From a closed place…

On this day of Bandh in Tamil Nadu, when not a fly moves in deference to the rulers, and the unruly, I log on to the school egroup hoping to find an oasis….but seems that the bandh declared by TN Govt extends to DTEA school egroup as well…..not a single mail…..

i remember the time our school changed from MEA (Madrasi Education Assoc) to DTEA (Delhi Tamil Educ Assoc) ….it was the time the state govt changed the name of Madras to Tamil Nadu…..and then, a year or so later, Tiru mu karunanidi came to delhi, and to some branches of DTEA school as well…I was a part of the school band giving a welcome guard of honor….since DTEA LR band was the only one among DTEA branches, our band went to other branches as well….

Got to hear MK speak….and what a good speaker! Our school had the unfortunate tag of being money minded (MEA….was referred to by some uncharitable folks as ‘Money Eating Association’)….and what was the reputation due to? Due to our ‘chillarai’ brains! Just imagine, paying 38 paise fees per month, and ‘donation’ of Rs 7 or so per family per month – and we complained that the school was money minded….naturally the school was short of funds, as always….and they had requested TN Govt for help….

and MK said in his speech – “My name is Karunanidhi…i.e. Karunai and Nidhi…(Compassion and Wealth)….The word Karunai is longer than Nidhi….My sympathy is more abundant…My ability to give is less….” – or something to that effect…all said in chaste Tamizh, in his characteristic trade-mark voice….he connected well with the huge gathering…

People in power always leave some impression on young minds – thanks to the pomp, regalia, and general ‘power based’ charisma that they have…So, memories of a CM, is natural….’

But then there were others, much simpler folks, who came to our school on occasion, who also come to mind….and to me, they are interesting….

For eg: there was one turbaned, cycle driving, social worker….his cycle would have a small board, proclaiming some rules of ethics that he followed…..he came and spoke to us about ‘character building’……By normal standards, he was an absolute misfit…..Toiling physically, in the hot Delhi Sun, going from school to school, connecting with kids to tell them about the virtues of sincerity, hard work, honesty and ethics…..

There was Rukimini mami, who taught us Nenjak Kanakallu negizn turuka (Kandar anubhuti of Arunagirinatha)…the whole assembly used to sing this…..

That song rings on….


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