What a wonderful world

From the albums

What a wonderful world

When I was in school, the education system worked very differently. The environment wasn’t as competitive as it is now. We were all warm and welcoming towards each other and the teachers were like our parents. This is precisely why I will never forget my primary school days.

This photograph was taken in 1969; I was in fourth standard at Rashtreeya Vidyalaya Primary School. I spent five years there, starting from first standard. The campus was lush green and there was a huge playground that made us stay back in school even after classes. The area then was called Mavalli but now, it’s known as Kurmbali Road.

Right from standard one, we were segregated to a specific section (I was in section B till the fourth standard) and unlike these days, we had one teacher for almost everything. We were all a bunch of active and enthusiastic students, and the sole reason we loved our classes was because we had the very vibrant and inspiring Mrs MR Venkatalakshmi madam (popularly known as MRV) as our class teacher.

MRV madam, being the class teacher, taught us all the subjects except PT. She was also like our mother, and we, her children. She would know everything about us and even if anyone had any monetary problem, she would help them out by getting them an extension to pay the fees.

She also made sure that we excelled in our studies. It was because of her that 90 per cent of the class had good handwriting — she took a special interest in moulding our writing by giving us copy writing classes, which were unheard of those days. We owe our deepest regards to our beloved and dedicated MRV madam.

Everyone has a day of the week that they are most fond of, and for us, it was Saturday. It wasn’t just a half day; we were also taken on an outing to Lalbagh, which was adjacent to the school. All the students had to carry their tiffin boxes, which were shared between the class and teachers at the Glasshouse. MRV madam, along with the class monitor Rajesh, led nearly 30 of us every week to Lalbagh in a disciplined manner. Playing with teachers and friends, sharing food and coming back to school to collect our bags in a joyful mood was a routine for four wonderful and memorable years.

As we weren’t competitive, Rajesh, Ravi, Vittala, Ram Prasad, MC Gayathri and myself always worked hard to share the highest marks. Rajesh was good at both sports and studies, which made him the class monitor. The other memories I have of those days are of the headmaster reviewing the students, school secretary visits and Independence Day drills and sweets. Yearly sports events, film shows, school days and annual health check-ups never made school boring. Twice a year, we would visit an eye clinic close to the school and the doctor would give us some eye drops. None of us understood why it was being done but we were happy because at the end of the visit, we would get a chocolate.

It wasn’t until I was in eighth standard that I moved to an English medium school. But I will never forget the five years that I spent in RV School. Even today, whenever I find time, I take a slow drive through Mavalli to see the school, which makes me nostalgic. Those days, the road was a two-way and very few buses plied there. There wasn’t much traffic either, which is a totally different story compared to today. And there is no lush greenery now on the school campus. Even Lalbagh is different — the movements are more restricted now.

(The author can be contacted on 9845851301)

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