Wednesday, February 18, 2009

KVIIT revisited -Part 1

One of my blogger friends (Mrs.Pushkala) had suggested earlier that I write about my childhood, education, initiation into music, my concert experiences and so on, here on my blog.

I thought I would make a beginning now and gradually write about these various topics.

The first thing that comes to mind is my life inside the IIT campus (Chennai) as a kid !

My father was working with the Computer Science Department in IIT and hence we lived inside the campus for about eight years.

I vividly remember my days as a school-going kid inside the campus, with its calm and serene atmosphere. The huge IIT park (which had only trees,trees and trees) was just behind our house and hence we had frequent visitors in the form of snakes,spiders and what not:-)

I happened to meet one of my teachers,Krishnamurthy Sir a few days back and asked him if he would be interested in visiting the school sometime this week. He immediately agreed and we met at school yesterday.

On the way to school I stopped at the house in which we lived all those years and took a photo there. (I was very reluctant to move away from there- I was filled with old memories- how my brother and I would go cycling merrily round the campus and how my brother and his gang would invariably be outside the house playing cricket..)

This was the house where we lived- C-6/13, 2nd Link Road,IIT..

[If you might notice in the photo, there are small square windows from the first floor landing upto the terrace level..One incident that immediately comes to my mind is this: The festival of Holi is always celebrated in a grand manner by the IIT students staying in the hostels. My brother and I would be terrified by the sight of these colors splashed on everyone's faces and every year, on the day of Holi, we used to get up early, shut all doors and windows in the house, stuff those small square windows with newspaper (we used to think that these students would somehow find their way even through these windows to throw colors on us!!) and leave just one window open, so that we could silently stand there and peer through it stealthily to see if any students approached our house !! ]

From here, I proceeded to school and here are a few snaps that I took at the entrance.

(That's Krishnamurthy Sir in the photo. He had been a teacher here for 27 years he said !!! Isn't that a great achievement?! He was one of the best teachers whom I have had in school.)

Proceeding chronologically, I first went to the Primary School wing and took a photo outside my 1st standard classroom :-)

(This is currently the "Primary Resource Room" I was told.)

This is the classroom in which I sat and sang in a music competition for the very first time in my life-when I was in class 2. I sang mahAgaNapatE in the raga natanArAyaNi that day and I also remember that it was the first time in my life that I got a spanking from my mother that evening because I sang without putting the tALam that day:-).(That I got the first prize in the competition is another matter-but the spanking still stays in my mind- and this was the first and last time that I forgot to put the tALam while singing :-))

This photo was taken when I was in class 5 and received the "Best Student Award" at the Primary School level.

This photo was taken when I was in class 11 and appointed as Assistant Captain of "Nethaji House":-) (wearing the red badge).(I wore spectacles while I was in my Class 11 and Class 12 :-))

(Rest to be continued in my next post....)


preeya said...

Hi Gayathri,

couldnt help smiling at your school snaps. very nice post. glad to know more about you. keep the posts coming.

priya ram

Sathej said...

Well, thats one really nicely written post! :) Very nostalgic and understandably so..Nice and appropriate pics as well. It indeed touches an emotive chord in us when we go visit such places which mean a lot to us - school, college, places where one was moulded and spent those priceless days when cares were few, hopes and aspirations plenty. Days with unbriddled joyous moments sans the tempering that comes up with age. And so on..And to go there with a teacher - even better! A bond with the place, with the people, with the ambiance....happens.

Am reminded of this quote by Hemingway..

All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse, and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was.

This has got to do with books. But the way he ends with 'and how the weather was..' somehow creates an unexplainable nostalgic mood in me..and this post did so as well :)

Looking forward to more such posts..

Let me stop here..its already too long a comment! Couldn't help it though..:)


pushkala said...

Thank you for reliving the past. The post is very nicely put and very interesting. The fact that you remember your mother's disciplinary act in second standard is particularly amusing, but you probably felt quite sad then that you forgot to put taLam. Looking forward to more such posts!

I used
to live in adyar, (my parents still are there) and always used to wonder what it is like inside the campus. Your post gave a nice overview. My husand attended the IITM capmus in early 90s to do his masters in computer science dept and he tells stories of mess, late night visits to velachery and taramani to get tea, Open Air theater movie watching (in heavy rains sometimes) and runs/jogging across the campus and Jalakanteswarar and Durga temples and so on.

Sankar said...

Nice one Gayathri, i could very well relate to your trip down the memory-lane .... growing up in the lush IIT-M environs is a great blessing - u sure were lucky to have had that.

in case you have any photos of the campus as it stood then, do upload them too - think, the number of trees today must be lower than what it used to be then.

Pushkala :

Yeah, Jalakanteshwarar Kovil and Durga Peeliamman Kovil are great places within the campus. And the best thing is, they are the two places that can be frequented by non-IIT campus residents as well.


any updates on what's up at the IIT campus off late ?



Gayathri Girish said...

Hi Sankar,

Yes, the campus was definitely a greener place then and also more deers were around then. Don't know if there are any photos with me though- will try and see if I can locate any. The problem is that, taking photos was never a hobby 15-20 yrs back, at home :-)

I was also planning to write in my next post,about the Jalakanteshwara temple, Durga temple and the huge stadium behind this temple, where we used to have our "annual sports day" every year.


Hi Pushkala,

Yes, I am planning to write about my visits to the movies at OAT (open air theater), concerts held at CLT (Central Lecture Theater) in the next post :-)


Anonymous said...

Hello Gayathri,
Just came by your blog by accident and happy that I did. I too carry evergreen memories of the IIT campus as I lived there for over 24 years.. Also I am a proud KVIIT alumni ('81 bactch). Your picture with Kittu sir in front of our school takes me back the to time when he taught us english. He was a great teacher. I can never forget him, riding his bike to school!
Pushpa Hariharan

preeya said...

Hi Gayathri,

i am delighted after reading the review regarding your concert at vani mahal in the friday edition of the Hindu. it is full of praises for you. great going. my best wishes to you. keep it up !

preeya said...

Hi Gayathri,

also please share your favourite carnatic songs, composers and raagams. would like to know more about them too.

priya ram

SAI<=>MUSIC said...

Wow.. I am jus enjoyin every bit of it. I am a frequent visitor there and the next time i go there I ll get reminded of u mam!!! Tats so nice... Pl. continue.

Suresh V said...

Hi Gayathri:

Awesome post. Would have loved to accompany you and the most affable "Vicky mama" to our alma mater too. I was there briefly circa '70-'72 before moving back to CLRI.

Nice phtots. Almost looks like a photoshop-aided aged photo of your daughter's photos.

Go Netaji!

Gayathri Girish said...

Hi Suresh,


By the way, who is "Vicky mama"? Did you mean "Kittu Sir"?

Your phrase "Go Netaji" ignites another spark within me, about those days at school:

"Asoka house" (yellow)had been my "all time favourite", maybe because I was invariably allotted to that house for many years right from Class 2. So much so that I reluctantly agreed to be the Vice-Captain of Netaji house (red) in Class 11:-) and used to envy the "yellow badged" Asoka house vice captain Nalini Victor of Class XI-B :-). (I was in Class XI-A)

In fact, during our assembly, whenever an announcement was made that Asoka house had won a prize, I would silently applaud for "my favourite" house !!

(On a side note, Bharati House was the one that I detested the most, for no fault of anyone whatsoever!!)
(I am really surprised that I still remember such irrelevant details!!)

In retrospect, these things appear ridiculous, but I wanted to be honest about whatever I felt during those days:-)

Many more interesting things will soon come up in my next post about those memorable school days :-)


Suresh V said...

Pssssssst... I hated Shivaji and loved my house Netaji - also just for the color :-)

Yes.. Kittu sir used to own a Vicky 50cc (may have been the 1st of its kind to roll out of the factory) and he used to bring his 2 kids on it. My classmates claimed they would pass him on their bicycles on the way to the school almost daily :-)

During my time there, I was struck most by the quality of music at the school. They rehearsed some songs for the Independence day program like "Dhanya Dhanya Dhanya Ho Bharathi" and "Sara Jahan se Acha" and the standard was awesome. I think the organizing teachers like Mrs. Shantha Viswanathan (Bio) and Mrs. Vasantha Ramaswamy (Chem) had something to do with this - not to mention the quality of the students themselves.

Gayathri Girish said...

Oh!!! Looks like every KVIIT-ian has had these "house" preferences:-)

Kittu Sir still actively uses his two-wheeler:-). His second son Mahesh was two years my senior.

Songs for Independence Day, Republic Day and all other Inter-school competitions- we used to have some practise or the other all the time !!

As you have mentioned,songs like Dhanya Dhanya,sArE jahAn sE,AkAsh gangA, and many more songs for national integration in almost all the Indian languages..sung in chorus by boys and wonderful those days were..All of us used to sing very sincerely under the guidance of teachers like Mrs.Lalitha Jayaraman (Music), Mrs.Amudha Rajendran and many others.


meena said...

Nicely written and presented.I am very much passionate about carnatic music.Loved your hanuman chalisa since it is in Tamizh.How nice it is to hear in our own sweet language :).First time to hear it :).Awesome!!

Sathej said...

Am so so frustratingly bored and so just went through some of these posts again! Brings back memories of IITM..How I want to be there now..wish college reopens tomorrow and I get back! :(


shaji said...

it was so nice reading abt those fading colors down the memory lane.... i feel like floating invisible through those childhood places, seeing the laughter, music, comraderie, the occassional tear............ wow! as good as music!!!

S. Bhattacharyya said...

Just trying to check on KV IIT, came over to this blog. nostalgic....

I was in the School Hostel during my class XI & XII (joined 1979-81)from Guwahati, Assam.

Was actively participating in Games and also participated in various Western Music.

My class mates were Sushil Venglet, Rajiv Menon, Narshiman, Prem (From IIT Campus), Vinoo ....

Any one familar or in touch get in touch, really thinking of visiting the School.

Best regards,
S. Bhattacharyya

Anonymous said...

Wow, C6/13 brings back memories. We stayed at c6/13 till 1977 ( or 1976), then we moved to B10/3 . I remember the square windows that you mention on the path from the ground floor to the first floor staircase , monkeys had a field day entering the house through these square windows. Great house, we stayed there for about 8 years. Thanks for bringing back those memories and the photo of the house. Pushpa and Sapu (the persons that commented on your blog) were also my classmates.