The class of 60s

The class of 60s

From the albums

The class of 60s
This group photograph was taken in early 1969 when I was in the seventh standard at Kairalee Nilayam Primary School in Vimanapura. My close friends at that time were Vasundhara and Karthiyayini. This picture is one of my most cherished possessions.

I was born in Mumbai. My father, who was employed in a Defence Ministry establishment there, was transferred to Bangalore in 1961. I was only a little over five then. Being a Defence Ministry employee, my father could have easily got me admitted to the MEG or ASC Central School. But he was very particular that I should also learn Malayalam, my mother tongue. So he sent me to the Kairalee Nilayam Primary School in Vimanapura, a linguistic minority institution, that used to operate from the HAL Training Institute campus. The school was also not very far from Domlur, where we lived. With only the HAL complex and the adjoining airport, Vimanapura then was a far-cry from what it is today.

In 1985, while in the sixth year of my maiden tenure as a teacher in a private school in Malleswaram, life came full circle for me. I was selected for appointment as an assistant mistress at Kairalee Nilayam, my alma mater, which had, by then, been upgraded to a high school and become a government-aided institution. At that time, the KNHS used to function from its very modest makeshift space in the HAL Quarters, not far from the premises of the primary wing where I was a student two decades ago.

My former primary school teachers were all pleasantly surprised and took pride in that one of their own erstwhile students was all set to become their colleague. I was overwhelmed by the warmth and affection they extended to me. Mr Jacob, the then KNHS headmaster, was a small person with a big heart. He was extremely accommodating and understanding and so were my senior colleagues and the support staff.

I was also a part of a red-letter day in KNHS’ history — the occasion of the stone-laying of the permanent school building which stands on a 1.5 acre plot in all its glory today, as a testimony to the unstinted hardwork of its management, the Kairalee Kala Samithi, over the past 50 years. The girls in the ceremonial Kerala style thaalapoli outfit waited patiently in the scorching sun to receive the chief guest. It was a treasured occasion indeed.

Much water has flown down the Cauvery since my days as a primary student at Kairalee Nilayam. It’s also well over a year now since I retired as the headmistress of the school. I still keep wondering what it was that actually brought me back to Vimanapura, where it all began!

Remani Dilip (The author can be contacted at remanik@hotmail.com) We invite you to share your memories through our column ‘FromtheAlbums’ by sending in your photograph, with family or friends, in old Bangalore. You canmail us on metrolife@deccanherald.co.in
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