No this image is nothing with Kavya or me going back to school:-) Just that it being Teachers’ Day, I wanted to go back in time and thank all my teachers. I have lost touch with most of them but their memories are forever etched in your mind as they have been responsible for my formative years early in life. I studied at Dadar Parsee Youths Assembly High School (DPYA for short though the acronym was converted a few years ago to Daaru piyela yeda aadmi by one of my nieces) located at 5 gardens in Matunga / Dadar. School is where I learnt the first alphabet, learnt to speak for myself, learnt English as a language that I am proficient at (well me thinks so at least:-))), learnt to enjoy life and made so many friends along the way. So let me go back in time, back to school way back in the early 70s
I started school in Nursery, then Lower Kindergarten (KG) and then came Senior KG. My earliest memory is my teacher from Sr. KG, Miss Panthaky. She was a strict lady who instilled the roots of discipline. I remember once having gone swimming to Otters and reached school a little late. So when I entered the class, she asked me why are you late? I sheepishly had replied then “I had gone to the swimming pool”. She shot back “Then stay in the swimming pool” Lesson learnt – No one waits for you if you are late. Get in on time.
Standard 1 was when we had Mrs. Dias as our teacher. She was a short lady but was strict too. Once I remember during the short break, I was knocked down by one of the those playful seniors and was hurt on the head. I went to her not knowing how to say that I was feeling like throwing up. But she understood what I was saying and took preventive action. Also once I remember calling her Mummy in class and every one laughed but she was kind enough to say that she was like a mother to all of us in school. I felt good that she did not reprimand me for that:-)
Standard 2 we had a teacher by the name of Miss Bobbinmaker whose Mother (the grand old lady taught me French in the XII) was in the administration department of the school, was our teacher. She was a very sweet teacher and gave us stars in our book for neatness, not over writing etc. After a certain number of stars were collected, we were given a gift like a snack box or such. Small things but they meant a lot. Taught me to keep my handwriting steady and avoid mistakes. She left towards the middle of the second term and came in Miss Elavia who later on married Meenu, our Head Accountant in school and became Mrs. Dubash. There was also this lady who taught us Hindi & Marathi whose name I don’t recall but she was to be addressed as Didi in class. She was a comical characters but her classes were fun always.
Standard 3 is a year I won’t forget. Mrs. Carmen Pereira was my teacher and she was one brilliant individual too. Precise in her English and she taught us the basics of grammar. Hats off to that lady who really taught us well. By then we had two divisions and we had Mrs. Fernandes in the next class who ruled the class with an iron hand. But Mrs. Pereira is someone I still can’t forget. Years later when I went for Kavya’s admission, I asked for her and was told that she retired years ago. Ma’am wherever you are, I hope you are hale and hearty. Would love to meet you after all these years and thank you for all that you taught me.
Standard 4 we had Miss Iyer who was weird. I always thought she was partial to the girls:-) But we had Mrs. Rodrigues in the next division. She was an excellent teacher I felt especially since she was very fluent in her English.
Standard 5 – we had Mr. M. Pathak who taught us Hindi but was the class teacher. We had teachers for different subjects. I think that is when Mrs. Miranda became our Maths and Science Teacher. She was very precise in her explanation of geometrical concepts and I owe it to her. She continued to be with us in Standard 6 too.
Standard 6 – We had Mrs. Desai (nee Agaskar) as our Marathi cum class teacher. I remember once Sanjay Madiyar had got some bottle of perfume or was it some eau de toilette in the class and during her class I pushed the button twice. The fragrance naturally spread and she turned back angrily asking who had done this. I did not have the guts to stand up and own up my mistake. And my friend Umesh, another known prankster was banished out of the class. Sorry Umesh for that. Mrs. Lala taught us English and her son Noshir was a couple of years ahead of us.
Standard 7 – Mrs. Gopa Chakravarty was our class teacher and she taught us History with Miss Babsy Hansotia teaching us English. Ms. Hansotia introduced us to Wren and Martin for Grammar and I still consider it the bible for English Grammar. Mrs. Chakravarty suffered from a fracture and to our good luck she went to our classmate, Sanjay Shah’s Dad and so next day when Sanjay told us, it was absolute rejoicing in school expecting a long break but it was short-lived. We had a substitute by the name of Mrs. Dave who we made sure had a tough time with us. Poor lady just couldn’t control a rowdy lot like ours. Mahesh Khanna had the distinction of putting his finger through her Afro like hair much to the uproar in class as Mrs. Dave did not realise a thing. BTW, Mrs. Chakravarty has passed away.
Standard 8 – Now we were in the morning shift. Mrs. Rege who also taught us Marathi (and later on a ridiculous subject called “Bread and Biscuits” in the 9th) was our class teacher. In came Mr. Khilji who taught us Physics, Chemistry and Biology as well as Algebra and Geometry. Foundations were strengthened once again. I remember the definition of density which he tried to explain so many times to me. “Mass per unit volume of a substance” is something I still remember but did not comprehend it then.
Standard 9 – The dreaded year at DPYA not for studies but for the high handed, tyrannical R Pathak (notice no Mr. mentioned as we have no respect for him till date). French started and a very old and fragile lady taught us. She just couldn’t do anything as people mocked around in her class (Once remember someone opening a huge umbrella inside her class room). We were getting rowdier. R Pathak continued with his tyranny and Rajiv Shinde was his favourite punching bag as he would smile shamelessly while R Pathak punched him and this would irk him further so he would rain blows on him and this guy would keep smiling. Mr. T Pathak, a teacher whom I still revere as my guru was the Head Master then. We had Mrs. Mehta as our class teacher and she truly was a very very nice lady. She taught us the nuances of English grammar and was extremely gentle with all of us. She truly commanded respect by her behaviour. Don’t think we were ever out of hand in her class.
Standard 10 – A year which is crucial to all of us in India. Mr. T Pathak and Mr. Khilji taught us Maths and Science. Miss Wadia who was our Principal taught us History and she made a hash of it honestly. We had our naughty times in the Xth honestly as all of us were attending some form of coaching or another so school was more of time pass. But at the end of it when I sit back and look back at school life there was so much we learnt, so much we shared and so many friends we made. Thanks to all the teachers who made contribution in some form or the other to my life. Even R Pathak for having taught me what the word tyrant meant by demonstrating it all through out the 9th Standard. Could go on and on with one or the other episodes but this will get too boring. There are names that I forgot to mention:
- Mr P Vyas who was referred to as Bull Dog and was known to collect that farcical Gandhi Fund after Assembly on every Friday after the Assembly.
- Late Mr. R Vyas who taught us Hindi in the Xth but would always be remembered for singing on stage during the Assembly
- Mrs. Kapadia popularly known as Dolly because of her size who taught us music and used to hit us with a very very think dandia akin to a thick rolling-pin. Who could forget us making a hue and cry in her class when Mr. P Vyas came from behind and spanked Bhavesh Mehta suddenly. Poor Bhavesh was caught unawares and was so shocked that he peed in his pants. We still recall that vividly during our re unions.
- Mr. R Shah who taught us Art and Craft in the middle section. He was a hard core follower of the then Janata Party.
- Mr. Parulekar who taught us Art and Craft in the Primary section
- Anand Shabajee from Mauritius, studying at Ruia College and who taught us French in the 10th. His duster flung at Adil hit Hiten Thakkar on his nose and he bled profusely. Hiten still recalls Adil’s ducking the duster and he being caught unaware.
- Thanks to Peterasp for bringing to mind these names – Mrs. Bharucha whom I haven’t seen in years now. Don’t know if she still lives at the same place.
- Another notable mention thanks to Peterasp would be Mrs. Daruwalla who would sign in a simple manner:-) And she used to hit on the knuckles as both of us reminisced a while ago on Facebook.
- Some more names that come to mind are Mr. Hodiwala, our Principal. I always remember his speeches during Assembly and most notably his words “Never forget the school that brought you up”. Also whenever we enacted a play or such on school, he would always pull us up loudly “Never show your back to the audience”.
- Then Mr. Nadkarni who was the Head Master. Awesome English teacher who admonished me for having used the word created against committed in a sentence. Not forgotten that till date.
- Mrs. Usha Paropkari who taught us geography in 6th standard.
If any of school mates want to add to this list please free to comment and I will add it here.