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Vancouver diary page 3

June 21, 2013
 
I have been dropping Ramu’s kids and collecting them from their school which is close by.
Am surprised to see the Principal waiting  at the gate, every morning to  receive the kids , smiling and showing his closed fist  to receive a hit from the little fists of the kids or give them mild hit.  Today being the last working day of the current academic year, he saw off each kid at the gate with individual farewell message.
 
This is something new for me. I have not seen the principals receiving the kids at the gate, in the Elementary schools in USA.  Is it because that the school I know there, are public schools?
 
Anyway, my memory goes several milestones down below and I see the stiff and serious looking C.S.Sesha Iyer standing at the entrance of the PMM high school, donning a snow white, starched pantchagatcham, a light golden colour coat and a bright angavastram hanging around his neck and dropping up to his knees awaiting to punish the late comers like me, with a harsh look and a warning and even with a thrash with a long bamboo stick, kept ready in his hand.
I had to walk over a mile and cross a river in between to reach the school but that was not an excuse. He was teaching English for us in the tenth standard and it was my love for Shakespeare and Shelly that created a warmth in his heart for me and I was allowed to enter the class with a clearance signal of  ‘hmm’ sound from his mouth turned to an angle and a  stern look.
 
When he called me to his room to say, ‘good bye’ after the last examination, tapped on the shoulder and advised, ‘Shakespeare and Shelly may not fetch you a living. Physics and Chemistry might. Read a lot during your leisure hours”. He, then,  handed over a sleek book. That parting gift  wrapped with his blessing was neither the work of Shakespeare nor of Shelly-
 
That was Vishnusahasranaamam in Samskritam
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