I think. English teacher.
PV - cannot recall any name for him. History, Civics and English [non-detail]
MSK - Chinnada GaNi. [Gold mining].  Mohammad S..... Khan.  He used to dig his nostrils and keep them clean just like one cleans the barrels of a gun!  He was made to fill the 'Work Experience" slot where he made us do nothing. Sometimes MKG filled this slot and taught us sewing.  MSK was our school's only Urdu teacher and so he only had one class per day and students were few too.  Since nothing was done, the boys did all sort of nuisance in this time.
Ganapathi Bhat - He was renown for his below the belt jokes and was often referred to as 'poly bhatta'. Our school's only Hindi teacher.
Anantha Somayaji - no nicknames.  Our school's only Sanskrit teacher.
VSS - Cannot recall his name - Srinivasa Murthy may be. He was our school's only Kannada teacher.
MCC - He was a poetand taught Science and English.  No nickname as far as I know. He was M.C.Chokkanna who always sported the caste mark - a vertical red line on his forehead.  MKG also sported that red line once in a while.
DVN - Donku VeeNay Naarada.  This is the funniest of them all. Naarada in mythology having a crooked VeeNay [a string instrument]. I think he was D.V.Narasimhamurthy. English and Science.
SR - Name not familiar to me.  Due to his short stature, he was nicknamed "SR -KuLLa". He joined as a fresher to teach Kannada when we were in 10th and much later became HM.

There was very old and wrinkle-faced attendant of the school. Jogaiah - everyone called him Jogi.  He was the one who rung the beautiful hand bell and too attendance registers back to the HM from all classes at the stipulated time.  Just remembering him here.

Have I missed out any?

Comments are awaited.. with more memories!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Our MKG at Sarada Vilas High School

He had the same initials as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, MKG!  M. K. Gopala Iyengar. He had a Gandhian discipline, was slim, fair and soft-spoken.  This teacher used to occupy one of the slots usually in the after-lunch sessions about twice a week.  MKG was always clad in a spic and span white kurta and pyjama, neatly pressed.  He came on his shining clean bicycle that had a nice cane basket hung to the handlebar. 

The filled the "Work Experience" class which we used to like. I remember that MKG's hobby was tailoring and sewing.  He had made us to learn simple sewing techniques and he used to tell that they are very useful skills that can be handy all our lives. He had made us to buy a thimble, a needle, white thread, some buttons and some white cotton cloth.  I have not forgotten the hand sewing skills he taught - hemming, buttoning, making the buttonhole and using the thimble on the middle finger-tip for protection and as a tool to push the needle while hand-sewing. And the thimble I bought in 1972 is still with me, though the finger has overgrown. Here it is: 

We used to like his session better than the one occupied by another Urdu language teacher [MSK]. MSK would just sit and doze on his chair. When he was awake, he would make use of this time by cleaning his nostrils using his left hand fingers and making a tiny dry-mucous ball and......?  This was the noisiest 40 minuets besides the Sanskrit class which Somayaji was handling.  MSK could ever control the boys who went on murmuring and chatting but his shouts only dissolved in the noise.  He too did not bother much and just spent time till the bell. This was one leisure period that all of us enjoyed in that way.  Some of them used the time to finish their homework to save time for play at home!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rajan, Rameshs and Anantha...

In April, B.Rajan was found attending a friend's family function to which I was also invited. The same old Rajan smile! When KoLi Master (our tall PT Master who was often hunting with our Mysore Maharaja was always fond of narrating to the whole school during the drill session that was once involved in a fight with a tiger showing his handicapped left shoulder which he could not use normally) found him not doing the drill in CKC, he used to lift him up holding those ears as a punishment! Everybody remembers that. Look at that ear now! Rajan was also in SVHS later.
In August, following KoLi Ramesh's intimation, I got to contact two chaps who were in Sarada Vilas High School. BN Ramesh and KR Ramesh. BNR (our chemistry teacher B.Narasanga Rao's son, is in Gujarat. He was a good debater in his school days and brought many laurels to our school. When I spoke to him over phone, he still had that clarity in speech!

One Ananthapadmanabha who stumbled upon this blog responded to which I corresponded and within a week we were facing each other in front of his home and later in it! He had come down from busy Bangalore and called. He remembers me from the Tennis-ball-cricket activity in 1975 from his crystal-clear memory and the ease with which he recollected so many things/events from those days on the field and at school was a joy to listen, when we together met KR Ramesh in his home over some fine-flavoured tea. Ananth was in CKC's Kannada medium as well whereas KRR was in another section of SVHS.

KoLi Ramesh is now very passionate in building fuel-effecient hot water boilers and ovens. He was kind enough to build one in my home two years ago. It was his 125th project. Indeed it is saving much fuel while giving hot water. The steel boiler was fabricated by another senior CKC mate Ramaswamy. KoLi is watching the finished job and had just fired to test it.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Some more visits from old mates

This week, there have been a couple of meetings with old class and school mates. First Vasanth Kumar surprised me with a phone call and asked me to identify the voice which I could not. He said he was visiting me that evening. He was in Mysore on vacation. Along with him and doing the same but for some very important duty was Zakir who too joined him in the visit - I must say that he never fails whenever he lands in Mysore. See last photo.

Our classmate Geeta had invited me to attend her father's 80th birthday gathering. There came also, one Vathsala who was not our classmate but an acquaintance with my family in the same locality. She was attending, taking time off from busy Bangalore. Meera also brought her to our house the next evening.

The funniness of Meera's expression is caught in the unintentional timing of this photo!

Geeta enjoys a joke with her old classmate who seemed to be meeting each other after a long while. What's in the box there?

I asked them not to pose for the picture, yet they did!

When I was mid way through this, Srinivas (another old mate) called me from Bangalore to inform the loss of his 85-year old father 3 days ago.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Srinivas does a Zakir

After the "Two Rajas", almost like a hat-trick, it was G.R. Srinivas ~ renown to his later friends as Shandilya prefixed by Srinivas or just plain~ who stood at the doorstep without a hint. Him coming all the way from half way round the earth and then 90 miles from Bangalore, as he does most of the time, is just plain thrill. (Doffing my hat at this sustained affection). As I said earlier, Zakir does this - suddenly coming in at the most unexpected time of the year - also without flashing a clue beforehand - and showing himself in person.

Srinivas has been one of my very earliest friends and classmates. Our contacts had been disconnected as I had lost his whereabouts many years back. His NY Greeting card to my familiar address renewed it after his Delhi days after a gap of many years. E-mails replaced our 'snail mail' correspondence after that and I feel good continuity has been maintained. He will agree that he is a reluctant responder. But that does not matter and I've never minded it, because it is his heart that matters and that is what brings him from thousands of miles away. This time it was a nice surprise! Somehow he seemed to 'know' I'd be at home.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Visits by the two "Rajas"

End of December means vacation time for most of us as that is the right time to laze off using some saved up leave at work. Climate too in Mysore is at its salubrious best during that time with a little bit of that pleasant nip in the cool air. The two Rajas knew that was the best time to return to their old city in which they grew up and studied.

One Raja calls me to inform that he was touring Mysore 'next week' with his family (of four). Sounds as if he was traveling a thousand miles! He has flown or traveled thousands of miles in directions other than Mysore in the few years gone by. It was time for him to show his children the Mysore he had seen. He was returning after many years!

From where? Only from Bangalore! Just 90 miles away. The children were now grown up. Time had flown past and his son was standing taller than him and he had not shown Mysore to them! That is how time has escaped right below the nose of Rajaram. His job responsibility had made Mysore a far off destination! All said and done he made it after probably umpteen cancellations at the n'th moments.

(The clock up there has been stopped deliberately)

The other Raja has visited Mysore on a few occasions in the past. His surprise call when he was already on the outskirts was a real thrill. He was coming from erstwhile Madras. He does not e-mail often or almost 'not at all', but uses the telephone as a rule and preference! He is somewhat like Zakir who comes all the way from a small country called Brunei and stands in front of my door like a bolt from the blue! This Raja came with family (of 3) the old neighbour and school senior Srinivas and nephews too. How I wish Rajagopal had timed his visit with the other Raja! They were only Sundays apart. You can see that CKC-days look still bubbling in Gopi (this is what we call him) as if to remind his classmates his 6th std days when Sr.Prudentia had nicknamed (wrongly) as 'Cunning Fox'. Nobody knows the reason. May be during an English lesson that a fox was featured we do not recollect. Gopi has failed miserably to live up to his nickname.

Srinivas in red and Gopi in spotless white flank me in this picture. White has become Gopi's favourite in recent times (just my observation).

It is mutual visits like these that keep the fire of the old friendship burning. Old classmate-friends are unique and so different than other friendships.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

CKC is the ladder to so many

Very recently, I was passing by my old school and I found this ladder kept above the main portico. I thought students use this ladder to climb higher heights in their career! In my days, it was kept hidden!!??