|My Autobiography: Revisit - 4|
by Thimmappa for everyone
There was one and the only Primary School run by the government in my village, Manchale. All the classes of all the four years of the school was conducted in a single hall, years divided by the rows of benches only and handled by a single teacher. Teacher used to announce classes he conducts before hand directing to the appropriate benches. The teacher I remember there is one Sridhara who was a strict disciplinarian and short tempered. He beat children for slightest lapse or provocation and often he made student stand on the road side in front of the school with a 'monkey cap' on. I was no exception to it and probably more so because of my misadventure in mathematics. I was afraid of him and yet, he was my hero because he used to act in drama a hero's role. My father and uncle were great drama enthusiast and even be called activist. They had established a drama company, Sri Rama Pattabhisheka Krupa Poshita Nataka Mandali, where my father was the Chairman and my uncle used to play a major role in the drama, our teacher being a hero. I have seen drama in endless nights. Besides, my father used to recite at night to the gathering of family members the Bhagavata. There used to be frequent staging of Harikathas at night too. Yakshagana troupe used to visit at least once a year for a week long camp playing through whole of the night. Culture went hand in hand with the curriculum in my school days. There was no Middle School in the village and from now on all most all of my education were done staying outside of my family and village.
Middle School was studied staying in a house of a distant relative, a old lady who had lost her husband without any children, now living with adopted couple, in a place called Mungaravalli, some 10 kms away from my village. I had to travel on foot some five kms to reach the School in Bhimanakone and the lunch was to be taken in another distant relative staying in that village. Later, my sister joined for the same Middle School and stayed in the same place where I was taking lunch. Four years of Middle School was spent that way. The three years of High School was studied in Sagar Town, the only place where a High School was there at that time. The school culminated in,for the first time, a State level Public Examination Examination conducted by the Government. I used to travel on foot from my village Manchale some 10+10 kms. daily, along with a few school mates, amidst thick forest and crossing rivulets in rains and shines. However, the last(third) year, I was put in a community Hostel in Sagar itself to enable me to study longer for the Public Examination. I used to spend my vacation in my maternal grandmother's place, Kanale, reading novels of Tarasu, Anakru and detective stories of Narasimhaiah and Ramamurthy. Besides, we used go on long distance by bicycles to see plays or movies, I also started acting in dramas. Culture, Literature, drew me more and more inward, partly because of not too comfortable outside and partly, the experience of inner being offered greater joy and freedom