Reuniting after four decades

From the albums

Reuniting after four decades

This photograph was taken in 1974 when we were in fourth standard at National Primary and Middle School (NMS), Basavanagudi. We had wonderful teachers in our school and all of us are indebted to them for the values they instilled in us along with taking meticulous lessons in the regular subjects. 

I vividly remember that we had to recite a particular chapter of the Bhagavad Gita everyday along with the school prayer. Our teachers encouraged us to participate in extracurricular activities like music, dance, drama, art, craft and storytelling. We played various games like cricket, football, hockey, basketball, throwball and athletics and also rural games like kabaddi, kho-kho, ‘soor chandu’, ‘lagori’, ‘chinni dandu’ and ‘meese aata’ (with sugarcane) on the National High School grounds. 

Memories of sitting in a group in the KR Road boulevard and sharing lunch with each other are still fresh in my mind. After lunch, most of us used to catch tadpoles and fish from the tank in the boulevard in our steel lunch boxes, even though our parents and teachers objected to it. Bengaluru, in those days, did not have much traffic and most of us walked or cycled together to school. 

A few of us had joined NMS in first standard and continued in National High School and National College till PUC or degree. Unlike now, National High School did not admit girls and it was purely a boys’ school. We lost touch with our classmates after we joined professional courses in different institutions. Only a few of us were in touch with each other even after school; we didn’t have the contact details of others as we belong to the pre-internet and pre-mobile phone era. Of late, most of us have been actively searching for our classmates, since we wanted to get together as a group.

I cannot forget the day when Dr Aprameya, my former classmate now settled in Florida, called me last year and we had a very long conversation. Through him, I got the contact details of many other classmates and created a WhatsApp group called ‘NMS Putani Prapancha’. All our classmates are well-settled in their respective fields — as authors, publishers, educationists, musicians, bankers, businessmen, government officials, doctors, engineers and more. We had messages pouring in on the group through the day while NRI Putanis joined from Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the USA.

Recently, we organised a thanksgiving programme for our teachers — a ‘guruvandana’ for those who helped us in shaping our careers. It was a very emotional moment for all of us, as we felt like going back in time, becoming children once again and sitting in our old primary school classroom.

We had a great reunion of teachers and students who met after 40 years. Everyone thanked each other for making it a day to remember forever. The videos and photographs taken at the reunion were shared with the families of all the classmates and teachers. We met two teachers, K R J and G B V, at their respective residences since they couldn’t make it to the get-together. They were very happy to host us at their place. Thanks to technology, both teachers and students came together and bonded after four long decades. The messages are still pouring in on our ‘Putani Prapancha’ WhatsApp group!


(The author can be contacted at nmsvasudeva@gmail.com)

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