Of a beautiful childhood

From the albums

Of a beautiful childhood

This picture was taken in 1965 at Model Education Society located on 10th Main Road in Jayanagar 4th Block. I was in standard five when the photograph was taken. The occasion was the cultural week celebrations  in our school.

Our school was a small one. It was run from a  house with a thatched roof. A few of the rooms were built later on. Teachers and students shared a close bond.

There wasn’t too much academic pressure in our days. We devoted equal time to both academics and extracurricular activities. My closest competitor in academics was my classmate Ravi Kumar. He and I took turns in topping the class.

Seen in the picture is also Sri Sri Ravishankar who was my classmate. He was a quiet child who had good knowledge of ‘Bhagavad Gita’. He knew almost all the important ‘shlokas’ and recited them very well. He was a good singer as well.

His house was located just opposite the school and while all of us would carry our tiffin boxes, Ravishankar would go home for lunch. He was an unassuming and soft-spoken person. We never thought he would reach such great heights.

 My days spent in school were most memorable. I studied from nursery to standard four in Vyas Hindi Bal Mandir and went onto to do my class five and six at the Model Education Society. I did my high school studies at Vijaya High School and went to National College in Basavanagudi later on.

Some of my classmates lived in the neighbourhood and we would walk together to school. Bangalore then was lush green, quiet and beautiful. Traffic jams were unheard of those days. We used to do skipping, play ‘Lagori’ and running and catching in the middle of the road. The only vehicle that would interrupt our playtime was an occasional car that drove past us. Cyclists were also aplenty. All the cycles had an oil lamp and those that didn’t have a lamp was fined by the traffic police. Horse-drawn tongas too were a common sight.

My grandfather MSD Sastri was in the military.     We would wait for the weekend to arrive for him to take us out. I was the eldest of four children. My grandfather would walk us up to Lalbagh and we would catch a bus from there.

    Those days, the tickets were priced at 10 paisa, 15 paisa and it rose to 30 paisa when I was in college. We would visit Cubbon Park, MG Road and old Cantonment areas. I remember stopping occasionally at MTR to have an ice cream and an ‘idli’.

    We would never miss the war-based movies that came to Lido theatre. Another theatre which we  frequented was Shanti Theatre near South End Circle. Now, when I look back, I truly miss the flavour of old Bangalore.

Nalini J N
(Nalini can be reached on 9916570909)
(As told to Nina C George)

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