My School Days: Reminiscences and a Tribute

September 5, 2016

As we celebrate Teacher’s Day I began to recall my school days and my teachers specially of the primary school.

My parish was established in 1846 and I believe the school too. It was a higher primary one with boys up to standard 5 and coeducation from 6 to 8. It was the only school up to 8 within a radius of 20 kms. The student population mainly consisted of Catholics and Hindus. I do not remember any other religion there then.

Admission to the school was like a festival. Our parents, usually fathers, took us to school with a plate consisting of a bunch of bananas, a coconut, a piece of jaggery and betel leaves. It was an auspicious occasion in the family. The first day in the school would look like a village festival. In those days there weren’t office assistants and only the headmaster with the help of a few teachers used to carry out the clerical duties.

One of the teachers used to verify the age of the child by asking him to hold his ear roundabout and if the child succeeded in that then he was considered of age for admission. Rural parents, many of them illiterate, my father studied up to 8 standard then, just rattled any date as the birth date of the child. In case you look into our church record, it does not say when you were born but when you were baptized and how many days before you were born. Now it is changed.

My good father, who always insisted that we attended school regularly, used to leave some money with my first standard teacher to get sweets for me in order to entice me in going to school. I remember my first standard teacher Mr Perianayagam, my father’s classmate in school, who was considered the strictest teacher in the school and known for severely beating the children. He regularly used to send me home during interval to bring buttermilk and betel leaves, my home being just a few yards from the school. Because of his friendship with my father this teacher never beat me but I did not take advantage of this relationship. Another teacher Mr Dharmarayar was the sternest person ever to look at and a terror to the students. We used to run away seeing him. A great teacher but hard task master he was. The only sir who wore a pair of spectacles was called Kannady Vatthiyar (teacher with spectacles) and he was our English sir. By the way English was taught only from standard 6. There was a lesson with a picture of a man standing with outstretched arms. The first sentence of the lesson was: this is a picture. The teacher asked us: What is a picture? Without any hesitation a classmate of mine said: pichaikaran (beggar). The reward for this student was: stand up on the bench.

Summer vacation was always looked forward to. Before sending us home there would be a meeting with the headmaster. I remember my headmaster Mr Elias warning us in his terrifying voice: don’t jump into wells for a swim and don’t go deep into the lakes. For my teachers the students were their children too.

There is a vast chasm between my teachers and I, a teacher. There was love and concern; discipline and formation; teaching and correction. Things have changed a lot but I wish the relationship of a teacher with the students remains the same.


Dr A Lourdusamy Archives:


By Dr A Lourdusamy
Dr A Lourdusamy is Chairman of PG Department of English, St Aloysius College (Autonomous), Mangaluru
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Comment on this article

  • Lavanya alva, Bantwal

    Sat, Sep 17 2016

    Thanq for the wonderful article sir it made me to recollect my school days ,we are really lucky to have you sir

  • cyril mathias, udupi

    Wed, Sep 14 2016

    sir, indeed it made me remember my school days and my teachers.

  • adrian, bendore,Muscat

    Tue, Sep 13 2016

    Memories from a wonderful teacher Mr. Lourduswamy himself. That speaks volumes of yourself and the great memories you bring back about our teachers during our school and college days. It would be right to say that our teachers have contributed to fifty percent if not more in molding our lives.

  • Ivan Saldanha-Shet, Mangalore - Rosario.

    Sat, Sep 10 2016

    Namaskar!Good to read that the past has it own special treasure. It would have been nice if the author had stated which place it was. I will be very glad if he can email me the information. I have been a lot in TN. Thanks & Regards -ivan.

  • Maxim Crasta, Mangalore/Ottawa

    Sat, Sep 10 2016

    Thanks for the article written by a gifted teacher like Dr. Lourdusamy !
    During my stint in 5 years at SAC, we had brightest band English teachers likes of Lourdusamy , Dr.Victor,Sunny Tharappan &, Mr.Macedo.Dr.Lourdsamy is very unique ,in the sense he could make English literature alive in the class by relating ongoing socio-political situations, not to mention his sense of humor ! He is a linguist & the speed with which he leared Kannada is amazing in those days!


    Fri, Sep 09 2016

    A real tribute of a teacher to all teachers.

  • JOSEPH, Mangalore/kuwait

    Fri, Sep 09 2016

    sir, i remember you even today the way you were teaching still vivid in my mind. I forgot almost everything of my college days but you, mr. upadyay, richard pinto, ivan pinto, yashwanth rao, janardhan, adyanthay still they are in my mind. I was your student during 1981 to 1983. i want to meet you but I dont know how.
    you may send me a message on my cell 0096565528834,

  • Dr. Zita Lobo, Mangalore/Dubai

    Tue, Sep 06 2016

    Interesting ruminations of a student turned teacher on his school teachers.
    Though brief I cherish the phase as a faculty member in St. Aloysius college. Those halcyon days!!


    Tue, Sep 06 2016

    I was fortunate to have a teacher like you between 1990-1993 Dr sir. You have a vital role in my development. I salute your dedication to the teaching profession.

  • george dsouza, Mnaglaore, Mumbai

    Tue, Sep 06 2016

    Dear Sir, I was your student in 1st & second PUC in 1983-84 batch. This batch was reserved for students who did not have English medium background in high school. That speaks volumes about your teaching method and effectiveness. Though not the brightest in the class, I remember the way you narrated " Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore and still remember each characters in the novel. Loved this article by you , though I think it ended abruptly.

  • Kamath, Mangalore/Dubai

    Tue, Sep 06 2016

    You were a great teacher Dr. Lourdusamy. I was fortunate to be your student in St. Aloysious College 1983 batch.

  • Bonison Pinto, Mangalore

    Mon, Sep 05 2016

    Teachers play a very vital role in every student's life. They are the one's who show the right direction. They mould and shape the future of their students. The value filled exemplary life is much more effective than books.
    We are proud of you Sir
    Happy Teachers Day

  • Anush D'Cunha SJ, Mangalore

    Mon, Sep 05 2016

    For me teachers are great sources of knowledge, prosperity and enlightenment to which anyone can be benefited for whole life. They serve as the real light in everyone’s life as they help students to make their ways in the life. They are the God gifted people in everyone’s life who lead us towards success without any selfishness. Really, we can call them as builders of the dazzling future of our nation through education.
    Dear Sir, Well articulated with fondness.
    Happy Teachers' Day.

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