Time and again I travel back to my School days for we learnt there much more besides the proverbial 3 Rs. We had a subject called Craft , which was basically a wood craft where we learnt the basics . In smaller classes we were made familiar with the Fretsaw used to cut plywood with. The Fretsaw was a thin sleek U shaped instrument , of which the loose ends had knob and screw to fix the two ends of a thin delicate blade. The Fretsaw cost anything between ₹2 & ₹3.The blade would cost 5p or 10p. We were required to make cut out of pictures fixed on the plywood, which also required a technique . 2-3 blades had to be kept at a time because being delicate, they broke easily as continued running through plywood would heat them up . Sooner than later we learnt the trick. We would give the saw rest rather frequently. A 5p blade would last through 3 or even 4 medium sized cut outs.The plywood was arranged from known shopkeeper who had these as an emptied packing material. We made cut outs of the pictures of leaders and religious entities. With a piece of wood fixed at the bottom backside, these would serve as decoration on mantelpiece or a table.
Sunday, September 13, 2020
यह पोस्ट स्कूल के मेरे हिन्दी अध्यापकों को समर्पित है ।
मेरी शिक्षा शिमला के लेडी इरविन स्कूल से आरंभ हुई जो मूल रूप से कन्या विद्यालय था और लड़के चौथी कक्षा तक ही मान्य थे । इन चार वर्षों अलग अलग कक्षाओं मेँ एक ही अध्यापिका जिसे क्लास टीचर कहते थे,सुबह से शाम तक पूरा दिन हर विषय पढ़ाती थी । बाद मे आगे की पढ़ाई के लिए पाँचवीं कक्षा में जब एस॰ डी॰ स्कूल में प्रवेश लिया तो पाया कि हर विषय के लिए अलग अध्यापक उपलब्ध है । मेरे कक्षा प्रभारी ज्ञानी बलकार सिंह थे जो पंजाबी भाषा के अध्यापक थे ।मेरे प्रथम हिन्दी अध्यापक श्री उद्धवानंद थे जिनके मार्गदर्शन में मैंने कलम से लिखना सीखा । पाँचवीं कक्षा में मेरे प्रवेश लेने के 3-4 महीने बाद ये हिन्दी अध्यापक नौकरी छोड़ कर अन्यत्र चले गए और अस्थायी प्रबंध के तौर पर लगभग डेढ़- दो महीने हिन्दी का पठन पाठन एक प्रयोगशाला सहायक के हवाले रहा, परिणामस्वरूप कोई पढ़ाई न हुई । इसके बाद एक युवा अध्यापक श्री चमनलाल गुप्त हिन्दी अध्यापक के रूप में आए ।थोड़े ही समय में गुप्त जी ने पढ़ाने की अपनी नैसर्गिक प्रतिभा का परिचय दिया और पढ़ाने के अतिरिक्त वाद- विवाद व भाषण प्रतियोगिताओं के लिए छात्रों को तैयार करने में भी भरपूर योगदान दिया । मूल रूप से हिन्दी विषय के अध्यापक होते हुए उनने हमें अंग्रेज़ी और सामाजिक अध्ययन भी कुशलता से पढ़ाए । स्कूल में पढ़ाते हुए इनने स्नातक, बी॰एड॰ और एम॰ए॰(हिन्दी) की परीक्षाएं पास की। बाद का सफर तय करते हुए विश्व विद्यालय में पढ़ाते हुए शिक्षा क्षेत्र में उपलब्धियां प्राप्त कीं और आज भी किसी न किसी रूप में सक्रिय हैं ।
श्री भवानन्द भास्कर बड़ी कक्षाओं के हिन्दी अध्यापक थे । बहुत अच्छा पढ़ाते थे और उनका सैन्स ऑफ ह्यूमर कमाल का था । हँसाने के साथ साथ उनकी बातों में छात्रों के लिए शिक्षा के प्रति गंभीर रहने का संदेश निहित होता था और भविष्य के लिए चेतावनी भी । कक्षा में यदि कोई छात्र ध्यान नहीं देता था तो उसके लिए ‘मूर्ख ज्ञानी’ जैसा सम्बोधन भी उनके शब्दकोश में था ।
तीनों भाषाओं यथा हिन्दी, पंजाबी और अंग्रेज़ी के हमें उत्कृष्ट अध्यापक मिले,परिणामस्वरूप भाषाओं में मुझे विशेष रुचि रही ।
अपने अध्यापकों के प्रति मेरा साभार नमन !!
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
There have been nostalgic posts from friends on Facebook about the harsh snowy winters in Shimla with attendant hardships and the Lion face shaped public hydrants that apart from being a dependable public utility were also a marvel of technology. This post covers both aspects.
Till beginning of August, 1964 we lived in a literally shady area above the circular road with only a little sunshine. As a result water pipes got frozen in winter posing great difficulty.
One such winter, the water pipe got frozen and water had to be brought from the lion faced public hydrant below AG office which was at a walkable distance. While my father would carry full sized two buckets in the morning and in the evening after coming from Office, we kids supplemented the effort by volunteering to carry water in small Dalda cans and milk buckets. My elder sister ventured to carry a bucket . As we were coming back after filling our containers, just at a place from where the descent starts, a tall sanyasi type gentleman ,perhaps in late fifties clad in white long kurta and dhoti , with shoulder length hair smilingly took the took the bucket from my sister and carried it up to the bifurcation to the path that lead to our residence. We could only bow in respect to him .
Compare this in with today's pontificating , sermonizing god men living in 7 star luxury .
The incident is etched deep in memory and is fresh after more than half a century .
Saturday, September 5, 2020
It feels good to recollect that I too had been a teacher albeit for only a few months. The year was 1975. I called it quits after completing Post Graduation in English , though I was advised to do M. Phil. by some well-wishers. Somehow teaching did not attract me.
A friend who came to know that the Shimla Public College aka Jain Academy, situated below Kali Bari Temple and adjoining SBI Shimla needed an English teacher, asked me to have a try. The next day I went there. The owner- cum- Head didn't ask me for certificates even and told me to start teaching from the next day. I was to take classes from Xth to B.A. final , there being eight periods of 30 minute duration each. It was an all girl institution . The real challenge was to teach Class X. Somehow I started teaching and came to like it. I had to make necessary preparations every day , so as not having to cut a sorry figure in the class. I taught text books, grammar and composition as per the requirements of syllabus I can say I taught well as there was good response from the students and the Head, Dr. Jain also seemed quite satisfied. Whatever I was given as remuneration was enough as pocket money . I taught for one session only as I had to think seriously about a regular non- teaching job which eventually I got. Although for a short time, teaching was a rewarding experience.
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
It was the Summer of 1963 . Being a Sunday,we three siblings aged 4,9, and 11 together with 3-4 other boys of the neighbourhood, made a programme to visit the mini Zoo near Raj Niwas at Chaura Maidan . Raj Niwas is now the Peterhof Hotel and mini Zoo is the Bird Sanctuary. The said was within the walking distance coverable in half an hour or at the most 45 minutes at a very leisurely pace, so parents granted permission easily. We went there, looked and moved around and enjoyed the sight of caged Tiger, Bear, swimming ducks and other assorted birds.
This over,someone in the group suggested to go further to Tuti Kandi Zoo that was larger in area and presumably had many more animals .
Without giving a second thought we headed towards the destination that we had not gone to earlier. The visit , to me appeared not worth as unlike the mini Zoo, this bigger zoo seemed asymmetric and not properly kept or laid out. The only discerning feature was the wired fence all around .It took much time there also and we started back journey. It was about to get dark when we reached home, unmindful of the worry and the torment that we had caused to our parents. I do not know how the parents of neighbouring took it , but our father had moved out naturally on foot enquiring and looking for us. Anyways, he came back utterly sad and dejected ,only feeling relieved that we were back. Full of emotions, it took him quite some time to recover his speech. For the first time we saw the emotional side of him. Otherwise he was not given to outward show of emotion or affection although alive to all our legitimate demand. There was no reproach or reprimand as perhaps the parents had seen and gauged the sense of guilt in our eyes. The so called adventure turned sour.