THIRUVAZHIYAD G.U.P.S. – MY School
( A Short Memoir )
Thiruvazhiyad G.U.P.S. is going to celebrate its centenary! It, of course, is a matter of great pleasure – that’s what I sincerely felt when I received invitation by email from the respected Head Master Sri A.P. Babu. Thank you, Sir.
My mind travels back to the olden (which were golden, of course) days. Thiruvazhiyad - How beautiful the name of my place is and how beautiful its look is! My place is blessed with nature and its beauty of greenery. I am an ardent lover of Nature and natural nitty-gritty. That could be the background for my becoming a Naturopath ultimately. Being a humble writer in general and a writer of articles on Nature Cure methods in particular in the newspapers and periodicals (also since some time in the line of treatment), I am now glad to write down a few lines about my school where I studied and let me dedicate this write-up to all concerned connected with our school – especially, the respected Headmaster and staff, students, parents, ex-students and teachers and also to the ones who were connected with our school but no more with us leaving memories about them.
Whenever memories of Thiruvazhiyad - the lovely bird comes to me by flying to perch up on my mind as same as my beloved mother, she also brings in a lot of nostalgic feelings as I, particularly, am a Marunadan Malayali since more than three and a half decades. Moreover, if it is at a leisure time, I clearly visualize the memories as if on a silver screen - including the Government Upper Primary School where I studied which was and is the only medium for basic education (but, produced and still produces a number of intellectuals!).
In my school days, I was lucky to have excellent teachers most of whom were natives of Thiruvazhiyad itself. When I was new to school in first standard, while taking bath at Thiruvazhiyad river, to the question of my cousin, as to who is my teacher, I replied seriously, “a fat master like my father”. He, my father and another master (Kunjiraman master) who were there could not control their laugh. Not finished; it reached to the late Veeran Master’s (Meerankutty Sahib) ears as well through Kunjiraman master. On the other hand, I heard, Veeran Master, who was with a typical gray moustache, did enjoy it thoroughly by laughing and laughing, shaking his potbelly! He knew my father, who was also a teacher in another school. My “slogan” not only did spread out very soon among the teachers and students but also some of the senior naughty boys started singing while passing through the road in front of my house, “Ache poloru manthan mash, Hai, Ache poloru manthan mash….” Though I was afraid of Veeran Master in the beginning, slowly I began to like him, as he was a very nice man, almost with my father’s nature – both physically and mentally.
While I talked about Veeran master, I feel that I should share a humour with the readers. It was during a monsoon season. My mother told me that if it rains while leaving the classroom, I should give my umbrella only to the master (and nobody else) to unfold it, as that job was difficult for me. I had given to the master accordingly for a couple of times. Thus, another day arrived with rain and without Veeran master. Having not seen the master, I put the closed umbrella on my head and began to run. I noticed that the people on the road side were laughing loudly on seeing that funny scene!
My father used to tell about “Nammal Onnu”. Our old people must be remembering that there was an old Malayalam film in that name. On the day of Kerala’s formation, Ravunni Master – the then Head Master of G.U.P.S. went running to the gate seeing my father on the road to shake his hands smilingly and to tell “Mashe, Nammal Onnu.” Because, my father was teaching in a place which was under Malabar and Thuruvazhiyad was under Cochin!
In 1964, when Chacha Nehru died, the school had conducted an adiyantharam sadhya with the supervision of Veeran Master etc. It took place in the new hall named Nehru Hall, behind the main building of the school.
In 1966, the teachers did act, selecting a drama, “Vishakkattu” of C.L. Jose in which heroine was Elsy from Thrissur. If I am not mistaken, she is the same popular cine actress, Thrissur Elsy. Echu Master, the wit master of ours (Lakshmanan Unni) did do a role in this drama covering his baldhead with a wig to make us laugh more! The drama was directed by Sri Kalathil Achuthan, the then Head Master who was also handling the main role. Achuthan Master was an arts lover – once he performed a Kathaprasangam – Mambazham.
Once (1967), in the seventh standard class, Bharathi Teacher was reading Social Studies examination paper checked by her. She read out a question and answer as under:-
Q: Who were the ‘navarathnas’ of Vikramadithya?
A: “Dhanwanthari, Kshapanaka, Amarasingha,
Sanku, Vethalabhatta, Khatakarpara, Kalidasa,
Kyathom Varahamiharom Nripathe Sabhayam
Rathanivyr Vararuchim Nava Vikramasya”
Though I hesitated first whether to write or not, I wrote down the above mentioned slokam which I learnt from my father before mentioning the nine names. Bharathi Teacher was very happy and she appreciated me. She didn’t forget to tell about this to her co-teachers also.
The seven years of my study in G.U.P.S., were filled up with interesting incidents. Among the teachers, I can’t forget the H.M. - Ravunni master, Bharathi Teacher, Saramma Teacher, Devaki Teacher, Omana Teacher (V.K.), Sethumadhavan master, Echu master (Lakshmanan Unni) etc. and they also did like my nature.
I feel that each and every old student of our school will have something to narrate like this. I wish all the students and teachers all the best and pray the Almighty for smooth running of the school for many many years to come.
I also wish the students of Thiruvazhiyad G.U.P.S. should show the following qualities for their sake, the school’s and its teachers’ in order to keep up Thiruvazhiyad’s name and fame at all times:-
T a c t i c s ,
H e a l t h ,
I m p a r t i a l i t y ,
R e l e v a n c y ,
U n a n i m i t y ,
V i g i l a n c e ,
A b i l i t y,
Z e a l ,
H y g i e n e ,
I n t e l l i g e n c e ,
Y o u t h f u l n e s s ,
A l e r t n e s s ,
D e c e n c y ;
G a i e t y
U p t a k e
P a t r i o t i s m
S a c r i f i c e
Last, but not least, let’s have some positive thinking, as it is always a must for us, based on some popular adages in similar line with the above-mentioned excellences.
Time and tide wait for none.
Health is wealth.
It is never too late to mend.
Rome was not built in a day.
Unity in diversity.
Vanity is the food of fools.
A tree is known by its fruit.
Zero is the beginning and end of everything.
He who hesitates never succeeds.
It is sure to be dark, if you shut your eyes.
Youth is a garland of roses, old age is a crown of thorns.
A friend in need is a friend indeed.
Do not cry over spilt milk.
Good to forgive, best to forget.
Unpolished gems don’t glitter.
Practice makes perfect.
Spilled water never returns to the cup.
PS: THIS WAS PUBLISHED IN THE 'SMARANIKA' OF THIRUVAZHIYAD GUPS ON THE OCCASION OF CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS IN 2009.