Thursday, December 6, 2012

Physical Education - 5

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That was a long digression into politics. 

Let me return, hopefully, to Physical Education, starting from how it was in our school in the early 1950s in our seaside Village, Muthukur.

The school and I grew up together. As I progressed from one Form (Class) to the next, our school was adding the next Form. We 'got in on the ground floor' as the Yankees say.

The name of our school was: S.I.I.B.H.School. I say, 'was' because the Government needlessly tampered with its name and it now is: S.I.I.Z.P.School...a rose by another name.

As I said earlier, our British Rulers of the Madras Presidency didn't deem it necessary to have a high school in our Village...a Police Station with a rummy lock-up and a Court to try the thief (or the patriot) was enough for them.

As India gained Freedom, its first fruit for us was our school. But the nascent Govt was bankrupt (courtesy the British) and asked the villagers to come up with donations to kick-start one. And then there was this Idooru Ishwaramma, a childless widow, who offered the lioness's share of the needed money if and only if her name (not her dead and gone hubby's) was into the school's name...forever. That is how we got it as Srimati Idooru Ishwaramma Board High School...S.I.I.B.H.School.

This Ishwaramma was a tough nut. One evening, when I was about 8, I saw my HM Father get unusually dressed up to go out. And I begged him to take me along. And he agreed, saying he was going to the house of Ishwaramma. And I was excited. She turned out to be a simple old lady living alone in a modest house. And I could gather from their talk that my Father was urging her to enhance her donation a bit to enable the construction of one more 'shed' for the upcoming higher Form....in vain as it turned out. So, we had 'shift system'...a pretty complicated affair...till the Government gave the needed 'grants' a year later.

Unfortunately I don't have a file photo of the class rooms of my school, but here is the closest approximation, except that the roof was made of hay and bamboo and thatch and palm leaves and ropes, and coconut trunks as beams: