Wednesday, February 25, 2009

KVIIT revisited -Part2

Visits to the OAT(Open Air Theater):

Residents of the campus had the opportunity to see English movies screened at the OAT every Saturday at 8 p.m. If it was an exceptionally good one, my father used to take us for the movies once in a while. Once a month, movies in regional languages would be screened in turns-so maybe once in 4 or 5 months we would have a Tamil movie. Again, we would be taken there only if it was an exceptionally good movie ! 8 p.m would be an ideal time for us to go, after finishing dinner. My brother and I would have two shawls with us and invariably half way through the movie,we would have dozed away:-). OAT is nice in terms of the seating arrangement-it is a gallery kind of arrangement, in a semi-circular shape, no chairs anywhere. So we could just sit on the concrete steps, stretch our legs,relax and watch the movies !

Incidentally, OAT was the venue for our Annual School Day Functions till the SAC (Students Activity Center) got constructed.

Concerts at the Music Club,IIT Madras:

Concerts at the IIT Music Club would be conducted at CLT (Central Lecture Theater). Again, this was an excellent opportunity very early in my life to listen to some great concerts. CLT has been one of my favourite halls to listen to music (and to perform too !)

My father was one of the office-bearers of the Music Club for a short period - so we have also had the fortune of hosting many great musicians like Sri.Lalgudi Jayaraman, Sri.Umayalpuram Sivaraman, Sri N.Ramani(Flute),Dr.S.Ramanathan and so on, over, for a cup of hot filter coffee at our residence (yes, C6/13 :-)) before they proceeded for the concert at the Music Club.

Very often,my evening "outings" after school would be to the Jalakanteshwarar temple and Durga Peeliamman temples within the campus:-)

(All set to go to the temple with my parents)

Whenever I talk of IIT, I can never forget the very first car that we had- a bluish-green ambassador (MSR 876) :-). This was the car for the entire family - my cousins, grandparents, aunts,uncles etc ! We were so much accustomed to travelling as a group of 11-12 people inside the car at a time:-)

(A whole gang of us sitting on the "famous" car !)

(This is a view of the IIT park from our house. Unfortunately, only a B&W photo is available with me.)

My formal training in music began when I was 6.I started having my music lessons from my mother.

I then continued my rigorous training and learning under Sri.Vaigal.S.Gnanaskandan.

The next important thing that happened during my school days were the inter-school music competitions that I used to go to, representing my school. This gave me an excellent opportunity to learn songs of various composers and also gave me a lot of confidence right from the beginning, to go up on stage and perform.

(Receiving a prize from Dr.M.Balamuralikrishna)

(Receiving a prize from Actor, Mr.Sivaji Ganesan)

I then started learning the violin, and began classes with the maestro,Lalgudi Sri.G.Jayaraman. I would travel from IIT to T.Nagar (by 5B bus)twice a week, for my violin classes :-)

This is the place where the school Assembly would take place:

All prizes that students would win in various competitions would be announced in the Assembly and I would happily go and receive them (representing Asoka House :-))

(When I visited this place a few days back, I could feel the same old gentle breeze from all the surrounding neem trees in the Assembly area. The fragrance of the white flowers was very familiar, even after all these years :-))

(This is the famous corridor inside the school as soon as one enters the school).

On the right (where the little girl is facing towards) is the Biology lab and it was on this corridor that we used to sit and hurriedly finish our Biology Record Books and submit them:-)

On the left is the Arts Room and the Staff room.

(Will write more about the school in my next post.)


Sathej said...

Well, let me think a bit, find suitable words and then comment..:)

Pics are really really nice..B and W it has to be for such things :)


Sathej said...

OAT is indeed a nice place..:) btw nowadays at times they have chairs as well (reserved for faculty and family). And there's supposedly an agenda to have a retractable roof of sorts over the OAT so that movies could continue even amidst rains..but in my opinion it would take away bit of the charm..:) SAC is a fine place too..takes me back to 2006 :) ..CLT reopened recently last year after repairs. Nice hall - it always looks as if the capacity is not too high, but then once a concert begins, there's always room with students at times shifting down if need be :)

Biology record - well what can i say..brings back memories of my school days as well. The Age of Innocence , to borrow from Wharton. Those days when one leisurely chatted with friends, when trivial issues sometimes ruled the talk in class, homework on the way to school (yes, I invariably ended up doing my Math homework on my way to school - proofs used to be hand waving arguments at best, you see there were the 'find' questions and 'prove' questions. The 'find' questions werent too good in that they required answers, while the 'prove' questions simply required ingenious ways of gliding over difficulties and all that mattered was the final 'hence, proved' :-))

'The fragrance of the white flowers seemed familiar even after all these years' - well, thats the bondage..Orhan Pamuk says in Snow 'It snows only once in our dreams..' Certain moments happen only once in our lives but are relived for years to come.

The pics are really nice as well. The car, the park..nostalgia - nothing to replace that word right? :)

Leaves me wondering what memories I'll take back from my heart is heavy even when I think of it..some time to go though. The Dept, the teachers, the classroom where we sit and ponder over 'suitable' readings for the lab report, empty classrooms in some arbitrary Department where we just walk in when tired, sit down, switch on fans - all alone and do something like reading a novel in half darkness when its raining outside:)

Has already become a post by itself I guess - my comment! Shall stop here else Blogger might deem it to be spam! :)

Keep writing..


Priya Ram said...

Gayathri, The pic of yours with the title 'ready to go to the temple with parents' is really cute :)

keep posting more. rasikas get to know more about their favourite singer GG. also, it must have been difficult juggling music classes with your school timings.

Thanks to your parents, gurus and all those who inspired and supported you to continue we have a wonderful singer GG.

varun said...

nice range!!Shawls and Scarves

Padma said...

Indeed beautiful...Takes me back to my school days...Keep it coming...

pushkala said...

The picture of the gang sitting of the car is great! Very interesting reading..

Sankar said...

i think you must have had a lot more "comments" off-line than here :-) ..... the folks on the car must have had a surprise shock seeing themselves after so many years !! in one of the earlier posts, i had asked if you could share some of the iit campus photos from those days, and here you have even shared your own childhood photos ... That's great ! ..Thank you..

also, going forward do write about your Guru, Vaigal.S.Gnanaskandan. He sure must have been a great person, though i haven't heard anything about. Your subsequent Gurus do not need any elaboration as they are too well known. ;)

meanwhile, i also uploaded a few snapshots of the "iit-madras-home-page" as it stood over the years. you can view it here :


Vandhana said...

Hi Gayathri,
Vandhana back in action... At the outset, I'm impressed with your flair and command over the language! They're indeed cherishable moments to recollect your childhood memories and I appreciate the fact that You're able to jot down all your vivid memories in CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER(As you put it. :-o) It was indeed commendable that you could meet your teacher and pose in front of your classrooms. I've heard a lot about IIT campus since MY family churns out a lot of IITians and IIM professionals... Good photos and you're blessed to have your mother as your one of your initial gurus. The result: A budding flower has now blossomed into a fragrant and nectar rich ROSE!!

NTFans said...

I accidentally came to this blog through various searches in google and have a pleasant surprise, particularly your receiving prize from Nadigar Thilagam. Can you give more details on it and also give your views on him so that I can put it in our website,, a website for Sivaji Ganesan?