returnest” How true!
But they have left behind their indelible memory in the minds of the living. I cannot forget the courage with which Mrs. Hardinge carried on with her teaching with a smile in spite of the pain and discomfort of cancer, nor Mrs’D’silva’s infinite patience and soft- spoken admonitions that endeared her to the pupils, parents and staff, Mr.Nachane’s diplomatic manoeuvres to have Mr.Gamaliel’s ‘dictats’ carried out in full by the staff and silenced the grumbling in the teacher’s room. It seems as if I am going through the pages of my favourite novels, all the characters real and true. In old age one tends to live in the memory of the past and I am no exception.
Bangalore: 25 Jan. 2005C.D.N.
75) Memory: A Flash-back
I always admired Mrs. Da’Silva as vice-principal of Bombay Scottish School. She had the right frame of mind for that post. Loved by the students, co-operative with the administration, friendly with the staff, familiar with the parents and appreciated by one and all. Sadly, she could not enjoy her retired life long enough. I can still visualise her sitting relaxed in her office attending to her work, exchanging compliments with the staff, receiving students and parents and listening to their complaints calmly ands shooing away those kids who made noise in front of the principal’s office. Later Mr. Prabhu filled in her place with equal efficiency but not with equal charm which only a lady like Mrs. D’Silva could offer.
Mr.Nachane, I remember with respect for his unquestioned loyalty to the principal and his ability to help the management to pull the staff together. In spite of our differences of opinion, we the men staff could discuss or argue with him with an open mind or criticise any aspect of the working of the school without fear. He was like a shock absorber, receiving the shock at one end and smoothening it at the other, carrying out all the instructions of the principal, in full measure, with tact and a cunning smile.
Mr.Pandit kept correspondence with me now and then after I left Bombay. I wondered why he struck to that ‘chawl’ where he lived ;amidst noisy and filthy surroundings. Whenever I visited him, I dared not touch the banister that ran along the stair case leading to the second floor where he lived. He was a sincere person, deeply emotional and capable of true love and lasting friendship. Though given up to self pity and critical intraspection of his status and material standing, he was never jealous of his colleagues who were faring better. Our correspondence were invariably personal, close and like minded. When I knew from Meeta’s letter that he passed away I felt his demise deeply. His son Sudhir who was going to take up a job in the Middle-east, had planned to take him there to live with him, but that was not to be. He passed away sooner than it could happen. Very sad indeed.
Mr.Pandit had a shock when he lost his wife. He lost his self confidence when he fell from his high bed which left him limping even after a couple of operations. He was very much distressed to see Sudhir unsettled in his career for may years, even after his marriage. Sudhir is fortunate to have an understanding wife who looked after Mr.Pandit while they were in Bombay and who offered to take him to the Middle-east when they went there. In the passing away of Mr.Pandit, I’ve lost a good friend in Bombay.
Bangalore: 4 Oct. 1997 C.D.Norman
76) Gandhi and Non-violence
In spite of Gandhi’s admitted liking for popular Christian hymns and his statements on the ethical value of Christianity, his fundamental ideas were derived from Hindu tradition. His doctrine of non-violence was more probably derived from the Jains. Even his belief that the British could be blackmailed into giving India her freedom has a sound Hindu precedent in the practice of sitting dharna. Gandhi’s real