An Invite and A Sampler

Happy to share the invite to the launch of Raghu’s new book. His first foray into fiction. Set in Ambala, Jammu, IIM-A.

If anyone should be in Bangalore that day, it would be great to see you there!


A sampler from the Book..

‘So one morning, with my infant sister in one arm and my tiny hand in the other, (mother) towed me to the school and spoke to the headmistress, who was gracious enough to let me attend the nursery informally, as I was barely two. From then on I was no longer just Bala, but S. Balan, with an initial of my own, like grown-ups! In those times, the major talents required for entry to the nursery class were demonstration of reasonably good toilet training and the ability to sleep on demand. I was fairly accomplished in both departments, particularly in the latter (a talent I haven’t lost yet). Between bouts of sleep one was expected to eat snacks and play some games. But I turned out to be a master sleeper and happily slumbered through the year – it helped me attain the reputation of being the least troublesome kid in the class. In short, I found the demands of nursery quite manageable.

It was lower kindergarten, or LKG, that held some challenges. At the end of the year, that is, by March 1958, the Class of Nursery relentlessly marched forward to LKG. But the headmistress decided to hold me back as I was too young and sleepy to be promoted. And especially because I had been admitted only informally in the nursery, she thought I could sleep some more in the same classroom before being kicked upstairs. This meant that all my ‘friends’ had moved on and I was to start schooling all over again with some strangers. This was a clear affront to my personal dignity and I had to do something about it. So I bawled even louder than I had when I first wanted to go to school with Urmila.

But boy! Was the LKG syllabus tough! It included the English and Hindi alphabet, quite a few advanced rhymes from the Radiant Reader (nursery rhymes were passé), counting up to twenty and even some addition and subtraction with large numbers like 9 + 8. It seemed as if they had only left out integral calculus. But fortunately they still allowed ample time for sleeping, which was of course my core competence.’

From: Return to Jammu. Harper Collins.

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