The corridors of learning

The corridors of learning

It is my pleasure to recall my Prabhata Shishu Vihara elementary school in Basavanagudi, where I studied fifty years back. This was in the 1960s.I would like to express my gratitude to those who provided me with the valuable education that has guided me to become an educator today.

I grew up in that Bangalore where horse-driven carriages and bullock carts were common. The modes of transportation were limited to bicycles and few cars. My mother was a homemaker while my father was a manager in a Belgian-owned electrical firm.

I walked everywhere to go around, as our home was in the centre of the neighbourhood. We lived on Police Station Road for many years before we relocated to Jayanagar. My greatest memories are from my school days. Originally, my school was located on the corner of Police station road and DVG Road, under a small, thatched roof. Early in the 1960s, the school was relocated to Puttanna Road, Basavanagudi.

Since the school was located in a prime location like Basavanagudi, we had access to Bugle Rock and Sir M N Krishna Rao Park. Bugle Rock hosted many events such as the popular 'Kadale Kai Parishe' which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I recall my evenings walking to BP Wadia Indian Institute of Culture as well as going to the Krishna Rao Park and Lalbagh. My school was funded by Prabhata Kalavidaru, a family who lived in VV Puram at that time. The school was taken care of by the Prabhata Kalavidadaru Academy and Jayasimha Das and his family.

I would look forward to my classes, especially social science, mathematics and the sciences. We took our seats on the carpet floor as no desks were present. My classmates were a mix of boys and girls. My favourite teachers were M D Lakshmi Devi, the headmistress and the Social Science teacher, Vanaja. They were highly disciplined and commanded respect.

One of my favourite moments was getting the opportunity to perform a few plays with the Association of Prabhata Kalavidaaru at the Town Hall. It was the only venue to perform plays during those times.

My classmates and I used to play cricket on the streets during breaks. Later in my school years, on Fridays, all students were given flavoured milk, which was granted by the United States Department of Agriculture. I can still taste the sweet, rich flavour of the milk.

On Saturday mornings, the teachers used to take us to MN Krishna Rao Park for additional play time. On November 22, 1963 classes were cancelled as we heard the news of the assassination of the then US President John F Kennedy.

Our then Prime Minister, Nehru visited Bangalore during my school years and we lined up on DVG Road, waving the Indian flag. Later, I attended Central College and then went to Indian Institute of Science. I then went to the United States to pursue my higher studies.

I still visit Basavanagudi during my trip to India and reconnect with my memories. I now live in Chicago, Illinois. I am the Professor of Business and Economics at the University of Phoenix.

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