Growing up in a small city is very different from being in a metro. Everybody knows everyone – and everyones social circle in some way or the other merges into everybody else. Kanpur is one such place. Everybody knows you – or your family – if not directly, then always thru someone.
Kanpur is a city which has been constantly deteriorating – ever since my earliest memories. Its one of those rare cities, where the people, infrastructure, facilities, living standards, industry – everything – has just gone down. From once being the ‘manchester’ of India, it is more like an extension of the neighboring villages.
Anyhow, after the first few years of my life being spent in Bombay (sorry Mr. Thakarey), of which i remember very little, Kanpur was certainly a culture shock – I remember people looking at me weirdly, because i spoke in English – and for a 5 year old child in Kanpur, that i guess was a very big feat! I couldnt get admission into schools for my grade – as i did not know Hindi – and so, had to go thru prep school again – Little Folks Nursery.
I have a few memories of Little Folks – specially Ms. Radhika Bhushan – and other teachers – who i still remember by face, but cant gather names (it has been 25 years!) Little folks was a fun place – and a place of great learning. It was the only reason i know the difference between ‘there’ and ‘their’ – and i still remember Ms. Bhushan coming into our class one day and explaining the same. And I remember the annual days – dressing up like a sunflower – and the fun we used to have. Little folks kinduv i guess shaped a lot of my future – it got me interested in the right things and kept me away from the wrong.
After Little Folks, was the Institution i spent 12 years in. Jaipuria School Kanpur. Thats where you went in Kanpur to become a doctor or an engineer. Thats where the best of the best of Kanpur passed out from.And thats where my Parents put me up. A huge institution – with sprawling grounds – a lot to love – and a lot to hate.
to be continued…..