19 Apr

He was the first person I met when I joined the school where I am working about 20 years back.

His smile and wit, made me feel ‘at home’ that day.The added bonus was-he was  a Kannadiga too !!

As time passed, his other  qualities came into light.He is a wonderful human being first,then a superb teacher and then a fantastic artist.He teaches the lessons of humanity by demonstrating it at every curve in life.Be it a case of birth or death in his huge family of friends,Shiva meshtru is present there lending a traditional touch.If someone is hospitalized, he/she can be sure of   a witty and dependable companion at the bedside.

He has helped his friends in times of need to such an extent that they are now part of his family.

His humble beginnings have given him a great sense of perspective. Though his parents were not educated,they have given him a rich inheritance of culture.They were forced to discontinue his education for lack of funds .His thirst for knowledge made him  work as an agricultural help .He accumulated just enough money to join the high school which was 6 kms from his village.Come rain or shine he would run off to the school .Most often he went on an empty stomach.He would skip the last period of games so that he could reach his village before darkness descended.

Seeing his plight, a distant relation of his took him to another village.He had to look after ‘minor’chores in the farmhouse in return for a high school education.No job could be skipped in that bull-breeder’s house. The bulls were reared for money. It fell on puny Shiva’s head to bathe them and feed them.He did it with so much love that those beasts tolerated only him in times of illness or trouble. Animals too understood the “shiva” in him.

He first started drawing using a charcoal during his visits to the fringes of the jungle to graze the cattle.He later went to Mysore to study fine art. He worked as a teacher in Banummiah’s High School. He joined our school later and worked there till his retirement about three years ago.

As a teacher, he is wonderfully patient with kids.His students have won several national and international awards.

He too has won several awards and exhibited his works at prestigious galleries.

His children have come up in life.One is working as a lecturer in Bangalore,and another as an architect in Austalia.

He hasn’t changed at all. He now comes to school on a part-time basis and teaches kids with the same enthusiasm  he showed 20 years ago.

Be it a national festival,sports day or a cultural evening, stage setting is always by Meshtru.The flag post always needs his touch-even after his retirement!He has worked withMaster H,so he is a master in building a stage.

His punctuality,devotion to duty and enthusiasm leaves us stunned.

Shiva Sir has shown commitment beyond his call of duty. Even when he had gone down to Bangalore on a sabbatical,he came here to help us put up a wonderful cultural show.He is a live example of commitment and simplicity.

‘Meshtru’ andre evare.

Sir,nimgage koti namana.


9 Responses to “SHIVA MESHTRU”

  1. greatunknown April 19, 2007 at 8:33 pm #

    Unsung heroes… that’s the category I’d put Shiva Meshtru into. I’d even go so far as to add that people such as him are the true Ratna’s of Bharat.
    I salute you Sir!

  2. neel3 April 20, 2007 at 4:55 am #

    Actually on re-reading the post now, I realise that I have not done justice to his personality.
    I wish to add now that apart from his zest,the other things I admire is his humility and sense of immense gratitude towards his benefactors. He is still in touch with the families of his benefactors and helps them now in several ways.
    Many people don’t know that he even made ‘the last bed for final rest’-for a poor employee as his family couldn’t procure one.
    He has got a great ablilty to work – he never refuses to lend a helping hand however busy he is.He is a great inspiration to all of us.

    I wish I had words to write about him.

  3. Vani April 20, 2007 at 5:28 am #

    Wow……”Praatahsmaraneeyaru”…nann paravaagi ond namaskaara to this gem of a human being please………

  4. rk April 20, 2007 at 5:49 am #

    thanks for this beautiful post. reading about sri shiva meshtru brought tears in my eyes. devaru avarige olledu maadli antha nanna prarthane.
    neel3, avara odanaatavidda neeve dhanyaru.
    avara bagge innu hecchu tilidukolluvudakke utsukathe.

    avara subject yaavdu antha gottaglilla. if it is arts, kaleyalli avarige aasakthi hege banthu?

  5. Vijay April 20, 2007 at 6:11 am #

    Wow.. such people are rare…

  6. destinationsrik April 20, 2007 at 8:36 am #

    Nice to know about one great personality.

  7. neel3 April 20, 2007 at 11:59 am #

    His subject is fine arts.But naataka,stage-craft ,animal breeding, mimicry,agricultural practices in Tumkur zilla,home remedies ,folk forms of Tumkur/mysore ,cooking … henge elladrallu avaru praveenaru.
    A few months before he retired he performed “somanakunita” in our annual cultural show.He got a standing ovation.

  8. TSSM April 25, 2007 at 5:45 am #

    neel 3,
    a wonderful piece.
    Can you please post the ‘Meshtru’s photo’ so that we can ‘see’ him.

  9. Neela April 25, 2007 at 3:09 pm #

    Sure sir,
    I am planning a sequel too.

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