My mom, Rukmani Nair (now Manay), hasn’t a class photo of the passing out Class of 1962, but the memories are abundant.
Always creative, while in Std XI, mom maintained a notebook in which she wrote about each of her classmates. The “Character Sketch” notebook, it seems, was a distraction, as mom used to be engrossed in it while the teachers were teaching. Mom recalls that it was confiscated by Mother Immaculate Heart, a Coorgi nun, during class and she took it away with her to the staff room, returning it only at the end of the school day. Mom guesses that she read everything she had written about the 43 girls in the class, and wasn’t amused! She told her that she can do this sort of writing after she finished high school.
While mom is still in touch with some of her class/school mates, it’s her notebook that brings back many of the memories of school. This batch was the last one that did the Std XI Bangalore European Secondary School Certificate Examination in December 1962. From the following year it was changed to a Std X school-leaving certificate.
As expressed by my mother Rukmani Manay (nee Nair)
Our home on Serpentine Street-Leonard Lane was always alive with music, games and lots of fun. Many of the neighbourhood children (including the four of us siblings – Leela, Ramani/Pappi, Bala/Sundra and I ), used to meet here everyday. Our home – because the compound was large with many trees, and our parents were very friendly, hospitable and tolerant.
Some weeks ago, I read a write up in The Times of India (TOI Bangalore dated 26-May-2019), about a memorial that has been made by the SJBHS Old Boys’ Assn., for the war heroes of the school/college – as a tribute to Captain John Dalby and other old boys. John was from our neighbourhood, and reading this brought back a flood of memories.
Skimming through the household albums, I came across these photographic memories of Sacred Heart Girls’ High School, that my mom, Rukmani Nair, safely saved away.
Mom was a Girl Guide at school. Her sisters Leela and Ramani were Guides too. Leela aunty was in fact a President’s Guide. Mom’s memories are not just in the photos. As a child, I recall that there used to be a steel box at home, and in it she had kept her guide uniform, along with her neckerchief (scarf) and biretta. Not to mention, several badges, that she had worked hard to earn. They all would still be somewhere at home. She was quite keen that I should become a Guide, but the school I went to didn’t have Guides.
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