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Gauri..

26 Sep

Gauri – my   maanasa putri.

Gauri – the very word conjures  up colourful images   of a lovable brat in my mind.The talented, good looking, highly intelligent, friendly, open-minded typical teenage daughter of my friend S is all this and much more.As a young kid she was my student for four years and  now she is   a friend for life. As a baby she was an artist’s perfect model for Sri Krishna- – dark curly hair, lovely large eyes, bud-like mouth  and PRANKSTER written all over her face. Full of mischief –she grew up to be the neighbourhood Princess Naughtiness. She has always been game to meeting new people and makes friends easily. She started school and we never heard of any starting trouble . Her area of influence had just got   enlarged and she was happier there. The arrival of a sibling kept her in good spirits as she now had a handy comrade !She joined our school after two years of study in a kindergarten. By now she had two   thick   , long plaits and her features now resembled that of an image of Goddess Lakshmi. Her talent in singing and drawing surfaced and she won many contests in and out of the school. Her drawings had her special brand written all over it…as if they were watermarked –Gauri…  I remember she once made a market scene and embellished it with images of a torn market bag with veggies falling out, an adamant kid throwing a tantrum; filth of old  vegetables….She was just 7 or 8 then.She sang Marathi abhangs and patriotic songs well and had a wonderful handwriting. She now sings pop ! She started  taking Indian dance and music lessons. She took part in many co-curricular competitions. She was always a   part of the school choir and dance team .

When asked in tests to make sentences  she made humourous ones.I would wait to read her creative paragraphs and letters.She writes with a dash of humour and sees all situations with a tangential view. I mean her way of looking at things is slightly off beat–but in rhythm ! If the majority of her classmates viewed a particular teacher as a bore or as   ineffectual, she would come up with legitimate ,positive things of those very same personalities and she would always highlight their virtues. Even in the midst of a mob she never lost her identity. This doesn’t mean she stood out like asore thumb and became boring.On-the contrary she was popular with her peers but remained true to what she believed in.She made her own rules-be it in studies or in dress and behaviour.(Though this gave my friend sleepless nights and restless days…)She did  well in her + 2 exams and in AIEEE and has joined an institute of repute.

. She can endear herself to anyone from a kid to a senior citizen. She is a great friend of V-though elder to him by five years .They are so alike that strangers often ask if they are siblings .It is more  a resemblance of spirit than physical similarities.

May God bless her and keep her happy.

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SHIVA MESHTRU

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.

VAAGZ ,our pride

8 Apr

Vageesh, my son is learning to play harmonium,tabla (Hindustaani shaili) and Violin(Western style).He has represented Goa in table-tennis three times at Nationals.

Kasturi..

8 Apr

(She is the one who comes at 6.45 am everyday to prepare our breakfast.

The very fact that she comes at that time day in and day out-even in the pouring monsoons(speaks volumes about her.

She is punctual,always presentable,pious,devoted,clean,hardworking and willing to do extra work.She is a bundle of virtues.

She is a fantastic diplomat and politician of the first order.She is aware of so many things that I learn a lot each time I find time to talk to her.

She can conduct Krishidarshana.She has a wealth of knowledge on farming practices in Bijapur zilla.She knows how to prepare land for seeding ,how to select seeds,what type for what soil/season,watering routines,weeding practices,inter-cropping…She knows even pesticides/insecticide routines…

I normally read Prajavani in the afternoons in her presence and she now knows what the puravani contains!She readily recounts the various jaatres around Karnataka,religious mahime,names of different saints, etc.

She is an active member of AKKANA BALAGA from her village and has seen nook and corner of our state.

Her memory is phenomenal.She can recall all the details of all the places she has seen.

Her knowledge about naturopathy/naati aushadhi is amazing.

She works in 6-7 houses-the fact  tht surprises me is that these houses are spread in an area of hills and dales. She must be hiking atleast 10 kms everyday and she has the energy to hold forth on her favourite topics at the end of the day when she comes to prepare chapaties for the night!

She works willingly and cheerfully.

She is always hungry for praise.She is worried about client satisfaction.

She likes music and keeps requesting my son to play bhajans on the harmonium.

“Peti baarisri appu,evattyako keLbekanniside..”

But like  all good things she has some blemishes.

I normally overlook them and thank God for giving me the sukha of a kitchen – help like her.

i hope to read this post when she next absents herself for days together!   😉