The games they played

From the albums

The games they played

As someone who has always been into sports, I enjoy walking and jogging. In 2010, during one of my walks in Lalbagh, a tall, hefty person walked towards me and asked me whether I was Gnanasundar Shetty.

      I said yes and asked him whether he was Premnath. Much to my delight, he turned out to be the same Premnath with whom I had studied from Nursery till seventh standard! 

       We were meeting each other for the first time after our school days — precisely after 50 years and yet, we recognised each other in a jiffy. I learnt that he now owned a successful corrugated box manufacturing company.

Post this chance meet, we have kept in touch and now we are close friends just as we were back then. In fact during a visit to his house, he gave me this black-and-white class
photograph of ours. It was taken in the academic year of 1960-61 when we were in ‘Special 5th STD’ at Mahila Seva Samaj located on KR Road. Our class had 61 students, perhaps the highest number of students in a single class at that time!

 My thoughts go back to those golden days every time I look at this photo and I can recall the names of almost all my classmates. We were one naughty bunch. A fond memory I have is going to my friend Mohan Menzies’ house where his mother would ring a bell signalling that the food was ready!

Unfortunately, we are not in touch now. SR Prasad, KS Subramanya and Arun were the other close friends I had. Prasad and Subramanya would often come to my house and
enjoy playing with the pigeons and hens I had!

      But apart from meeting Prasad once more than 20 years back, I haven’t been in touch with any of them either.   Unlike most kids who don’t enjoy going to school, I used to go early just to play with my friends. Some of the games that we played were kho-kho and kabaddi. I was very good at hopping and chasing and many of our seniors would also want me on their side.

       But during the early days of our schooling, we had no uniform and we would often get very dirty, thanks to all the games  we played. This was one of the reasons for the school authorities to introduce uniforms for the entire school!

However, all these games helped me develop a love for sports and I ended up pursuing football and running seriously.

|    When I was doing the Pre-University Course in the early 70s, I played for the football team ‘Bangalore Blues’ and was their youngest and fastest player. After completing my education, I went on to join P&T (Post and Telegraph), which later became BSNL.

     I have some great memories of those days too when post my sports practice on Sundays, I would have unlimited meals at Brindavan Hotel for Rs 2.50. 

      Woodlands Hotel, with its meals priced at Rs 4.50, was slightly on the higher side! Over the years, my passion for running helped me bring laurels to my organisation and State. In 1977, I won fourth place in the Open Nationals in Chandigarh.

Coming back to my classmates, after meeting Premanath, I also met Nalini, who is now an advocate. The three of us then ended up meeting yet another classmate Padmini, who is presently working as the secretary of Mahila Seva Samaj.

The four of us meet up often now and even visited our school once.The building has changed a lot but it’s for the better.  After serving P&T and BSNL for 40 years, I retired as JTO in 2013. But my love for sports and memories of those golden days are something that will always stay with me.

(The author can be contacted on 9482340100.)

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