Sunday, December 06, 2009

New English School , Bandra - nostalgia of heady days

Stunned, Numbed, Perplexed ... all these adjectives don't reflect the true emotions that one can fathom if one were to come across a group photo with buddies from primary school.

Courtesy of Milind Ramchandra Gokhale, these photos are of 4th and 5th grade. It's nice of him to have preserved this treasure and have it digitized. I must tag this photo on face book and try hard to place respective names against faces. The faces are still fresh in my aging brain cells. These two photos also triggered a chain of fond remembrances that took me to our school teachers, coaching classes and my role models. Let me see how many I recollect while I scribble this in one go.

Harne sir - an upright teacher in black jacket and topi. He was school principle when we were in Primary. I remember seeing his photo in the newspaper after getting accolades from state govt for ideal school teacher. Mulay madam (4th std), Phadnis madam (5th), Lingayat Sir (6th), Kunte madam (7th) Hatvalne madam (8th), Deshpande madam (9th), Kulkarni sir (10th), Bokil Sir (11th). I may not be correct in the order of the grades. I also have a vague feeling of having Chavan teacher in 3rd standard but am not sure so now.

I remember Dhamankar sir - whose lean and tall figure resembled Amitabh Bacchan and whose hard slaps on cheeks echoed the same impact that of 'Thappad Ki Gung' of movie 'Karma'. Harshe sir whose mischievous eyes glitter while conjuring girlie names while assigning names for triangles.

Veteran of cheaters (me included) would smuggle tiny papers inside the pockets and once their purpose was served, would crumple them and throw out of window lest fear of being caught with evidence. Keer Sir always wore dark sun glasses, now remind me of Marlon Brando . During exam he would go around the school looking for those crumpled papers . His methods petrified me and I always wondered what would new innovative ideas be that could fetch me an elusive figure of 17 marks out of 50 and 35 marks out of 100.

I also remember Rao sir whose versatility in singing (ohre tal mile nadi ke jal me) tapping wooden desk, directing play with theme song ( Desh me hahakar macha to pathar jag utha .... tuned on ohre tal ) and his zeal in living life by wearing colorful safari suits. Kulkarni Sir - a die herd Gorgegaon admirer whose teaching skills were as exemplary as his passion for sports. He is the one of the few teachers who made great impact on me.

I forget the name of lady drawing teacher but whose face I faintly recall. She was charming, wore pretty sarees and was often cynosure of grownups including Rao Sir. I won't also forget Parshivnikar madam - another fine teacher who taught Hindi.

School memories are coupled with those of coaching classes whose existence pulverised me after whatever was spared by school teachers. I remember Bidiye Madam who stayed at Gandhi Nagar and conducted coaching classes. Her coaching class would invite anxious parents who were worried about their kids. I was on the forefront among them. I admired maths wizardry of Samudre Sir who conducted maths classes and juggled with his shaving, morning cup of tea while addressing algebra problems. Pitale Madam Classes was another one in Y block but the most famous was undoubtedly that of Kanitkar madam. She would be busy from 7am morning and everyone would form a beeline to get enrolled in her coaching class. I enjoyed her teaching and the environ she managed to create.

Some faces are no more with us. I fondly remember Khedekar sir who was often object of ridicule by students for his strict demeanour but along with Kulkarni Sir, he was the one with whom I interacted with great ease on the play ground while practicing Kho Kho. I also remember Vidydhar Joshi whose house across the school was always raided by thirsty kids and his mother always greeted with 'water in pitalecha tamba and fulpatre'. Kunte madam who was celebrity in her own way, having her husband acted in Marathi movie is also no more and images of her pushing through the melee by poking umbrella was admirable.

Those were also the heady days of watching intrepid acts of Dhabolkar Gang and Kokate Gang and admiring classical athleticism of Mhaskar - a true champion of Kho Kho who single handeldy won matches for his class and New English School.

I am aware of having missed many names and characters but I am sure more would get added as I get chance to interact with buddies that span over four decades.

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Blogger Prasan Gaonkar said...

Yes ! Those were the Days !!!

6:23 PM  

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