2011: Day 11 @ Naidovi

We have been very busy. Getting the activities underway and preparing for tomorrow’s principals and head teachers “conference”. There were two highlights of the day. Firstly, the staff organised a special lunch for us. They called it the “thanksgiving lunch”. Teachers brought a plate from home and my year five classroom was converted into a dinning room. It was quite unique and we got to have lunch at the teacher’s table. From memory I think this was the first time I got to see “the classroom” from where the teacher used to sit. This room was quite special for me. In my time the school system was very much focused on how you performed in exams at the end of each term. There were (and still are) three terms in a year. The marks that you achieve in the subjects are aggregated. From these aggregated results a rank order is determined. The student who is at the top of the rank order comes first. Other positions are determined on this rank. Well when I was a student in this classroom in 1970, I came first. As a consequence, I “jumped” a class. So I did not go to year six but went to year seven. In year seven, I kept up with my good form and I came first again and so the story goes on. Those that came 2nd, 3rd, and 4th were also accelerated and promoted to year 4. All four of us maintained our relative positions in year seven. So at this lunch it was a great moment to reflect on my early days.

Special buffet lunch

But then the day got even better. There was a school assembly and we were the guests of honor. We were in the main building of the school – it was built in 1924 (I think).  The school committee (my great grandfather and grandfather were key figures in this committee) that were behind the construction of this building had a great vision. Each time the school needs to get together for a special function, the walls between the three classrooms can be removed and the building becomes a school hall. It is not a fancy hall that we all need to have in a school in the West, but this setup does do the job. So we sat and addressed the students from where my year four classroom once used to be. This is where they I came first in terms exams – for the first time in my primary schooling career. I had a great teacher who somehow must have tuned something in me that I can do it. The school students and teachers gave us a gift. But what made the day even more significant was the special Bollywood number that the students presented for us. I liked the song as well – Yamla Pagla Deewana. They even had appropriate costume on. I admired the talent of the students. Many probably do not have a special dance instructor – their best tutor are the Bollywood videos and movies they see every now and then. We were not expecting anything like this but their generosity and thought did mean a lot to us. We got to sit with the students and capture the memories…

A memorable moment

But wait – there was more…I legally got the chance to ring the school bell. A dream comes true at last! After how many years was that?

Warming up to ring the bell

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