Year 1978-1979

Year 1978-1979

School : Sunny Modern School

Class III

Reach School – by Bicycle.

Ridden By – Afzal Bhaiya – used to drop me to school.

Memories of Sunny Modern school :

Every Wednesday , 3 rd period, Poem recitation test.

Every Wednesday – more or less absent…reason Stomach ache, head ache…etc.

Mom had started suspecting – but my acting skills were great – could never catch me red handed.

But after all she is the one who gave birth to me – she understood that I should be put in the same school as my older siblings – that was St. Joseph’s Academy !

My Class III had been wonderful – in spite of so many absents, I used to come 1 st or 2 nd in my class – to which my siblings used to say “In the country of the blind, the one eyed man is the King!!” – they, in fact used to address me as King Kusha – a story in some Amar Chitra Katha where an Emperor had been given the boon that as a first born, he can either have a very good looking son without much brain or a very ugly looking son but with lots of brain – the Emperor chose the latter and hence was blessed with a very ugly looking son called King Kusha ! – anyways my siblings used to call me by that name to irritate me basically!

I was made to sit for an entrance exam in St. Joseph’s Academy – where I managed to pass and so…..

Class IV – St. Joseph’s Academy

Class IV – the number 4 has seldom been lucky for me

In fact both my class 4 and class 8 were pretty sick for me – never liked the experience both the times ! – strange – its said the both number 4 and 8 are numbers of Karmic debts – God knows what Karmic debts I was paying in both these classes.

The Lady teacher we had here was very strict – a spinster – who used to pull us by our hair or ears if the circle of small p mismatched with the circle of small d ! – cursive writing !! – always I had this remark in my copy – “Improve your handwriting”!

I was miserable in Maths – she used to punish me for not by-hearting the tables,

We were taught LCM, HCF, division, etc. oh! It was so sick – all of it!

She used to teach us all the subjects except Hindi. For hindi a different teacher used to come.

She hardly ever appreciated me – very rarely she used to call out my name to say “Aparna, you’ve got good marks for a change – studied hard this time?”

There were around 50 students in our class – I used to stand 18 – 19 in all the terms. In my final exam I stood 18 th and she had given me a big smile – I wondered what was such a big deal anyways !

Officers Club , Cinema enclosure and the Swimming Pool

I used to accompany my siblings to the club.

I just used to sit and munch a burger and sip a soft drink – this way my siblings kept me busy. As always I was satisfied with very little.

My siblings used to play Tambola or participate in dance, skits etc. – I just used to watch them. They had become teenagers…remember folks….but I was pretty small then – did’nt understand why they were so keen on going to the club all the time !

There was a huge open ground cinema enclosure where every week a movie was shown – Wednesday ..or Friday was the Officer’s day – so obviously we used to look forward to Fridays – they also had soft drinks and pop corns and other stalls – I was more keen on them.

That was the time I decided that Amitabh Bacchan was the best – He used to be in every other movie anyways.

Before Amitabh , my favourite was Rishi Kapoor and Neetu singh – and when they did get married in real life – I was very happy – I used to tell my friends that because they are my favorites , that’s why God has made them come together ! – I always suffered from this superiority complex I think – Thinking no end of myself !

We used to go to the Swimming pool but I never could swim. Me and my sister just clung to the rod by the side – only my brother learnt swimming – he learnt many strokes – and very soon too. My mom used to site his example and asked us to learn as well – but we (both the sisters) were very afraid to swim.

Other Dehradun Incidents :

Bharuwala House near Dacota

Whenever their was load shedding – we used to scream – this is ‘Jharuwala’ (jharu=broom) colony not Bharuwala!!

We had many girls living in our neighborhood. So we had many playmates.

Story of a special kind of Bird.

We lived in a locality with the address Bharuwala – a plane had crashed there and it stood on the ground. I used to play there with my friends. When my father used to be away in Field areas, my Mother used to drive us to the Officer’s Mess for movies. Dad had taught her driving and she was pretty confident about driving. (I learnt driving but I think I am not as confident).

There was a special kind of bird which made a nest with the help of mud! They used to make it round with the help of their saliva (I suppose) and built the nest , laid eggs and used to come feeing the chicks ! The only problem was that they used to turn around and shit on our balcony railing – which was certainly a dirty sight !

We were there for 2 years. The first year they came ,made nest, laid eggs, raised birdies, taught them to fly – and then left our house. We used to observe which bird had learnt flying – which got tired soon and had a lot of fun watching them.

Next year, around same time – they came back again – began building the nest and laid eggs and started raising their babies. One day they had taken the young ones to teach them to fly – when my mom , having got irritated with the bird shit spoiling the railing, broke the nest !

That night it rained heavily and we saw that the parents had somehow placed the chicks on the top of the bulb shade in our Balcony and themselves sat on the electric pole wire – getting wet and occasionally shaking the water away from their feathers.

I was extremely upset with my mother that day – I think I did not speak to her for a couple of days for having done such a cruel crime ! I felt very sad for them…very very sad. They left our house and flew away..God knows where they went.

Significance of the name Aparna

Another story I read in Amar Chitra Katha – How Parvati (Godess Durga) got her name as ‘Aparna’

She did heavy penance to attain Shiva – single minded – heavy penance!

She got so much involved in meditation that she even gave up having fruits and leaves required for survival.

Viewing her strict penance some saints passing by named her ‘Aparna’ – meaning :

A: without ; Parna : leaf.

Reading this I got some confidence in myself.

Actually I was very afraid of ghosts – a movie we saw ‘ Kaali Chaya’

I could not sleep for days together !!

I felt that I could see the shadows – of a male and a female – slim and tall …well must be my imagination.

So mentally I used to converse and warn all the ghosts that Lord Shiva – whose other name is Bhootnath – Lord of the Ghosts – is my husband ! So dare not scare me – for I’ll tell my husband and get you all punished !! I used to see in comic pictures that all skeletons etc . are dancing around Lord Shiva – so I thought that if I tell them this – they will be afraid to attack me !!

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