Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Ente Vidyalayam - St. Catherine's H.S.S

St. Catherine’s School recreated from my memory as a painting as well as some real photographs of the school with some descriptions about my school (“Ente Vidyalayam”) :

{Thanks to Abins (JoseAbins Joseph) for editing this picture and Kuttan (Sumod Sebastian) for writing this poem on the piece of paper}

St. Catherine's school has a very important role for almost 95% of the population living in Payyampally as well as the nearby locations like Palvelicham, Aarattu Thara, Padamala, Cherukattoor and Koileri. It is the place where most of these people may have completed primary education or till the 10th standard.

The path which I used to go to school during my childhood.

Even Though I was a student of St. Chatherine's only for a period of 4 years(7th Standard to 10th Standard) my family and me was bounded to this school in a deep manner. Because there was a time when my father and mother were working in the school as teachers and my two yelder brothers were students of this school all at the same time.Unfortunately, during that time I was studying in a different school.

The entrance to the school. Students used to stand some where here to watch out which teachers are present and absent to calculate the amount of free time.

One by one, we moved out of St. Catherine's High School. My big brother Biju V mathew first, followed my next yelder brother Babu V Jacob. Next was my father's (T M Varkey) retirement from the school and during the same year, I completed my S.S.L.C from St. Catherine's High School. My father was the head master of the school before retirement. Then my mother (P.C.Mary) was left alone in the school as a teacher. She retired after 3 more years. Even though none of us are a part of St. Catherine's anymore, we feel that we are.

The "Vaka Maram" which stands is the only one left now, two more were there which exists no more; cut for some reasons.

St. Catherine's Higher Secondary School, Payyampally; reached many heights during its evolution from a lower primary school to a higher secondary school. The higher secondary division got added the next year, I passed out of the school, so I didn't get a chance to have my higher secondary education there. The school always stood first in most of the district level "Yuvajanotsav" as well as in accamdemic performance. I wish to go back to those golden days again, and be a student of St. Catherine's Higher Secondary School.

This is the place were we stood in queue for the 10-O-Clock assembly (behind the mango tree) , and we wished for the assembly to last some more time, so that we will be free from the first period.

The mango tree and the "Vakamaram" in the pictures above stands still there holding the memories of past 65 years of life of the school. Parents and grand fathers of the present students of the school have completed there education here in St. Catherines.

The Statue of Saint Catherine. The school is named after her.

The new Plus Two Block, which was built in 2000. (Added on the request of Ashraf Uppy who completed Plus Two from St. Catherine's HSS.)

Update on 2nd Feb 2007

As I have promised to all readers of this page and X students St. Catherine’s Higher Secondary School, here are few more photos of our school. I took these pictures during the Easter Sunday afternoon of 2012 (8th April 2012). The summer rain that showered shortly before I reached the school premises gave a relief over the boiling heat.

You can see that the mango tree and Gulmohar tree (Vaaka maram) is intact as it was, but the silver Oak tree that was there in the middle near the steps is replaced with a new planted tree. I remember that the Silver Oak was cut down during my tenure in the school, when it turned old and was about to fall. Old students including my batch mates will find that the step-fence construction around the mango tree and the Vaaka maram is new.

In the picture above, X Students may find at least three new things. 1) The Silver Oak tree is replaced with a new tree planted at the same place. 2) There is a construction around the Vaka Maram. 3) The Higher Secondary school building can be seen behind the old building. The higher secondary division started around 2 years after I passed out S.S.L.C.

In the above picture the stage (also used as a class room) can be seen which was constructed during the golden jubilee celebrations of this school. During that time, I was not a student of St. Catherine’s School, but I was a participant of one of the external program (group break dance) conducted as part of the celebration. My father was then the head master, and my mother was teacher and brother (Babu) studied in the school then.

For old students there is nothing new in this picture above other than the stage constructed along with the golden Jubilee of this school. But the view point from where I took this picture tells a different story. The old LP school building stood at the view point which was destructed as it turned to be too old to sustain. A new concrete two storey building is constructed instead of that which you can see in the pictures below. The students might remember that old building that you can see behind the stage is the hall used for all movie screenings as this was the only hall that could me made dark by covering all the windows and light inlets.

In this picture above you can see that the old LP school building is demolished and that location is converted to a basketball court. You can see the new two storey concrete building constructed instead of the old LP school division standing behind the basketball court. I remember being part of the leveling task force of this basketball court – a program organized on behalf of the organization – K.C.Y.M when I was doing my engineering degree.

The above two pictures does not need any comment, the long corridor of the high school division where the office of the head master as well as the staff room was running turned out to be too nostalgic when the corridor appeared to be deserted as it was summer holidays. I believe that everyone will become a poet or a writer if he or she goes to their old school during such a hot summer vacation.

This building is new to most of the old students. This is the new plus two (higher secondary school) building. The building is surrounded by lush green trees and is a beautiful scene. There was another Vaaka maram (Gulmohar Tree) at the view point of this picture which was cut down at some point of time.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Bamboo Blossom

Bamboo blossoms very rarely. Don’t know the exact amount of time it takes to blossom. Some says it is around 45 years, some says it is around 60 years. But few have watched bamboo blossom. One may be able to watch this wonderful scene only one or two times in his/her entire life period.

I saw this scene when I went for a trekking to Chembra peak. Luckily I had the camera with me and took these snaps. Chembra peak near Meppadi is around 20 kilometers away from Kalpetta, the head quarters of Wayanad. While going from Kalpetta towards Meppadi we can see the blossomed bamboo just before reaching Meppadi.

Bamboo dies after this flowering period. The seeds are used to make a lot of varieties of food items. I remember my mother said, during her child hood, they went to the forest nearby daily, to clear the surroundings of bamboo bushes, to collect the seed that falls next day during a flowering period of bamboo.

Flowering of bamboo makes a lot of change to the eco system, since an entire forest will be out of bamboo next year.