A date with Jayanagar

From the albums

A date with Jayanagar
This photograph was taken in 1964 during the send-off function for the SSLC students at Rani Sarala Devi School in Jayanagar. Jayanagar was a new extension in South Bangalore in the 1950s.

I was admitted to this particular school, which was closest to our house. As far as I know, there were only one or two schools in Jayanagar then. Primary and middle sections were in Kannada medium and high school was in English medium.

Naturally, when we joined high school, we could not utter a simple English sentence. I wonder how our English teacher Leila Rau would have struggled to teach us grammar. Our mathematics teacher Fahmeeda Akthar and craft teacher Fareeda Begum were young and beautiful and we thought of them as movie stars.

In high school, there were three elective subjects — science and mathematics, home science and music. We, the science students, thought we were superior to the other two groups. We jokingly taunted the music students that their screams disturbed our class.

T S Ramaa, our classmate who was learning classical music, was the ‘Gaana Kokila’ of our school. Later, she became a renowned AIR music artiste and is now a famous sangeeth guru.

Shakuntala Devi, the great mathematician, was once invited to our school. We were stunned at her magical skills. At the end of the programme, students were given a chance to ask any math question. I mustered courage to ask a question regarding a particular date. Within a minute, she named the exact day related to that date.

Later, I was asked to see the headmaster. Terrified, I entered his room. Shakuntala Devi was also there. He said, “Ms Shakuntala Devi wants to make a telephone call. Take her to your house.”

Can you imagine a school without a telephone?
There was a throwball team in our school in which Uma and I were players. I continued to play in my college days also. I was the team captain in Central College.
After SSLC, we joined different colleges. My close friend Shantha went to National College and I joined Mount Carmel College. Then I did a BSc Hons in zoology from Central College. I worked for Grihashobha magazine for a few years.

After 50 years, Shantha and I chalked out a ‘golden get-together’ of our school friends. We managed to contact 30 girls and also four of our teachers. It was great fun trying to recognise the old faces and recollecting memories.

(The author can be contacted at 9480716405)

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