My first memory is my going to a Montessori School in Chennai. I distinctly remember Mrs. Fletcher who was gentle grey haired lady who lived upstairs in the two storied mansion which had all the classes downstairs except one, for the third standard on the first floor. I went to that school till the third standard and was taken out to go to another school when my father moved from Chennai to Mumbai.
Apart from Mrs Fletcher who was the Head Mistress, we occasionally came across Mr. Fletcher who would take classes when one of the teachers was absent. What I remember about Mr. Fletcher is the way hair grew in abundance around his ears and his very bushy eyebrows. He looked formidable. They had a son Babu, who was then going to a college but would also stand in for any absent teacher.
I also remember two teachers. One Rosemary Teacher and one Lily Teacher. (That is how teachers are addressed in some schools in India.) The former’s son James was my classmate and best friend.
There was more playing and horsing around in that school than serious studying and I always remember that when I see children going to school now a days with satchels weighing a ton, and also taking additional tuition, even for lower standards.
My mother used to give me a tiffin box to take to school with rice and yogurt mixed with a dollop of jaggery and I used to relish that during the lunch break. I used to be taken to the school about two kilometers away from our home and back by a cycle rickshaw every day. I vaguely remember some occasions when my father used to drop me off in his car and I would be dropped back home by Babu on his bicycle.
I also remember my younger brother Arvind joining me in the same school for some time and the two of us would go together and return every day. At home too, there was no homework and we would spend most of our time playing something or the other or making things with Meccano sets. Our hero was our uncle, father’s younger brother who would bring these sets every now and then. We also had many Indian indoor games to play and of course the usual out door games like cricket, gilli danda, marbles, tops etc. We would also use up great many drawing books with pencil and crayon drawings and water colour paintings. I used to be fascinated by the dog resembling a greyhound and dalmatian combined that would be printed on the Reeves painting box. All my life I had looked for a dog that would resemble that, without success.
Unlike my grand nephews and nieces of that age now, I don’t remember ever studying at home during that period.
I do however remember group punishments in school as well as at home and who better to remind me of those than my co punishee Arvind who posted this on FaceBook.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post on the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where thirteen of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by The Old Fossil. The twelve other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Anu, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, ocdwriter, Padmum, Paul, Shackman, The Old Fossil and Will. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!