This photograph was taken in 1955 with the staff and students at Methodist Mission Boys Secondary School (MMBSS). I joined the school as one of the staff members in 1952 after a nominal interview by the principal Rev J D Wilfred.
"My education started in a complete rural place of Kankyakumari district. The infrastructure of the school was a basic shed with thatched roof but we had great teachers and the head master was keen on giving us good education which made a lot of difference in my primary school years. I finished my high school in Trivendrum. Medium of instruction was Malayalam. Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics were taught by Mr. Nagappa Nair and Ms. Shanta Kumari and they gave me a feel of what science is all about and the challenges in the scientific world."
I was not a very healthy boy; I was lean and thin. I used to look around and seeing people with good physique, I recon they will be in very advantageous position compared to me in earning livelihood that need the use of such manpower! So I used to think that the only gateway for me to success will be to study hard. I was fortunate enough to prioritize my time and my ambition quite early in life.
Mr. Shankar Mahadev Bidari is 1978 batch, Indian Police Service officer. He had served the country as the Director General and Inspector General of Police (DG&IGP), Karnataka State. He is the most highly decorated police officer in the state of Karnataka.
Shovana Narayan is a Kathak Maestro and an outstanding dancer. She created a new and innovative style of performing arts by enriching it with a deeper and wider canvas of expression and dimensions. She has been awarded with Padmashri in 1992 and Sangeet Natak Academy Awards in 1999.
I was listening to the news on a TV channel during the elections in Tamil Nadu this year when I noticed a familiar photograph that I had in my album. I was puzzled how my childhood class photo got televised.
Everyone should be allowed to chase their dream, and education has to be made more interesting. Those days it wasn’t stressful at all! There were hardly any exams. Most of us somehow managed to pass and we also failed many times but that didn’t matter. In the end in the examination of life it really doesn’t matter how times you passed and how many times you failed!
I studied in National High School, National College and National Institute of Engineering, Basavanagudi, Bangalore. Two teachers were instrumental in shaping up my personality as a cricketer. One Mr. SNN (S. Narasimha Murthy) and the other Mr. BDK (B.Dakshina Murthy) who was also a cricketer. Outside the classroom they never behaved like teachers and they played along with us. I consider that as an inspiration.
The teachers were very-very good. Of course they were very strict and used to beat us. One teacher had a peculiar type of cane, if he used to hit us then it will severely pain for 2-3 days. If I recollect those days it was good they did that. I particularly remember my Arthimatics class. My Nagappa teacher used to say, “Hey! You got a bright future of being good mathematician, you have to score 100/100 in every exam.” Again why he said that I don’t know but I did score good marks in the subject. When I committed a small mistake he used to trash me like anything.
My initial schooling was done in Sree Saraswathi Vidya Mandir followed by Bangalore High School, both situated in Jayanagar, suburbs of Bangalore South. During my school days, along with standard textbook curriculum I was also involved in various extra curricular activities like participation in intra and inter-school quiz and extempore competitions along with hiking, rock climbing and scouting. It was this extra curricular activity that helped me to look beyond standard textbooks and develop interest in science and in nature i.e., the phenomena of physical world. At home I was also exposed to Kannada literature to which I developed special interest and it still continues. I did not have any pressure to focus only on school curriculum and as long as I was engaged in productive activity my parents were okay with it.
This photograph was taken in 1942, five years before we gained Independence. The school where I studied and this photo was taken was called Aryabalika Pathashala. It was a government run school exclusively for girls. It was situated in Sultanpet area of the city.
Almost all of my teachers left a memorable and vital mark in my life. In particular Principal in Surathkal College is an outstanding person. He did guide me significantly. I have a lot of respect for him. A physical education teacher and science teacher in St. Josephs Indian High School had a big impact on us. It is a sad thing that we didn’t keep in touch with them.
In school I started participating in public functions like Independence day and Republic day etc. Mr. Niranjan Walishettar was my guru in high school. He always encouraged me to say something in the public meeting. Since then I developed leadership qualities
I studied in Puttur Taluk, Charvaka village. The school didn’t have any teachers! I studied in a rural background. Later 2-3 teachers were appointed in the school for 500-600 students but they were not trained properly. Till high school I didn’t have any subject teacher precisely for English or Maths. I think now also circumstances in rural India will be the same or little better.