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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Oh, so he doesn't carry a dagger ! ! !,What a great discovery, Golden time that never returned

Oh, so he doesn't carry a dagger ! ! !,What a great discovery, Golden time that never returned

It was late fifties, just a little over ten years after independence.

Saraswati Vidyalaya  Nagpur was composed of just two yellow double storied buildings. A small dwelling was there next to Saraswati temple, with tiled roofing housed a chaprasi and a tamil family. An elderly gentleman who was a member of South India Education society.

Saraswati Vidyalaya mostly comprised South Indian students. it was even called a madrasi school.

The backside nallah (adjoining mook badhir school) we had the pine trees.We used to pick up pein khajoor and eat. Front side near the main the main gate, we had the Cheez malai tree, we used to enjoy eating cheez malai.

Outside the gate, we had the chooran, bair koot and fruit sellers. The rupee has just been devalued and there was a great confusion between Naya paise & purana paisa for these illiterate sellers. Two old paise made three naya paisa, and four & six to an aana.

Primary School had their own headmasters. one for tamil & one for Hindi media respectively.

Hindi was Shri. Chourasia & tamil was a mama,I don't recall his exact name, but we used to call him Bair kutti mama.(May his soul rest in peace). We used to tease him a lot

We used to shout "Bair kutti mama chor hai" and run away. He used to get angry and shout "Yaar da, Yenege daa.." and chase us on his bycycle but was never was able to catch us.

Chourasia sir was more resourceful, He had a Lakdi & koyla Taal (shop) opposite the school, where a bank and petrol pump came later (perhaps). He used to make us carry water from school to his house. He loved to conduct classes for the fourth std outside under one of the trees.

As I mentioned earlier it was just a little over ten years past the independence. Though we were independent, our thought process hadn't evolved, our parents still carried the bitterness of the communal bloodshed immediately after independence. The western Nagpur had mostly Hindu inhabitants. The muslims were confined to areas on the other side of station mominpura & beyond. I heard about muslims but never saw or met any. I wondered how they looked, what they talked. Parents had told us children not to meet them, not to talk to them. Saraswati Vidyalaya didnt have any at that time.

So my curious questions remained unanswered for some time.

Then I heard that one muslim student had taken admission in the school. He used to come from airport by airpost bus and leave immediately after school so had no time to mix or play with other children. I think, he was my junior. I was curious to meet him but was afraid,my parents had told me that these people always carried a dagger and could stab you any time. For some time I looked at him from distance and was surprised that he was as normal as me, and there was no foul smell as people expected.

Slowly I moved closer to him still very curious, still very afraid.,then one day he smiled at me and asked me my name. I told him my name and and asked his. my curiosity increased as I could not find the dagger. Probably he didn't carry one I thought, or probably he had one hidden in his under garments, but somehow my inner sense told me, He may not be of that type.

One day I gathered courage and asked him straight , "do you carry dagger on you??" he said no, but was not surprised by may question, even his parents had told the same about Hindus. They had told him to be careful and not to mix too much with others. We both had a hearty laugh at the ignorance our elders. How backward and retarded were our elders
were we thought.

Next day I told my parents confidently, "All muslims don't carry daggers,atleast the children don't carry."

Just pondering....

Weren't we better off before independence, when everyone hindus,muslims, sikhs,christians and others fought shoulder to shoulder for independence.

What was so drastic in our independence that changed our mindsets and behavior.

After  more 65 years of Independence, are we better off ???

We have secured independence from the British,but we are still prisoners of captive mindsets, and highly ancient and antiquated thought process. Can we ever liberate our selves from these??? 

Still groping in the dark for an answer.

Best wishes,


Posted in Saraswati Vidyalaya Nagpur group on llinkedin.alumna from this school can join this group an contribute.It is an active group with lively discussions.Please join the Group HERE

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