Thursday, March 02, 2006

STANESCOONOORSTORIES

Hi,
A large number of stories pertaining to Stanes Coonoor have been recreated by protaganists, witnesses, rumour-mongers, carry-a-tale characters etc. They can be described variously by each reader, but all will agree that they are important to us as a group, because they are part of that environment that shaped us.
Stories that have arrived from www. stanescoonoorblog.blogspot.com and through email are being posted here for easy reference. Lets see how this takes shape.
Bye,
Xcoonoorstanites

155 Comments:

Blogger XCoonoorStanites said...

BLUE BIRD
By George David

Principal Characters:

Mr. Bird, the PT Master at Stanes. Fiftyish. Hawk nosed, blue eyed. Permanent deadly scowl. In one word, TERROR.

Philip Abraham
In the ninth or tenth standard. Reputation for toughness, winning fights. His mother and the principal, Mrs. Cherian were classmates, which secret he successfully concealed for well over 30 years. He revealed it to Nathan only recently when perhaps Nathan wanted to know how he stayed out of trouble in spite of his great attraction for it. Philip is a knowledge maniac and his prowess in quizzing saw him demolish the opposition in school and later on at Madras Christian College where he represented the college with distinction. But more of that at a more opportune time. But for the present time, suffice it is to say that Philip was a wizard with the ball as well, as Mr. Bird was soon to realize.
Location and position of personae

The basketball/cricket/kabbadi/athletics ground and swimming pool of Stanes High School, Coonoor. The wickets are placed just in front of the basketball post. Mr Bird, squatting by the pole, painting the pole with the Stanes blue paint. The almost full tin of paint is by the bottom of the post. The bowlers are bowling from the dormitory end while the batsman is at the Ritz end. Mr Bird is just beyond the batsman. Fielders and onlookers are spread out across the field in their distinguished ill fitting khaki shirts and shorts. Girls in twos, threes and little groups, totally oblivious of the boys (apparently), are in the periphery of the ground and dotted across the landscape, walking with a grace and speed (or rather lack of speed) and a leisurely delicate rhythm that I have never seen anywhere else in the world at any time. Not that I have gone everywhere in the world at anytime. I haven’t gone anywhere in the world. But I’m sure that those who have will agree with me. Come to think of it, I think that’s a unique ambience of Stanes never ever replicated. I wonder if the girls today still walk like that?

Time

Around 3 pm on a mid-summer’s afternoon

Action

The ball. The ball is with Philip. And here he comes, charging like a raging bull while the batsman prepares to drive the ball for a six. Mr. Bird, the picture of serenity, for a change, content with his brush and paint is totally absorbed in his task. The fielders are moving from their positions in response to the batsman’s swing. But a smart thud announces that ball has found its mark, though not exactly the intended one. The paint can was on its side and rolling down at 200 kmph. Mr. Bird, squatting on the floor was looking towards the drill shed. In deadly slow motion, his face turned towards the bowler. Only there was no face on Mr Bird’s neck. It was a sea of blue paint, covering the entire face and part of the top of his head. Only his eyes, like two dark holes peered out of this mask of blue. He tried to open his mouth and quickly shut it to stop the paint from going in.

One of the most difficult things for a man to do is to look angry when his face is fully covered with blue paint. No mouth, no nose, no ears, no cheeks. Only the eyes. The challenge was to express it all through the eyes. But is it possible you ask? Mr. Bird didn’t even have to try. Ask those who were present that momentous afternoon. Not plain anger, but a rage too strong for words shot through those eyes. But for all the rage, it was the humour of the situation that was grabbing us and everyone was trying to hide behind the other so Mr. Bird wouldn’t see the mirth that was being held in check with a super human effort.

It was at this gala moment that Hillary and few of the other guys including me leaned on the pole to have a bird’s eye view of the blue Mr. Bird. And that’s when we realized we were placing our hands and leaning on wet paint. The very moment when Mr. Bird had to turn around to see us as miniature versions of himself.

It was too much for Mr. Bird.

Perhaps it would have been too much for Philip and the rest of us.

If only his mother did not have the foresight to befriend Mrs. Cherian when they were yet kids at school.


THE END


Ok. So now my conscience is clear. I’ve given it a go and you’ll have to tell me whether I ought to clam up or there is yet hope. Do let me know.

And if you guys have the email ids of Nandakumar Devraj, Hillary Edwin, PG Mathew, Vikram, Basheer, please forward this mail to them. I think this may be special of interest to Stanites who were in school in the latter 60s and early 70s.

Your feedback is important. Or be prepared to face the consequences.

P.S. During the Bangalore meet Hema had written the complete School Song and brought it along. Just imagine, the School Song which we sang on very rare occasions. That was really fantastic. And we sang it at the meet. In both the tunes! Both tunes together at first and later individually, deftly separating the two. I wonder how many of us remember our respective house songs? If there are any among you who remembers their house song, I think it should be sent across. Perhaps we can print the house songs in the Old Lighthouse. At the Bangalore Meet, under the able leadership of Sunu Charles, the Fritchely House song was written out and I think it closely resembled the original article. Unfortunately the document was not preserved and I think Sunu should send it again, this time legibly. Sunu was the other guy who bravely pronounced that he would be a pillar of The Old Lighthouse and that we could depend upon him for articles, essays, poetry, pieces, memorabilia, addenda and footnotes. Are you listening, Sunu? Those of you who want to do their bit for The Old Light House but are unable to think of what to write, there are ever so many things; teachers who inspired you, adventures, fortitude, sentiment, drama, sport, pranks, idiosyncrasies, incidents, poetry, cartoons, skits, plays in fact anything that happened at Stanes or is in some way related to Stanes or those related to Stanes. You could even write about Robert Stanes or Eric Stanes for instance. You could also write something that has nothing to do with Stanes .So long as you are a Stanite, we can all relate to it.

The best thing in getting back to those days is that you are no longer an adult with all those responsibilities but a little kid enjoying life at the best school in the world. So just put pen to paper or finger to keyboard.

P.S. to the P.S. :In the Fritchely House song, I think we used to sing, “ Honour, virtue, desplemium, teach us not to …” Had I been singing right all those years? Is there a word called desplemium, and if there is, what does it mean? This could be an article idea, for all you know.

George

11:47 PM  
Blogger XCoonoorStanites said...

Hi everyone,

Too bad I wasn't there long enough, so I cannot relate
to these juicy tidbits so hilarious episodes. In any
case, I really appreciate being in the loop just to be
able to read about them.

But I do have a quite vivid memories of Mr
Chandrasekar, and how he rocked back and forth as he
walked into the classroom, and we all stood up and
chimed, 'Good-morn-ing-mis-ter-chand-ra-seee-kar'.
He is one of the most colorful characters I have ever
known. During our text readings, if ever we came
across the word 'uska' , he would ask us 'eska?' and
we all had to chime in 'uska!'. This ofcourse,
sounds better enacted. My brother, (who went to St.
Joseph's) always got a good laugh whenever I told him
this story. My recollection is that Mr Chandrasekar
was notoriously absent-minded. He once sent me to
detention. But when I went there, my name was not on
the roster - I was then informed that Mr Chandrasekar
NEVER signs anyone onto detention class!! The sad
thing for me was that the person in charge of the
class signed me on at the door, and I sat through an
hour of needless and undeserved(?)detention class,
feeling stupid and frustrated!!

BUT i digress....what I really wanted to say was that
I had a classmate - I think her name is Meera Devi
Moracha and she drank milk too - a big bottle of it.
Perhaps she is the sister we are talking about?? If
someone has the id/contact info of either the brother
or sister, please pass it on to me?

And here's wishing all of you a wonderful and
prosperous 2006

Jaya

11:48 PM  
Blogger XCoonoorStanites said...

THE FADING MEMOIRS (JUST A WEE BIT) OF A STANESMAN

Honour and achievement. They had it. Anna Yu, the Devraj collective, Basheer Ahmed,
Rattan Biswas....During the 60s and 70s, what distinguished their progress at Stanes was
obvious. Not to forget my class toppers - Chitra Morrochha, Anna Varghese, Tsering Tashi
who did it with metronomic monotony.

We, the back benchers were far more hedonistic then. We lived for the moment's pleasure. A
well aimed paper missile dipped in red paint at Valsa's neck; the cruel assault on Premchand
when Mr. Chandrasekhar's back was turned to the blackboard...

The bright spot amidst all this slacking off was when I bagged the general knowledge prize
(juniors) for Fritchley. During the prize giving ceremony, I sat very proudly next to the
distinguished Phillip Abraham who did likewise for Fritchley from among the seniors.

This gave me the dubious reputation of having a lot of general knowledge. The problem
was more with specific knowledge! Specifics like maths, physics, chemistry...and the bane
of my life, Hindi.

I shall gloss over our juvenile wit at the expense of a hapless Mr. Chandrasekhar. The
extreme toll our national language (or is it?) took off our spirits never fails to amaze me.
Years afterwards, as a rookie in Bombay, I once hit the streets in search of a post office.
Wracking my brains to remember what a post office was called in national lingua
franca...ah, that was it: Daak Ghaar! Congratulating myself on my ability to retrieve lost
nuggets from the recesses of the slacking off period in my memory, I approached a likely
helpful soul and asked him in pidgin Hindi for the nearest Daak Ghaar. " Aah, post office?"
he replies. So much for my Hindi.

For someone who was incarcerated in Annexe, and successively in Petersburg and Ashford
(almost sounds like a journey through Borstal, Dartmoor and Tihar, doesn't it?) my rites of
passage was peppered with valuable lessons. Or is that the other way around? I learned to
love the English language, even gain a reasonable proficiency in its use. The incredible Mr.
David Watson taught me precis writing. As a Creative Director with Ogilvy and Mather that
learning is what pays for my keep today. We also learned that rules are rules and freedom
is freedom, and there was always a price to pay for it. Ask Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

One could write a book titled "The Ashford Tales". Some tof the things that transpired there
would have earned the respect of escape minded POWs in a high security institution.
Bunking for movies, for instance. The strategies and counter moves devised by us was
surely inspired. If i were to live my life all over again, I would opt for the same restrictions.
Looking around today, you see that freedom is taken for granted. We had to break out for
it. In the process, it created stellar qualities in us: initiative, courage, leadership, lateral
thinking....I wonder how many management schools teach all these.

At the end of the day, Stanes gave us our best shot at life. Most of us came from middle
class backgrounds. A corporate directorship wasnt waiting out there for our occupation. At
twenty one or thereabouts, very few of us had an opportunity to start at the top and work
our way to the bottom. Most of us, when we did step out beyond the the crossroads of post
college euphoria were slapped on the face by the rough and tumble of a world that really
didn't give two hoots.It was the sum total of all we learned (and didn't) that gave us the
gumption to get out there and bash on regardless.

Head heart and hands in the years to be.


Sunu Charles

11:49 PM  
Blogger XCoonoorStanites said...

NONE TOO FADING MEMORIES: Quote Sunu Charles : "The incredible Mr. David Watson taught me/us précis writing".

The topic being précis writing I am reminded of a hilarious event that took place in STD IX . My more illustrious classmates may word all this with better aplomb & eloquence but all the more for the fun part of the event I shall put in my effort.

ONE AFTERNOON IN 1971 :

" Come on class go for a run round the playground " Mr. David Watson would say when he saw most of us going in for our afternoon siesta. This sure did liven things up. The day WAS the introduction of our New English master ( Mr. Thomas), who was to take over from the illustrious Mr. Watson. All went on fine and as a first assignment we were to hand over our précis to Mr. Thomas for correction. The books were collected and handed over to Mr. Thomas, who faithfully corrected and brought them over during the next English class, which was to be one of the last that Mr. Watson would take (Mr. Thomas never knew that Mr. Watson usally gave us a copy of his own.) . A similar routine followed and all of us were eager to get our "CORRECTED".books back.Comparing our marks, which was out 100, some of us, especially the boys got between 38 to 45 at the most , while the girls had all scored 75 plus. Amazing results because the boys were bad but not that bad.

Shssss! (It did not take us long to figure out that Mr. Thomas had a soft corner for the girls).Hey! batchelor boy? The girls held this advantage for over a year, "cause out went the batchelor Mr. Thomas, and in came a Miss Thomas, who (as most, who knew her would recollect) was unbiased. (Some of the toppers (girls) were even made to stand out of the class, for valid reasons ofcourse!.)

The guys were quite surprised but on closer inspection, were greatly consoled when we found that the précis that was corrected was the fair copy given by non other than our Mr.Watson himself and all of Mr.Watson went red with laughter.(He called it the joke of the century). Poor Mr. Thomas was caught off guard but he did manage to hold cool by saying " well it was more for the handwriting that I gave marks".(You see he was under probation)
That much for précis writing.

Lambert

11:50 PM  
Blogger XCoonoorStanites said...

Hello everyone!

Here is my mite about why I felt right at home in Stanes from my first day
in school.


February 1962

The first words spoken to me by my desk mate were ``Do you want a boot?

My initials thoughts were : What a generous chap,ready to give me his shoe.

The next moment I knew and felt what he meant.

Such was my introduction to Stanes


Philip

11:50 PM  
Blogger XCoonoorStanites said...

Continuing Memories....The Girl Thing.

Sometime during my 9th standard, circa 1970 a.d. It is post lunch, courtesy the Ashford
catering disaster management. Frugality reigns. We hadn't perfected the art of raiding the
staff dining room at lunch time. Compared to the slop that we were served, those horrors,
namely Messrs. Oomen Samuel, Mathew Samuel and Benjamin Gnamanickam dined like
kings. Such deprivation caused me to become a gourmand of sorts during later years, but
more of that later.

Anyway, the post lunch, pre class revelry is on. Not discerning the stately progress of
Mrs.Varghese like a sloop in full sail down the drive (a fatal mistake. lesser creatures have
been gobbled up for dinner due to similiar negligence.), Arul Kumar, popularly known as
crow for colour and cockiness makes a grab for the luxuriant tresses of one of the fairer
sex. All in good sport, I assure you. The expected follows. A sharp yell, turned heads, the
much feared Lady Varghese glare and that famous monotone inviting Arul down to the
office for six of the juiciest.

Strange, isn't it? Our post pubescent curiosities were as healthy as the cool mountain air.
The porn that the ponderously pious Mr. David exorcised from under our mattresses at
Ashford bore mute testimony to all that. But out of 450 or so inmates, chances were that at
least 40% were girls. Yet the learning of social graces did not figure at all. We mugged up
the accursed date of the Battle of Plassey instead.

The net result? I spent my early college years tongue tied and flustered when confronted by
these biologically desirable people. Thankfully, mother nature took over and by the time I
got to Bombay to study journalism, I was normal, popular and pleased as punch.


Unfortunately, our early co-ed days were wasted. At least, it was to us boarders at Borstal.
Overcautious repression made us lose the chance to make friends for life. Thankfully, the
alumni and the internet have ensured that nothing is ever too late.

On the subject though, memory takes me back to my annexe days and dinner in the main
dining hall. What started as free form expression with the currty for the day between Sunny
Lonappen and self ended with the former breaking the plate over my head. The very
practical Mrs. Peacock quite understandably enforced the divide and rule theory. Sunny
retained his place and I was exiled amidst derisive laughter to sit next to the girls. My
mortification was complete with a very pretty Anne Thompson on one side whose
forwardness was matched by Yvonne David and a few others. I remember that these two,
particularly, were never reluctant in expressing their frank appraisal. Over the years, I have
grown to love outspoken women whose forthrightness is far more fun than finishing school
compliance.

Thank You Anne. And you, Sunny, do have a drink on me. But please use a paper cup!

SUNU CHARLES

11:51 PM  
Blogger XCoonoorStanites said...

A LITTLE MAN IN A LITTLE ROOM

1968, I think. That detested 7 o'clock bell rings. Killjoy! Time to halt all games purposeful
or purely recreational. It is time for studies to begin.

So we reluctantly troop into one of the rooms in the new block (as it used to be referred to),
next to the library. The giirls go into one room, the boys into the other. There must have
been some noble intention when this particular torture was designed. The righteous get
into the act right away, mugging up dates - re: when Lord Wellesley first set his foot on our
shores, when Aurangazeb sent his father to chokey...others commit to memory the poems
of Christina Rosetti, punctuation marks included. The really brave ones wrestle with
unintelligible Hindi verse that went : hey prabhu, sabke somethng something...

I have a respectable, but much scribbled on text book in front of me, shielding a John le
Carre novel. My compatriot elsewhere in the room, Tinlay Rabgay pays similar dues to
litterature dealing in stealth, skulduggery and stab wounds.

I read the first line:" A dusty man in a dusty room" Looking up, I see an apparition sitting
atop the teachers desk. Dusty? Yes. Man? Stretching the point, but...yes. And it is a dusty
room. There is one overpowering fact though, that dwarfs the reference. A more accurate
line would have read, A LITTLE MAN IN A LITTLE ROOM. I am in the presence of the very
miniscule Mr. Oomen Samuel.

Mr. OS taught us physics with a fair degree of accuracy and earnestness. He was once at his
most disbelieving when my experiment with the inclined plane produced text book results
regarding the specific gravity of something or the other. He was right. I had backtracked the
whole thing from the text book answer. He was also a vengeful little wretch who punished
me a whole term by making me kneel down in his class. Talk about megalomania and short
people.

I did get my revenge though. Late one night in Ashford, soft padding into the loo to do the
appropriate thing there, I could here his asthmatic wheeze in the adjoining cubicle. Not a
second was lost locking him in. How long he remained there is a bit of a mystery. Traffic in
that direction was never very heavy post midnight. Dorje Dadul, who did a prefect's job
when conscience got the better of him let him out at some point.

The other occassion was when I engaged him in a duel of scripture verse fencing. "Spare the
rod and spoil the child," he told me. Perhaps prompted by Tinlay or on my own volition (I do
not remember) I blurted out, "but sir, it is also said that the devil can quote the scriptures."

OS tales are plentiful. I'm sure some of you guys will remember him fondly or otherwise. He
eventually pushed off to pastures green in America. He would have liked it there, I'm sure. I
mean...well, think about it. No six foot four muscle bound brother from Harlem would have
ever approached him in a dark alley and said, "Yo maan, dem's reel cool sneakers." A pair
of them wouldn't have covered one extorting toe! Besides, he would have been too small a
statistic for the IRS to discover. Or for the immigration men to ferret out if he had
overstayed his welcome.

Life was funny in those days. And I dare say, OS played a larger than life role (pun
intended).


Sunu Charles

11:52 PM  
Blogger XCoonoorStanites said...

Hi George,

Who can ever forget those memorable days at Stanes?You mentioned the flora and fauna at Stanes; I remember the impenetrable thickets of Lantana bushes with the gorgeous pink, red & yellow blossoms with green berries & black berries. We used to make pea shooters out of the hollow stems of the Castor plant with it's huge star shaped leaves. Little did we know at that time that the humble speckled castor bean contained the very potent poison called Ricin! Did you know that modern day terrorists use the castor bean extract to make Ricin"? The green berries & pea shooters gave us endless hours of fun with target practice- the targets being some poor student's ear, head or face! The abundance of bul-buls and mynahs that gorged greedily on juicy blackberries and tasty,ripe Vicky pallams ( I call them Indian Olives), the formidable hawks with their brown & white plumage soaring gracefully over head ready to swoop down & pounce on some poor unsuspecting sparrow! The butterflies, moths and nocturnal bats. Do you remember the daring exploits of Colin Charlesworth? He used to catch dragonflies and huge grasshoppers and tie a string round their middles and scare the girls with these flying and jumping missiles. When the girls protested, Colin would quote the bible and reply,"Suffer little children to come unto me". Colin also had a very impressive, butterfly and birds egg collection, all captured from the school's greenery. That was the first time I set eyes on a beautiful pale green Moon Moth that Colin had captured at night near the dormitory and impaled on a board with a pin through it's thorax.One particular and dangerous incident stands out in my memory. Some how Colin had got hold of a .303 calibre bullet (rumour has it that it was acquired from a buddy at the Madras Regimental Centre in Wellington, or was it from a buddy at the Cordite Factory in Aravankadu?). One night in his dormitory, Colin got bored. There was a power failure so there was a lighted candle nearby and Colin was holding the formidable piece of ordinance in his hands and he decided to try a chemistry experiment! Now remember this experiment was not sanctioned by the portly Mr. Nair our Science master! Colin actually held the bullet in his fingers with the business end (tapered point) pointing away from him and he brought the priming end of the bullet right up to the candle flame and waited with baited breath! You can imagine what happened when the cordite in the bullet reached it's exploding temperature. There was an ear shattering boom that woke up our venerable principal, Mrs N. Barnard, her meek husband Dr. Bernard and the battle axe of a vice principal, Mrs. Martelli,who all had their quarters situated quite near the senior boy's dormitory. As for Colin and his dorm mates, chaos erupted. Colin suddenly wondered why the bullet was no longer in his fingers and why he had gone deaf temporarily. Thankfully nobody was in the bullet's trajectory and no one was hurt. The only damage done was the blast to the ears and damage to a wall as the bullet embedded itself into the masonry. Colin was left with badly singed and gun residue laced fingers! I do not imagine that anyone in this whole wide world whether in a school, college or military base, had ever conducted an experiment like that. Stanes should rightly have been recorded in the Guinness world book of records! Needless to say, appropriate punitive measures were liberally meted out to the irrepressible Colin Charlesworth. More to come later.

Hope you guys have a nice time at the Coimbatore meet on the 28th. and the following Bangy meet. I really envy you guys having all the fun! Regards to all of you and keep me up dated.

Peter "Pacchai".

Peter.

11:53 PM  
Blogger XCoonoorStanites said...

Fritchley House Song

Stand Fritchley House by your colours
May those colours be our guiding light
Honour, Virtue Des Praemum
Lead us on to conquer in it’s might.

Poppies red we pledge to thee our promise
To keep our motto shining clear and bright
Stand Fritchley House by your colours
For those colours stand for honour and right.

Motto: Honour Virtue Des Praemum
Symbol: Red Poppies
Colour: Maroon


Stanes House Song

Stanes always will stand for truth and may it’s motto bright
Be our inspiration ever leading on
Stanes always will strive to keep it’s colours blue & white
Pure unsullied from all wrong
Be it the aim and glory of each one
By Faith And Love to help along
For Fide Et Amore
Will always be our theme
Even when school days are done.

Motto: Fide Et Amore
Symbol: Blue Corn Flowers
Colour: Blue & White




Continue on next page for Groves house Song.








Groves House Song

We climb though the rocks be rugged
We climb the narrow way
To keep virtue and honour to crown our happy day
And though the rocks be rugged
And very steep and long
We have to be more careful then
To keep from doing wrong.

Motto:
Symbol: White Arum Lillies
Colour: Green

11:55 PM  
Blogger XCoonoorStanites said...

David House Song

Marching Onwards, Marching Forwards,
‘Tis the song we ever sing,
From Mite to Might is, David’s motto,
From a shepherd to a king,
Humble service, cheerful given,
Courage to be true and strong
Faith in God will ever lead us onward
Help us strive to right each wrong.

Motto: From Mite to Might
Symbol: Yellow shepherds staff and gold crown
Colour: Yellow

11:55 PM  
Blogger XCoonoorStanites said...

QUOTE
Regarding your Fritchley House song, I still remember the latin inscription on the shield:" Honour, Virtue Des Praemum". I'm not an expert in Latin, but I think it means Honour & Virtue are a priority or premium. Your house symbol was the Red Poppy. I was in Stanes House and the motto was, " Fide Et Amore" by Faith & Love. The symbol was blue cornflowers. When I became a prefect, I was moved to David House. The motto was "From Mite To Might". The symbol was a yellow shepherd's staff. I think I remember all the house songs. I also remember most of the words of our school song, but I only remember one tune. Do keep in touch and give me all the news. Maybe I can dredge up some interesting anecdotes from the murky depths of my memory and send them to you from time to time.
Regards,

11:56 PM  
Blogger XCoonoorStanites said...

This is a tale of two boys and Mrs.Greenhall (of two bus tickets fame) in
the 1960s. One lad was very good and the other was , well...!! You can
judge for yourselves.

The two boys,who will remain unnamed for now, went to Stanes by school bus
from Aruvankadu.Mrs.Greenhall,the music teacher,resembled her name.She was
at least as large as a small house if not a big hall.Being huge and not
getting any younger,she moved slowly and painfully.

One morning ,the two boys were alone in the bus.One was sitting right at the
back next to the entrance and the other was sitting,as befitted a class
topper,in front.The boy sitting at the back saw Mrs.Greenhall ,carrying
parcels and handbag, trying to board the bus.Being a keen observer of all
things ,he kept watching the lady trying to raise herself onto the steps.

Suddenly,there was a flash of khaki as the class topper darted to the back
of the bus and gallantly helped Mrs.Greenhall get on.The boy at the back
turned his attention to other things .

Cut to about an hour later at the school Assembly - Mrs.Greenhall was the
featured speaker.Her sermon was on how to help our fellow beings and she
related the incident of the morning.In her words,there was the boy who did
nothing to help his teacher in distress and there was the lad who could be
counted upon to do the right thing.


The consolation for the boy at the back was that at least he figured in a
sermon.And as old Mr.Chandrasekhar of snuff box notoriety might have
said,without bad there cannot be good.

As you may have guessed the backward boy was yours truly.


Philip

11:57 PM  
Blogger XCoonoorStanites said...

Mrs. Greenhalge & her songs!

A lot of past students have mentioned our music teacher Mrs. Greenhalge. She later became Mrs. Mathews. We had the good fortune to have a singing teacher of Mrs. Greenhalge’s caliber. She was an accomplished musician with a music degree from London. She was really a “larger than life” personality (2 bus tickets fame). I’m sure everyone remembers her singing classes in the assembly hall as she taught us voice training (She used to say,”open your mouths wide, like I have just shoved a hot potatio in it”!). Images of her sitting at the piano with her back to us (and what a back!), her ample arms cushioned in layers of blubber, jiggling seductively like Jello pudding, her fingers gliding over the ivory keys of the old piano and producing magical melodies and coaxing our croaking throats to sing along! Richard was well liked by her and she awarded him lots of prizes for dramatics. Stane school in those days was very popular for it’s concerts, operas and plays, all orchestrated by Mrs. Greenhalge. On concert days there would be a full house in the assembly hall. Profits were generated by the sale of tickets. I wonder how many of you remember the monkey song she composed and taught us?
The Monkey song
I went to Narai Kadu,
It is a lovely nadu,
I saw a monkey sitting
Upon a mango tree.
He said his name was Jerry-o,
Because he was so merry-o
And all of a sudden, hoo, hoo said he,
With a swish of his tail hoo,hoo, said he,
Hoo, hoo and jumped away.

His uncle’s name was Sampson-o
Because he was so handsome-o
And so on and so forth-----You get the picture?

There was also the time we learnt about an exotic Australian bird called the Kookubarra, when she taught us the Kookubarra song:

Kookubarra sits on the old gum tree,
Merry merry king of the bush is he
Laugh, Kokkubarra laugh
Kookubarra, gay your life must be. 2-3-4-

Kookubarra sits--------

In those innocent, old fashioned times, “gay” meant happy!

11:58 PM  
Blogger XCoonoorStanites said...

When I think of Richard ,I smile.He was a person who spread joy
everywhere.How well I remember the skits he performed with Rajan Samuel. I
recollect them miming a boxing match.How we laughed when we saw a very small
Rajan and Richard ,who was as big as he was large hearted ,running rings
round each other.

I will end with words from John Bunyan which were reproduced in Mr.Standfast
by John Buchan.

``I am going to my father's and though with great difficulty I am got hither
yet now I do not repent me of all the trouble to arrive where I am.My sword
I shall give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgimage and my courage and
skill to him that can get it.My marks and scars I carry with me to be a
witness for me that I have fought His battles who now shall be my rewarder.

So he passed over and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.''


Philip

12:00 AM  
Blogger XCoonoorStanites said...

On 28.Jan.06, I found myself tiptoeing into the Palace of Durai.
(our
>Durai and not Dorai) To my delight I found a regal lady welcoming me
into
>this beautiful sacred space. It was his MIL . After an aromatic cuppa
, I
>began to relax comfortably into a well spun cane chair. The interior
of the
>ivy walls with that beautiful Buddha bamboo in one fine corner
imposing
>itself like instant zen :took me back to Bodh Gaya. I thought I saw
lilac,
>orchis and buddleia. The Korean grass was baby sitting the stratified
>rocks. The entire compound took on a healthy look and I breathed pure
air.
> The interior had great surprises. I almost thought that Durai might
have
>been a pirate in his last incarnation. Fortunately, I came to
undetrstand
>that , it was the work of his wife. The walls inside this haven had
great
>"picks" .
> To my great delight a dozen of my dear Stanites arrived to ease out
my
>loneliness in the blessed avenue.
> Suddenly, and elegantly the business of the meeting took place.
"The
>Missy" sent by the Princy Lu was very studious and meticulous with her
>large note book and the ball point. (See how the studies have
improved) .
>The administrative mind of Teddy Moni, the punch lines of sunu the
>gregariousness Lonappan made it good. At the arrivel of one "good
lookinng
>girl" LOLITA the entire Palace became fragrant. Gosh she was
gorgeous !.
>Her contribution intense and valuable. I discovered that the tiny
tots
>that I knew have grown up to be real men with value and motivation.
Yet I
>could not find my age,(selected amnesia) I skipped it.
> Finally I have to thank Durai for his great generosity of spirit
and
>purpose. I would like to add that Durai and I had a great guru at one
>time, and D carries out his spirit so very well and this delights me
beyond
>measure. And who is this Guru ? You better ask Durai himself.
Bye for now.
Michael nathan.

12:01 AM  
Blogger XCoonoorStanites said...

Mrs. Greenhalge & her songs!

A lot of past students have mentioned our music teacher Mrs. Greenhalge. She later became Mrs. Mathews. We had the good fortune to have a singing teacher of Mrs. Greenhalge’s caliber. She was an accomplished musician with a music degree from London. She was really a “larger than life” personality (2 bus tickets fame). I’m sure everyone remembers her singing classes in the assembly hall as she taught us voice training (She used to say,”open your mouths wide, like I have just shoved a hot potatio in it”!). Images of her sitting at the piano with her back to us (and what a back!), her ample arms cushioned in layers of blubber, jiggling seductively like Jello pudding, her fingers gliding over the ivory keys of the old piano and producing magical melodies and coaxing our croaking throats to sing along! Richard was well liked by her and she awarded him lots of prizes for dramatics. Stane school in those days was very popular for it’s concerts, operas and plays, all orchestrated by Mrs. Greenhalge. On concert days there would be a full house in the assembly hall. Profits were generated by the sale of tickets. I wonder how many of you remember the monkey song she composed and taught us?
The Monkey song
I went to Narai Kadu,
It is a lovely nadu,
I saw a monkey sitting
Upon a mango tree.
He said his name was Jerry-o,
Because he was so merry-o
And all of a sudden, hoo, hoo said he,
With a swish of his tail hoo,hoo, said he,
Hoo, hoo and jumped away.

His uncle’s name was Sampson-o
Because he was so handsome-o
And so on and so forth-----You get the picture?

There was also the time we learnt about an exotic Australian bird called the Kookubarra, when she taught us the Kookubarra song:

Kookubarra sits on the old gum tree,
Merry merry king of the bush is he
Laugh, Kokkubarra laugh
Kookubarra, gay your life must be. 2-3-4-

Kookubarra sits--------

In those innocent, old fashioned times, “gay” meant happy!

12:03 AM  
Blogger XCoonoorStanites said...

Mr. Chandrashekar

I am sure everyone remembers the unforgettable Mr. Chandrashekar our Hindi master of "Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha" fame. What a character! I can still picture him in my mind. You couldn't miss him trudging slowly up Mount Road on his way to school, hands clasped firmly behind his back, with his measured gait, head bent down as if deep in thought, graying hair closely cropped, dressed in his thread bare grey cotton coat, shirt and white trousers, well-worn black shoes (that could have used a lick of "Cherry Blossom") and white socks that always kept disappearing into his shoes ( It was rumoured that they belonged to his son!). Half of his ankles were always exposed. He sauntered into class with the all pervasive odour of snuff surrounding him. One of his prized possessions was a tiny thimble sized, cylindrical silver tin box. The box contained Coonoor's finest "Pattanum Podi" snuff. This was easily accessible to him in his right coat pocket. When there was a lull in his teaching, he would retrieve his precious box and indulge his olfactory organs by inhaling a pinch of the addictive brown powder. This would be followed by a mighty sneeze that could be heard up in the principal's office! This little pantomime would never fail to amuse us. It was a welcome diversion from the intricacies of Hindi grammar!

Mr. Chandrashekar was an awesome presence in the classroom. He was not a man to be trifled with! If we did not do our home work or answer questions to the previous day's lessons, he would glare at us with a withering stare with his constantly blood shot eyes and spew hateful invective at us. Poor Amy Sheeran, his least favourite student always seemed to bear the full brunt of his rage! He would glare at her malevolently, point his finger and say, " that fool there, you are an idiot, a "Congenital Muff". I was really amazed at his rich vocabulary of invectives! Amy would stare back at him and give him one of her favourite grins. This infuriated him further. Due to the central government's imposition of Hindi as our national language at that time, there were a lot of Hindi agitations going on in Coonoor. We even had to join the other schools by taking part in processions through the town, chanting, "Hindi Olige". But "Hindi Olige" or not, Mr. Chandrashekar did his duty and expected us to do ours. I am thankful to Mr. Chandrashekar for teaching me Hindi in his own inimitable way. It helped me a lot when I joined the Navy and was surrounded by Hindi speaking "Vadakens"!. I am sure a lot of you were benefited through your knowledge of Hindi.
Regards,

Peter

12:06 AM  
Blogger XCoonoorStanites said...

I don't think anyone from Stanes can ever forget Mr. John Jacobs. His sister
used to live in Coonoor and attend the Union church. I later found out that
Mr. John Jacobs was an Armenian and they had to leave Armenia when Turkey
invaded and there was a large scale massacre of the Armenian people, who had
to flee and become refugees in other countries. Apart from his weekly
sermons in the mornings, the boarders and day scholars looked forward to his
evening sessions at 6:30pm. in the school hall and his interesting slide
shows and jungle doctor series enthralled us. I remember one such evening
while we were doing a quiz for S.U. and right answers would be awarded with
stars. Mr. Jacobs asked the question, " Who is an Abbess". My brother
Richard spontaneously and without thinking, jumped up and said, "The wife of
an Abbott sir"! The hall exploded in loud guffaws and snickering! Mr Jacobs
himself couldn't remain serious. Now everyone knows that both Abbots and
Abbesses are supposed to remain celibate and can't get married! We also had
singing sessions of "John Brown's baby had a cold upon his chest" with
actions!

Does anyone also remember Mr. Johannson and Mr John Mullins and his
flannelographs in the mornings and slide shows of his trips to Barbados and
the West Indies in the evenings? Mr. Mullins used to play the accordian and
a famous song of his was,"My hat, it has three corners"!
In those days we looked forward to these visits as our entertainment was at
a minimum. Mr. Elliot of Underfell childrens Home was also popular with his
8 mm.movie projector and screen. We saw Moody institute of science films
like, city of bees etc. My grandmother did not allow us to go for movies at
a theatre, so we had to depend on movies and slides at school.
Regards,

Peter.

12:11 AM  
Blogger shivats said...

Hi all, yes i do remember Mr Chandra Shekhar, I think he retired in 1972, and was replaced by Mr Balaishna Pillai(Balakrishna) from Keralum. Mr Oomen Samuel taught us maths and was our class teacher in Class 6 and 9. Later years, Mr Dawson was the pt master with Mr Parker chipping in. Derek Parker, joined us in 1976 went on to do icse, joined the army in 4 madras and got an early discharge and last heard he was in the gulf somewhere. By the way I met Peter who was also in the Madras Regiment, I met him in Radio Corner, thats our hangout when most of us 1977 types reach coonoor Naresh Bhawarlal Vaid, Suresh and Praveens Brother is our information exchange.By the way the present princis email is the_xaviers@yahoo.com as his official one refuses to accept mail for him.
One incident, when we were in Class X our class teacher was Mr David and we had a only one girl in our class Molly George. To top it up we had only 11 boys. Shankar and Santosh used to be the girls men wooing many junior girls and infactuations/ affairs. Rhino used to be in picture of all the secrets and the blame used to come onto me, one day since some assignment was given to Mrs Rajan for correction, Rhino came to class and surprised us- the shell fell saying that Molly who was her informer was herself having an affair with Samuel, I think he is from 1975 batch, his bro was Manohar who was studying for some time with my batch,they used to stay in Alwarpet and later moved to Attadi. So once, we knew tthe culprit, we decided to teach Molly the lesson, and i was the percussor of the punishment. I went to the main road, Nayeem of Bombay Footware fame, accompanied me and I collected Tar and placed it on Molly's seat, to top it up, I also placed the tar on Apeman's chair. Post lunch, when the class reassembled, Apeman as usual took his seat and was taking the attendance. Each student had to stand to mark his or her attendance, and when molly's turn came, her skirt was stuck onto the seat. That led to a round of enquiry with nayeem pointing the finger at me and immediately i was elevated on the bench. Thereafter, as Mr David had warmed his seat adequately, it was time for him to leave and as luck would have it, he was also pasted to the seat. Then this led to the ceremonial entry to the princi's office Rhino was officiating and Apeman did the honours.
By the way, most of you would remember the old wooden stairs to the assembly hall and the class room next to it, that was the room for our class 10 and 11. Sorry ladies but guys do any of you all remember the Sky shows sitting in the class!!!!

3:10 AM  
Blogger philip said...

Hi Shiva,

Your mention of the sky shows brings back many pleasant sights.

Christopher Peacok and I were desk mates and sat just inside the door of the classroom by the wooden staircase.Christopher was the one who made me cast my eyes heavenwards.

Philip

11:57 PM  
Blogger shivats said...

Hi I was scared of being admonished refering to the sky shows!
Molly by mistake had left the letters she got from samuel in the geography notebook she had given to Mrs Rajan,
In later years Mr Dawson (Pokey) rooled the roost as warden cum PT Master in Stanes. Mrs P Wright Diedrie's Mum took over as the music cum choir teacher, Lt Col Wright was a council member for a long time,
From your mention of religious tolerance, I remember bagging the scripture prizes for my class from class vi to ix,
Once in class vii mrs rajan was taking tuesday scripture class and the topic was sins, she described sins like approaching as lambs and sheep and turning out to be lions and tigers. Shortly we had one of the visiting avangelists coming and taking an assembly on sins, I think i had lost attention and the school assembly were asked to name common sins, the first student got up and called out lyin.. i heard it as lion and promptly stood up and answered tiger.. this found its way into the 1973 school magazine!! Sirley and the 1974 types would remember it

12:23 AM  
Blogger Peter Greene said...

THE EXHIBITION

By Peter Greene (1967)

We were seated in a class room at the left end of the old Fritchley Block, just above the basement class room. Rev. Chacko was our teacher and the subject was Health Science. Many of you will remember Rev. Chacko was a Marthoma priest who taught part time at Stanes. Rev. Chacko was very entertaining both in the class room and on the playing field as well. As soon as he had an audience around him, he would tuck his white cassock up around his waist and place his palms on the ground, flip his body over with his legs in the air and perfectly balanced, he would nonchalantly walk on his hands, as if this was a normal occurance! He also kept in good shape and had impressive muscles. Rev. Chacko was also the only priest I know who prayed with his eyes open! Now this would be blasphemy to the "self righteous" types like Rev. Enwright etc.) When questioned about this peculiar trait Rev. Chacko would very wisely explain that it was not necessary to close one's eyes while conversing with one's maker, as long as you focussed solely on the divine and not be distracted by things around you! He was quite right, but this entailed a lot of practise and discipline!

The subject of Health Science got to be a little monotonous so, much to our delight, The Rev. Chacko, veered away into other interesting topics! He decided to do a demonstration in front of the class. He summoned K.R (name withheld to preserve his dignity)to the front of the class room. Now K.R. was the tiniest boy in the class. He was dressed in very short, khaki shorts (the kind that's shaped like a bell) and khaki shirt. Rev. Chacko inserted his right hand into K.R.'s waist band and clenching his impressive biceps and triceps muscles, proceeded to lift K.R. up and off the floor. Now the aim of Rev.Chacko was to display his physical prowess and strong muscles to the class. Unfotunately it turned out otherwise! K.R. was suspended in the air with his body at a 45 degree angle to the ground! This brought the midsection of his anatomy right up to eye level. A perfect angle for class viewing! While Rev. Chacko thought that he was displaying his muscular prowess, another part of another person's anatomy was being displayed clearly and stealing the lime light!! Another muscle of K. R.'s that is usually kept covert was suddenly brought into view in sharp focus!

Now K.R. was a firm believer in the right of all chickens to run free- unfettered by cages or chicken wire mesh! These chickens are called "free range chickens and eggs in North America! This strong belief also extended to parts of K.R.'s anatomy and hence his habit of not wearing any under wear! This habit plus the fact that his shorts were hiked up at an awkward angle, accentuated the display. Here was a usually covert part of a little boy's anatomy, suddenly out in the open in all it's glory, free at last, unfettered by the confining restraint and the modicum of modesty, provided by an underwear! Here was a region where the sun never shone, with plenty of air circulating, to aid it's growth and healthy development!

The reaction of the class was predictable! Rev. Chacko beamed and buoyed by the awed effect this little display had on the class,proceeded to lift and lower K.R. up and down in repeated motion! The girls in the front row, bent their heads in embarassment, pointed discretely, whispered conspiratorially with one another and could not hide their muffled giggles! (Here at last was, "revenge for the sky shows!)! The reaction of the boys was just the opposite! We were horrified and stared with mouths agape! Even the normally jovial Kally was momentarily stunned into silence! Here was a member of our tribe suddenly being exposed, "bell clapper" and all!

Mercifully this display lasted for about 60 seconds! K.R. was lowered to Terra Firma, his bell shaped shorts regained their original shape. Thankfully, the "bell clapper and accesories" was now fully covered and a beaming K.R. returned to his desk. His beliefs and habits, finally vindicated! All things should remain free! For whom do the bells toll? K.R., they certainly toll for thee and thy beliefs!

Rev. Chacko, basking in the glow his display had produced, was very pleased! The class had been duly impressed and were in wonder and awe at his physical prowess! Ah! if he only knew!

9:05 AM  
Blogger philip said...

Teddy,Lambert,

How do we post comments on stanes saunter (the other site) .All the previous 180 posts seem to be missing or am I going about it the wrong way.


Philip

8:26 PM  
Blogger nathan said...

Dear Teddy,
I just read the blog of Philip, it seems that I am not able to see the comments and story. Help! We are in distress. SOS.
nathan.

2:51 AM  
Blogger shivats said...

Philip, look for the archives, click on Feb 2006 and lo and behold, light will shine on the 210+comments
By the way folks, a story of foreign pigs from 1974,
Margret Amritraj and her family migrated to India in 1969/70 from Srilanka, Margret was promptly nicknamed Colombo. She had a brother who used to go to St Anthony's. He was a whispy guy with specks and was nicknamed foreign pig. One day we had bunked class and were playing on the road which coes diagonally opposite the main school gate( the alternate road route to Ashford then)we saw Margrets brother and a few of his friends returning to At Anthony's after lunch and as usual my friends and I were teasing him calling him foreign pig and yelling at the top of our voices. Some Anglo Indian/ Wives of British officers doing staff college were walking behind foreign pig and his group and hearing us thought that we were abusing them, the ladies waited for about half an hour till they caught us returning down the slopes and we landed up with listening to the ladies blow their tops and finally when we explained the source/ victim of our taunts, we had to endure a ten minute moral lecture of look before you speak and lecture on indian hospitality etcetc

3:04 AM  
Blogger shivats said...

Hi every body we have one more of our stanites emailing me and with due Appologies to Immanuel Samson, I am pasting his mail to me, hope many memories would be kindled especially that of our energetic Mrs Samson
I cannot help it, but with do apologies may I call you Gurkhie,

After 22 years in the last century and 5+ in the current one we have been able to connect - thanks to Stanes, its Alumini and the internet. The spirit and comraderie of Stanes can never die, the Light House beams its beacon rays far and wide.

So how are you and where are you. I last heard of you, from some quarter, that you where there out in the front imperilling your live for a rather uncivil civil society.

I am in Chennai working as a Senior Auditor in the office of the Comptoller Auditor General of India.
Once in a year I go to Coonoor, where I sometimes come across Saraswathi. Coonoor is not any more the beauitful little hill town of yon days.

Mom is retired and in Coonoor, Rosy is married and residing with her hushand
and three children in Pondicherry. My brother Joshua is in Coimbatore.

Well Gurkhie, thanks a million for taking the initiative to connent with me. We'll keep in touch and I will be more elaborate in my following mail. Stay
in touch.

Regards to your family.

With warm wishes

S. Immanuel (they call me Nat)


Hi Immanuel,
Thats great hearing from you, I am posted somewhere nearer than you think-- in Chittoor near Vellore, caught up with bullet Rani- Mrs Thomas and Mr Thomas in vellore, I am looking after NCC at Chittoor. Well the front was bad during 1985 then the terrorism days of punjab, the kargil war- I was in Palanvala and then spent some time in sonamarg/ gulmarg before finding better pastures commanding a girls battalion NCC in Bangalore Moved to Chittoor last feb by the way some of our seniors blog in at www.stanescoonoorblog.blogspot.com, why dont you come on board, its fun, lets hace some fresh inputs from the junior lot
Regards
Shiva

3:15 AM  
Blogger linda said...

Greetings to all ,
Hey u all have done a good job with the blog...as ur unofficial photographer i have posted a picture twice to the wrong destination If anyone knows how to delete it pls do.I hope u guys and gals are enjoying my snaps
byeeee
take care

3:27 AM  
Blogger nathan said...

The French Poet-philosopher Guillaume Apollinarire wrote. (about God)
"Come to the edge."
"We can't. We are afraid."
"Come to the edge."
"We can't. We will fall! "

"Come to the edge."

And they came.
And He pushed them.
And they flew.
Love
Nathan.

3:43 AM  
Blogger shivats said...

Hey Guys & Gals,
A joke not related to school,
A gurkha Jawan was travelling in a train and a smart alek BSF jhonny was also a co passenger. Gurkhas are believed to be slightly lower on the uptake and previously they were permitted to go on 4 months leave once in 2 years. They carry a lot of money and start boozing wining and womening all the way to nepal that by the time they reach home they are broke!
The BSF chappie was teasing the Gurkha no end and a stage came when he tells the gurkha " suppose you go home after 2 years and find your wife with a 1 month old child what will you do?
Gurkha replies
" Use main apna samejh ke palunga"
BSF Phir Kya
Gurkha 'Jab woh bada hoga, apne backe ko fauj mein barti karunga aur haram ke bache ko BSF mein'

6:51 PM  
Blogger LAMBERT said...

Hi! eveybody!
The story of the Rabbi and the Priest continues. It was now the turn of the rabbi to keep the conversatin going. Looking at the priest he said "What's your future like, with the priesthood?what happens next?" The priest a little wary said " If I please my bosses,I could become a Bishop" the Rabbi said "Then what?" The Priest said "Well I could become... so on & so forth...(whatever) .... and If I play my cards right and if the political weather is right I might even become the POPE". To this the Rabbi said "Then what?". Bugged, the priest said in fury "What?you expect me to become"... he stopped ,holding his breath, not wanting to say anything in vain.
The Rabbi.cool as a cucumber, stroked his beard and said.
"Actually, one of our guys really made it you know?".

2:36 AM  
Blogger shivats said...

An article of Coonoor from the net
Coonoor Calling

A mere whimper away from Ooty, the quaint hill station untouched by the ravages of mass tourism could be your most preferred getaway this holiday season

The charming outpost called Coonoor has always been the Nilgiri district's best kept secret. In the 19th century Englishmen set up a slew of summer cottages and bestowed upon Coonoor a most restorative character that any Indian hill station could possibly have. They pioneered a grand new way of relaxation, in the blue hills of 'Neilgherries'in Tamil Nadu.
Exhilarated by the nip in the wintry air and the chance to rediscover my past, I hardly feel the hairpin bends of the Sigur Ghat to be perilous as we climb to a cool 1,839 meters to Coonoor, an area of just 15.5 square kilometers. While we missed out on the thrilling and breathtakingly scenic Blue Mountain Express (narrow gauge toy train) ride from Mettupalayam, opting for an eight-hour road journey from Bangalore, I was in high spirits. Reaching Coonoor was like a homecoming.

The chance to reconnoiter the Nilgiri forest area, all of 2,549 square kilometers, is much too appealing. A fantastical 56.2 per cent of the total district area only for nature pursuits-that ought to inspire even the most seasoned animal lover and botanist, I should think. Its no wonder that Countess Canning, the wife of the viceroy of 1858, chose Coonoor specifically for a prolonged spell of sketching and study of botany. In the bargain she earned herself a memorial, called Lady Canning's Seat.

On that late balmy afternoon, we sweep past All Saints' Church in Bedford, Coonoor's oldest church. This particular 1854 edifice in Upper Coonoor has always evoked the greatest appreciation in believers and tourists, for its turreted belfry and red Mangalore-tiled roof and weeping cypress trees shadowing a cemetery with the oldest plaque revealing an 1852 burial. We check in next door at the Taj Garden Retreat, a 1990 makeover of erstwhile Hampton Court. The resort provides us blessed reprieve, for on its premises we receive our very first flavour of the famed local hospitality.

The staff we notice has yet not succumbed to the pressures from media raves and the property continues to impart, in old traditional ways, soul therapy - by way of graciously attentive staff. Our stay infuses us with a warm cared-for feeling, giving us reason to believe that Coonoor's tranquility and clime have a big role to play in keeping everyone in a jolly good mood all the time. The British legacy goes only as far as the punctilious English spoken by practically everyone; the rest of what we experience is plain old Indian hospitality.

Fresh after a wash and comforting stomach fill, we are ready to behold in the gathering sunset, my Coonoor of old. It is much too evolved; the slopes of this meadow-filled town at the head of ravine Halikul has inherited the pains of endemic construction, when once it had been much envied for its sprawling unhindered tea and coffee estates. Mist-veiled Lower Coonoor shrugs off, every now and then, smoke that emanates from large vehicles that regularly lumber up from its bus terminal, while, pristine Upper Coonoor continues to elicit disbelief in tourists jaded with the worn-out charms of Ooty just 19 kilometers away.

If Coonoor's undulating hills seem fraught with a watertight juxtaposition of newer edifices over former open spaces, its clime continues to be life affirming as much as the melodic peals of church bells perforating the fragrance of roses and marigolds. An invigoratingly sharp blue eucalyptus scent tails us wherever wanderlust takes us. After a few morning walks along the dirt track circumnavigating Tiger Hill we drum up courage to befriend the lonely watchman guarding its 20th century cemetery. He in turn brings out the dog-eared visitors' book. It discloses messages of joy and discovery from people from around the world for their dear departed ones...uncles, cousins, grand-parents, all buried here since 1873.

The slopes around are a stirring deep green from enlacing tea gardens that are resonant with prolific bird activity. Daytim is the best for picnicking, in quiet glens and clearings, though sadly we see little of that happening today. We are cheerfully warned about venturing out there in the dark lest a wild animal show up for evening supper. But, not to worry, tigers are residents of the distant past and locals have perhaps forgotten how they look.

Upper Coonoor's topography is eminently pretty interspersed with Tudor-style English cottages sporting latticed window frames and red-tiled roofs. Not even J.D Sim, a council member in the 19th century, had been averse to the charms of the cornucopia of bougainvillea and marigold and brambles of rose bushes that continue to fringe the homes. Even the hedges of heliotropes and fuchsias are still very much in style.

In 1874, Sim went on to create Sim's Park on the slopes of a ravine, a park that's still as riveting and not just for its botanical import - Araucaria, Camellia, Magnolia, Pine, Phoenix, Turpentine, and Quercus. On those 12 hectares, you can do much to distance yourself from the pressures of city life. Lie supine beneath ancient mammoths, stroll between the 1,000 odd species of plants, play botanist with the tree ferns that pepper the park, watch wagtails and munias antic about; or row in the lake below. Naturally, there is nothing to beat the fruit and vegetable show held here in May, an event that's as exclusive as it is frequented.


Whilst Bedford is the place to buy almost every essential, it's also the launching post for roads that shoot off to Lower Coonoor, Wellington, Kotagiri and the interiors of Upper Coonoor. One such winsome road, a purposeful shortcut really, climbs from Bedford, past Stanes High School, against the wall of the Coonoor Club to come to rest at the Sim's Park Junction, the start of the road to Kotagiri. The road to Wellington now has a brambly and wilder appearance with even greener, if that is possible, foliage fanning its sides. It graces one of the numerous spurs of the Dodabetta Range (8,640 feet), is 6,100 feet above sea level and about one and half miles north of Coonoor. In Wellington reside the famous Defense Services Staff College and Madras Regimental Centre. Aside from these cordoned off establishments, civilians are free to roam in most areas.

The Golf Links area and the racecourse in Wellington with its enjoining wooded hills sport a great sense of prevailing adventure: here, Enid Blyton's enchanting brooks babble away perennially across its breadth, merry with song and clear in their guise. The simple English-style meadow will always have grazing cows and the occasional greasy-haired cowherds loafing in the shade somewhere, and golfers and their accompanying caddies marring this picture-postcard scene. But, that doesn't stop us from spreading a hamper of goodies to tuck into.

At the base of this deep ravine, separating Wellington from Coonoor begins the Hidden Valley veiled from the eye of the casual observer by soaring trees. The forest has given to Coonoor the kind of respectability Nagarhole's bamboo forest has given Karnataka. But, most tourists bypass this three-kilometer trudge through this forest and drive on straight to Ooty. Sightseeing points, hill-stations over, seldom alter with time; their popularity it seems only intensifying in the intervening years. Coonoor, however, is worlds apart and remains to this day a non-touristy outpost. Be it neighbouring Ooty's mesmeric hold over honeymooners, filmmakers and the average middle class sightseer or Coonoor's evident lack of nightlife, the latter has benefited in a big way.

There is no dearth of coursing waterfalls, awe-inspiring cliffs and canyons, deep chasms, lookouts named after British discoverers and, gasp-inducing views all within a manageable distance of 10 kilometers. Twenty odd kilometers from Coonoor one gets unique mountain views from the old fortress ruins called the Droog. All of Coonoor's sights are trek worthy, for the gentle slopes of India's oldest mountain range offer manageable trekking routes. Not unlike the British, who fled the scorching plains in the summers, there is the occasional tourist, an oddity really, who gives Coonoor precedence over Ooty. Ex-school boarders, who have preserved their ties with Coonoor or rekindled them, keep coming back and then there are those whom a small chocolate box cottage on the for blue green hills is not an impossible dream after all.

If Coonoor's spell ever ends, there's always the serendipity of straying into Kotagiri's fragile Shola forest where the flying squirrel forms the reception committee.
Fact File
Getting There
By Air: The nearest airport is at Coimbatore, (100.kilometers), which has daily flights to and from Madras, Bangalore, Kochi and Trivandrum.
By Rail: The narrow gauge Blue Mountain Express from Mettupalayam (27 kilometers away) takes three hours. The station is connected by trains from Chennai and Coimbatore.
By Road: There is regular bus service from Coimbatore and the journey takes about three hours.
Weather: The maximum temperature in Coonoor rises to 25 degree Celsius in summer and dips to as low as one degree Celsius in winter. Coonoor gets the south west monsoon during June-September and the north east monsoon from October to December with heavier showers.
Best time to Visit: Between October and March.

7:30 AM  
Blogger shivats said...

history of school on the web mentions
American Protestant missions sponsored Oak Openings at Naini Tal (1880) and the Philander Smith Institute in Mussoorie (1885). Several nondenominational institutions also arose, notably Stanes' School in Coonoor (1861), Breeks' Memorial School in Ootacamund (1873), and the Modern School of Mussoorie (1896).

Educational opportunities in the hills were no less abundant for girls. Roman Catholics dominated the field, with the Loreto Convents particularly active. In addition to the branches it founded in Darjeeling and Ootacamund in the premutiny era, this Irish order opened schools in Murree (1876), Naini Tal (1878), Kurseong (1890), Simla (1895), and Shillong (date unknown). Other Catholic institutions for girls were the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Simla (1866), the Nazareth Convent School in Ootacamund (1875), and St. Joseph's Convent in Coonoor (1900). The Anglicans countered with Cainville House, Mussoorie (1864), Auckland House, Simla (1866), diocesan schools at Naini Tal (1869) and Darjeeling (1875), and St. Denys' School, Murree (1882). The American Presbyterian Mission took over the preexisting Woodstock House of Mussoorie (1872); the American Methodist Episcopal Church opened Wellesley School in Naini Tal (1880); and the Calcutta Christian Schools Society founded Queen's Hill School of Darjeeling (1895). Nondenominational schools included Wynberg, Mussoorie (1894), Hampton Court, Mussoorie (1895),


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Petersfield, Naini Tal (1899), and Arycliff, Simla (1888), which subsequently affiliating with the Church of Scotland.

In addition to these institutions, a myriad of other schools arose in the hill stations. Most were private coeducational enterprises operated by widows and unmarried women in private homes. Some, such as Miss Twentyman's Darjeeling Home School for "young ladies" and boys under the age of ten, established themselves as successful, even venerable, institutions. The life of a great many others, however, was fleeting. Only one of the four schools for younger children referred to in an 1857 guidebook to Ootacamund was noted by Burton during his stay at the station in 1851, and none received mention in subsequent guidebooks.[62] A succession of these dame schools no doubt opened their doors and closed them a few years later.

Despite the intentions of Bishop Cotton and Lord Canning, the large denominational hill schools drew most of their students from the middle levels of British society in India, while doing their best to keep the lower orders out. Several government reports provide detailed information on the occupations of pupils' fathers. They included planters, merchants, missionaries, engineers, railway officials, clerks, and others employed in the uncovenanted services, but not the elite members of the Indian Civil Service or the Indian Army. As a general rule, "every European in India who can afford to send his children to Europe to be educated, does so. Similarly, it may be said in almost equally general terms that every parent, who can afford it, sends his children to the hills in preference to a school in the plains."[63]

The hill schools modeled their appearance and approach after English public schools, pitching themselves both to those parents who wanted their child to obtain the schooling needed to prepare them for "finishing" at an English institution and to those who wanted their child to receive the benefits of an English-style education without incurring the financial cost or facing the emotional loss entailed in sending them to England. For example, St. Paul's of Darjeeling was said to provide an education "after the model of the best English public schools," St. George's College of Mussoorie was "conducted after the best models of the English public school system," and St. Joseph's of Coonoor operated "on the lines of that given

[62][63]
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― 141 ―
in an English public school."[64] Students wore school jackets, played cricket on the pitch, and shared in their governance through the prefect system.[65] Some schools specialized in preparing students for transfer to particular home institutions, and the majority designed their curricula with the Cambridge Local exams in mind. At the turn of the century, a third of the boys who enrolled in the Himalayan hill schools went to England for further education (the figure for girls was one-sixth).[66] However, it was the other two-thirds (or five-sixths) who received the bulk of attention. Hill schools promised an education specially suited to those who did not leave India, an education that usually led to careers in the provincial or uncovenanted service for boys and to marriage for girls. They prepared male students for entry into administrative departments such as public works, surveys, police, opium, salt, telegraph, mail, forestry, subordinate medical service, and customs. Some institutions provided industrial training courses, including technical classes in civil and mechanical engineering.[67] St. Joseph's of Darjeeling specialized in preparing students for Rurki College, an engineering school, and most other schools established close ties with particular branches of the provincial service. After all, their reputations depended ultimately upon their success in garnering respectable jobs for their graduates, and those jobs were generally to be found in government.

Equally important to the reputations of hill schools was the racial composition of their student body. Although the state defined European schools as those that catered to pure and mixed-race Europeans who retained "European habits or modes of life,"[68] Anglo-Indians were not welcome at most of the better schools, and Indians were almost entirely prohibited from enrolling in them until the interwar years. British parents often objected to their children rubbing shoulders with mixed-race students. M. M. Kaye and her sister were pulled out of Simla's Auckland House by their horrified

[64][65][66][67][68]
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― 142 ―
mother when they began to acquire the so-called "chi-chi" accent of Anglo-Indian classmates.[69] Breeks' School in Ootacamund led a highly checkered existence, with several financial crises and restructurings, because it failed to overcome its origins as a day school for poor Europeans, Anglo-Indians, and Indians.[70] It lacked the simple expedient most hill schools had to restrict the entry of undesirables—boarding fees. Bishop Cotton School was taken to task by the government of India for prohibiting the sons of Simla's "subordinate officials," mostly Anglo-Indians, from attending the institution as day students. But school authorities objected that day students "are not as amenable to discipline as boarders are; they are less regular in their attendance; they carry home school tales; and in many ways are a thorn in the flesh to masters." They went on to insist that the cultural shortcomings of Anglo-Indian households made students from such environments unsuitable for Bishop Cotton School.[71] This episode was characteristic of efforts by hill schools in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to improve their reputations by imposing racial and social barriers to admission. Among the more dramatic examples was the transformation of Stanes' School in Coonoor from a day school for poor Europeans and Anglo-Indians to a high school divided into two sections, with the first serving the "sons of officials and missionaries."[72] Adding to the forces that ratcheted the social composition of the hill schools as high as it would go was the increasing expense of education in England. More and more parents were persuaded in the late nineteenth century to delay or even abandon the overseas education of their children.

As the elite schools sought to solidify their social standing through restrictive practices, the educational needs of poorer children attracted renewed attention. An inquiry by the Bengal department of education in 1875 aroused calls for the establishment of hill schools for children who occupied those subordinate tiers of society where Europeans and Anglo-Indians most often merged.[73] The railway companies began to establish

[69][70][71][72][73]
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schools for the children of their British and Anglo-Indian employees, and although these schools sprang up across the subcontinent, some of the most notable ones were placed in the hills. The Victoria School of Kurseong began as a coeducational institution for the children of Bengal railway workers in 1879, although it subsequently became an all-male boarding school open to others. A separate facility for girls, the Dow Hill School, was established in 1897. The Bombay Baroda and Central India Railway founded a school in Mount Abu in 1887; later, it was christened St. Mary's High School and began to admit nonrailway pupils. The East India Railway School of Mussoorie appeared around 1888, and the Great Indian Peninsular Railway sponsored a school at Lonavala. Various other institutions in the hills served orphans and other children on the margins of European society. Three orphanages were established in Mussoorie—one Anglican, one Catholic, and one Nonconformist—as was the Summer Home for Soldiers' Children (its purpose evident in its name), which strictly prohibited the admission of Anglo-Indian pupils.[74] Simla was the site of the Himalayan Christian Orphanage and Industrial School, later renamed the Mayo Industrial School. Other institutions for poor European and Anglo-Indian children included St. Andrew's Colonial Homes of Kalimpong (1900), Goethal's Memorial School of Kurseong (1907), and St. George's Homes of Kodaikanal (1914), which later moved to Keti, in the Nilgiris. Note should be taken of the sites selected for these institutions. They, like the Lawrence Asylums, were located more often in the secondary and satellite stations than in the central ones—Kurseong and Kalimpong rather than Darjeeling, Lovedale and Keti rather than Ootacamund, Sanawar rather than Simla—suggesting that their pupils' social standing made it desirable to keep them at a distance from the major hill stations.

2:31 AM  
Blogger shivats said...

by the way why dont you try this link on churches of coonoor
http://k.1asphost.com/anishmations/Britishpride.htm

2:50 AM  
Blogger yvonne said...

Hi all you lovely x stanites,

Just testing the blog.


God bless you all,

Yvonne

5:23 AM  
Blogger philip said...

Welcome Yvonne,

You have tested the water with your toes.Now jump in.

Also see the other site
stanescoonoorblog.blogspot.com

Philip

3:06 AM  
Blogger Peter Greene said...

The Wellington Olympiad

One of the most exciting events to look forward to, while growing up in Coonoor was the Inter School Sports, Our very own mini Olympics! This was an annual event that took place at the Rajendra Singhji Stadium, belonging to the Madras regimental Centre, in Wellington. All the hill schools participated in this grand event! The schools from the plains of Coimbatore, Trichy, Yercaud, like Stanes Cbe., Campion, Montford, Vestry, etc. would have their own sports and it used to be called "The Quadrangle". Our inter School Sports was anxiously awaited by all students, whether athletes or nerds! Preparations would begin months in advance Mr. Bird our p.t. master would get busy, classifying athletes into different groups according to age, height and weight. The heats would be in full swing.
I remember we had a Science master for a very brief period, Mr. C.P. Varghese (not to be confused with the principal). He was diminutive in stature and small made, but he never knew it! What he lacked in physical stature, he made up for in guts and courage! When we asked him, what his initials, C.P. stood for, he replied, "Corrupted, Polluted"! He once showed up for morning assembly in a simple shirt, plain white dhoti and slippers! Miss.Cherian our principal,was furious and demanded an explanation from him. He coolly replied, "I am wearing the national dress"! Miss. Cherian told him in no uncertain terms that he had to conform to the rules of the school and wear a pant, shoes and socks! (Underwear was optional, unless you wore pants that were too thin like silk or any transparent material!) Mr. Verghese told Miss. Cherian, that if she wanted him to wear Western dress, then lady teachers should also wear Western dress! Can you imagine Miss. Cherian in a smart mini-skirt and low-neck blouse with high heel stilettos! Or imagine Mrs. Rajan in a flouncy polka dot dress with puffy sleeves and padded shoulders with platform shoes! The possibilities were endless! Miss. Cherian hauled Mr. Verghese off to the chairman, Mr. Enwright. C.P. V. was not cowed down by the furious Mr. Enwright! He argued that as an Indian, he had every right to wear the national dress! Mr. Enwright threatened him with expulsion and C.P. finally agreed to wear pants, shoes & socks. C. P. took over the duties of sports master from Mr. Bird, temporarily. C.P. took our athletes to St. Joseph's college for weigh-ins. He suspected that St. Joseph's was using a faulty weighing scale that when our athletes were weighed, it would show high! C. P. confronted Bro. Bonafus, who was Sport's master for Joseph's. They had a big argument, but C.P. stood his ground! he forced Bro. Bonafus to come to our school and compared their scale with ours! There was a huge difference! The red faced Bonafus, finally accepted their error and used our weighing scale! During a football match between Stanes and St. Joe's, C.P. would yell, "Kick him in the belly"! Sadly. Mr. C.P. Verghese never lasted long in our school and soon left! We were not surprised!

We would all assemble on our field facing the flag staff. Wren Johnson would lead us in the oath taking ceremony; "We would all raise our right hands (the Nazi salute) and repeat after Wren, " We swear that we will take part in these sports, in the true spirit of sportmanship -------------"! Wren Johnson was tall and athletic! A very good sportsman and captain of Stanes House! (My house for 9 years. I became David house captain in the 10th.). The field would get busy with athletes practicing, running, long jump, triple jump, high jump, discuss throw, shot put, etc. we also borrowed St. Anthony's school grounds or St. Joseph's. Our field was rich in yellow clay, pink carving stone rocks and perennial swamps! It was like the Florida everglades without the alligators! Plenty of dragon flies, frogs, tadpoles and "water boatmen" (ABC puchies) in the sylvan streams!

When the big day finally came, we would wend our way to Wellington stadium. There would be a festive atmosphere. The military brass band would be in attendance and the tracks would be neatly marked in chalk. Loud speakers and amps from "Murugan sound Systems'' (Lower Coonoor) would be placed around the stadium. Army tents would be pitched around the perimeter. Each school had it's own tent for athletes to rest and prepare themselves. We would always wander over to the tent of Lawrence School, Lovedale. Their school van would be parked nearby. We never had a van! We depended on our trusty legs for transportation! We would watch hungrily as butlers with their noses in the air, attired in starched white linen, scurried to and fro bearing trays heaped with ham sandwiches and hot and cold beverages for their athletes! Spoilt rich brats! Shift that scene to the Stanes school tent! Mr. Bird would summon the athletes around him, holding a green Glaxose box of glucose powder! The athletes held out their palms and Stanley Bird would dispense small heaps of the precious powder onto their palms. One lick and it was gone! That's all our poor athletes got, a lick and a promise! Mr. Bird would give his pep talk in his classic pose! Head slightly bent, hands pointing down. The forefinger of his right hand would be pointing down, thumb out and fingers curled. as if holding an imaginary starter's pistol! " I say you chaps, you'll are the biggest rascals I've ever come across! You've got to put your best foot forward! ( How else was one supposed to run?)

We always envied the Lawrence school students! They had the best! As I stood near the Lawrence tent, I watched a girl athlete from law. who had just run the 200 metres race and she suddenly flopped down on the grass, grimacing in pain! It looked like she had pulled a hamstring muscle! Immediately the Lawrence Coach appeared like magic at her side and began to massage the backs of her legs and thighs--where the hamstrings are located! Now this girl was well built and I could see that the coach had his hand's full! Now I knew where all that ham from those sandwiches was going! I wondered whether I should step up and help him with the other leg! On second thoughts I thought it would be too disastrous and seriously contemplated taking up a job as assistant coach in Lawrence, after leaving school! Now why wasn't this VIP. treatment meted out to our athletes! I never saw Mr. Bird doing that to our athletes! Our poor athletes had to squat on the grass, draw their knees up to their chins and massage their own little ham or bacon strings, the best way they could, all by themselves! Despite these drawbacks our gifted athletes did very well and we remember those who brought glory to our school: R. Krishnan, Wren Johnson, Crystal Godfrey, Yon Tan, Devan Menon, Premila Miranda, Yvonne Johnson to name a few! The march pasts used to be very impressive.

After the sports meet ended, we would make the long trek back to school or home, using all the short cuts we knew. Tired and exhausted, we would lie in our beds at night, our minds full of the memories of the event! Music from the brass band would linger in our ears as we slowly drifted off to sleep thinking about the next year's grand event. Suddenly a loud speaker blares, " Last and final call for the 200 metres relay race! Would R. Krishnan report to the starting line please"!

Peter Greene (1967)

10:38 AM  
Blogger Peter Greene said...

The Kalaai Twist

My paternal grandma's kitchen in Coonoor had an impressive array of utensils. These "paathrams" varied in size, shape and metallurgical make up. As every Coonoor dweller would know, the Municipal water supply was very limited and erratic. In spite of having the Grey's Hill reservoir quite close to our house, water needed to be stored in large quantities, because most of the time, only air and a hissing sound emanated from our taps! Philip, you must be familiar with the huge Grey's Hill reservoir, past Shell Wood on the steep hill, where the wealthy Rajbattan family lived! I guess water was pumped into this reservoir from Sim's Park lake. Gravity solved the distribution to lower Coonoor. We had two huge brass vessels with a ring on each side at the top, for storing water. These were called "Gangaalams', although the chances of "Ganga Jall" ever reaching Coonoor, were very remote! These containers were big enough for me to climb into during games of hide & seek! Richard only had to clang on of the brass handles near the rim and the sound inside would make my ear drums explode and jump out! Then there was the huge copper pot with a silvery coating inside. This was the "Andaa" which my grandma kneaded her Christmas cakes in! There were also the brass , narrow necked pots, called "Kudam". These kudams were uniquely shaped to rest on the ample hips of rural South Indian belles! Plastic versions of these kudams are plentiful today, but my grandma would have sneered at them! A variety of stainless steel and aluminium vessels were included in the arsenal.

Of course, no Coonoor kitchen was complete without the ubiquitous clay chatti! These humble chatties were what we cooked our food in most of the time! New chatties had to be conditioned first by boiling some "Gundu Samba" rice for hours, to give the chatti a nice glaze and seal all the pores! Food cooked in these chatties was delicious, cooked over a wood fire in the traditional hearth made of broken bricks, clay and coated with cow-dung! All these elements lent a particular flavour to the curries!

Going back to the metal utensils, copper vessels with silvered insides had to be reconditioned about once a year with the application of "Kalaai" on the insides! When the vessels needed the kalaai treatment, grandma would tell Richard and me to look out for the kalaai man (tinker tradesman). Quite a few tradesmen did the rounds near our house. The baker Varkey, from The Nilgiri Modern Bakery would come around 7 am. on his daily morning rounds with that fresh Nilgiri bread in the huge basket that rested on his strong back. That bread was so spongy and tasted heavenly! I always wondered if the snack, saada and Naii varkey was named after our baker! Then there was the fishman, butcher, knife sharpener, bone collector, "Thundai, Thuwaalai, Bedsheetai" man, "Butti, Teen, Pappair"man and of course the Kalaai man! As soon as Richard and me heard the plaintive cry of "Kalaai Poosaravaie", we would rush outside and call out to the tinker. The tinker would set his wooden box down on the ground near our kitchen and spread out his paraphernalia. He would construct a small oven with stones. We would supply some wood chips and of course a match box! he would place a handful of charcoal inside the stones and would have a fire going. He would pump his leather bellows every little while to fan the flames. When the precise temperature was reached, he would place the copper pot over the oven and heat it up. He would produce some lead solder and some strange amalgam of chemicals that would be mixed with the lead inside the heated pot. Richard and I were transfixed to the spot and watched him with wonder and awe! In today's world, this practice would be called dangerous, because we all know what lead poisoning can do to our bodies! In those days, we were blissfully unaware! Somehow we survived! The lead solder would produce a lot of smoke and acrid smell. Now would come the most amusing part of this procedure! He would place a cloth rag inside the pot, over the melted amalgam and he would tuck his dhoti up around the waist and put one foot over the cloth rag inside the pot! His hands would be at his sides, bent at just the right angle and he would commence the "Kalaai Twist"! His hip and body movements were perfectly synchronized! No one could have done the twist better than the kalaai man! Not even Elvis Presley or even Chubby Chucker! His foot movement inside the pot would spread the solder and amalgam evenly and coat the inside. The result would be a silvery shimmering coated pot! We were so hypnotized with his rhythmic movements, that we felt like joining in with him! A similar version of the twist can be done, by holding a light narrow towel (called Thundu in Tamil and a Thorth in Malayalam! You hold one end of the towel in each hand behind your body near waist height and you pull the towel, first with the left hand and then with the right and start moving your hips and elbows and twist your feet! Guys, have you ever done this in the bathroom? I know I did! Maybe you girls too did it! You also dry your back in the process! We paid the tinker for his hard work on the vessels, but the dance was a bonus for us! I'm sad that today's generation will not see or enjoy these tinkers at work! Long live the tinker trade! Fully satisfied with our lucrative payment, the kalaai man would place his box on his head with the help of our maid servant and he would be on his way crying out, "Kalaai Poosaravaie"!.

Peter Greene (1967)

9:11 PM  
Blogger LAMBERT said...

Hi! everybody,
I am just posting for Gita.Hope all of you enjoy it.
Lambert.




Tuesday, June 20, 2006
hello
posted by gita at 10:22 PM 0 comments

The Nilgiris
Nilgiri means blue mountains and it is situated between the Western and Eastern Ghats.
posted by gita at 1:43 AM 0 comments

Trichy
Steeped in tradition, tapestried by myth , Trichy was once the capital of the Chola kingdom.
posted by gita at 1:38 AM 0 comments

Tuesday, June 06, 2006
PORTRAIT OF COONOOR
GITALATHA JOHNSON
D-78, 7th Cross, Eastern Extn.,
Thillainagar, Tiruchy-18.
Telephone: (0431) 2741669
(0431) 3290896
Mobile : 94431 27416



Date: 13.06.2006


PORTRAIT OF COONOOR

If memories come in colours mine of Coonoor will be imbued with the hue of pure, burnished gold, with a whole lot of warm pinks thrown in, that embodied the warmth of the friendly folk there, and saturated by exciting mauves, synonymous with happiness that one would envy. Of course there are memories tinged with the grey of the not so happy days too. In short, my memories of my home town are a spectrum of colours so reminiscent of the numerous sunsets that I have witnessed there.

Oh! those fun-filled enchanting rich, deep crimson suffused memories of childhood. The place was so uncluttered then and full of wide vacant spaces that we let our imagination run wild! In my mind’s eye I can still see those delicate, angelic fairies with gossamer wings and wizened old elves sitting on the giant red and white speckled toad stools in the botanical paradise – the one and only Sims Park. This park evokes memories of beautiful pastel shades of a variety of greens, shocking to fragile pinks, brilliant to mild reds, burnt ochre to pale yellows, russet browns, reddish yellows, deep violets and royal purples.

School days bring forth a host of burnt sienna memories. How can I ever forget those dedicated teachers who not only taught us but inculcated deep values into our lives that stand us in good stead even now. College days were filled with purple tinted memories. The stately nuns in their long, flowing habits reminded me of the long stemmed, white Madonna lillies as they literally glided passed us. Looking back now, I am ever so grateful to them for the love of knowledge and the fine principles of life that they instilled into us.

My memories of Coonoor would be incomplete if I do not share with the reader the many features that are so typical of hill-stations. The bracing air of the mountains, the whiff of pine needles and eucalyptus, the thick fog that would suddenly engulf the place, so heavy that you could slice it with a knife. In contrast were the wisps of mist that floated around us in a luminous haze or just hung in the valleys like delicate fragments of exquisite gossamer. The winding bridle paths running through thickets and along the terraced hill-sides. The occasional cemetery, the perfectly manicured tea bushes – a feast for the eyes as they stretched out in acres of verdancy are not only legacies of the British Raj but are marked by the flawless craftsmanship of the Creator, complete with consummate excellence and the rich trappings of a legend.

Of the many land marks Coonoor has, two are seared in my memory. One is the clock tower atop the bus stand that greets you as you enter Coonoor by rail or road. The other is that of the bell of St.Antony’s Church. How can one forget the rhythmic, melodic chimes of the Angelus at twelve noon and its sonorous pealing for the evening mass! We used to mark our timings according to the chiming of this hoary bell.

My abiding image of Coonoor is the small town camaraderie we shared those days, without cast or communal affiliations interfering. Nearly every one knew every body else and an air of bon-homie pervaded the place. This was the Coonoor of the seventies.
Each time I visit Coonoor now it is a sort of a pilgrimage. The place has certainly changed as all places do. Coonoor too has succumbed to the abrasions of the present times where the vast empty spaces and greenery has given way to mushrooming of concrete jungles. Though I am away from Coonoor for the past three decades my roots will ever be there. It is difficult to put down roots in another place when your heart and soul belong to Coonoor. Like the poet Robert Burns so eloquently says of his homeland (Scotland), I can truly say my heart is in Coonoor, my heart is not here.

I will ever cherish these many-hued memories of Coonoor and above all the straight value system of life that I imbibed while I was there.

Gitalatha Johnson
posted by gita at 7:35 AM 1 comments
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June 2006

5:49 AM  
Blogger Peter Greene said...

THE VEGETABLE VENDOR OF VALLEY VIEW

By Peter Greene

It is often said that "truth is stranger than fiction"! In view of this fact, I know that many of you will not believe my story, because of it's incredulous nature. However, I assure you that my memory serves me well and I shall endeavour to tell my story as truthfully as it happened 39 years ago!

I was living with my father, stepmother and my three much younger siblings in a quaint old house called "The Chalet". The year was 1967, my last year in school. The house was built by a Britisher, Major Murcott and was tucked into the Ketti hillside just below the Ooty Coonoor highway. Ooty was just three miles away and a short distance from our driveway a granite mile marker painted white with black letters "3/1" proved this fact. It was between Valley View and Ketti Short Cut, but much closer to Valley View. The house was built on the top terrace of three acres of potato farm land. Below us we could see the picturesque valley of Santhoor, with it's tiny houses and little steepled church. The railway tracks of the NMR were also clearly visible. Above and behind the house, rose a majestic range of rocky boulders jutting into the sky! Our very own "Rocky Mountain Range"! Richard and I had trekked up these steep mountain trails and had found a short cut to Doddabetta. Major Murcott had planted a profusion of Wattle, Eucalyptus and Sambrani trees on the land. We enjoyed the fruits of his labour.


One fateful Saturday dawned bright and clear. As usual, I was woken up by my father at an ungodly hour of the morning to start my chores. My father having done his duty, went back to bed! The wood fires had to be lit, bathwater put on, breakfast for everyone but myself had to be made in time! Our kitchen garden had produced a bountiful harvest of Cauliflowers. The rich alluvial soil of Ketti and the abundant rainfall had produced king- sized cauliflowers! My stepmother's mind was filled with greed and she salivated at the thought of how much money she could get by selling the cauliflowers! Little did I know that I would become the unlucky wretch to transport the cauliflowers to Ooty market and sell it singlehandedly! I was summoned and ordered to carry a bundle of cauliflowers to Ooty market by bus and sell it at the market. Since I knew the layout of Ooty market well, I logically concluded that the best course of action would be to take the vegetables to the Nilgiris Co-operative Marketing Society that had a depot inside the market. They would weigh my vegetables and give me a receipt. Payment would only be made three days later. I submissively made this suggestion to my stepmother. Alas, my stepmother and logic were strangers to each other and anything that made my life easier was anathema to her! The more miserable she made my life, the happier she slept at night! If she was happy, then my father was happy! I was told to sell my vegetables in the market square like the other vendors. She dictated the price per cauliflower and threatened me with dire consequences if I failed to return by a certain time with the exact amount of money. Mohan, a young local orphan boy who stayed with us and helped me in the kitchen, tied up nine huge cauliflowers in a big bundle and helped to put it on my head. The bundle was quite heavy! Mohan although younger than me was wise beyond his years! He keenly observed how I was treated at home! He once asked me why I put up with this cruelty. He conspiratorially whispered a plan of action to me. He told me to catch a lizard (fly catcher) that was common inside the house in those days! All I had to do was catch it's tail. It would then leave it's tail in my hand and run away. I was instructed to put this lizard tail into my stepmother's food, cook it all together and serve it to her! I was told that the lizard's tail had a very lethal poison that would cause death! However wicked my stepmother was, I just could not carry out this evil plan! I made a last impassioned plea to my stepmother to please send Mohan with me to help me carry the load. She refused, saying that she needed Mohan to help her in the house! It was futile approaching my father as he didn't want to rock the boat that was sailing so smoothly along (for him and his wife at least!).

I trudged slowly up the steep driveway to the main road, with the bundle still on my head and resigned myself to an embarassing fate! The green and white Nilgiri Motor Transport bus, came along and halted with a grinding of gears and a squeal of brakes. I carefully climbed the ladder at the back of the bus, holding my cauliflower bundle with one hand and clutching on for dear life to the rickety bus ladder with the other hand. I reached the top, lowered my head and dropped the bundle onto the roof of the bus. I climbed down again and entered the bus. The Badaga conductor said, " Pola Raaightt" and the bus was on it's way to Ooty. I recognised the conductor and driver as this was the same bus that I travelled to Coonoor everyday to get to school. I settled into a corner seat and tried to blend into the seat! Around me there was boisterous, but friendly banter as my Badaga neighbours who had boarded at Yellanhalli and Ketti Short Cut, exchanged greetings. " Yena Sudhi"?, "Baari Mama, uthi uthi sudhiyella! Hollangidhiya"? The conductor approached me and I paid for my ticket and also for the luggage on top. By way of conversation, he asked me what my "sambalam" was! I was a bit taken aback and asked what he meant. He then asked me, " aren't you working as a servant for that Needle factory Dorai"? I went red with embarassment and said that I was his son! The conductor had an incredulous look on his face! I don't know who was more embarassed, the conductor or me!.

The bus pulled to a stop opposite the Ooty market gate. I dismounted and climbed the ladder again. A bunch of ruffians and roustabouts were lounging near the market gate, scanning for easy pickings. I slowly loaded the bundle onto my head. If you are wondering if I had a pad of rolled cloth between the bundle and my head, the answer is no. The bundle rested on my hard head! I carefully lowered myself down the ladder. The ruffians stared at this apparition as if they couldn't believe their eyes! They broke into gleeful, wicked grins and swooped in for the kill! Before I could get off the last rung of the ladder, they were pulling and tugging at my cauliflowers and offering me a pittance in money. They kept saying "kudu Dorai, Kudu"! I silently cursed my stepmother and started a tug of war with the ruffians. I wondered how they knew I was a dorai! After all dorais don't usually appear on bus ladders with a bundle of vegetables on their head! No self respecting dorai that I knew would have done that! Since I had lost all sense of dignity and self worth, I did not consider myself a dorai! Even the clothes on my skinny frame were ill fitting, shabby and not very clean! My fingers were black tipped and had numerous cuts that had black soot ingrained in them! But the situation warranted that I display some authority and I feared my stepmother's wrath. By now some cauliflowers had fallen to the ground. I bent down to pick up my fallen cauliflowers and the shards of my dignity! I somehow tied it all up into a bundle again and yelled at the ruffians not to touch my cauliflowers! After all, wasn't I a 16 year old dorai? (albeit an illtreated one) They got the message and backed away. One of them even helped me to hoist the bundle onto my head. I thanked him. As a dorai, I had to show some courtesy!

As I entered the market gate with my cauliflower bundle there was a little wooden shack to the left. A guy who looked just like one of the ruffians, I had just encountered was sitting in this shack. He stretched his hand out and started to say something to me. Thinking that he also was after my cauliflowers, I ignored him and ran past him into the market. I could still hear his annoyed protests. I reached the vegetable stalls and put my bundle on the dirty ground. I stood there like an idiot, wondering what to do. Vendors who didn't own stalls had to sit on the ground on folded sacks with their vegetables spread in front of them. I didn't bring a sack and I was not willing to sit on the damp dirty ground! Suddenly a young boy came up to me and told me that he had been sent by the guy in the shack at the market gate. It was his duty to collect a municipal tax on produce brought into the market. I hadn't paid my tax! I felt foolish and rendered unto Caesar the things that were Caeser's! (although it was pandit Nehru's image on the coin!)

After a while, I suddenly heard an endearing female voice say, "Va Kanne". I turned towards the sound and saw a buxom vegetable woman squatting on the ground not far from me. She had been watching me for a long time. I noticed she had cabbages but no cauliflowers. She asked me how I got the scar on my face. The scar was the result of one of my stepmother's tantrums, when she would fling a spoon or fork at my face! The vegetable woman asked me if I had been in a fight. To simplify matters I nodded my head. She stared at me and said, " No, that amma has done it"! She had seen me many times accompanying my stepmother to the market, laden with heavy bags. She was no student of psychology, but she was shrewd enough to size up the relationship between me and my stepmother! By now, I already felt accepted into the Vegetable Sellers Club! She told me to bring my bundle close to her. Bringing my bundle in close proximity to her also brought me within sniffing distance of her! This was no grabbing of cauliflowers! This was a totally different approach! Ruffians, I could handle, but feminine guile? No way! She lovingly rested a hand on my prize cauliflowers. I could see she coveted them! Her other hand disappeared into the folds of her sari. I detected some movement. There was some vigorous scratching somewhere in the northern regions. She asked me how much I wanted for my cauliflowers. I said Rs. 3.00 each! She cackled with laughter, revealing red stained teeth. To her my price was absurd and she told me, I would never get that price! The hand stopped scratching and moved south! I panicked! But it was only to retrieve her comfort pouch tucked in at her waist. To those who had not observed rural South Indian women in the 60's, a comfort pouch is a little cloth bag with a draw string, tucked into the sari near the right hip. It usually contained an assortment of betel leaves, areca nuts from the emerald green areca forests of Mettupalayam, some tobacco plugs and a small dabba of chunaam (lime). The dabba was similar to Mr. Chandra Shekhar's snuff box! sometimes there would also be a small cutter for cutting dried tobacco leaves and areca nuts. She took out all these ingredients, put some in a betel leaf smeared with the lime paste. She folded this concoction and stuffed it into her mouth and began to chew. These women knew how to cope with stress! They never needed a visit to the psychiatrist nor to the dentist! The comfort pouch was the cure all! She asked me how old I was. I felt the conversation was getting too personal. She looked me over as if I was a prize radish! Was she eyeing me as a future son-in-law? I panicked and decided to finish the transaction, before she could ask me what my "sambalam" was! I quickly haggled over the price and finally settled on an amount that fell far short of what my step mum had dictated. It was still more than what the ruffians had offered me! I decided that this woman deserved to have my vegetables and make a buck or two off me! She had earned it! I accepted her money, thanked her and hurried away before she could seal the deal by offering me her comfort pouch! As I sauntered out of the market and got into the bus, I felt like John Bunyan's pilgrim who had suddenly lost his burden! What would my stepmother say, when I got home? That, dear reader, is another story!

Peter Greene (1967)

8:18 PM  
Blogger Peter Greene said...

WAIT UNTIL DARK - MY INTRODUCTION TO THE BEDBUG

By Peter Greene

I had gone to I.N.S Venduruthy in Cochin to get recruited into the Navy. I had finished my written tests and physicals, but still had to do some medical tests. I was told to go back home and come back after three days. The Officer whom I was staying with in the Naval Base had just left on vacation. I did not relish the prospect of making the trip back to Coonoor! My stepmother's farewell warning to me when I left home was, "Do not darken my doorway again"! I said Amen to that and looked forward to my new life in the Navy. I felt a sense of freedom as I left my house in Coonoor for the last time!
As I didn't have a place to stay and I was hesitant to make an effort to meet my mother's relations in Vypeen, I approached the base Supply Officer and told him my predicament. I had only Rs.10.00 in my pocket.The supply officer was Cdr. Mammen, a good friend of my father's. He pulled some executive strings and arranged for me to stay in the Signal School barracks. Even though I was not yet inducted into the Navy, I was given accomodation and food, free of charge. But I had to do whatever the other guys did in the barracks. It was a fair trade off!

At night I was shown my "chaarpaai". A Chaarpaai is a wooden frame bed with coir rope stretched tightly round the frame. I had never slept on one of these before! I found everyone removing their bedding from the chaarpaais and taking their bedding out into the verandah. I wondered why eveyone was doing this. I asked a North Indian guy near me with a beard, why everyone was going outside to sleep on the verandah. He said one word in Hindi, "Khhatmull"! I did not want to reveal my ignorance of Hindi, so I never asked what Khhatmull meant. The Hindi vocabulary that dear Mr. Chandrashekhar had imparted to me, did not consist of this word! I switched off the lights in the barracks as the bugler sounded "Pipe Down" on the public address system at 2200 hrs. I was the only one lying on my chaarpaai in the dark barracks! I tossed and turned on my uncomfortable bed. There was no mattress, but a thin dhurrie between the coir ropes and my back. Some of the signal school guys had started to snore by now. I wondered if they were practising their morse code in their sleep!

Then the invading armies attacked! I was bitten all over and started scratching like crazy! Now you must remember that I had never seen or felt a bedbug in the Nilgiris. I had never been to Bedford Talkies either! The bedbugs had been deprived of their nightly ration of blood, for days! They gorged on my "O+" haemoglobin greedily! I now understood what the word Khhatmull meant! It was too late! I could have got up and gone outside to sleep in the verandah, but my stubbornness kept me in my chaarpaais. I had the satisfacton of slaughtering quite a few of the pests between my thumb and forefinger. The signal school guys must have thought me an idiot! Somehow I endured the night and woke up the next morning, a much wiser man! The call of the bugle sounded and "Hands to tea" was announced. I made my way to the lavatories where I had to stand in a queue. I would relish that hot mug of tea later.

Later I learnt a Hindi film song about a bedbug;

"Dheere se jaana khatiyan me,
Oh, Khhatmull, dheere se jaana, khatiyan me!

Soyee hai rajkumari,
Dekhrahi hai meete sapne!
Ja, ja chup jao, bhagiyan me,
Oh, khhatmull, dheere se jaana khatiyan me!

"Tread softly in the bed little bedbug,tread softly!
The princess is fast asleep!
She is having sweet dreams!
Go, hurry and hide yourself in the garden!
Tread softly, little bedbug, tread softly in the bed"!
I was now introduced to the bedbug and I would come to know that bedbugs were very much an integral part of the Navy! Perhaps they were necessary to keep our blood pressure down!

Peter Greene.

10:27 PM  
Blogger Peter Greene said...

Kitchen Science & Black Magic
By Peter Greene

Life in Coonoor during the '50's and '60's was a bit like the Dark Ages! Education co-existed with ignorance and superstition as this story will reveal. Mythology and tradition prevailed! Sorcerers and spell casters and removers flourished. Children were warned to keep away from gnarled and twisted trees or huge oddly shaped rocks and desolate lakes and ponds that were supposed to be haunted. 12 noon and 12 midnight were bad times to be caught loitering near such places. On full moon nights, if you happened to be out of the house and got the heady scent of Queen of the Night blossoms, then there was sure to be a Mohini devil lurking nearby to entice and ensnare some adolescent! As a young boy, I got this scent often and scurried home fast! As a teenager, the smell of Queen of the Night or Jasmine, had the opposite effect on me! It produced a stirring in the loins and made me linger around for this elusive Mohini she- devil to magically appear, but alas none materialised!

Richard and I were at home and enjoying a tea time snack of bread and home made jam, when there was a knock on the door and a female voice calling out, " Maa, Bilberry venumaa?" We opened the door and let in the fruit woman who used to visit us regularly to sell us the fruits of the season. My grandmother used to make the fruits into jam and the fruit woman capitalised on this habit. She walked in with her basket laden with ripe dark maroon bilberries. Now a word about the fruit vendor; She hailed from Andhra and tied her hair in a loose knot. The knot of hair hung to the side of her head rather than the customary back of the head! She usually wore a sari and blouse, but sometimes dispensed with the blouse and just wrapped her upper torso with her sari pallu, which caused Richard and I to keenly observe her fruits! We sat at our rough hewn dining table and the fruit lady sat nearby on the floor with her basket at her side. My grandmother brought big containers and the weighing of bilberries and haggling over the price began in earnest. All the while the woman couldn't stop looking hungrily at our jam sandwiches and we of course looked inquisitively at her fruits! The transaction completed, the woman heaved her basket onto her head and went her way.

The same night, Richard and I developed a severe stomach pain! We tossed and turned during the night. Our grandmother noticed our discomfort and decided to do something about it the next day. When our maidservant, Emily turned up in the morning, my grandmother consulted with her and discussed our stomach pain. Both were in agreement that some one had cast her/his evil eye on us while we were eating and that had caused our severe stomach aches! Now I would like to mention here that my grandmother was not illiterate like Emily. She had studied nursing and had served as the matron of Lawley Hospital till 1956. But this didn't prevent her from being superstitious. It was decided that Emily who had some experience with removing the evil eye, would finish her work around noon, go home prepare for the spell removal and come to our house just after dusk. Emily had acquired some knowledge of the black arts from her mother who in turn had acquired it from her mother. We were told of the impending exorcism and waited in fear and awe! Emily did her work as usual, smug in the knowledge that even though we were better educated than her, she knew some secrets that had been handed down for generations and we needed her expertise! Emily was given her usual coffee with an extra lump of jaggery in it and an extra heaping of rice and curry in her plate! After all she needed sustenance to do battle with the devil after dusk! My grandmother also went to the market in lower Coonoor with Richard and me in tow to buy a lump of Alum crystal (Aluminium Sulphate). This was required by Emily for her impending riutual.

Emily turned up after dusk duly prepared to do battle with the devil. She had had a bath and wore clean clothes and jasmine in her hair. Emily fetched the bamboo sieve that we used to separate the chaff from the rice. It had been smeared with cowdung recently. Emily arranged some wicked looking long red chillies in the sieve. She then sprinkled a handfull of rock salt on the chillies and placed the lump of Alum in the middle of this potent array. We watched in wonder and awe! Emily lapped it all up and enjoyed her newfound sense of importance and the admiration of her eager audience! She went to our kitchen broom that was made of the middle ribs of the coconut palm and selected a few sticks. She broke the broom sticks in half and placed it on the sieve. We reasoned that the broomsticks were to poke the devil in the evil eye, the chillies and salt were for forcing down the devil's throat and the lump of alum was for chucking at the devil when he ran away! Her preparations done, Emily made Richard and me stand near each other in the middle of our dining room. All doors and windows were locked (for the devil not to escape?) She lifted the sieve and it's powerful witch condiments in both her hands and proceeded to move the sieve in large circles vertically around our scared heads, all the while muttering something softly. We could not make out what she was saying. This procedure was called a " Thallai Suthu" and was quite commonly practised by servants for their mistresses! After the rounding of the head ceremony was over, Emily carried the sieve and it's contents to the fireplace in the kitchen. We all followed in a long procession. Emily took the chillies, salt and broomsticks and threw it in the blazing oven. The salt grains burst with loud crackles and we thought that the devil was spitting at us in anger! The burning chillies gave out an acrid smoke that assailed our eyes and nostrils! Was it sulphur reminiscent of hell?
I wondered at the wisdom of throwing the devil in the fire! Wasn't that his natural element in hell? But he sure seemed angry! The alum was not thrown in the oven but kept aside. My grandmother was instructed to put the alum lump in the hot embers of the fire at night when all the cooking and heating was done. Emily was confident that by the next morning, our stomach pain would have gone and the face of the person who cast the evil eye on us would magically appear on the alum! When all the firewood had burned out just before we went to bed, the alum crystal was placed amidst the glowing coals and hot ashes in the oven. We were so caught up with the casting out of the evil eye ritual, that we completely forgot about our stomach aches! We went to bed exhausted after the exorcism and thought about whose face we would see on the alum, the next morning.

At the crack of dawn, Richard and me woke up early and rushed to the kitchen. We took the tongs and retrieved the alum and brushed all the ashes off. We stared in wonder at the alum crystal. It was still warm from it's night in the bed of coals! The lump of alum had expanded in the heat and its smooth surface contours had changed dramatically! We could clearly make out the face of a woman on the surface of the alum! The woman wore her hair in a loose knot and the knot hung at the side of her head! Our stomach pains had mysteriously vanished! This is a true story that really happened to us. It is not my intention to reinforce or foster any kind of belief in anyone or any ritual. I am merely telling a story that intrigued me and I have tried to describe it exactly as it happened. Unfortunately Richard is not around to corroborate my story! I bore no ill will towards the fruit woman and I was hoping she would come to no harm. Much to my relief, she turned up at our door after a month with a basket of fresh yellow cape gooseberries! If she only knew what her last visit had caused in our household!
Dear reader, it is up to you to make of this story what you will! I do not recollect what happened to the alum crystal. I wish I had kept it! Can science and black magic exist together? sure they can!

Peter Greene 1967

8:20 PM  
Blogger Stanescoonoor said...

Jappa Mani was our ebony skinned live in maid when we lived in The meadows, Cornwall Road, Coonoor-1 .The graduation for her first born was mom's anxiety no. 1. Every time this anxiety got the better of her she would get hold of Jappa and cajole her to use her rosary to give us a glimpse into the future.

The cross of the rosary was made to dangle freely with the other end firmly anchored in her hand . The sorrounding atmosphere would turn solemn and Jappa would invoke god and intone her query "---- BA pass aguvara ?" The cross was supposed to oscillate vigorously for the affirmative and hang deadweight for the negative. It remained dead weight more often than it did oscillate ( with due allowance for the natural quiver of a firmly held fist). And he did not go for a BA. He did a diploma !!
Now, together with Peters experience and the many times that I have had fevers and discomfort exorcised with a fistfull of dry chillies and salt suthuued around my head and then thrown into the live hearth leads me to believe that there are more things on earth than man can understand.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Peter Greene said...

Film star Mumtaz visits Coonoor

It was the first period in the morning in the year 1967. Five girls and six boys sat in the std.XI class room at the end of Fritchley block. Can you imagine a class of only eleven students? We were so lucky! teachers could pay more attention to each individual, their progress, their homework, their behaviour, faults, etc. This had both advantages and disadvantages. Practitioners of mischief did not appreciate the undivided attention and scrutiny! Every class had it's saint and imp. The "saint" title in our class would certainly go to Theophilus Selvanathan. Theo was the gentlest, holiest, patient, most innocent and peace loving individual I have ever met. He never fought with anyone, never spoke rudely to anyone, never did any wrong! Even in the XI th. std. he still wore khaki shorts!. If you were to visit Theo's house down Cornwall Road, you would always return with a generous bag full of peaches, pears, plums and tree tomatoes fresh from Theo's orchard. To the ever hungry Kally, this was a real treat. Which brings us to the "imp" in our class-- you guessed it, Kally or Kalyana Raman Kittu Iyer (if you prefer the tongue twister) of Shanmugham general stores and later Gowri Shankar coffee bar fame.

Going back to that day in 67, the class was buzzing with excitement! Our intelligence provider, Robby Mani had just brought the news that Film Star Mumtaz was doing a film shoot at our very own Ritz Hotel next door. Alas! the timing was such that it took place during our three last periods in the afternoon. Mrs. Jessie Rajan (nee Peters) was our class teacher and would be teaching us History during the first of those last three periods. This was to be followed by a games period and a Tamil period. Our Tamil teacher, Mr. Benjamin was absent that day which meant self study in the class room, which suited our little plan fine. The only problem was the history lesson with our very strict Mrs. Rajan. Girls and boys actually came together and conferred in whispers as to how to attend the film shoot. We were all partners in crime that day including poor Theo ( he was forced into it by the majority of us). We knew Mr. Stanley Bird our P.T. master would not miss or mind our absence. "Good riddance to the rascals", he would mutter under his breath as he busied himself with raking the sand near the high jump pit or painting the basket ball posts. The "ever ready for mischief" Kally proposed that we play truant and cut classes for the last three periods which came after our lunch break. The girls and Theo were the hardest to convince. After much persuasion, all eleven of us agreed to carry out our plan. We decided we could not avoid punishment by Mrs. Rajan. That was a very small price to pay for the once- in- a- lifetime chance of getting up close to the heart throb of millions-- Mumu! Even Theo was ready to accept the inevitable.The plan was executed with military like precision. At lunch break, we all collected our books, bags etc. and we whiled away our time on the play ground trying not to show the guilty looks on our faces. At the appointed hour we slowly slinked out of the school compound in two's and three's, so as not to attract any attention and as soon as we reached the road above the school, we relaxed and excitement set in. We took up our positions outside the front entrance to Ritz hotel, but just out of the hotel property. We waited patiently until we saw a flurry of activity going on as cameras, lighting and other filming paraphernelia was set up. Director, stage hands and extras milled around. The tension built up and the excitement began to mount. We were so thrilled at the prospect of seeing a film star. By now our little crowd of eleven had grown considerably as passers- by joined us sensing something great was going to happen. We guarded our vantage spots, jealously! After what seemed like an eternity, a chauffeur driven car appeared and slowly drove to the front entrance of the hotel. The actor ( I don't even remember his name, who cares) got out and went around to Mumtaz's side of the car and opened her door. He took her by the hand and they both walked into the hotel lobby. This scene was shot over a few retakes and it was finally over. History was made at the Ritz hotel that day and also in our hearts! The actual shooting scene was very small and fleeting, but it lasts for a lifetime in our memories! Mumtaz lived up to her reputation! She was dazzlingly beautiful, charming and sexy! We felt very happy and rewarded. It was worth all the trouble we took. I don't remember the name of the film. Perhaps some one out there can? We all decided to go to Mani's cafe near Ritz hotel following the shooting. (No, this was not owned by Robby Mani) We had a vadai and a coffee apiece at Mani's and then we finally bade goodbye to each other. We went our separate ways flushed with happiness. I'm sure that the boys dreamed of Mumtaz that night, and the girls, well, youv'e got to ask them!
Actors and actresses in this real life drama: Shobha Panicker, Usha Suri (sadly Usha is no longer with us on planet Earth)), Amy Sheeran, Janaki Devi Suganchand, Mary Joseph, N. Gopalan (Gopi from Aravankadu), Peter Greene, Mohan Gopalan, Kalyana Raman Kittu Iyer, Theophilus Selvanathan.
Regards,

Peter.

10:30 AM  
Blogger shivats said...

Hi Peter,
After a makeover as Gowri Shankar Coffee bar, that family has reincarnated the general store as Shanmugam & CO, and running in the same place
Warm Regards
Shiva

7:47 AM  
Blogger Stanescoonoor said...

Contributed By Peter Greene:

Letter carrier attacked by squirrel, taken to hospital
OIL CITY, PA.
Letter carriers occasionally have to deal with angry dogs or maybe even a spider's nest in a mailbox, but a mean squirrel?
Barbara Dougherty,30, a U.S. Postal Service employee, said she was attacked and bitten Monday by a squirrel while delivering mail in Oil City, about 121 kms. north of Pittsburgh.
"It was a freak thing. It was traumatic", Dougherty told the Derrick newspaper. "I saw it there on the porch, put the mail in the box and turned to walk away and it jumped on me".
She said the animal ran up her leg and bit her.
An ambulance took Dougherty to a hospital, where she was treated for cuts and scratches. The squirrel was killed with a BB gun and sent to a lab to be tested for rabies. Unquote.

At this time of year, squirrels are either looking for nuts or looking for nooks and crannies to squirrel their nuts away for Winter! George, why did the frustrated squirrel bite the lady? Was it because of the absence of nuts? Please use your Sherlock Holmes deduction to arrive at a logical conclusion!
P.S. The location of the bites and scratches was not disclosed! I have to be very careful of the pesky little rodents! Nuts are very expensive!

1:43 AM  
Blogger Stanescoonoor said...

Peters contribution was chewed and chewed by George and here is the CUD :

Peter, I passed on the matter of the squirrel to Sherlock Holmes and this is what happened:


“Seen the report on the squirrel that ran up the legs of a postman, Watson?”

“I did, Holmes! I wonder what peculiar circumstances led it to do that.”

“Considering the evidence that we have before us, I cannot help but come to the conclusion that it’s related to the evolution of the species.”

“Evolution of postmen?”

“No, no, Watson. Evolution of squirrels! Observe, Watson, that the squirrel ran up the legs of the postman and gave him a smart nip. This, you will agree, was to encourage the postman to run. And as the postman gathered momentum the squirrel would have launched itself into flight from the shoulders of the postman. Watson, we are seeing evolution happen right in front of our eyes. Squirrels will soon fly.”

“But why would squirrels want to fly, Holmes?

“The same reason birds want to fly, stupid!”

“Holmes!”

“Sorry Watson. What I meant was, birds want to fly stupid. No comma between fly and stupid, ok?”

“Ok, ok. But isn’t evolution supposed to take place over millions of years, Holmes?”

“Sure. You see, squirrels have existed as squirrels for thirty million years, and they now have to go on to the next level. This, as it happens, is the thirty millionth and first year of their existence and they are ready to take their rightful place in Darwin’s scheme of things. And they are going to fly! I’m sure we are going to see many more postmen being urged to act as momentum providers for squirrels.”

“So will squirrels all over the world be flying, Holmes?

“I wouldn’t think so, Watson. Certainly the squirrels in tropical countries that have been swallowed by snakes for millions of years have other plans. Reports say that squirrels in tropical countries have been visiting industrial units to have their teeth sharpened. These squirrels are evolving into mongooses in order to be able to attack their mortal enemies, the snakes.”

“How do you think the snakes will respond to this, Holmes?”

“Unfortunately, the snakes really can’t do much. Snakes have existed as snakes only for fourteen million years. And it is not yet time for them to evolve further. They just have to look for food among the rats, which again will begin flying after three million years at which time the snakes will have to be content with 2 Minute Noodles or thakkali sadham.”

“So would you say there’s no hope for postmen in the near future?”

“Not exactly. Once the squirrels start flying they won’t have a problem, except perhaps when their wives start evolving into lions.”

“What!”

“You see, Watson, postmen have been postmen for hardly a few hundred years, while wives have been wives for 34 million years.”

“Would they evolve into female lions, Holmes?”

“I should think so, Watson”

“And what about postmen?”

“They would become Assistant Postmasters”

“Would they continue to live together.”

“Who?”

“The Assitant Postmasters and their lion wives.”

“They would, but its going to be a very uneasy relationship.”

“I can imagine, Holmes.”


Cheers

George

1:45 AM  
Blogger Peter Greene said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:29 AM  
Blogger Ramesh Babu said...

Pangs, Over & Easy and Homework.
Is it the homework or the pangs of growing up hungry that prompts me to write this.
I did home work fast and good but my hunger was a daily nag. What next - trade home work for food. I was lucky, I sat next to Ramesh Kumar, who hated Over & easy eggs [the ones that had the yolk raw and runny]. my pangs were too strong to discriminate. The table top was no place to trade with 'sneakers' and hungry eyes around. We resorted to under the table trading. He would pass the runny egg, I would gently nest it my pockets, finish my meal, leae the dining hall and find a quiet place to get the over & easy and gulp it down. Man I was hungry. Thanks to the different ways eggs can be made, some take a disliking to some ways and some of us could keep of the pangs.
This went on smoothly from 1966 until I left Stanes for Campion in 1968.
Ramesh Babu
1965-66-67.
Stds 3-4-5.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Ramesh Babu said...

Pangs, Over & Easy and Homework.
Is it the homework or the pangs of growing up hungry that prompts me to write this.
I did home work fast and good but my hunger was a daily nag. What next - trade home work for food. I was lucky, I sat next to Ramesh Kumar, who hated Over & easy eggs [the ones that had the yolk raw and runny]. my pangs were too strong to discriminate. The table top was no place to trade with 'sneakers' and hungry eyes around. We resorted to under the table trading. He would pass the runny egg, I would gently nest it my pockets, finish my meal, leae the dining hall and find a quiet place to get the over & easy and gulp it down. Man I was hungry. Thanks to the different ways eggs can be made, some take a disliking to some ways and some of us could keep of the pangs.
This went on smoothly from 1966 until I left Stanes for Campion in 1968.
Ramesh Babu
1965-66-67.
Stds 3-4-5.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Ramesh Babu said...

Pangs, Over & Easy and Homework.
Is it the homework or the pangs of growing up hungry that prompts me to write this.
I did home work fast and good but my hunger was a daily nag. What next - trade home work for food. I was lucky, I sat next to Ramesh Kumar, who hated Over & easy eggs [the ones that had the yolk raw and runny]. my pangs were too strong to discriminate. The table top was no place to trade with 'sneakers' and hungry eyes around. We resorted to under the table trading. He would pass the runny egg, I would gently nest it my pockets, finish my meal, leae the dining hall and find a quiet place to get the over & easy and gulp it down. Man I was hungry. Thanks to the different ways eggs can be made, some take a disliking to some ways and some of us could keep of the pangs.
This went on smoothly from 1966 until I left Stanes for Campion in 1968.
Ramesh Babu
1965-66-67.
Stds 3-4-5.

11:45 AM  
Blogger shivats said...

Robert Stanes Story- This established Stanes Coonoor in 1875

Page 1
48BAHNR 3: 48-57 ROBERT STANES (1841-1932): A MERCHANT ‘SON’ OFGEORGE MÜLLER Peter Cousins Roy Coad, author of the standard history of the Brethren, describes Robin Stanes’s book, Stanes History 1771-1964, privately published in 2002, as ‘important on at least three counts: in its own right as an interesting personal insight into English-in-India family life during the Raj, as a small corrective to much of the current ‘politically correct’ conception of the British and British missionaries in India, and not least as a contribution to Brethren history’. This paper is based on Stanes’s book, supplemented in a few places by independent research. Our story begins with James Richford Stanes, born in 1771, and his son James (1796-1880). In 1822 J.R. Stanes became a Freeman of the Merchant Taylors. He (or possibly his son) is described in official records as ‘a Chinaman’, probably because he sold porcelain (either he or his son is described elsewhere as ‘a Staffordshire warehouseman). But he took an opportunity to go into partnership with his brother-in-law, a sea captain, and thus became a partner in the shipping line, Brass and Stanes. By 1873, the directories refer to Stanes and Watson as East India commission agents and merchants. When he died he left £9,000 and a house in Hampstead but ‘doubtless much more invested in coffee in India’. From c.1802 until c.1835 the Stanes family worshipped at St Botolph’s, Aldgate. But James’s fifth child and fourth son, Tom (1837-1905) was, like his younger siblings, baptised at the Weigh House Chapel in Fish Street. The denominational shift is significant; Weigh House was Congregational and the minister
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49was Thomas Binney, who wrote ‘Eternal light’ and whom Matthew Arnold described as ‘the representative Nonconformist of his generation’. The Spectator called him ‘the great Dissenting Bishop’ and, according to the Companion to Congregational Praise, Binney ‘made a special appeal to the young men who came in crowds to hear him’. At this time James Stanes would have been about 39. It is not unreasonable to think that the move to Weigh House was related to the contemporary sense of dissatisfaction with the established church.1It was in 1833 that Newman delivered the sermon on ‘National Apostasy’ that is conventionally regarded as marking the beginning of the Oxford Movement. The Indian Connection James Stanes had seven children. His daughters, Jane and Isabella, do not feature in this summary, but a link with India was established in 1852, when the second eldest son, James (1830-52), went to Southern India and bought an estate (‘Runnymede’) just below Coonoor where he grew coffee. Very soon afterwards he was drowned while swimming and his eldest brother William (1826-65) went out to clear up the estate and was enchanted by the climate of the Nilgiris. He settled there and subsequently married Harriet Scudder, who had been born to missionary parents in Ceylon in 1831, and who was later the aunt of Ida Scudder (1870-1960), founder of the Christian Medical College in Vellore. After twenty years as a planter, William and Harriet’s son William went to Australia as a CSSM worker, financing his work by income from his Nilgiri estates. He travelled widely and 1Cf. e.g. Timothy C. F. Stunt, From Awakening to Secession: Radical Evangelicals in Switzerland and Britain 1815-1835(Edinburgh, 2001).
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50died at Santos in Brazil. Thomas, the youngest son but one, soon followed his brothers in 1853/4. Later James Stanes visited India himself and was so enthusiastic about what he saw there that he sent his youngest son, Robert, out to Coonoor in 1858. Robert’s journey from Madras to Coonor is an interesting example of Christian (or evangelical) ‘networking’. He stayed with a member of the Scudder family at Chittoor and went on to Bangalore, staying en route with the Revd Campbell of the London Missionary Society; later he visited a sugar factory at Pahbully (or Paulhully?) which was run by Frank Groves. Frank was the younger son (born in 1820) of Anthony Norris Groves. Born in 1795, Anthony Norris Groves was one of the founders of the Brethren movement; he died on 20 May 1853, having spent his last 24 years as a missionary in Iran and India. According to Roy Coad, in a private communication, the Memoir of the late Anthony Norris Groves (21857) shows that part of Groves’s work in India was taken up after his death by the Scudder family. The Groves Memoir also states that ‘his own beloved sons in Pahbully’ had taken on some of Anthony Norris Groves's work there.2In 1847 ‘Mr. F. A .Groves arrived with his wife in India, and the Paulhully Sugar Works commenced’.3Later Robert’s second daughter, May, married Nosco Groves, who was presumably a son of Frank. (The F.W. Groves referred to in the Stanes book as managing two coffee estates was presumably another son unless the initials in one or other of the books are incorrect and it was Frank himself.) At Ootacamund (‘Ooty’) Robert met not only his brothers but also Colonel Robert Shedden Dobbie. Dobbie, whose Pocket 2[Mary Groves], Memoir of the late Anthony Norris Groves by his Widow (London, 21857),p.520. 3Ibid., p.412.
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51Dictionary of English and Hindustani was published in1847, is commemorated in Holy Trinity Church, Bangalore. ‘Lt. Col. Robert Shedden Dobbie, Commandant 39th Regiment N.I., who died at Bangalore 2 May, 1868 47 yrs’. The unusual second name suggests that he was related to General Sir William George Shedden Dobbie, best known for his role in the defence of Malta during World War Two and for his strong evangelical faith. But since General Dobbie was born in 1879 and his father William was in the Indian civil service, it seems likely that he was a posthumous nephew of the Colonel. It was not until 1869 that Robert married. His bride was Harriet Huntingdon Harris, the daughter of an Indian Army Major General. The marriage took place in a Brethren stronghold, Clifton Bethesda, where the bride was ‘in fellowship’, and it was George Muller who officiated. The previous thirty-five years had seen almost unbelievable growth in Muller’s charitable and faith-based work. This began in 1834. By 1874, according to Müller,4this included sixty day schools (thirty-seven in England and Wales, ten in Spain, three in Italy and seven in British Guiana); these were fully supported, eleven others were assisted. Of Sunday schools, twenty-eight were fully supported and fifteen others assisted. Seven adult schools were fully supported, three in England, three in Spain and one in India. 38,819 attended these schools. Bibles and New Testaments were sold or given away, tracts distributed and missionaries supported. During the year ending 26 May 1874, £10,816.2s.10½d was distributed among 189 missionaries.In 1874 Müller was responsible to feed, clothe and educate and place in employment more than 2,000 children. He raised funds not by public appeal but by prayer; he did not even publish names of donors. 4[George Müller], A Narrative of some of the Lord’s Dealings with George Muller, written by Himself (London, 81881).
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52According to John Winter, a son of Robert’s daughter Maud, although Robert’s formal connection with the Brethren eventually ceased, Müller was the person he followed and admired most in his life. The web site of Stanes Higher Secondary School, Coimbatore, quotes their founder as having said that on one of his visits to England, he had a deeply religious experience after which he became ‘religious as well as charitable’. It is not unreasonable to conjecture that this may have been the crucial occasion. The Schools This account will show how his lifelong admiration for Müller influenced Robert Stanes’s subsequent charitable work. But as early as 1862 he had founded what was to become Stanes Higher Secondary School in Coimbatore. It began as a day school and a Sunday school and now has 2,000 pupils. Robert’s memoirs explain his motivation. ‘When I came to Coimbatore I was anxious to do some good amongst the Anglo-Indian people who were much neglected and started a Sunday school for children and finding them entirely uneducated I decided to start a day school also and opened this under a pandal attached to the teacher’s house.’ He was then 21. His brother Tom shared Robert’s faith. Although children loved him he may have been rather more strict than his younger brother. An occasion is recalled of a Sunday when some of his nieces and their friends were playing tunes on a piano. “Well children,” he allegedly said, “you play the piano well enough; but now get down on your knees and pray to God for forgiveness for your sin in not keeping the Sabbath day holy.” In 1875 he founded what is now Stanes High School, Coonoor (900 pupils in 1991). It is hard to believe that the two brothers were not influenced by memories of George Müller’s enterprise. Their concern for
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53Anglo-Indians is explained by the fact that the term was applied to children of ‘mixed’ relationships, between British men and native women—rejected by both ethnic groups. ‘A touch of the tar-brush’ was a term of contempt and rejection. But Robert allowed and perhaps even encouraged his eldest daughter, Winifred, to marry an Anglo-Indian. ‘I think he was largely colour-blind’ concludes his grandson, Robin. The motto of the Coonoor school is ‘Nisi Dominus frustra’ (‘Unless the Lord builds the house the builders labour in vain.’). The Coimbatore school (‘To God be the glory’) has links with the Church of South India and thus with the Anglican communion.. The Coonoor school is linked with the Union Church in Coonoor (‘independent evangelical and non-denominational’), of which Robert was a founder. Much of Robert’s wealth was used to build and develop the Coimbatore school. Indeed, he was criticised by members of the Stanes family for spending too much on the school at the expense of Eva and Lily, his two unmarried daughters. But Lily later kept open house for missionaries in need of a holiday in the two small houses she owned in Kotagiri. And in his old age Eva kept house for her father, aided by his devoted servant, Sebastian. A ‘high sense of honour’ In 1885 Stanes & Co went out of business. Robert recalled that ‘the firm suffered great losses and Messrs Stanes Watson failed in business, which led to the collapse of my firm. I had to begin all over again, all that I had was 500 rupees’ [about £40 at that date]. Later, in 1913, he was to be awarded the Kaiser-I-Hind gold medal for services to Coimbatore and to education. His subsequent citation for a knighthood in 1920 (cf. the citation below) refers to the ‘high sense of honour’ demonstrated when he ‘assumed responsibility and paid off the whole liabilities of the company to which he had formerly belonged’. Failure in business
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54was at that time a disgrace and Robert’s son, Fred, who was five at the time, remembered both the shame and also having to return to England on a cargo boat. Robert put it on record that ‘my dear wife endured it all without a murmur and with the greatest patience.’ He started again. ‘By God’s goodness the business again prospered.’ Although his grandson believes the Stanes spinning mills in Coimbatore were ‘not particularly generous’ in wages, yet by 1912 the company had commenced a pension fund which included the lower paid workers. The Stanes Higher Secondary School web site describes the textile mill he started in Coimbatore as ‘the forerunner to the huge textile industry of world repute which Coimbatore has today’. By 1886 there were at least four male members of the family in India, with interests in eleven tea or coffee estates. In all, sixteen Stanes men with their cousins and brothers-in-law, made a good living from tea and coffee for over a century (1856-1964). It was emphatically a family business; exemplifying, for many years the apostolic principle defined in 2 Corinthians 6:14. Apart from the schools, there remain in India two tea estate companies; T. Stanes & Co. with its subsidiaries, Stanes Motors, The United Coffee Supply Company, and a fertiliser company. Like his nephew Eric, who finally succeeded him in 1929, Robert enjoyed driving. He used to return to England fairly regularly, rent a biggish house, entertain friends and family, hire a car and travel. Once he visited the Holy Land: “I wanted to see the spots where our Lord and Saviour suffered for us.” Even in old age he was tall, attractive, imposing and genial”; he remembered children’s names. He both had a sense of humour and would intersperse his conversation with texts from Scripture. “Thy neighbour as thyself”
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551947 saw the division of the subcontinent between India and the newly-created state, Pakistan. Full independence followed in 1950. Changes of many kinds were inevitable, not least in the ownership and management of European enterprises. Robert, who had supported both of the schools financially and had established a trust fund for Coimbatore wanted to ‘tie’ the schools to his successful company, so stipulated in the trust deeds that a director of the company should be on the governing body of each school, with the proviso that the Director be a Protestant Christian. Eventually this proved impossible since the ‘new’ directors were all Brahmins. The difficulty was solved, for a time at least, by the appointment to the governing body of both schools of a distinguished Indian Christian who had been principal of a Christian college in Bangalore. In 1928 Robert was succeeded as managing director of T Stanes & Co by his son Fred, whose Christian faith sustained him through the Depression and a serious threat to the existence of the firm. The first Indian director was appointed in the same year. Twelve years later Eric Stanes took over as managing director, continuing until 1961, just a century after his great-uncle had started to cure coffee in Coimbatore. He was the son of Robert’s brother, Henry (1835-1917), who at the age of seventeen found himself in the Crimea as purser of one of his father’s ships. He witnessed the Charge of the Light Brigade and on returning home wrote: ‘War, believe me, consists of horrors, the ‘glories’ are only to be found in the fine articles written by the newspaper correspondents. Let us all pray that the time may speedily come when war shall be no more and our Lord Jesus Christ alone shall reign and rule over the whole world.’When the time came to dispose of the company Eric was concerned to find a buyer who would maintain the open-minded liberal style of the Stanes family. He turned down several bids but eventually secured an undertaking that the new proprietors
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56would see to it that the company continued to support the Christian schools. When the company had been sold, he wrote, ‘May I wish that the company continues on the principles laid down by its founder. ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself.’’ The tensions that culminated in independence were already present in 1932, when Robert Stanes died. But the notices in the Indian papers are far from presenting him as an imperialist figure, preferring to speak of this ‘missionary business man’ as ‘a Christian knight’, ‘a great gentleman’, ‘the children’s friend’ and‘the grand old man of South India’. Not only did they flock to his funeral, one Indian paper devoted a whole page to his obituary. A memoir written in 1986 by the head of the Coimbatore school sums up his career: ‘Here was no Midas who turned everything he touched into gold, but rather a simple and lovable man who made money only to give it back. . . .’ * * * * * Citation for the Honour of Knight Bachelor (1920) ‘Mr Stanes first came to India fifty-seven years ago and joined a commercial firm. Owing to financial difficulties the business had to be wound up and Mr Stanes started business on his own account. His ability and enterprise have been shown by the high position which he has won for himself in commercial circles and the high sense of honour which has always distinguished him was signally demonstrated at the outset of his career he assumed responsibility for and paid off the whole of the liabilities of the company to which he formerly belonged. His firm are the proprietors and agents of a large number of commercial undertakings in Coimbatore including the important Coimbatore Spinning and weaving Company and are also intimately connected with the planting industry. Throughout his long career Mr Stanes has taken a keen and generous interest in education more especially that of the domiciled community [sc. the Anglo-Indians]. Shortly after his arrival in India he founded
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57a school in Coimbatore for the education of poor European and Eurasian children. The school now has about two hundred children and Mr Stanes continues to manage it and undertake all financial responsibility. A similar school is maintained by him at Coonoor and he is also Chairman of the Trustees of the Breeks memorial school at Ootacamund, which is one of the most important European schools in the Presidency. His interest in education is not however confined to the domiciled community; fot many years he served as Secretary of the committee of Coimbatore College, an institution which including the connected High School has about seven hundred pupils on its rolls. The success of the College has been largely due to his capacity and generous financial assistance and he is a life member of the Committee. All movements in connection with the war work and for the benefit of soldiers and convalescents stationed in the Nilgiris have found in him a warm and generous supporter. Mr Stanes is universally respected by all sections of the community and his ability, integrity and unostentatious benevolence have won for him a unique position in the districts with which he has been connected.’

6:20 PM  
Blogger Stanes said...

THE MATHEMATICS TUTOR
By Peter Greene

When we were in school, parents and caregivers felt the need to send their children for maths tuition. The standard of maths in Stanes was quite high and comparable with other schools. Our learned Maths teacher and principal Miss Cherian, firmly believed in explaining complex math problems, only once! The students who weren't good in maths just had to beg their brilliant peers to enlighten them or get help from their parents. Hence the necessity for math tutors especially in standards, IX, X and XI. My grandmother contacted a well known maths tutor in town. His name was Mr. Na Ma Kullan. My brother Richard, I and my classmate Mohan Gopalan signed up for after school math's classes at Mr. Kullan's academy. We would pay him a modest monthly fee and we would attend his classes twice a week.

Mr. Kullan was once the Tamil teacher in Stanes school. He taught Mohan and me, Tamil as a second language. Although his pronunciation was a bit rustic ("he dippida thee stick in thee vater") he was a brilliant man! He had a prominent red , beaky nose, red frost bitten cheeks mischievous twinkling black eyes and a ready smile! The redness was due to severe exposure to the elements in many a potato and bean field in the Nilgiris! Yes,Na Ma was a true son of the soil. He was always attired in a pair of Khaki pants, a cream cotton long sleeved shirt (alays worn outside the pants), a well-worn dark brown tweed jacket a trademark woollen muffler wrapped around his neck and leather slippers. Alas Mr. Kullan did not last long as a teacher in Stanes! The school's strict insistence on the proper attire for staff, included polished leather shoes and socks (with no visible holes)and shirts had to be neatly tucked into the pants and couldn't peep out below the jacket line!. Poor Mr. Kullan found it hard to fit his rough, calloused feet into the restricting confines of uncomfortable shoes and socks! His feet thrived on and drew sustenance by direct contact with the rich Nilgiri soil! After many confrontations with the principal to shape up, the humble Mr. Kullan bowed to the school authorities and resigned from his post. He figured , he could make more money by giving tuitions in his own time and place and be his own boss. Hence the Kullan Maths Academy was born!

Mr. Kullan's Maths academy didn't need a sign board or an ostentatious edifice. News spread by word of mouth and very soon he had students coming to him from sundry schools, both English and Tamil medium. Armed with our Kodandha Raman Math text book, exercise books and pens, we set off for our first maths lesson out side the school. The Kullan Academy was located on the right side of the lower portion of steps that led from the top of Mount road down to lower Coonoor and the market. These steps were used as a convenient shortcut by pedestrians walking from upper Coonoor to lower Coonoor. These famous steps were bordered by little shops with overhangs to keep out the sun and rain. It was a veritable hub of economic activity. People also lived in the little alleys that wound their serpentine way between the shops. The steps were quite broad and had deep drains on either side. These drains were very essential to people who didn't have bathrooms. Ablutions were performed here and a small gooja of water and gravity kept the sewage flowing down the drains, till it finally reached the mighty Vannarpet river. Nothing could be done about the malodorous smell emanating from the drains. One just had to accept it as a part of life on the steps.

We found Mr. Kullan' set of two narrow green doors and entered the rustic professor's domain. The learned man's well-worn leather slippers lay outside the door like faithful sentinels! We were in awe of these slippers! To touch these slippers was a great honour and could possibly endow us with a little bit of the legendary Kullan's knowledge. The imprints of their master's toes and heels were etched into the leather by years of use.It was a very simple room, colourwashed with yellow transferrable gobi on the outside and equally transferrable , white lime (chunaam) on the inside. It was a single room, eight feet by four feet. The floor was lined with yellow reed mats made in Kerala. One wall had a high, narrow shelf on which rested Mr. Kullan's bedroll wrapped in a blanket. It was the only furniture in the room! A naked bulb hung from a long braid of dark brown electric wires from a wooden beam that held up the zinc roof. cobwebs festooned the electric wires. There were no windows in the room. Mr. Kullan sat crosslegged on the mat leaning against the wall. The spot where his head rested against the wall was adorned with a round black oily patch, a kind of halo to the clever man's intelligent head! A long iron nail was hammered into the wall at an angle of about 45 degrees, above Mr. Kullan's head. This improvised clothes peg bore the master's tweed jacket and woollen muffler. A pile of text books and exercise books occupied one corner of the room. A bundle of clothes covered by a towel lay in another corner. A long faded black umbrella with a curved yellow wooden handle hung on the inside of one of the doors. All Mr. Kullan"s worldly possessions lay in this room. Being a very frugal man of simple pleasures, that was all the master needed! His riches lay in his well educated head! We squatted down on the reed mats in cross-legged fashion opposite Mr. Kullan. Mohan had joined Richard and me outside the academy. Yes the academy was also Mr. Kullan's humble dwelling, which he rented from one of the neighbouring prosperous shpkeepers. In this humble abode, Na Ma Kullan, prayed, taught, ate, slept, lived and had his being!

We listened in rapt attention and wonder as the master expounded on theorems, logarithms , riders and equations. He would give us problems to solve and we would bend our heads diligently over our exercise books and wrack our brains , directly under the master's benevolent gaze. Sometimes, to relieve the boredom, one of us would try to draw Mr. Kullan away from the subject, by asking a question like,"Sir, why is it that girls don't like Algebra"? With a merry twinkle in his eyes, Mr. Kullan famously responded, " Algebra is a cobra that makes girls heads go gabra"!

Needless to say we had many distractions in Mr. Kullan's room. They were of the visible, audible and olfactory kind! Just across the steps opposite the academy, there was a small restaurant that served golden brown poories with potato and gravy, crisp plantain bajjies with coconut chutney, idlis, vaddes, dosais, tea and coffee. Delicious aromas would come wafting across the steps, mingling with the drain's odours and assailing our nostrils as we imbibed knowledge from Na. Ma. No doubt, this was the restaurant from where Mr. Kullan had his frugal meals. A public tap in a small cement square was situated at the side of the steps, conveniently close to Mr. Kullan's dwelling. This was where the learned man performed his morning rituals! A short distance away from this hall of learning was Royal hairdressing saloon. The saloon consisted of one barber's chair and two fly specked mirrors, a shelf with barbering acoutrements. Brillcream jars, Remy powder tins, Dettol bottles were commonly found. A long narrow piece of shiny leather strop hung from a nail in the wall. This was used to sharpen those cut throat razors that every barber worth his salt, had! In one corner of this wild west saloon there were wooden shelves built into the wall. The shelves were crammed with books. You see, the barber also ran a library of sorts! When no one occupied the lone throne and the barber idled his time by leaning against his doorposts, furtive school boys eager to explore the dark unknown, whet their curiosity and increase their worldly wisdom, would sneak into the saloon, fork out some hard gained pocket money to the barber and pick a book off the shelf. They had to scan the nefarious contents of the forbidden books quickly for fear of being discovered by an adult passing on the steps. They were also allowed the privilege of sitting on the lone chair. Suffice it to say that the books found in the barber's library would never be found in school or public libraries!

Back in the academy, we were so cramped in the small room, that our noses were inches away from the great man's toes. As I stared intently at his toes, they reminded me of freshly dug Nilgiri potatoes! I had mentioned earlier on, that Mr. Kullan was a true son of the soil and some of that soil still clung to his toes! Mr. Kullan, from time to time, would ask Mohan, who sat nearest the door, to peek out the door and read the time from the bus stand clock tower. Mohan carried out this job faithfully and without murmur! Mr. Kullan had no need for a wrist watch or clock! I really admired the man! When five minutes to the appointed hour were remaining, Mr Kullan would terminate the lesson. Mohan would protest that we still had five minutes to go, but Mr. Kullan had other students coming and he needed a bit of time in between classes, to do whatever a learned man does when his students were not around! We would pack up our books, thank Mr. Kullan and wish him a good night. Mohan would head down the steps towards his father's tailoring shop near E.V. Paddu's pharmacy. Richard and I would would trudge up the long steps weary of body and mind, to Grey's Hill. We had a long climb ahead. Alas all good things must come to an end and when I reached standard X, and my grandmother could no longer look after us, we were denied the luxury of maths tuition! I had to depend on Mohan, who continued under the tutelage of Mr. Kullan and Robby Mani, the maths wizard. God bless Mr. Kullan and may his tribe incease!

5:40 PM  
Blogger suresh said...

Hi Everyone,

This is to inform you that our AGM is fixed for the 8th Sept 2007 at the School at 5 PM and thereafter
for a dinner at Vivek Tourist Home.
Bedford,Coonoor.All are welcomed.
Best Regards,
Suresh .R.
Vice President

3:22 AM  
Blogger josh said...

RELIVING CLASS X DAYS

Its great to discover xcoonoorstanites blog. Wonderful that Stanes Coonoor has a website though I was not successful in registering my profile in the alumni page when I attempted twice.

I am from the batch of 1982 batch of X ICSE, fond rememberences of Mr.Wood teaching Economics with his humourous examples. His little story explaining'Law of Diminishing Returns' is still green in my mind. Not to forget dear old Simbha who used to follow him and lie down next to his table. Ann Wood calling him 'daddy' in class and Mr.Wood telling her - "no daddy maddy here". Mr.Dawson's ghost stories are not to be forgotten and Mr.Wood's hunting stories were all there to keep us engrossed. Its indeed very very nostalgic.

May you grow from grace to grace dear Stanes.

6:19 AM  
Blogger Stanes said...

The Journey is my Reward:



By Tushar Dutt [1970-BTEE]
dutt.tushar@gmail.com,
Land:91-11-26890146,Mobile:9811112030

" Zindagi ka safar,
Ek aisa safar,
Koi samjha nahin,
Koi jaana nahin"- from 70's movie Safar'
(Life's a journey, neither understood, nor comprehended)

On another note…
"Jo sochta hai,wo hotha nahin,
Jo nahin hotha,usai socho,
Aur karo,jo hotha nahin"!
("What's expected,does not happen,
So think,what's not expected,
And then,do the incredible!")…

On this positively crazy 'hotha dai' note,I embark on my enjoyable safar'…...…

It was mid '65 when the news of my figuring in the IIT entrance list, was broken in' by the 'illustrious' Monishi Sanyal, later recipient of the 'All Rounders Governor's Medal". It came as a somewhat rude shock though-I would soon have to leave St Xaviers', the hostel, the idyllic settings, the evenings, the restaurants and the crooners of Park Street, Calcutta.

Life had to move on. At the interview in Kharagpur, being the nearest center, despite the discouragement by some seniors regarding the hectic 'German' workshop training, my mind was set on IITM---main reasons being proximity to the city and knowledge of the local lingo,or perhaps, it was destiny.

I happened to do the last few years of schooling in Nilgiris at Stanes, Coonoor and was 'blackmailed' to learn Tamil in three months flat, prior to the High school university exam-- tall order that. A pass in Tamil as a third language was must, failing which I would surely fail the whole exam! It was Tamil all day, lunch breaks, et al. I still remember my teacher, Ms James, sharing her uppuma lunch. I finally scraped through with 17/50, 15 being the pass mark! But then Madras University would not give me college admission, as I was underaged, and hence I landed up at St Xaviers, Calcutta, age 14, circa 1963.

The years at IIT were not exactly a breeze, thoroughly enjoyable nevertheless right from start. I remember the first 'commissioning' journey from Howrah to Madras along with Sanyal, soccer star 'Bana' Bannerji and financial whiz 'Goofy' Gulati. The journey was long, almost two days and so we had to do something about it. After the initial introductions, background checks, jokes, limericks etc, we finally settled down to songs with heavy 'censoring' to avoid getting thrown out even before we got to the campus. On reaching Madras Central after 46 hrs, we enquired from our fellow passenger travelling with family "Sir, would you be knowing the way to IIT?" He calmly responded, "Please follow my taxi"! After some 'bhadralok' talk, it emerged that he was Dr Bannerji, Assistant Prof in EE, with wife and sister in law, who seemed quite amused at this recent revelation. Thank God, Dr Bannerji would be teaching us only in fourth year!

However, in his true 'forgive all' scholarly style, he invited us over for a home meal, after we settled down. We did so and this time, we sang a totally 'new' set of songs unheard during our initial journey. The Bannerji family was even more impressed.

Having entered the portals of Ganga hostel, after the initial 'warming up" sessions by the seniors, some of us were even more warmly welcomed by Smithy Workshop, the very first week. During this eventful week, Yash Sodhi, recent Hammer Awardee and my partner, with "all fresher' enthusiasm stepped on the bellows giving it the Deepavali 'flower pot' effect sending smoulders flying high, and one happened to land into my overalls, down my chest straight into the underwear. Ajoy Sircar immediately did 'damage control' and downed the nearest bucket to help douse my 'fire'. I was truly 'branded'IITM!--the hot,current topic of PAN IIT.

We did have other anxious moments.Third year, at ragging time, some of us could not help smiling during the interrogation when the warden queried "Did you ask him the length of his 'kak' in light years "?! We also remember 'entrepreneur' Mukul, 'boxer' Ajoy, 'Trini" Murlidan and a few others, who were promptly 'fined' one cycle of periodical tests. Third year with some 13 subjects, it was big deal as we had to pass all the remaining tests,without fail.

Despite all, along with mates Kannan, Barathan, & Sarnath, we managed to form a musical group initially named 'Masterbeats' hastily amended to 'Masterbeaters' owing to anagram undertones and polite advice from our warden. As it turned out, the latter name was even more popular with all flavors retained, thanks to some innovative emceeing by 'Ramsi' Ram Sitaram. The same 'memorable' year, we also decided to take the stage and during one of the plays at the Open Air Theater, I forgot the words and tried clearing 'doubt' from my partner on stage --none other than the singing sensation,Murlidan, who started a full scale dialogue "How do you expect me to know yours, when I don't even remember mine?"! We had no prompters as most of the dialogue was impromptu, anyway. For a while things looked normal to the gallery, but not for long. We managed to get away, it was Saturday, vegan meal in hostels, thankfully no eggs or bumlimass (type of oversized sweet lime).The one and only tragic incident was in fourth year, when a bunch of us almost drowned at Elliot's beach and we lost an immensely talented colleague, KV Ramasarma.

We may have begun with a few hiccups like Workshop, but later got into the slot, had little choice, one periodical after another followed by exams and vacations traveling third class, in dusty trains up and down twice a year. If not 'roads', we had become 'train'ed scholars. By fourth year, when the semester system 'relief' came, thanks to the new Director, Dr Ramachandran, we were a seasoned lot. We were capable of switching Aristotle with Plato without either knowing. The history teacher, Dr Raman, was kind enough to give a 'B'plus for 'B'ravery. Finally in the summer of '70, the batch of 70 was ready to step out,having completed the first 21 year cycle as friend, Editor Nagarajan'81 puts it.

We all branched out, the normal distribution-US universities, management& industry I almost joined industry in the form of Instrumentation India Limited, IIL, which later unfortunately actually became 'ill'. I decided no winding motors, selling soap, running banks or hotels was for me, I needed to go some place where I would experience technology. I opted for the Indian Navy where this was available in all three dimensions--surface, air and underwater along with adventure thrown in. Thus commenced my second 21 year cycle,like the others.

To my pleasant surprise, 'speedy'sprinter Mani Thomas had already beaten me to it. The years in the Navy were as good as it could get, eight years in three different front line warships, two operations-'71 and Sri Lanka, a post graduate course, staff appointments in the Navy and the Ministry and last but not least, a work related, successful visit to the erstwhile Soviet Union-I made it back alive. Navy saw me through the full cycle, after which the file pushing and politics initiated the next transition.

In my summer of '42, circa 1991, the third 21-year cycle commenced with my moving onto 'civvies' street, into the evolving world of Direct Marketing, warfare in which I really enjoyed trying out many different products and services. In1997, after about seven years, it was time for yet another change, to an entirely new line --Civil Engineering consultancy for Roads and Water projects, which I am still into today. Hopefully I can 'give back' more by way of work in this area, to our great institution/s and country.

We as a batch, Nathan, 'DC'Chandrashekhar, Hydroo Srinivasan, DocVasu, Pat Sastry, Kannan, Dave, Doc Leo & Chiku, to name a few, have taken up voluntary charity initiatives-e.g., Envikal, Ecosan, Alamathi & Velacheri school education projects.

Life has been good and the journey enriching, thanks to the meandering course which Ganga has taken. The Journey is my Reward. I salute the teachers, the Institute, friends and classmates- "Pleasant journeying, Suhana safar".

6:31 PM  
Blogger Stanes said...

One more Stalwarts Muthan's post( Links have been provided by Vikram G A) it was the most happiest moment of my life as i took a few days off & visited coonoor a small hill station in niligiris ,as i walked up the slope and reached for my school gate i was overjoyed, not believing where i stood…..facing a huge iron gate with words STANES HIGHER SECONDARYSCHOOL ,COONOOR,
NILIGIRIS….on it.

as i walked in lot of sweet memories rolled back.the principal’s office,the assembly hall,the playgrounds,the library all seem to stand tall as before .as i walk into the teachers parlour i hope to find a known face which would recognise me and welcome me with a smile….but as i search for one i realise they are all gone ,retired & sweetly resting in their homes…..

as i strolled back with deep & heavy thoughts i bumped into my P.T master who recognised me at a glance …i was his favourite student athelete once …...he has gone older & his straight spine has given way to an hunch,but still iam glad to see the spark in his eyes …..it been my source of inspiration since my school days …for the old times sake i invited him for a coffee with me & the old man agreed .i also gifted him a shawl to keep him warm in winters.

as i walked back to my hotel room i was no more sad ,i was happy indeed i came across someone who knew me ,i have visited my school which is a reason fair enough to live life once more …i atleast visited the place again ….iam happy & nodoubt say that LIFE IS INDEED BEAUTIFUL.

6:34 PM  
Blogger shivats said...

Sir Robert Stanes was the founder of United Nilgri Tea Estates (UNTE). He arrived in India in 1858 while still a young boy of seventeen. Robert Stanes immediately launched himself on a career that was a remarkable blend of entrepreneurship and philanthropy. He had already been in India fifty five years before UNTE was formed, by which time he had been Knighted in recognition of his generous contribution to society. Those fifty five years also saw Robert Stanes grow from a diffident boy into the dynamic head of a business empire. Cotton mills, coffee plantations, tea, coffee curing, motor works and tire retreading made up the diverse interests of his business. Robert Stanes was also a man with a commendable sense of social responsibility, when the City Council for Coimbatore was first formed, he took on the Chairmanship. He set up the Stanes High School, the city's premier educational institution of its time. His elder brother

homas Stanes had established the Stanes School www.stanescoonoor.com in Coonoor, earlier in 1858. For his contribution to society Robert Stanes was also conferred the title of Kaiser-e-Hind'



6
Nurseries of the Ruling Race
All educational organizations worthy of the name have always recognized what must be the ultimate and significant principle of pedagogy: namely the absolute mandate, the iron bond, discipline, sacrifice, the renunciation of the ego, the curbing of the personality.
—Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain



[The Nilgiris] might prove a nursery for future Indian statesmen, political residents, counsellors, and governors.
—Major William Murray, An Account of the Neilgherries, or, Blue Mountains of Coimbatore, in Southern India



No elements of the British colonial community were more closely identified with hill stations than women and children. While in India as a whole the overwhelming majority of the British were adult males, this was emphatically not the case in the hill stations. From the early decades of the nineteenth century, officials took their families to hill stations to protect them from the physical toll of the tropics. They did so with the endorsement of doctors, who warned that women and children were less suited to the harsh climate of India than men and more needful of the therapeutic benefits of the higher elevations. As the advance of the railway made travel faster and easier, increasing numbers of women took to the hills for the summer. Some of these women were accompanied by their spouses and children; others were "grass widows," whose husbands remained at their posts in the plains; still others were genuine widows and young unmarried women. A growing number of children also came to the hill stations to attend the boarding schools that began to spring up in the latter half of the nineteenth century. As a result much higher concentrations of women and children could be found in the hill stations than existed in the expatriate population as a whole.

This divergence from the predominantly adult masculine cast of the British presence in India had important ramifications. It distinguished hill stations as European enclaves where males and females, adults and children, existed in much the same proportions as in British society. Almost alone among the places where the colonizers tended to congregate in India, hill stations managed to take on some of the social and biological characteristics


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of self-sustaining communities. While the seasonality of hill-station life and the transience of residents might be thought to have undermined the social cohesion of these enclaves, such oscillations actually contributed in a curious way to their viability and their importance to the imperial endeavor. Because much of the subcontinent's scattered British population circulated through these remote resorts, with women and children constituting particularly sizable portions of the seasonal migration, the hill stations bound the colonizers together in ways that were essential to the perpetuation of their power.

In the hill stations the otherwise widely dispersed representatives of the raj could reproduce their numbers, restore their sense of themselves as bearers of a superior civilization, and transmit their norms and values to their children in a setting protected from the alien influences of India. For the Victorians and their heirs, these were the responsibilities of the family unit and the educational institution. Nowhere else in India did the sense of family become so pervasive and the choice of schools so extensive as in the hill stations. They were the preferred sites within the subcontinent for single young adults to conduct their courting rituals, for married and widowed matrons to exercise their skills as society hostesses, for pregnant women to spend their confinements and new mothers to care for their infants, for toddlers to take their first steps, and for boys and girls to enroll in boarding schools. The hill stations accommodated all the functions essential to the biological and ideological reproduction of the British population in India. They were the nurseries for the ruling race.

British women first began to enter India in significant numbers after the East India Company lost the power to restrict immigration in 1833. Most were the wives and daughters of senior company officials, merchants, planters, and of some missionaries. While figures for the first half of the century are hard to come by, females numbered no more than 19,306 out of a total British population of 125,945 in 1861, and they remained a distinct minority throughout the rest of the colonial era, with the 1901 census showing 384 women per thousand men.[1] They tended to concentrate in


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Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay, although the expansion and stabilization of British imperial power across the subcontinent allowed increasing numbers of women to filter into the mofussil , or provinces.

Most of the women who spent time in hill stations in the early years were the wives of civil and military officers stationed in nearby districts. When some members of the family of John Briggs, resident at Satara, fell ill, he moved them to Mahabaleshwar. John Sullivan took his family to Ootacamund for the same reason: sadly, his wife and two children died there. Doctors ordered Henry Lawrence's wife to spend the 1839 hot season in Simla, and in the course of her stay she and her husband acquired an abiding affection for the place. Emily Eden observed that the ladies of Simla in the early 1840s were almost all the wives of high-ranking military officers; when these men departed for the disastrous Afghan campaign, British females outnumbered males in the station by forty-six to twelve.[2]

The number of women who went to the hills and the distances they traveled to do so increased dramatically in the second half of the nineteenth century. These increase occurred for two principal reasons. One was the conflagration that swept upper India in 1857. "The value of the hill towns, small as they then were, was shown during the mutiny," observed one advocate of the highlands. "They became places of refuge for many fleeing from the plains, and for the wives and children of those fighting in the field."[3] While the hill stations in the western Himalayas attracted refugees, even a station as far removed from the disturbances as Yercaud was fortified as a sanctuary for the women and children of Salem in case the rebellion spread to the Madras presidency.[4] The second reason was the construction of a railway network across India. The railway made it a great deal easier and more affordable for women to make the journey to a popular hill station at the onset of the hot weather without the assistance of a husband or other male chaperon.

One example of the opportunities for travel by British women in India in the latter part of the nineteenth century can be found in the diary of Mrs.


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Robert Moss King, the wife of a colonial official stationed in Meerut. The nearest hill station was Mussoorie, and Mrs. King went there in the fall of 1878 in a journey that took a day and a half by train, coach, and pony. The following year she spent time in Naini Tal, with side trips to Ranikhet and Almora. In 1880 she returned to Mussoorie, or more precisely Landour, where she rented a house from March to November and took a trek into the Himalayan interior that included a stay at the hill cantonment of Chakrata. During the summer of 1881 she traveled via Murree to Kashmir, spending two months at Srinagar and its environs. Finally, before departing from India in 1882 she visited Matheran. Every year of her sojourn in the country included a lengthy stay in the highlands. Although her husband accompanied her on some of these journeys, just as often she led her children and an entourage of servants on her own.[5]

The peripatetic habits of women like Mrs. King arose not merely from an enthusiasm for the adventures they encountered in the hills but from an antipathy for the life they faced on the plains. This antipathy was usually traced to the tropical climate and its subversive effects on women's health. Maud Diver, the author of a number of successful novels about British India, insisted that memsahibs wilted under the heat much more rapidly than their menfolk. This invocation of the "weaker-sex" doctrine sparked some dissent. Another novelist, Flora Annie Steel, who had lived in India with her husband, a civil servant, between 1867 and 1889, claimed that women could cope with the climate just as well as men.[6] But her opinion was the exception, and it was certainly not shared by the medical fraternity. They believed that the physiology of females put them at a distinct disadvantage when the sweltering heat of summer set in, making their flight to the hills necessary. As one of the more popular nineteenth-century books of medical advice for women in India put it, "Women break down sooner than men."[7]

The problem with the weaker-sex argument, however, is that there was no epidemiological evidence to support it. The notion that British women in India suffered poorer health than their male counterparts is contradicted


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by mortality data. A Parliamentary commission reported in 1863 that the death rate for women was just fourteen per thousand, compared with twenty per thousand for civil servants, thirty-eight per thousand for army officers, and sixty-nine per thousand for enlisted men.[8] Medical authorities could not, therefore, rest their case for sending women to the hills on the straightforward grounds of comparative life chances. Instead, they had to rely on exclusivist arguments about the physiology and sociology of the British female.

The physiological case centered on reproduction. The afflictions most often referred to in the health guides for memsahibs were miscarriages and menstrual irregularities.[9] Given what we know about the adverse effects of malaria, dysentery, and other diseases on female fertility, there can be little doubt that British women in India did suffer inordinately from miscarriages and other reproductive disorders. And given what we know about British colonial medicine's proclivity for tracing ill health in the tropics to climatic sources, it is hardly surprising that female patients were advised to go to the hills for convalescence. Hill stations thus came to be seen as places singularly suited to the reproductive needs of the British population in India. Women went there to relieve menstrual distress, to recuperate from miscarriages, and to ensure that pregnancies passed to term. Even hardy Flora Annie Steel went to a hill station—Dalhousie—for her two pregnancies.[10]

The other major argument for sending women to the hills was also couched in medical terms, but its real concern was the adverse effect of colonial social strictures on their lives. Many of the ailments that afflicted British women were attributed to their lack of purposeful activity. The stereotypical memsahib was a creature of leisure who spent her days in the darkened confines of her bungalow, surrounded by a compliant army of servants whose labor left her little to do besides nap, entertain, and gossip. This stereotype ignores the many British women who led active,


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productive lives in India.[11] At the same time, it obscures the degree to which the memsahibs' leisured existence helped to maintain the social boundaries of colonial privilege by marking their gendered role in racial terms.[12] But the fact remains that most British women in India were confined to a monotonous and trivial existence: they were "incorporated wives" whose roles and status derived solely from their husbands' occupations.[13] Diver observed that British ladies' "domestic duties are practically nil ." Steel was even blunter: "the majority of European women in India have nothing to do."[14] With no duties to keep them busy, the wives of the colonizers were believed to be particularly susceptible to nervous disorders.[15] "Half the cases of neuraesthenia and anaemia among English ladies," argued Steel, "and their general inability to stand the hot weather, arises from the fact that they live virtually in the dark, . . . [in a state of] forced inertia."[16] Medical authorities were equally convinced that the neurasthenic ills of the memsahibs could be traced to their inactivity. As one doctor put it, "Their lives, especially those in affluent or easy circumstances, are generally torpid, and too little relieved by occupa-


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tion. . . . They become listless and apathetic, and they succumb to the climate sooner than men."[17]

Hill stations alleviated both the physical and the social ills that plagued colonial women. Insofar as the tropical heat confined women to their homes, the hill stations freed them, making it possible for them to enjoy fresh air and vigorous exercise. And insofar as their problems were precipitated by loneliness and monotony, the hill stations offered a refreshing change of pace, a new and enlarged network of companions with whom they could socialize and reinvigorate themselves. In either case, the hill stations held the promise of recovery for women whose lives had lost purpose.

For all these reasons, British women were drawn to hill stations in substantial numbers. A few statistics indicate the scale of the female presence. In Mussoorie, the imperial census of 1881 (conducted in February) counted nearly twice as many Christian men as women (289 males and 151 females), but a census carried out the previous September, near the end of the "season," found the Christian population to be almost evenly divided between men and women (960 males and 897 females). These figures suggest that females actually constituted a majority of the seasonal sojourners.[18] Moreover, their proportion increased over time. Summer European census figures for Simla show that the percentage of women grew from 44.6 percent in 1869 to 53.7 percent in 1904 to 57 percent in 1922.[19] Similarly, the imperial census for Ootacamund indicates that the female portion of the European population increased from 39 percent in 1871 to 41.5 percent in 1901 to 53 percent in 1921, and the percentages were almost certainly a good deal higher during the in-season months.[20]


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"There are always plenty of females on the hills," observed the wife of a Madras Army officer, who proceeded to identify what seemed to her the principal categories:

There are the wives who can't live with their husbands in the plains; the 'grass-widows.' . . . Then there are the young ladies whose parents are not able, or not willing, to send them to England just yet. . . . And, lastly, there are the mothers themselves, with their troops of little ones, for whose health, perhaps, they have consented to separate from their lords and masters; or wives who have accompanied their husbands thither.[21]

Most of these women were related to civil and military officers, and their status made lengthy stays to the hills both affordable and socially obligatory. Women with official affiliations were not the only ones to go to the hills however. Female missionaries were a major presence in certain hill stations.[22] Toward the end of the nineteenth century the railways and an increasing number of businesses established rest houses in the highlands for the use of their employees' families. The Indian Army provided accommodations in its hill cantonments for the wives and children of soldiers: in 1875 the Bengal command alone housed 712 women and 1,367 children in the hills, and others resided there without military assistance.[23] A number of widows and unmarried women also lived in hill stations. Some supported themselves by opening dame schools: Richard Burton reported the existence of two schools for young children at Ootacamund in 1847, one run by a Miss Hale and a Miss Millard, the other by a Mrs. James and a Miss Ottley.[24] Others found employment as estate agents for absentee landlords: the mother of Jim Corbett, the famed tiger hunter, established a successful estate agency in Naini Tal after the death of her husband.[25] Still others operated boarding houses and hotels or rented out houses they had acquired: a guidebook to Mahabaleshwar informed its readers of several cottages available for rent from the widow Mrs. Riley, a twenty-five-year


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resident of the station.[26] In Ootacamund, a sixth of the houses listed in an 1858 directory were held by women, and one had nine property titles to her name; by 1886, women owned a quarter of all European dwellings.[27] A government report on Dalhousie in 1902 revealed that women owned thirty-five of the eighty-two houses in the station, including nine in the possession of a Mrs. Higgins, and the station's three hotels were owned by women as well.[28]

An unusually rich source of evidence concerning the mix of single, married, and widowed women in the hill stations comes from a 1911 directory of Ootacamund's European residents. It lists 599 names, 352 of whom are female. Approximately three-fifths of these women are identified as wives and daughters in households with a husband or father or both (although many of the males were probably not in residence). The other two-fifths are equally divided between unmarried women, many of whom appear to have been teachers, governesses, and nurses, and women identified by the designation "Mrs." but unattached to any male name—most of the seventy women in this category can be assumed to have been widows.[29] While similar data from other hill stations are scarce, most likely the distribution of their female residents by marital status was similar.

With so many British women ensconced in the hills, it is easy to understand why these locales acquired reputations for romance and scandal.[30] By providing settings and occasions where men from widely dispersed and often isolated parts of the subcontinent could meet a substantial number of women of their own class and culture, the hill stations were conducive to intimate relationships. "Everybody there is prompted to be gay if only because they are on a holiday," explained one observer of British social life in the hill stations. "What wonder, then, that there should be much innocent gaiety, some frivolity, and here and there a man and a woman who have lost their heads."[31]


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In its most respectable guise, this aspect of hill-station social life can be seen as a mechanism for furthering the efforts of young people to meet, to court, and to marry. Many of the leading stations' social events—the dinners, the picnics, the balls—were staged at least in part as vehicles for the "coming out" of daughters, nieces, and other single women—an announcement of their interest in entertaining marriage proposals. Annual dinners and other events where young people could meet were hosted by bachelor societies such as Simla's Order of Knights of the Black Heart and Darjeeling's Knights-Errant.[32] Much like the spas and seaside resorts of England, the hill stations were locales for the circulation of marriageable women.

This amorous image also had a less reputable side. Colonel Robert Blackham, an Indian Army medical officer who visited Mussoorie around the turn of the century, recalls that the Charleville Hotel rang a bell every morning at six, "and it is hardly an exaggeration to say that it was a sorting-out signal for visitors to return to their own rooms." He also describes a parlor game in Simla. "The men went underneath and the ladies sat round the edge of a large table, dangling their legs. The men were allowed to inspect as far as the knee and to recognise the fair competitors by what we used to call . . . 'their lower extremities.' "[33] Such tales recur in the memoirs of the period. Licentious behavior was most often associated with the grass widows. Even with medical sanction, these women risked accusations of neglecting their marital obligations by leaving their husbands to labor on the plains while they played in the hills. The presence of so many young, uniformed, and fun-seeking officers in the hill stations was considered a serious temptation to unattached women. Hobson-Jobson suggests that the term grass widow , which it observes was "applied . . . with a shade of malignity" in India, may have derived from the Suffolk "grace-widow," an unmarried mother, or the low German gras-wedewe , "a dissolute low married woman living by herself."[34] It is clear from the discourse of the time that the adulterous grass widow was often seen as the sexual aggressor: one official's wife described her as "the most dangerous [woman] that the


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idle young man could encounter."[35] Seldom did the male party suffer the same censure. A rare commentary on the double standard that operated here came from the anonymous (female?) author of an article about the hill stations of Kumaun:

Let the breath of reproach justly sully any woman's name, and she is marked and avoided. Let it equally sully a man's, and he is not. He is not thought unfitted for taking his place in respectable society; and even when his character is known to be thoroughly bad, his acquaintance is sought, and his visits allowed, as though he were really an ornament to the society which lowers itself by admitting him. It is impossible to help feeling that this is not as it ought to be.[36]

Much of the gossip was, in fact, hyperbolic. Nothing is quite so certain to titillate an audience than suggestions of infidelities among the high and mighty, as Rudyard Kipling and other chroniclers of Simla knew full well when they regaled their readers with the intrigues of Mrs. Hauksbee and her kind. Such tales exploited social estrangements within the British Indian community. The nonofficial British inhabitants of Calcutta, Madras, and other commercial centers, who resented the power and snobbery of the "heaven-born," savored stories that portrayed Simla as a sink of iniquity. Perhaps this is why the summer capital acquired far more notoriety than Mussoorie, even though everyone who visited both resorts knew that Mussoorie was the place to go for a good time unrestrained by stuffy formalities and finger-wagging.[37] There was much truth in the assertion of a visitor to Simla in the early 1870s that "the balls and picnics, the croquet and badminton parties, the flirtations and rumoured engagements, are given an importance which they do not actually possess."[38] It must also be remembered that moral standards changed over time. Conduct that stalwarts of the age of muscular Christianity considered shocking seldom would have raised an eyebrow among their fin-de-siècle progeny.

Despite all these qualifications, evidence does suggest that the conduct of Europeans changed when they got to the hills. Scrutiny was directed toward sexual scandal in the hill stations at least in part because it was the


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most dramatic indicator of the transforming power of these places. Up among the clouds it seemed permissible to behave in ways that went beyond the limits of propriety elsewhere. Yet it was not merely nor mainly sexual license that characterized the sense of release that the journey to the hills provided. Consider, for example, the American missionary David Coit Scudder's account of the emotions that overcame him when he arrived in Kodaikanal in 1862: "I . . . seized our United States flag, shouted out 'Long may it wave!' . . . at the English collector . . . and did other uncouth things that I am capable of doing up here—not down there."[39] The key to this odd outburst is the final clause of Scudder's statement, the contrast he poses between "up here" and "down there." Arriving in the hills, many visitors experienced a similar heady rush of freedom, a sudden sense of escape from social constraints, and its varied expressions encompassed not only the sexual irregularities that gave the leading stations their colorful reputations but such minor misdemeanors as the waving of an American flag in the face of a local British collector.

To understand this seeming intoxication, it is necessary to appreciate the degree to which it was a reaction to the confining commands of imperial power. Respectable British opinion accepted that certain things simply could not be done in the colonial context because they eroded the facade that the colonizers considered essential to the maintenance of their authority. In the parlance of the times, "prestige" was at stake. This preoccupation with prestige led to strict regulation of the actions of the expatriate population—rules that attempted to stifle those coarse and contrary aspects of human nature that could demean British rulers in the eyes of Indian subjects. But those restrictions did not apply—or at least did not apply with the same force—in the hill stations. The Times correspondent William Howard Russell, recently seared by what he had seen of the mutiny and its suppression, took the residents of Simla to task for their apparent neglect of so vital a matter as prestige. He described bacchanals of drinking, gambling, and other excesses, and warned that "not a season passes without damage to reputations, loss of fortune, and disgrace to some of the visitors; which are serious social evils affecting the British community directly, but which also bear a very grave aspect in relation to the influence we exercise over the natives."[40] While this argument had enor-


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mous resonance on the plains, where it represented the norm, what Russell either did not understand or could not concede was that the hill stations were special realms where the rules of the colonial world did not apply. Thus, his rebuke did not stand out for its message, which was commonplace, but for its intended targets, who must have found it a surprising and singular outburst. For most Europeans in India, hill stations were places where they could find relief from the constraints that were elsewhere imposed on their behavior.

The implication to be drawn from this analysis is not that the British regarded their visits to hill stations as licenses to do anything they pleased—moral sanctions remained firmly in place—but rather that they regarded them as opportunities to free themselves at least temporarily from the colonial strictures that prevented them from doing what they would have done in the metropolitan milieu. If hill stations acquired reputations for scandalous conduct, it must be understood that this was in comparison to the straitened context of colonial society. From the perspective of metropolitan culture, such behavior represented little more than the normal workings of a regular community, albeit compressed and quickened somewhat by its seasonality. Members of the opposite sex met, socialized, courted, married, and occasionally engaged in adultery. They conceived children and perpetuated their breed. They did those things that were essential to the reproduction of the ruling race.

Thus we return to the prominent place of women in the hill stations. Their seasonal concentration in these enclaves can be seen as an ingenious response to two of the demographic problems that plagued the British in India: the huge disparity between the male and female portions of the white population and the wide dispersal of that population across a vast subcontinent. By establishing centers where relatively equal numbers of men and women could interact in ways that were culturally comfortable to them, where they could meet an array of possible marriage partners in a social milieu carefully conceived for that purpose, where they could engage in dalliances that caused less opprobrium than such behavior provoked on the plains (and certainly less than the alternative of interracial liaisons), and, finally, where they could raise families with less fear of the physical and social perils of an alien land, the British established environments that


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affected the entire imperial endeavor. By concentrating their women in the hill stations, the British sought to strengthen their demographically precarious position in their Indian realm.

Those mothers who spent their summers in hill stations invariably brought their offspring with them. Many other parents sent their children to boarding schools in the hills while they remained on the plains. Even orphans and the children of poor whites were frequently placed in institutions located in the vicinity of major hill stations. The British had always regarded their young as the most problematic element of their strategy to establish a permanent presence in India, and the uses they made of hill stations for raising children tell us a great about the centrality of these mountain resorts to the British raj.

Like women, children were considered fragile creatures, especially susceptible to the diseases of the tropics; and indeed the mortality rate for European children in India was more than twice that of their cohort at home. The most dangerous period was the first five years of life: a report issued in 1870 calculated 148.10 deaths per thousand in the Bengal presidency compared with 68.58 per thousand in England. The death rate dropped after the age of five, but it was still double the domestic figure. This terrible toll gave some biological basis to the widespread conviction that Europeans could not sustain a permanent population in India past the third generation.[41]

From the start, hill stations were seen as promising retreats for ailing youngsters. Darjeeling, the station closest to Bengal with its large European population, was singled out for effusive praise. In an oft-quoted passage, Joseph Hooker exclaimed, "It is incredible what a few weeks of that mountain air does for the India-born children of European parents: they are taken there sickly, pallid or yellow, soft and flabby, to become transformed into models of rude health and activity."[42] This assessment was affirmed repeatedly, and Simla, Ootacamund, Mahabaleshwar, and other hill stations received similar endorsements.


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[Full Size]

Figure 8.
Children riding ponies on the Mall at Simla. From a postcard in the possession of the author.

Consequently, children were a significant presence in the hill stations. They made an important contribution to the social character of these mountain enclaves—a contribution that is too often overlooked. They helped to give their summer homes the sights, the sounds, and the feel of a cohesive and permanent community. In contrast to the widespread practice on the plains of sequestering children indoors to protect them from a climate and a culture that seemed poised to snatch them away, in the hills these same children were generally set free to experience and explore their surroundings: the younger ones could be seen on the Mall in carriages pushed by ayahs and on ponies led by syces (Figure 8); the older ones could be met walking across the station to and from school and wandering in groups through the lanes of the ward and the alleys of the bazaar on adventures of their own. They were everywhere. Those who resided with their parents in the larger stations attended birthday parties and costume parties, picnics and fetes; they participated in theatricals and tableaux vivants; they mirrored their parents' social lives with startling exactitude.[43] So incessant were such activities that the author of one handbook for


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women in India warned, "The innumerable parties, dances, and elaborate entertainments for children, which are a striking feature of fashionable hill stations, make the children blase and dissatisfied with simple pleasures; and they become over-tired and over-excited."[44]

Parents in the upper echelons of British Indian society seemed especially eager to provide their children with lavish entertainments; it is possible to view these actions as compensation for the wrenching separations that loomed ahead, for it was widely accepted that British children should be shipped back to Britain before they reached adolescence. Their removal from India was one of the most rigidly enforced customs of the British in India. Most medical men and other self-styled authorities agreed that it was essential for boys in particular to be gone by the age of six or seven; for girls an early departure was considered less imperative.[45] The children's health was offered as the rationale for their removal, with warnings that prolonged presence in the tropics would make them feeble and "weedy." But their physical well-being was not as central a consideration as colonial rhetoric suggested. After all, the most precarious years in the lives of children occurred well before the age recommended for departure, and the natural dangers they faced were not peculiar to boys. The main motivation to ship children back to the motherland was concern about their social and cultural development and the role of this development in the perpetuation of the British imperial presence.

The child-rearing practices of the British in India—or more precisely of the great majority of parents who saw themselves as respectable—resembled the practices of the upper middle class at home: both used servants as surrogates for all but the least onerous of their parental responsibilities.[46] In India, these surrogates were with few exceptions Indians, and their most prominent and pervasive representative was the ayah, or nursemaid. She became a colonial institution, an essential element of the British Indian nursery. She was responsible for dressing her charges, feeding them, bathing them, entertaining them, and settling them into bed. Indian women were often employed as wet nurses for European infants, although


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this practice declined toward the end of the nineteenth century.[47] Some of the wealthier British families sought white or mixed-race women as nurses or governesses for their children, particularly in the latter period of colonial rule, but even in these households an ayah carried out the menial tasks of the nursery. In addition to the ubiquitous ayah, cooks, gardeners, syces, and many other Indian domestics in colonial households influenced the daily lives of young residents. The results were predictable: British children grew emotionally attached to their ayahs and other Indian attendants, and they frequently acquired more familiarity with and fondness for the language and culture of these people than they did for the European heritage of their parents.[48]

The colonial literature was replete with laments about how children were being corrupted morally by their intimate association with servants. The acquisition of an Indian dialect roused particular concern since it gave children immediate access to a world apart from parental supervision or even comprehension. For example:

[I]f left to the society of native servants, not only will [children] most assuredly contact native habits in the way of eating, gesticulating with the hands when talking, etc., . . . but, rapidly picking up the language, their little minds will soon become contaminated with ideas and expressions that would utterly horrify a mother did she herself understand the language of the country.[49]

Whatever the parents' response may have been to their children's drift into an alien embrace—and the persistent use of ayahs suggests that it caused them less anguish than we might suppose—its implications for imperial policy were profoundly disturbing. How could the British assert the superiority of their culture if their own children forsook it for indigenous alternatives? How could they maintain imperial authority in the face of this dissolution of difference? The inescapable answer is that they could not. This stark realization provided a powerful rationale for the British to


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send their children away, to remove them from the seductive influence of India before it could make a permanent mark on their psyches, to place them in the sober environment of British homes and British boarding schools, where their socialization in British values could be assured.

The problem was that many parents either could not afford to send their children back to Britain or were unwilling to do so. The financial costs—the fare for the passage, the expense of maintenance with strangers or even relatives, the fees for schooling—were simply prohibitive for many families in India, especially those employed in the uncovenanted services (telegraph, mail, police, forestry, customs, opium), the railways, the army, and various commercial enterprises. Moreover, the emotional costs of shipping off one's children at the age of five or so, with little expectation of seeing them again (apart from the brief opportunities presented by periodic leaves) until they had become adults themselves, were understandably more than some parents could bear. Even those willing to make this sacrifice for what they regarded as their children's sake were often eager to postpone the fateful day as long as possible.[50]

The English saw hill stations, from their inception, as attractive sites for the education of children who were not sent to British boarding schools. A description of Darjeeling in its infancy praised it for possessing "one advantage . . . inestimable beyond all others"—an environment suitable for the schooling of younger children, whose parents could "so escape the pain and anxiety of a separation little less than those [sic] of death." The Nilgiris were described by an early promoter as a place where "those parents who cannot afford to send their children home" could meet their educational needs in a salutary setting.[51] At Ootacamund, the Church Missionary Society established a school for European children in the early 1830s, and although it soon vanished, the Fern Hill School, "a boarding-school for young gentlemen," appeared in 1847 and lasted for eight years. More durable was the school founded at Mussoorie in 1835 for "parents who are too poor to send children home." These were the words of Eden, who encountered a party of several children traveling to this institution


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across the north Indian plains under the care of Indian bearers.[52] Mussoorie soon acquired a reputation as a center for European education. Several institutions in addition to the original Mussoorie school, which became a Diocesan school for boys in 1867, were successfully established in Mussoorie in the years before the 1857 rebellion—the Convent of Jesus and Mary (a girls' school founded in 1845), St. George's College for boys (1853), and the Woodstock School for girls (1856).

An important advance in the development of European schooling in the hill stations took place in the midcentury decades. This increased educational activity was propelled both by the needs of European residents and by the concerns of colonial authorities. New employment opportunities in commerce, planting, and other nonofficial enterprises, as well as in the railroads and the uncovenanted services, accounted for a rapid increase in the number of Britons entering India during this period. The nonofficial population exploded from little more than two thousand prior to the removal of restrictions on their entry in the early 1830s to nearly fifty thousand by 1861 and seventy thousand by 1871. As we have already seen, an increasing portion of the European population consisted of women, and their appearance also suggested the development of a larger and more significant domiciled community. While most railway engineers, telegraph operators, postal clerks, policemen, planters, boxwallahs, and others of similar socioeconomic standing could not afford to send their children back to England for schooling, they realized that an English-style education was important to their children's career chances. This was the principal social stratum that the hill schools tapped for fee-paying pupils.

At the same time, the colonial state and its ruling elite were growing concerned about the increasing numbers of poor whites in India. They were the inevitable residuum of the enlarged uncovenanted and nonofficial population, the underclass of unemployed workers, discharged sailors, abandoned and widowed women, orphaned children, alcoholics, lunatics, and others who lived on the margins of European society, often resorting to beggary, burglary, and prostitution to survive. Their presence was a reproach to British assertions of superiority, a menace to the social, moral, and above all racial underpinnings of the colonial order. Imperial authorities responded to this threat in two distinct ways: adults they sought to deport or incarcerate in workhouses, prisons, hospitals, asylums, and other holding facilities, claiming them to be incorrigible, but orphans and other


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children they considered redeemable when placed in suitable environments, such as orphanages and similarly regimented educational institutions, particularly when those institutions were removed from the subversive influences of the plains.[53]

The Lawrence Military Asylum was the earliest and most influential institution established to redeem orphans and other poor white children by transferring them to the hills. Its founder was the famed imperial consul Henry Lawrence, whose Evangelical solicitude for barrack children's moral and social fate inspired him in 1845 to propose the establishment of a military-style boarding school in the Indian highlands for the sons and daughters of British soldiers. His aim, as he described it, was to create "an Asylum from the debilitating effects of the tropical climate, and the demoralizing influence of Barrack-life; wherein they may obtain the benefits of a bracing climate, a healthy moral atmosphere, and a plain, useful, and above all religious education, adapted to fit them for employment suited to their position in life." Although Anglo-Indian children could and did gain admittance, Lawrence insisted that preference be given to children of "pure European parentage" since they were "more likely to suffer from the climate of the plains."[54] The first of these military asylums was opened at Sanawar near Simla in 1847, its construction financed by donations from fellow officers and a large grant from the maharaja of Kashmir. Subsequent branches appeared at Mount Abu in 1854, Ootacamund (later moved over a ridge to Lovedale) in 1858, and Murree in 1860, by which point the government had assumed responsibility for their finances. The success of the Lawrence Asylums was confirmed by the decision to close the government orphanages in Calcutta and Madras and to send their inmates to these highland institutions in 1872.[55]

The Lawrence Asylums offered an education that stressed discipline, obedience, piety, respectability, and acquiescence to a future of limited opportunity. Boys wore artillery uniforms, girls drab jackets and white bonnets, and both were divided into military-style companies that marched


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on parade grounds. They did not depend on Indian servants; they did most tasks themselves so that they would become "trained in industrial habits."[56] Lawrence envisioned his wards taking up manual trades like carpentry and smithing, creating the nucleus for a British artisanal class in India. The schools' directors, however, soon realized this goal was not feasible in the face of indigenous competition.[57] Instead, the most talented boys were trained in telegraphy, civil engineering, and other skills that prepared them for employment in the technical branches of government service, while the rest enlisted in the army or obtained work with the railroads. The girls received training for domestic service, but for most the future lay with the noncommissioned officers who "came up to select them as fast as they could be married."[58] David Arnold observes rather pointedly that, "for all the concern to rescue them from the barracks and the back-streets, the orphans were trained and fed back into society at almost precisely the same level at which they had been extracted from it."[59] Although Arnold is right, Lawrence and his followers never intended the asylums to become vehicles for social mobility, ladders on which young unfortunates could climb their way into the ranks of the covenanted class. Rather, the founders wanted these institutions to instill the moral discipline and occupational skills that their pupils would need to live as respectable members of the British working class in India, content with their social lot yet aware of their racial responsibilities.

Lawrence's conviction that the redemption of poor white youths lay in their removal to the hills was shared by other authorities, who sought to extend the opportunity for a highland education beyond those born in the barracks. In 1860, Bishop Cotton of Calcutta called upon the government to take the initiative on behalf of European and Anglo-Indian children who were in "great moral and spiritual danger" because their parents could not afford to provide them with a proper education. A Cambridge-educated cleric who had been a master at Thomas Arnold's Rugby and the first headmaster of Marlborough prior to his Indian appointment, Bishop Cotton envisioned a string of boarding schools arising in the hill stations, each of them modeled after the newly reformed, Christian-infused public schools of England. His entreaty helped to persuade the governor-general,


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Lord Canning, to issued an important minute on education in late 1860. In this minute, Canning emphatically endorsed the Bishop's plan. He addressed the dangers that the lack of schooling among poor European and Anglo-Indian children posed not only for their souls but for the colonial order as well: "if measures for educating these children are not promptly and vigorously encouraged and aided by the Government, we shall soon find ourselves embarrassed in all large towns and stations with a floating population of Indianized English, loosely brought up, and exhibiting most of the worst qualities of both races; whilst the Eurasian population . . . will increase more rapidly than ever." Unless immediate measures were taken to forestall these developments, the children would present "a glaring reproach to the Government" and give rise to "a class dangerous to the State." Canning announced his intention to act with what many of his contemporaries must have seen as great audacity given the religious rivalries and suspicions that plagued British educational policy at home and abroad: he promised government grants for all Christian denominations—Nonconformist and Catholic as well as Anglican—that established schools for European children in the hills. The matter was regarded as too important to be held hostage to denominational differences. However, Canning drew a rigid line between the education of Europeans and that of Anglo-Indians. Anglo-Indians, he felt, would be best served by day schools on the plains, especially since "the climate of the hills . . . is held to be injurious to them, if at all weakly."[60]

Canning's minute was, in the words of an official writing a dozen years later, "the Magna Carta of European education in India."[61] It provided the financial security that made possible the proliferation of boarding schools in the Indian highlands. Many of the newly founded hill schools were all-male institutions. St. Paul's, an Anglican school originally located in Calcutta, was moved to Darjeeling in 1864. The Church of England also established a school in Simla named in memory of Bishop Cotton (1866), and diocesan schools in Mussoorie (1867), Naini Tal (1869), and Panchgani (1876). The Catholics opened St. Thomas College of Murree (1882) and St. Joseph's of Darjeeling (1888) (Figure 9), of Naini Tal (1889), and of Coonoor (1889), in addition to expanding the pre-Canning-era schools, St. George's of Mussoorie (1853) and St. Joseph's of Ootacamund (1854). The


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[Full Size]

Figure 9. St. Joseph's College, Darjeeling. Photograph by the author.

American Protestant missions sponsored Oak Openings at Naini Tal (1880) and the Philander Smith Institute in Mussoorie (1885). Several nondenominational institutions also arose, notably Stanes' School in Coonoor (1861), Breeks' Memorial School in Ootacamund (1873), and the Modern School of Mussoorie (1896).

Educational opportunities in the hills were no less abundant for girls. Roman Catholics dominated the field, with the Loreto Convents particularly active. In addition to the branches it founded in Darjeeling and Ootacamund in the premutiny era, this Irish order opened schools in Murree (1876), Naini Tal (1878), Kurseong (1890), Simla (1895), and Shillong (date unknown). Other Catholic institutions for girls were the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Simla (1866), the Nazareth Convent School in Ootacamund (1875), and St. Joseph's Convent in Coonoor (1900). The Anglicans countered with Cainville House, Mussoorie (1864), Auckland House, Simla (1866), diocesan schools at Naini Tal (1869) and Darjeeling (1875), and St. Denys' School, Murree (1882). The American Presbyterian Mission took over the preexisting Woodstock House of Mussoorie (1872); the American Methodist Episcopal Church opened Wellesley School in Naini Tal (1880); and the Calcutta Christian Schools Society founded Queen's Hill School of Darjeeling (1895). Nondenominational schools included Wynberg, Mussoorie (1894), Hampton Court, Mussoorie (1895),


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Petersfield, Naini Tal (1899), and Arycliff, Simla (1888), which subsequently affiliating with the Church of Scotland.

In addition to these institutions, a myriad of other schools arose in the hill stations. Most were private coeducational enterprises operated by widows and unmarried women in private homes. Some, such as Miss Twentyman's Darjeeling Home School for "young ladies" and boys under the age of ten, established themselves as successful, even venerable, institutions. The life of a great many others, however, was fleeting. Only one of the four schools for younger children referred to in an 1857 guidebook to Ootacamund was noted by Burton during his stay at the station in 1851, and none received mention in subsequent guidebooks.[62] A succession of these dame schools no doubt opened their doors and closed them a few years later.

Despite the intentions of Bishop Cotton and Lord Canning, the large denominational hill schools drew most of their students from the middle levels of British society in India, while doing their best to keep the lower orders out. Several government reports provide detailed information on the occupations of pupils' fathers. They included planters, merchants, missionaries, engineers, railway officials, clerks, and others employed in the uncovenanted services, but not the elite members of the Indian Civil Service or the Indian Army. As a general rule, "every European in India who can afford to send his children to Europe to be educated, does so. Similarly, it may be said in almost equally general terms that every parent, who can afford it, sends his children to the hills in preference to a school in the plains."[63]

The hill schools modeled their appearance and approach after English public schools, pitching themselves both to those parents who wanted their child to obtain the schooling needed to prepare them for "finishing" at an English institution and to those who wanted their child to receive the benefits of an English-style education without incurring the financial cost or facing the emotional loss entailed in sending them to England. For example, St. Paul's of Darjeeling was said to provide an education "after the model of the best English public schools," St. George's College of Mussoorie was "conducted after the best models of the English public school system," and St. Joseph's of Coonoor operated "on the lines of that given


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in an English public school."[64] Students wore school jackets, played cricket on the pitch, and shared in their governance through the prefect system.[65] Some schools specialized in preparing students for transfer to particular home institutions, and the majority designed their curricula with the Cambridge Local exams in mind. At the turn of the century, a third of the boys who enrolled in the Himalayan hill schools went to England for further education (the figure for girls was one-sixth).[66] However, it was the other two-thirds (or five-sixths) who received the bulk of attention. Hill schools promised an education specially suited to those who did not leave India, an education that usually led to careers in the provincial or uncovenanted service for boys and to marriage for girls. They prepared male students for entry into administrative departments such as public works, surveys, police, opium, salt, telegraph, mail, forestry, subordinate medical service, and customs. Some institutions provided industrial training courses, including technical classes in civil and mechanical engineering.[67] St. Joseph's of Darjeeling specialized in preparing students for Rurki College, an engineering school, and most other schools established close ties with particular branches of the provincial service. After all, their reputations depended ultimately upon their success in garnering respectable jobs for their graduates, and those jobs were generally to be found in government.

Equally important to the reputations of hill schools was the racial composition of their student body. Although the state defined European schools as those that catered to pure and mixed-race Europeans who retained "European habits or modes of life,"[68] Anglo-Indians were not welcome at most of the better schools, and Indians were almost entirely prohibited from enrolling in them until the interwar years. British parents often objected to their children rubbing shoulders with mixed-race students. M. M. Kaye and her sister were pulled out of Simla's Auckland House by their horrified


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mother when they began to acquire the so-called "chi-chi" accent of Anglo-Indian classmates.[69] Breeks' School in Ootacamund led a highly checkered existence, with several financial crises and restructurings, because it failed to overcome its origins as a day school for poor Europeans, Anglo-Indians, and Indians.[70] It lacked the simple expedient most hill schools had to restrict the entry of undesirables—boarding fees. Bishop Cotton School was taken to task by the government of India for prohibiting the sons of Simla's "subordinate officials," mostly Anglo-Indians, from attending the institution as day students. But school authorities objected that day students "are not as amenable to discipline as boarders are; they are less regular in their attendance; they carry home school tales; and in many ways are a thorn in the flesh to masters." They went on to insist that the cultural shortcomings of Anglo-Indian households made students from such environments unsuitable for Bishop Cotton School.[71] This episode was characteristic of efforts by hill schools in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to improve their reputations by imposing racial and social barriers to admission. Among the more dramatic examples was the transformation of Stanes' School in Coonoor from a day school for poor Europeans and Anglo-Indians to a high school divided into two sections, with the first serving the "sons of officials and missionaries."[72] Adding to the forces that ratcheted the social composition of the hill schools as high as it would go was the increasing expense of education in England. More and more parents were persuaded in the late nineteenth century to delay or even abandon the overseas education of their children.

As the elite schools sought to solidify their social standing through restrictive practices, the educational needs of poorer children attracted renewed attention. An inquiry by the Bengal department of education in 1875 aroused calls for the establishment of hill schools for children who occupied those subordinate tiers of society where Europeans and Anglo-Indians most often merged.[73] The railway companies began to establish


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schools for the children of their British and Anglo-Indian employees, and although these schools sprang up across the subcontinent, some of the most notable ones were placed in the hills. The Victoria School of Kurseong began as a coeducational institution for the children of Bengal railway workers in 1879, although it subsequently became an all-male boarding school open to others. A separate facility for girls, the Dow Hill School, was established in 1897. The Bombay Baroda and Central India Railway founded a school in Mount Abu in 1887; later, it was christened St. Mary's High School and began to admit nonrailway pupils. The East India Railway School of Mussoorie appeared around 1888, and the Great Indian Peninsular Railway sponsored a school at Lonavala. Various other institutions in the hills served orphans and other children on the margins of European society. Three orphanages were established in Mussoorie—one Anglican, one Catholic, and one Nonconformist—as was the Summer Home for Soldiers' Children (its purpose evident in its name), which strictly prohibited the admission of Anglo-Indian pupils.[74] Simla was the site of the Himalayan Christian Orphanage and Industrial School, later renamed the Mayo Industrial School. Other institutions for poor European and Anglo-Indian children included St. Andrew's Colonial Homes of Kalimpong (1900), Goethal's Memorial School of Kurseong (1907), and St. George's Homes of Kodaikanal (1914), which later moved to Keti, in the Nilgiris. Note should be taken of the sites selected for these institutions. They, like the Lawrence Asylums, were located more often in the secondary and satellite stations than in the central ones—Kurseong and Kalimpong rather than Darjeeling, Lovedale and Keti rather than Ootacamund, Sanawar rather than Simla—suggesting that their pupils' social standing made it desirable to keep them at a distance from the major hill stations.

Most of these institutions shared the same goal as the Lawrence Asylums—to imbue their wards with the Christian rectitude and work ethos that would prepare them for their place in society. "No attempt has been made here . . . to raise the children out of their natural position in life," declared one visitor to the Mayo Industrial School. The pupils of this all-female institution were taught needlework and other "industrial occupations." Some Indian children were admitted to the school in its early years but only as servants, and the experiment ended in 1872, most likely because of fears that the European and Anglo-Indian children would ac-


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quire inflated opinions about their own station in life.[75] Indian servants were strictly prohibited from St. Andrew's Colonial Homes as a way of "removing the distaste for manual labour which is characteristic of the Anglo-Indian and poor European . . . [and thereby] instilling principles of self-respect, self-reliance and self-help." The same was true of St. George's Homes: "no servants are employed so that from infancy the children learn to do everything for themselves; . . . the Homes try and equip them to play their part as good citizens of the country of their birth—India."[76] And what part was this? Most of the male graduates of St. George's Homes and its counterparts found work on the railways and in other industries where Europeans were in demand to supervise Indian laborers, while the girls got jobs as hospital and children's nurses or, more often, found husbands and nursed their own children. One notable exception was St. Andrew's Colonial Homes, where boys worked at the school's farms in preparation for their emigration from India to Australia or New Zealand: the governors of the school believed there was no place for their wards in India.[77]

By the turn of the century, hill stations had become the primary locus of European education in India. To be sure, a number of children continued to attend schools in the plains, and many others did not go to school at all. A study conducted in 1879 found that nearly half of the European and Anglo-Indian children of Bengal were receiving no formal education, but these were mainly Anglo-Indians living in the slums of Calcutta.[78] The children who counted most in the imperial scheme of things—those of "pure" European descent—were likely to attend a hill school at some point in their youth. The Himalayan region alone harbored some sixty educational institutions with enrollments totaling around fifty-four hundred in 1905.[79] The only school on the plains to rival the reputations of the better hill schools was the Lucknow Martinière. Otherwise, parents who sought a respectable education for their children in India or an adequate preparation for their entry into a British public school sent them to the hills,


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while even those who occupied the lower levels of the colonial order found it increasingly feasible for their children to enroll in highland institutions.

The European hill schools had enormous significance for the raj. They made it possible to remove the younger generation from the dangers that lay lurking in the plains without removing them from India altogether. The sons and daughters of poor whites, as well as other British children, were inculcated in the hill schools with the social and cultural values that set them apart from Indians. These schools allowed the British to envision the prospect of their permanent domicile in the subcontinent without fear that physical and moral degeneration would inevitably ensue. A passage from the prospectus of St. Andrew's Colonial Homes explained its intent: "it is a well known fact that the domiciled community deteriorates in the environments of a tropical country and oriental standards; and the object of the Homes is to break down the influence of heredity and of such environments, by removing the children at an early age to surroundings which are healthier, both physically and morally, than the towns in the plains."[80] This statement might be translated as follows: it is clear that the British cannot retain the racial solidarity upon which their imperial position depends if their children grow up in an environment that dissolves the cultural identity meant to distinguish them as representatives of a ruling elite; to maintain and strengthen this identity necessitates their physical removal from the forces that subvert it and their immersion in a total institution that inculcates the values appropriate to the place they have been deemed by authorities to occupy within the imperial system. Simply put, the hill schools held the promise of the social and ideological reproduction of Britain's imperial emissaries.

Ann Stoler has sought in several important articles to rehistoricize our understanding of the social world of European colonizers. She argues that the social identity of the colonizers was never unproblematic, that it was in fact repeatedly beset by pressures that required a refashioning of what it meant to be part of the privileged order. Central to the endeavor to define affinities and align boundaries was the regulation of reproduction, and hence of women. "What is striking," Stoler observes, "when we look to identify the contours and composition of any particular colonial community is the extent to which control over sexuality and reproduction [was]


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at the core of defining colonial privilege and its boundaries."[81] Stoler's insights help us to discern the significance of the hill stations' peculiar demographic attributes. They alert us to the fact that the unusual concentration of women and children in these enclaves constituted a message about the construction of a British colonial identity. And that message was the determination of colonizers to isolate the agents of their reproduction from the alien influences of the realm they ruled and thereby to retain and renew the cultural and ethnic markers that set them apart.

This endeavor was played out in terms of a public/private dichotomy that stood at the center of the bourgeois liberal ethos. From the British perspective, the public sphere was the world of business, politics, and the state; the private sphere was the world of women, children, and the family: the distinction lay between production and reproduction. Situated as they were in the profoundly public role of rulers over a foreign land, the British found it difficult to carve out a space for their private lives. Hill stations arose in part to supply that space. The physical remoteness of these enclaves was a measure of their distance from the public obligations of imperial authority, and their attraction for large numbers of women and children was a testimony to their success in constituting a private domestic domain. Here was a realm insulated from the repercussions of power where those who oversaw the raj could renew themselves, produce their scions, and reaffirm the creed that sustained their imperial endeavors.

7:25 AM  
Blogger shivats said...

1875 dates

BAHNR 3: 48-57 ROBERT STANES (1841-1932):
A MERCHANT ‘SON’ OF
GEORGE MÜLLER
Peter Cousins
Roy Coad, author of the standard history of the Brethren,
describes Robin Stanes’s book, Stanes History 1771-1964,
privately published in 2002, as ‘important on at least three
counts: in its own right as an interesting personal insight into
English-in-India family life during the Raj, as a small corrective
to much of the current ‘politically correct’ conception of the
British and British missionaries in India, and not least as a
contribution to Brethren history’. This paper is based on Stanes’s
book, supplemented in a few places by independent research.
Our story begins with James Richford Stanes, born in 1771,
and his son James (1796-1880). In 1822 J.R. Stanes became a
Freeman of the Merchant Taylors. He (or possibly his son) is
described in official records as ‘a Chinaman’, probably because
he sold porcelain (either he or his son is described elsewhere as
‘a Staffordshire warehouseman). But he took an opportunity to
go into partnership with his brother-in-law, a sea captain, and
thus became a partner in the shipping line, Brass and Stanes. By
1873, the directories refer to Stanes and Watson as East India
commission agents and merchants. When he died he left £9,000
and a house in Hampstead but ‘doubtless much more invested in
coffee in India’.
From c.1802 until c.1835 the Stanes family worshipped at St
Botolph’s, Aldgate. But James’s fifth child and fourth son, Tom
(1837-1905) was, like his younger siblings, baptised at the Weigh
House Chapel in Fish Street. The denominational shift is
significant; Weigh House was Congregational and the minister
4 9
was Thomas Binney, who wrote ‘Eternal light’ and whom
Matthew Arnold described as ‘the representative Nonconformist
of his generation’. The Spectator called him ‘the great Dissenting
Bishop’ and, according to the Companion to Congregational
Praise, Binney ‘made a special appeal to the young men who
came in crowds to hear him’. At this time James Stanes would
have been about 39. It is not unreasonable to think that the move
to Weigh House was related to the contemporary sense of
dissatisfaction with the established church.1 It was in 1833 that
Newman delivered the sermon on ‘National Apostasy’ that is
conventionally regarded as marking the beginning of the Oxford
Movement.
The Indian Connection
James Stanes had seven children. His daughters, Jane and
Isabella, do not feature in this summary, but a link with India was
established in 1852, when the second eldest son, James (1830-
52), went to Southern India and bought an estate (‘Runnymede’)
just below Coonoor where he grew coffee. Very soon afterwards
he was drowned while swimming and his eldest brother William
(1826-65) went out to clear up the estate and was enchanted by
the climate of the Nilgiris. He settled there and subsequently
married Harriet Scudder, who had been born to missionary
parents in Ceylon in 1831, and who was later the aunt of Ida
Scudder (1870-1960), founder of the Christian Medical College
in Vellore. After twenty years as a planter, William and Harriet’s
son William went to Australia as a CSSM worker, financing his
work by income from his Nilgiri estates. He travelled widely and
1 Cf. e.g. Timothy C. F. Stunt, From Awakening to Secession:
Radical Evangelicals in Switzerland and Britain 1815-1835
(Edinburgh, 2001).
50
died at Santos in Brazil. Thomas, the youngest son but one, soon
followed his brothers in 1853/4.
Later James Stanes visited India himself and was so
enthusiastic about what he saw there that he sent his youngest
son, Robert, out to Coonoor in 1858. Robert’s journey from
Madras to Coonor is an interesting example of Christian (or
evangelical) ‘networking’. He stayed with a member of the
Scudder family at Chittoor and went on to Bangalore, staying en
route with the Revd Campbell of the London Missionary Society;
later he visited a sugar factory at Pahbully (or Paulhully?) which
was run by Frank Groves.
Frank was the younger son (born in 1820) of Anthony Norris
Groves. Born in 1795, Anthony Norris Groves was one of the
founders of the Brethren movement; he died on 20 May 1853,
having spent his last 24 years as a missionary in Iran and India.
According to Roy Coad, in a private communication, the Memoir
of the late Anthony Norris Groves (21857) shows that part of
Groves’s work in India was taken up after his death by the
Scudder family. The Groves Memoir also states that ‘his own
beloved sons in Pahbully’ had taken on some of Anthony Norris
Groves's work there.2 In 1847 ‘Mr. F. A .Groves arrived with his
wife in India, and the Paulhully Sugar Works commenced’.3
Later Robert’s second daughter, May, married Nosco Groves,
who was presumably a son of Frank. (The F.W. Groves referred
to in the Stanes book as managing two coffee estates was
presumably another son unless the initials in one or other of the
books are incorrect and it was Frank himself.)
At Ootacamund (‘Ooty’) Robert met not only his brothers
but also Colonel Robert Shedden Dobbie. Dobbie, whose Pocket
2 [Mary Groves], Memoir of the late Anthony Norris Groves by
his Widow (London, 21857),p.520.
3 Ibid., p.412.
5 1
Dictionary of English and Hindustani was published in1847, is
commemorated in Holy Trinity Church, Bangalore. ‘Lt. Col.
Robert Shedden Dobbie, Commandant 39th Regiment N.I., who
died at Bangalore 2 May, 1868 47 yrs’. The unusual second
name suggests that he was related to General Sir William George
Shedden Dobbie, best known for his role in the defence of Malta
during World War Two and for his strong evangelical faith. But
since General Dobbie was born in 1879 and his father William
was in the Indian civil service, it seems likely that he was a
posthumous nephew of the Colonel.
It was not until 1869 that Robert married. His bride was
Harriet Huntingdon Harris, the daughter of an Indian Army
Major General. The marriage took place in a Brethren
stronghold, Clifton Bethesda, where the bride was ‘in
fellowship’, and it was George Muller who officiated. The
previous thirty-five years had seen almost unbelievable growth in
Muller’s charitable and faith-based work. This began in 1834. By
1874, according to Müller,4 this included sixty day schools
(thirty-seven in England and Wales, ten in Spain, three in Italy
and seven in British Guiana); these were fully supported, eleven
others were assisted. Of Sunday schools, twenty-eight were fully
supported and fifteen others assisted. Seven adult schools were
fully supported, three in England, three in Spain and one in India.
38,819 attended these schools. Bibles and New Testaments were
sold or given away, tracts distributed and missionaries supported.
During the year ending 26 May 1874, £10,816.2s.10½d was
distributed among 189 missionaries.In 1874 Müller was
responsible to feed, clothe and educate and place in employment
more than 2,000 children. He raised funds not by public appeal
but by prayer; he did not even publish names of donors.
4 [George Müller], A Narrative of some of the Lord’s Dealings
with George Muller, written by Himself (London, 81881).
52
According to John Winter, a son of Robert’s daughter Maud,
although Robert’s formal connection with the Brethren
eventually ceased, Müller was the person he followed and
admired most in his life. The web site of Stanes Higher
Secondary School, Coimbatore, quotes their founder as having
said that on one of his visits to England, he had a deeply religious
experience after which he became ‘religious as well as
charitable’. It is not unreasonable to conjecture that this may
have been the crucial occasion.
The Schools
This account will show how his lifelong admiration for Müller
influenced Robert Stanes’s subsequent charitable work. But as
early as 1862 he had founded what was to become Stanes Higher
Secondary School in Coimbatore. It began as a day school and a
Sunday school and now has 2,000 pupils. Robert’s memoirs
explain his motivation. ‘When I came to Coimbatore I was
anxious to do some good amongst the Anglo-Indian people who
were much neglected and started a Sunday school for children
and finding them entirely uneducated I decided to start a day
school also and opened this under a pandal attached to the
teacher’s house.’ He was then 21.
His brother Tom shared Robert’s faith. Although children
loved him he may have been rather more strict than his younger
brother. An occasion is recalled of a Sunday when some of his
nieces and their friends were playing tunes on a piano. “Well
children,” he allegedly said, “you play the piano well enough; but
now get down on your knees and pray to God for forgiveness for
your sin in not keeping the Sabbath day holy.” In 1875 he
founded what is now Stanes High School, Coonoor (900 pupils
in 1991).
It is hard to believe that the two brothers were not influenced
by memories of George Müller’s enterprise. Their concern for
5 3
Anglo-Indians is explained by the fact that the term was applied
to children of ‘mixed’ relationships, between British men and
native women—rejected by both ethnic groups. ‘A touch of the
tar-brush’ was a term of contempt and rejection. But Robert
allowed and perhaps even encouraged his eldest daughter,
Winifred, to marry an Anglo-Indian. ‘I think he was largely
colour-blind’ concludes his grandson, Robin.
The motto of the Coonoor school is ‘Nisi Dominus frustra’
(‘Unless the Lord builds the house the builders labour in vain.’).
The Coimbatore school (‘To God be the glory’) has links with
the Church of South India and thus with the Anglican
communion.. The Coonoor school is linked with the Union
Church in Coonoor (‘independent evangelical and nondenominational’),
of which Robert was a founder.
Much of Robert’s wealth was used to build and develop the
Coimbatore school. Indeed, he was criticised by members of the
Stanes family for spending too much on the school at the expense
of Eva and Lily, his two unmarried daughters. But Lily later kept
open house for missionaries in need of a holiday in the two small
houses she owned in Kotagiri. And in his old age Eva kept house
for her father, aided by his devoted servant, Sebastian.
A ‘high sense of honour’
In 1885 Stanes & Co went out of business. Robert recalled that
‘the firm suffered great losses and Messrs Stanes Watson failed
in business, which led to the collapse of my firm. I had to begin
all over again, all that I had was 500 rupees’ [about £40 at that
date]. Later, in 1913, he was to be awarded the Kaiser-I-Hind
gold medal for services to Coimbatore and to education. His
subsequent citation for a knighthood in 1920 (cf. the citation
below) refers to the ‘high sense of honour’ demonstrated when
he ‘assumed responsibility and paid off the whole liabilities of the
company to which he had formerly belonged’. Failure in business
54
was at that time a disgrace and Robert’s son, Fred, who was five
at the time, remembered both the shame and also having to
return to England on a cargo boat. Robert put it on record that
‘my dear wife endured it all without a murmur and with the
greatest patience.’
He started again. ‘By God’s goodness the business again
prospered.’ Although his grandson believes the Stanes spinning
mills in Coimbatore were ‘not particularly generous’ in wages,
yet by 1912 the company had commenced a pension fund which
included the lower paid workers. The Stanes Higher Secondary
School web site describes the textile mill he started in
Coimbatore as ‘the forerunner to the huge textile industry of
world repute which Coimbatore has today’.
By 1886 there were at least four male members of the family
in India, with interests in eleven tea or coffee estates. In all,
sixteen Stanes men with their cousins and brothers-in-law, made
a good living from tea and coffee for over a century (1856-
1964). It was emphatically a family business; exemplifying, for
many years the apostolic principle defined in 2 Corinthians 6:14.
Apart from the schools, there remain in India two tea estate
companies; T. Stanes & Co. with its subsidiaries, Stanes Motors,
The United Coffee Supply Company, and a fertiliser company.
Like his nephew Eric, who finally succeeded him in 1929,
Robert enjoyed driving. He used to return to England fairly
regularly, rent a biggish house, entertain friends and family, hire a
car and travel. Once he visited the Holy Land: “I wanted to see
the spots where our Lord and Saviour suffered for us.” Even in
old age he was tall, attractive, imposing and genial”; he
remembered children’s names. He both had a sense of humour
and would intersperse his conversation with texts from Scripture.
“Thy neighbour as thyself”
5 5
1947 saw the division of the subcontinent between India and the
newly-created state, Pakistan. Full independence followed in
1950. Changes of many kinds were inevitable, not least in the
ownership and management of European enterprises. Robert,
who had supported both of the schools financially and had
established a trust fund for Coimbatore wanted to ‘tie’ the
schools to his successful company, so stipulated in the trust
deeds that a director of the company should be on the governing
body of each school, with the proviso that the Director be a
Protestant Christian. Eventually this proved impossible since the
‘new’ directors were all Brahmins. The difficulty was solved, for
a time at least, by the appointment to the governing body of both
schools of a distinguished Indian Christian who had been
principal of a Christian college in Bangalore.
In 1928 Robert was succeeded as managing director of T
Stanes & Co by his son Fred, whose Christian faith sustained him
through the Depression and a serious threat to the existence of
the firm. The first Indian director was appointed in the same year.
Twelve years later Eric Stanes took over as managing director,
continuing until 1961, just a century after his great-uncle had
started to cure coffee in Coimbatore. He was the son of Robert’s
brother, Henry (1835-1917), who at the age of seventeen found
himself in the Crimea as purser of one of his father’s ships. He
witnessed the Charge of the Light Brigade and on returning
home wrote: ‘War, believe me, consists of horrors, the ‘glories’
are only to be found in the fine articles written by the newspaper
correspondents. Let us all pray that the time may speedily come
when war shall be no more and our Lord Jesus Christ alone shall
reign and rule over the whole world.’
When the time came to dispose of the company Eric was
concerned to find a buyer who would maintain the open-minded
liberal style of the Stanes family. He turned down several bids but
eventually secured an undertaking that the new proprietors
56
would see to it that the company continued to support the
Christian schools. When the company had been sold, he wrote,
‘May I wish that the company continues on the principles laid
down by its founder. ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself.’’
The tensions that culminated in independence were already
present in 1932, when Robert Stanes died. But the notices in the
Indian papers are far from presenting him as an imperialist figure,
preferring to speak of this ‘missionary business man’ as ‘a
Christian knight’, ‘a great gentleman’, ‘the children’s friend’ and
‘the grand old man of South India’. Not only did they flock to his
funeral, one Indian paper devoted a whole page to his obituary.
A memoir written in 1986 by the head of the Coimbatore school
sums up his career:
‘Here was no Midas who turned everything he touched into gold,
but rather a simple and lovable man who made money only to
give it back. . . .’
* * * * *
Citation for the Honour of Knight Bachelor (1920)
‘Mr Stanes first came to India fifty-seven years ago and joined a
commercial firm. Owing to financial difficulties the business
had to be wound up and Mr Stanes started business on his own
account. His ability and enterprise have been shown by the high
position which he has won for himself in commercial circles and
the high sense of honour which has always distinguished him
was signally demonstrated at the outset of his career he assumed
responsibility for and paid off the whole of the liabilities of the
company to which he formerly belonged. His firm are the
proprietors and agents of a large number of commercial
undertakings in Coimbatore including the important Coimbatore
Spinning and weaving Company and are also intimately
connected with the planting industry. Throughout his long
career Mr Stanes has taken a keen and generous interest in
education more especially that of the domiciled community [sc.
the Anglo-Indians]. Shortly after his arrival in India he founded
5 7

5:22 PM  
Blogger Vikram said...

Simba the white Labrador was equally a student of Stanes as the rest of us were. He attached himself to Mr. Wood, the Principal and never left his side. Not a very gregarious dog, he seemed to tolerate the masses of students he had to face everyday, attended assemblies and even staff meetings with a resigned air. Education must have seemed a great waste of time to him.

Life certainly became exciting for him and the rest of the school when Mr. Wood was gifted a baby wild boar by Mr. Corfield. In those days everything was simple and nobody made a great hue and cry about the education of animals in schools. This little bundle of joy was named Mr. Muthuswamy and Mr. Wood and his entourage made a fascinating sight as they perambulated the corridors and walkways of the school. Simba seemed more animated with this new companion who grew at a prodigious rate. The baby stripes were replaced by wiry hair and Mr. Muthuswamy took on a distinctly wild appearance. Small tusks soon appeared and Simba became circumspect in his dealings with him. There was some loose talk of the danger Mr. Muthuswamy y posed to the students.

Mr. Wood then locked him up in a small shed beside his residence and we could hear the pig banging at the sides. Every now and then Mr. Muthuswamy would break out, necessitating reinforcement of the shed. Then the holidays were upon us and Mr. Muthuswamy's cloistered existence came to an end. He had the run of the school and his adventurous ways led him to cross the Rubicon, that thin stream that separated Stanes from the Ritz Hotel grounds. Nights were probably spent in rooting up the forest and having whatever nocturnal fun that pigs had. His wanderings took him further afield into the virgin territory of the adjoining girl's school where he rooted up the nuns’ carrots and exotic flowers.

These gentle nuns tolerated these incursions for a while and then seething with holy indignation hired a hunter to shoot the creature down. Fortunately it was Christmas time and Mr. Muthuswamy made an excellent roast for the nuns, so used to eating chicken and other watery victuals. What Mr. Wood felt he never shared with the school but a wave of righteous anger possessed the boys when they returned from the winter vacation.

What reprisals were conducted is not known, but the planning would have put the Vandals to shame. Simba seemed to age quite a bit after Mr. Muthuswamy became roast, until of course, Angel the brown Labrador came along.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Terence said...

UBRIN GAMBIAN To kids in the primary and middle school in the mid 60's the name brought awe and wonder.Who else in the wide world could make pea shooters,bamboo water pumps and the most valuable catapult.While we all shivered with the cold and had to wear thick wollens the guy only had a singlet under his cotton shirt and walked about as if it was summer the whole year through. To us he was a mini Jim Corbett and we would trade anything to be with him when he took out his catty which had real 'vacuum rubbers' and made from Guava tree wood.The select band of 3 or 4 would walk carefully behind and help him 'spy' the birds and in hushed tones call out to the master and point out the bird we had spied. Dead silence while aim was taken and the pebble or 'ally' was fired depending on the size of the prey. If the bird took off we took consolation that it was a near miss or the bird was 'winged'(only bruised on the wing). Loud hoops of joy followed if the bird dropped and then a big scramble to find and bring the big prize.Once located the bird would be gently picked up and handed over to Ubrin to inspect and describe the nature of injury and whether it was 'lingering' or dead. In his wisdom on these matters he would then tell us pry open the beak and blow into its mouth while another would fetch water in his cupped palms (from the nearest source)and put a few drops in the birds mouth . (to be continued)

8:27 AM  
Blogger சுவாமி said...

Hi,

I've been reading StanesCoonoor blog for some time. I live in California right now. We are planning to move back to India in 2009. As usual like everybody, I've been searching and googling for good school for my kids. Settling down in Coonoor looks like a good idea, in every way, climate, pollution, serenity, and so on..

Before I finalize on that I need some advice from Stanites, about the school, living condition, housing and other tips if any body can give. I guess many Stanites must be living in the US. Please advice me. My kids will be in 4th grade(Girl) and 1st grade(boy)next year. I really appreciate any comments that help me make this decision.

Thanks,
Kalyani.

7:20 AM  
Blogger suresh said...

Hi all Members,

It is decided that at the AGM we are going to discuss about holding
the 150 years celeberation some time in Jan 2009.Also anybody having any old photo related to the school may send in a copy to the school to have it displayed during that time.All invite have been posted to the members.

Regards
Suresh

11:28 PM  
Blogger Kavi said...

I spent a memorable year at Stanes in 1983-84, in my Std 7 - and have fond memories of the principal Mr. David, who enjoyed hearing me deliver speeches or recite poems, and whose classes on the bible gave me a taste for the literary aspects of the bible... And Ms. Shanta who managed to teach me maths, Mr. Peter, someone who taught history and made it fun; classmate Elwyn Wheatley (whom I displaced for the first position in class thanks to my phenomenal marks in Hindi - unfair on my part since as a resident of Chhattisgarh it was as good as my mother tongue); my close friends and classmates Suganthi Daniels and Sriandal; the bright young Tsering Chodan who excelled at so much... the Stanes sports field and the yellow sandstone that melted on to the field when it rained; lunch next to the sports field and being chased by a cow there once! And so much else... Would love to get in touch with others from that time... Kavita Krishnan (kavitakrish73@gmail.com)

9:34 AM  
Blogger Kavi said...

would anyone who responds to my comment, pl send your comments to me at kavitakrish73@gmail.com, too? Thanks

9:36 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE FLOURY KIND

Growing up in Coonoor in the 50's and 60's was somewhat of a "Dicken"sian era for some of us! Richard and I were entrusted to the care of my paternal grandmother who had been married twice. Her first husband, my grandfather, Eugene Greene had suddenly decided to start a new life and disappeared without a trace one day! Rumour had it that he was somewhere in the K.G.F. goldmines. My grandmother didn't make much of an effort to track him down. She probably thought, "good riddance to bad rubbish"! Her second marriage to Dr. Vincent George, District Health Officer of the Nilgiris, was also doomed to failure! Grandmother joined the Ceylon Pentecostal Mission in Ooty and became a religious fanatic! Poor Dr. George did not have an appetite for such religious fervour. He said good bye and made a new life for himself. Her last job, being matron of Lawley Hospital, Coonoor, my grandmother was used to giving orders and having them carried out obediently without question. We lived a highly disciplined life; no movies, no playing cards, no talking to girls and no staying up late. Grandmother was aided and abetted in this military rule by her older sister, who had also served in govt. hospitals as a nurse, Her speciality was mental wards and she had a lot of experience subduing unruly mental patients, both male and female! She put this experience to good use by enforcing military rule in our home. While my grandmother resorted to verbal assaults as a corrective tool, her sister used both verbal and corporal punishment. Corporal puishment was meted out with liberal and forceful whacks on our tender knuckles, bottoms and calf muscles! The instrument used was a stout bamboo cane and it was usually displayed in a prominent place on the wall. It hung there like the Sword of Damocles! A constant reminder to behave, or else! She reminded us of a Sargeant Major in the Army. She had a loud stentorian voice and a volatile temper. Servants, tradesmen and vendors who came to our house, quaked under her hostile gaze. Grand Aunt remained a spinster all her life! Why was I not surprised!

In addition to our school homework, we had our share of house hold chores. One of my chores was to go to the ration store and buy our allotment of rice, sugar, wheat and kerosene oil. I carried out this duty faithfully armed with an assortment of gunny bags and downgraded pillowcases, duly reinforced with patches! The ration store was located in Upper Coonoor quite near tthe old Stylo Drycleaners (Refer to George's story). My next chore was to take the wheat and get it ground into flour at the local flour mill in lower Coonoor. I was not particularly fond of this chore, the reasons for which will be given later. Armed with a retired pillowcase full of wheat, I would run down to lower Coonoor. I would normally take the steps from Mount Road near St. John's church, going down to lower Coonoor. Going down these steps was a real adventure in itself. People lived around these steps that was crowded with homes and shops. People of diverse backgrounds lived here and eked out a living with tiny shops bordering both sides of the steps. At the top of the last long flight of steps going to the market, there were a row of tailoring shops to your right. All these tailors belonged to the Marathi Rao community. Their names were usually, Bhima Rao, Shivaji Rao, Shankar Rao, Venkoba Rao, you get the picture! These tailors were expert in stitching the dresses, blouses and skirts that Anglo-Indian ladies wore. They were highly in demand around Christmas time, weddings, birthdays etc. To the left of these steps, opposite the tailoring shops, were a few pawnbrokers shops. These shops really intrigued me! They had rich persian carpets on the floor. Sitting on these carpets were members of a strange race! We called them Pathans or Kabulis! We now know them as Pashtun tribesmen. How these Pashtuns left their homes far away in the hills and plains of Afghanisthan and wandered all the way to the very tip of South India, in the little town of Coonoor, I will never know. What attracted them to Coonoor and what was the glue that made them stay put? They were of fearsome visage. Tall, usually over six feet in height, they were dressed in pantaloons and kameez that is the traditional attire of choice for males in Pakistan and Afghanisthan. They wore short sleeveless waist coats over their loose fitting kameezes. They had dark turbans wound around their heads and they grew their beards and moustaches. They relaxed on silken cushions and bolsters and chatted in the Pashtun language. Sometimes an ancient brass hookah would be in the middle. There were a lot of poor people in Coonoor then and they were forced to borrow money at high interest rates or pawn their meagre jewellry for cash. Yes the Pashtuns did a roaring trade and they had their own methods of enforcing payment when it was due! Further down these steps on the left side, near the bottom, was the flour mill. It was somewhere opposite the little shack where Mr. Kullan lived (refer to the story, "the maths tutor").

The flour mill was small in size. It had one huge beast of a milling machine. The machine was powered by an electric motor that ran on 380 volts, three phase AC voltage. The motor was coupled to the milling machine with a well worn canvas belt that had seen better times and was patched in many places. The mill operator held sway over his machine and his subjects, the ration bag holders! There would always be a big queue of people, mostly females, no matter what time I went there. Getting your flour ground was a lesson in humility and patience! There was I, clutching my bag of wheat, sandwiched between skinny girls in dhavanis and buxom wenches in colourful saris and blouses and plenty of old hags too! Somehow, I felt uncomfortable and out of place. Was this job reserved for females?, I would wonder. My nose was assaulted with a variety of smells; some good, like the scent of jasmine, roses and sampangi flowers that adorned some feminine heads and some unpleasant, like the smell of unwashed bodies, stale sweat and dirty clothes! The atmosphere in the mill was claustrophobic and dusty. We all jealously guarded our place in the queue. This meant rubbing up close to the person in front of you and hugging on to their wiasts or shoulders, to guard against wily intruders. I felt uncomfortable, but this was part of life and I accepted it. As each person would advance to the machine, the operator would take their bag and empty it into a huge funnel shaped hopper at the top of the machine. He would place a metal container (Brittania biscuit tin) under the spout of the machine.

With one flick of the switch by the operator the machine hummed to life. The humming grew in volume till it reached a crescendo of deafening sound and vibration. Flour dust was everywhere. It would settle like a film of fine talc on your hair, face and get into your eyes. It would coat your hands, clothes and shoes. We had no ear protection and no eye protection! This was all part of life and we just accepted it. We also breathed in flour! God help you if red chilies were being ground! Your eyes, sinuses and throat would sting with the pungent chilly dust. Invariably, some daring hag would sneak stealthily to the front of the line. Pandemonium would ensue! Another patient woman in line would challenge her and ask her to get back in line. An arguement would start and very soon there would be insults and obscenities flying around the room and assaulting my tender ears! By now the accuser would also leave her place in line to confront the queue breaker. The two women would advance menacingly towards each other, one fist raised in the air and the other hand resting on the hip in the classic South Indian Female agressive pose! Other women in the queue would voice their displeasure. The cacophony would increase. Flowery prose like" brass lies" (Poi Pithalattam" or was it brazen lies?), "Va Dee, Po Dee" would fly around my head. Now one hag would lower her fist and advance towards the other with both hands hitching her sari up a few inches shouting invitations to come pull up weeds or something of that sort! I would get red in the face and wish that I would be anywhere but here! Mercifully, the mill operator would intervene before any practical demonstrations were carried out! He would regally shut off the machine and demand that the intruder went back to her place in the queue. Peace would return to the flour mill and the humming would start up again. When my turn came, I was relieved when when my pillow case was full of finely powdered wheat flour. I would pay the miller, hurry out of the room as fast as I could and trudge my weary way up the steps again. The shops were busy, pedestrians went their way, the sewing machines hummed and the Afghans still lounged on their cushions serenely smoking their hookah pipes! All was well with my little world in Coonoor!

Peter Greene

6:15 PM  
Blogger Kavi said...

Peter's posts, though they belong an era long before the time I spent in Coonoor, bring back so many memories. It's nice to think that in 1983-84, I too would take the steps down to lower Coonoor so often on some or the other errand. Can't recall the Pathans, though, maybe they had left by then! But bus conductors would still say 'Pola raaaight!' We (my mother, my sister and I) would prefer to take the 'chutthu vazhi' bus because of the lovely view at Wellington, in spite of the longer route. One regular conductor tried several times to helpfully tell us, at the market bus stand, that the other route would be shorter. And we would pretend we had made a mistake, but say 'never mind.' Gradually he realised we actually paying a couple of rupees more and taking the longer route, and just put us down as crazy!
The Ritz Hotel too brings back so many memories - there it was, on the Orange Grove Road, on the way from our home to Stanes High School.
I want someone to post about the sports field at Stanes - with all its yellow sandstone and its stream coloured with the disssolving sandstone.

9:41 PM  
Blogger shivats said...

Jocelyn married William this day. At the end of the wedding party,
Jocelyn's mother gave her a newly opened bank saving passbook. With $1000
deposit amount.

Mother: 'Jocelyn, take this passbook. Keep it as a record of your marriage
life. When there's something happy and memorable happened in your new
life, put some money in. Write down what it's about next to the line. The
more memorable the event is, the more money you can put in. I've done the
first one for you today. Do the others with William.When you look back
after years, you can know how much happiness you've had.'

Jocelyn shared this with William when getting home. They both thought it
was a great idea and were anxious to know when the second deposit can be
made.

This was what they did after certain time:

- 7 Feb: $100, first birthday celebration for William after marriage
- 1 Mar: $300, salary raise for Jocelyn
- 20 Mar: $200, vacation trip to Bali
- 15 Apr: $2000, Jocelyn got pregnant
- 1 Jun: $1000, William got promoted
.
..... and so on...

However, after years, they started fighting and arguing for trivial
things.They didn't talk much. They regretted that they had married the
most nasty people in the world.... no more love...Kind of typical
nowadays, huh?

One day Jocelyn talked to her Mother:

'Mom, we can't stand it anymore. We agree to divorce. I can't imagine how
I decided to marry this guy!!!'

Mother: 'Sure, girl, that's no big deal. Just do whatever you want if you
really can't stand it. But before that, do one thing first. Remember the
saving passbook I gave you on your wedding day? Take out all money and
spend it first. You shouldn't keep any record of such a poor marriage.'

Jocelyn thought it was true. So she went to the bank, waiting at the queue
and planning to cancel the account.

While she was waiting, she took a look at the passbook record. She looked,
and looked, and looked. Then the memory of all the previous joy and
happiness just came up her mind. Her eyes were then filled with tears. She
left and went home.

When she was home, she handed the passbook to William, asked him to spend
the money before getting divorce.

The next day, William gave the passbook back to Jocelyn. She found a new
deposit of $5000. And a line next to the record: 'This is the day I notice
how much I've loved you thru out all these years. How much happiness
you've brought me.'

They hugged and cried, putting the passbook back to the safe.

Do you know how much money they had saved when they retired? I did not
ask.I believe the money did not matter any more after they had gone thru
all the good years in their life.



"When you fall,
Don't see the place where you fell,
Instead see the place from where you slipped.
Life is about correcting mistakes."

7:21 AM  
Blogger VENKATARAMAN said...

HELLO GEORGE DAVID........ I think you are the canara bank fellow who walks with an intellectual gait and a inquisitiveness that beats everything............pl post you email id and for heavens sake track down pg mathew and hilary edwin............ v ramachandran blogging from cbe

11:16 PM  
Blogger shivats said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Kavi said...

This is a response to Shivats' post with vir Sanghvi/secularism..
Depends on how you look at it, I say. Vir Sanghvi keeps asking us 'can we conceive' of secular miracles and expression of dissent of the Indian variety happening in pakistan.
I ask: in pakistan, thousands of people on the streets - succeeded in making a Prime Minister back off. How often has that kind of direct democracy happened in India? I'm not saying it can't - but people on the streets all over the country has happened pretty often in Nepal, Pakistan - not that often in India.
In Pakistan, Fehmida Riaz can write a poem ironically commenting on the similarities between Pakistani Muslim fundamentalists and Indian Hindutva ones - 'tum bilkul ham jaise nikle' (You turned out just like us) she can say. She wrote it in Pakistan - but when she read it out in India, one flower of Indian army-dom whipped out a gun at a poetry reading and threatened to fire! How many people does Sanghvi know in India who can say to Pakistanis in the context of Hindutva, for that matter even in the context of India's increasingly loving embrace of the US, or Manmohan's love for Bush, - 'ham bilkul tum jaise nikle' (we turned out just like you)? And how secular is India really, with perpetrators of massacre in Gujarat (2002) and Kandhamal (2008) and Delhi (Sikhs in 1984, the year I was at Stanes) goin unpunished?

10:14 PM  
Blogger petgreene said...

Hi Kavita,
Thanks for your interesting article! Why don't you join us on the Stanes Saunter blog, comments section and tell us all about yourself?

Peter

5:46 PM  
Blogger Kavi said...

Hi petgreene,
I'n not sure how to do that! How does one join that saunter blog? I have left details about myself earlier in the form of comment here. When were you at Stanes?

5:50 PM  
Blogger philip said...

I. The bigotry of politicians who inflame religious passions

I refer to an article in the New Indian Express . A political hack stated that there is no place for minorities in India . He seeks to take India back to a time when men and women huddled together for safety in tribal groups, fearful of the darkness outside the campfire . Here is a man who seeks to negate all social and intellectual progress and take India back to a Dark Age when loyalty is seen only in terms of religion. Here is a rabble rouser who sees entire groups of people in terms of simplistic stereotypes. This demagogue’s views on nationhood are similar to Nazi views of one people , one nation ,one leader (ein volk, ein reich, ein fuhrer). In the Indian context - one religion, one people , one monochromatic culture. We know the disastrous consequences of that social experiment.

All sensible Indians will define themselves as Indians who happen to be Hindus, Muslims, Parsis, Sikhs or Christian purely by accident of birth . And along comes this politician and many others of his kind who seek to divide Indians on the basis of religious hatred. I am a proud Indian who does not view people or groups through the prism of religious and communal prejudice and I do not need people like him to decide whether I am sufficiently Indian.

All of us cannot arm ourselves and set out to fight terrorists . But here are some ways in which each of us can contribute to the fight against terror and fanaticism.

1. Obey the laws of our country and respect the constitution. Even observance of traffic rules will free the police to deal with serious crime.
2.Do not interfere with the independent functioning of the police
3. Do not take the law into your hands
4. Do not exploit those unable to defend themselves
5. Never use influence to bend the rules

II.Stereotyping and related dangers.

Jack London and H.G. Wells were extraordinary men and great writers . But they too were not above prejudice and stereotyping . If they could be so biased, what about ordinary people like us and our neighbours?

1. Jack London and the Unparalled Invasion
This short story by Jack London was written in the early 1900s and set in the period from the 1920s to the 1980s. China is the most populous nation in the world and in about 60 years, China rises from subservience to Japan and the West to emerge a superpower. China's population allied with scientific progress is irresistible and the Middle Kingdom conquers neighbouring lands and becomes a threat to the West. The armies that the Western powers hurl at China are destroyed.

The West realizes that they cannot conquer China by conventional means . A huge fleet numbering over 50 thousand vessels blockade China's coast and Western armies seal her borders. Virulent toxins are dropped by aircraft all over China . In a few weeks five hundred million Chinese are wiped out and those trying to cross the border or flee by sea are destroyed like vermin. After a few years of sanitizing the country , the Western powers colonize China.

Jack London reduces 500 million individuals to a single type – ant like, industrious, unfeeling and devoid of any human qualities. It is not surprising he could write with equanimity about the destruction of so many without a qualm .

2. H.G.Wells and The New Republic :
He called himself a Great General in Dreamland and his books ,The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, The First Men in the Moon and his short stories fully endorse his opinion. But Wells also wrote a book called the New Republic , his idea of utopia. I will quote a paragraph from this work `` And how will the new republic treat the inferior races? How will it deal with the black? how will it deal with the yellow man? how will it tackle that alleged termite in the civilized woodwork, the Jew? Certainly not as races at all. … And for the rest, those swarms of black, and brown, and dirty-white, and yellow people, who do not come into the new needs of efficiency?
Well, the world is a world, not a charitable institution, and I take it they will have to go.The whole tenor and meaning of the world, as I see it, is that they have to go. So far as they fail to develop sane, vigorous, and distinctive personalities for the great world of the future, it is their portion to die out and disappear.The leaders of the New Republic have an ideal that will make the killing worthwhile.''

Utterly chilling , right ? I am aghast and terrified that ,in the first decade of the 21st century, there are powerful and influential people in almost every country who subscribe to similar thoughts.

8:48 PM  
Blogger petgreene said...

Hi Kavita, Click on the link below and you will open the page for Stanes Saunter blog. You will find the page for April at the top. Scroll down slightly and click on "comments" Presently it is at 19. Type your comments into the box under the heading, "Leave your comment". Then go down below the box and enter your username and password in the appropriate bars. Next, click on the orange bar, "publish your comment" and your comment will be published on the blog. Hope to se your comments soon!

I studied in Stanes from 1957 till 1967 and my name is Peter Greene. I live in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and have been here for 17 years.

Peter




http://stanescoonoorblog.blogspot.com/

4:35 AM  
Blogger shivats said...

hi Kavita,
www.stanescoonoorblog.blogspot.com is the web address and since you are familiar with posting comments on this blog, we are sure you would be able to do so in the school blog as well..

9:23 AM  
Blogger Stanes said...

Easter (Greek: Πάσχα, Ethiopic: ፍሲካ, Pascha) is an important annual religious feast in the Christian liturgical year.[1] According to Christian scripture, Jesus was resurrected from the dead three days[2] after his crucifixion. Many Christian denominations celebrate this resurrection on Easter Day or Easter Sunday[3] (also Resurrection Day or Resurrection Sunday), two days after Good Friday and three days after Maundy Thursday. The chronology of his death and resurrection is variously interpreted to be in 29 AD as per the ancient carols which were sung by the bards and compiled into the earliest Bibles. Easter also refers to the season of the church year called Eastertide or the Easter Season. Traditionally the Easter Season lasted for the forty days from Easter Day until Ascension Day but now officially lasts for the fifty days until Pentecost. The first week of the Easter Season is known as Easter Week or the Octave of Easter. Easter also marks the end of Lent, a season of fasting, prayer, and penance.

Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. Easter falls at some point between late March and late April each year (early April to early May in Eastern Christianity), following the cycle of the Moon. After several centuries of disagreement, all churches accepted the computation of the Alexandrian Church (now the Coptic Church) that Easter is the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon, which is the first moon whose 14th day (the ecclesiastic "full moon") is on or after March 21 (the ecclesiastic "vernal equinox").

Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover not only for much of its symbolism but also for its position in the calendar.

Cultural elements, such as the Easter Bunny and Easter egg hunts, have become part of the holiday's modern celebrations, and those aspects are often celebrated by many Christians and non-Christians alike. There are also some Christian denominations which do not celebrate Easter.

Theological significance
The Christian tradition, based on New Testament and later writings, links the Last Supper with Passover. According to Paul, as Jesus prepared himself and his disciples for his death during the Last Supper, he gave the Passover meal a new meaning. 1 Corinthians 5:7 states:

"Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed"
This refers to the Passover requirement to have no yeast in the house and to Christ's identification as the Paschal lamb.[4]

More importantly, Easter has become associated with Jesus’ crucifixion, and the loaf of bread and cup of wine served at the Last Supper is identified with and symbolizing his body soon to be sacrificed and his blood soon to be shed. (1 Corinthians 11:23–26)

One interpretation of the Gospel of John is that Jesus, as the Passover lamb, was crucified at roughly the same time as the Passover lambs were being slain in the temple, on the afternoon of Nisan 14.[5][6] This interpretation, however, is inconsistent with the chronology in the Synoptic Gospels. It assumes that "the preparation of the passover" in John 19:14 literally refers to Nisan 14 (Preparation Day for the Passover) and not necessarily to Yom Shishi (Friday, Preparation Day for the Sabbath)[7] and that "eat the passover" in John 18:28 refers to the eating of the Passover lamb, not to eating any of the sacrifices that were offered during the Days of Unleavened Bread.

However, Easter itself commemorates the resurrection of Jesus, and not his crucifixion.


Etymology

Anglo-Saxon and German

"Eástre" by Jacques Reich (1909).Main article: Ēostre
The modern English term Easter developed from Old English word Ēastre or Ēostre or Eoaster, which itself developed prior to 899. The name refers to Eostur-monath, a month of the Germanic calendar attested by Bede as named after the goddess Ēostre of Anglo-Saxon paganism.[8] Bede notes that Eostur-monath was the equivalent to the month of April, and that feasts held her in honor during Ēostur-monath had died out by the time of his writing, replaced with the Christian custom of Easter.[9] Using comparative linguistic evidence from continental Germanic sources, the 19th century scholar Jacob Grimm proposed the existence of an equivalent form of Eostre among the pre-Christian beliefs of the continental Germanic peoples, whose name he reconstructed as *Ostara.

The implications of the goddess have resulted in scholarly theories about whether or not Eostre is an invention of Bede, theories connecting Eostre with records of Germanic folk custom (including hares and eggs), and as descendant of the Proto-Indo-European goddess of the dawn through the etymology of her name. Grimm's reconstructed *Ostara has had some influence in modern popular culture. Modern German has Ostern, but otherwise, Germanic languages have generally borrowed the form pascha, see below.


Semitic, Romance, Celtic and other Germanic languages
The Greek word Πάσχα and hence the Latin form Pascha is derived from Hebrew Pesach (פֶּסַח) meaning the festival of Passover.

Christians speaking Arabic or other Semitic languages generally use names cognate to Pesach. For instance, the second word of the Arabic name of the festival عيد الفصح ʿĪd al-Fiṣḥ has the root F-Ṣ-Ḥ, which given the sound laws applicable to Arabic is cognate to Hebrew P-S-Ḥ, with "Ḥ" realized as /x/ in Modern Hebrew and /ħ/ in Arabic. Arabic also uses the term عيد القيامة ʿĪd al-Qiyāmah, meaning "festival of the resurrection," but this term is less common. In Maltese the word is L-Għid. In Ge'ez and the modern Ethiosemitic languages of Ethiopia and Eritrea, two forms exist: ፋሲካ ("Fasika," fāsīkā) from Greek Pascha, and ትንሣኤ ("Tensae," tinśā'ē), the latter from the Semitic root N-Ś-', meaning "to rise" (cf. Arabic nasha'a - ś merged with "sh" in Arabic and most non-South Semitic languages).

In all Romance languages the name of the Easter festival is derived from the Latin Pascha. In Spanish, Easter is la Pascua, in Italian Pasqua and in Portuguese Páscoa. In French, the name of Easter Pâques also derives from the Latin word but the s following the a has been lost and the two letters have been transformed into a â with a circumflex accent by elision.

In all modern Celtic languages the term for Easter is derived from Latin. In Brythonic languages this has yielded Welsh Pasg, Cornish and Breton Pask. In Goidelic languages the word was borrowed before these languages had re-developed the /p/ sound and as a result the initial /p/ was replaced with /k/. This yielded Irish Cáisc, Gaelic Càisg and Manx Caisht. These terms are normally used with the definite article in Goidelic languages, causing lenition in all cases: An Cháisc, A' Chàisg and Y Chaisht.

In Dutch, Easter is known as pasen and in the Scandinavian languages Easter is known as påske (Danish and Norwegian), påsk (Swedish), páskar (Icelandic) and páskir (Faeroese). The name is derived directly from Hebrew Pesach.[10] The letter å is a double a pronounced /o/, and an alternate spelling is paaske or paask.


Slavic languages
In most Slavic languages, the name for Easter either means "Great Day" or "Great Night". For example, Wielkanoc, Veľká noc and Velikonoce mean "Great Night" or "Great Nights" in Polish, Slovak and Czech, respectively. Великдень (Velykden), Великден (Velikden), and Вялікдзень (Vyalikdzyen') mean "The Great Day" in Macedonian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, and Belarusian, respectively.

In Croatian and Serbian, however, the day's name reflects a particular theological connection: it is called Uskrs, meaning "Resurrection". In Croatian it is also called Vazam (Vzem or Vuzem in Old Croatian), which is a noun that originated from the Old Church Slavonic verb vzeti (now uzeti in Croatian, meaning "to take"). It also explains the fact that in Serbian Easter is sometimes also called Vaskrs, a liturgical form inherited from the Serbian recension of Church Slavonic. The archaic term Velja noć (velmi: Old Slavic for "great"; noć: "night") was used in Croatian while the term Velikden ("Great Day") was used in Serbian. It is believed that Cyril and Methodius, the "holy brothers" who baptized the Slavic people and translated Christian books from Greek into Old Church Slavonic, invented the word Uskrs from the word krsnuti or "enliven".[11]

Another exception is Russian, in which the name of the feast, Пасха (Paskha), is a borrowing of the Greek form via Old Church Slavonic.[12]


Finno-Ugric languages
In Finnish the name for Easter pääsiäinen, traces back to the Swedish påsk, as does the Sámi word Beassážat. The Estonian name lihavõtted and the Hungarian húsvét, however, literally mean the taking of the meat, relating to the end of the Great Lent fasting period.


Easter in the early Church

Reenacting the Stations of the Cross in Jerusalem on the Via Dolorosa from the Lions' Gate to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.The first Christians, Jewish and Gentile, were certainly aware of the Hebrew calendar (Acts 2:1; 12:3; 20:6; 27:9; 1 Cor 16:8), but there is no direct evidence that they celebrated any specifically Christian annual festivals. The observance by Christians of non-Jewish annual festivals is believed by some to be an innovation postdating the Apostolic Age. The ecclesiastical historian Socrates Scholasticus (b. 380) attributes the observance of Easter by the church to the perpetuation of its custom, "just as many other customs have been established," stating that neither Jesus nor his Apostles enjoined the keeping of this or any other festival. However, when read in context, this is not a rejection or denigration of the celebration—which, given its currency in Scholasticus' time would be surprising—but is merely part of a defense of the diverse methods for computing its date. Indeed, although he describes the details of the Easter celebration as deriving from local custom, he insists the feast itself is universally observed.[13]

Perhaps the earliest extant primary source referencing Easter is a mid-2nd century Paschal homily attributed to Melito of Sardis, which characterizes the celebration as a well-established one.[14] Evidence for another kind of annual Christian festival, the commemoration of martyrs, begins to appear at about the same time as evidence for the celebration of Easter.[15] But while martyrs' "birthdays" were celebrated on fixed dates in the local solar calendar, the date of Easter was fixed by means of the local Jewish lunisolar calendar. This is consistent with the celebration of Easter having entered Christianity during its earliest, Jewish period, but does not leave the question free of doubt.[16]


Second-century controversy
For more details on this topic, see Quartodecimanism.
See also: Easter controversy and Passover (Christian holiday)
By the later second century, it was accepted that the celebration of Pascha (Easter) was a practice of the disciples and an undisputed tradition. The Quartodeciman controversy, the first of several Paschal/Easter controversies, then arose concerning the date on which Pascha should be celebrated.

The term "Quartodeciman" refers to the practice of celebrating Pascha or Easter beginning on Nisan 14 of the Hebrew calendar, "the LORD's passover" (Leviticus 23:5). According to the church historian Eusebius, the Quartodeciman Polycarp (bishop of Smyrna, by tradition a disciple of John the Evangelist) debated the question with Anicetus (bishop of Rome). The Roman province of Asia was Quartodeciman, while the Roman and Alexandrian churches continued the fast until the Sunday following, wishing to associate Easter with Sunday. Neither Polycarp nor Anicetus persuaded the other, but they did not consider the matter schismatic either, parting in peace and leaving the question unsettled.

Controversy arose when Victor, bishop of Rome a generation after Anicetus, attempted to excommunicate Polycrates of Ephesus and all other bishops of Asia for their Quartodecimanism. According to Eusebius, a number of synods were convened to deal with the controversy, which he regarded as all ruling in support of Easter on Sunday.[17] Polycrates (c. 190), however wrote to Victor defending the antiquity of Asian Quartodecimanism. Victor's attempted excommunication was apparently rescinded and the two sides reconciled upon the intervention of bishop Irenaeus and others, who reminded Victor of the tolerant precedent of Anicetus.

Quartodecimanism seems to have lingered into the fourth century, when Socrates of Constantinople recorded that some Quartodecimans were deprived of their churches by John Chrysostom[18] and that some were harassed by Nestorius.[19]


Third/fourth-century controversy and Council
It is not known how long the Nisan 14 practice continued. But both those who followed the Nisan 14 custom, and those who set Easter to the following Sunday (the Sunday of Unleavened Bread) had in common the custom of consulting their Jewish neighbors to learn when the month of Nisan would fall, and setting their festival accordingly. By the later 3rd century, however, some Christians began to express dissatisfaction with the custom of relying on the Jewish community to determine the date of Easter. The chief complaint was that the Jewish communities sometimes erred in setting Passover to fall before the spring equinox. Anatolius of Laodicea in the later third century wrote:

Those who place [the first lunar month of the year] in [the twelfth zodiacal sign before the spring equinox] and fix the Paschal fourteenth day accordingly, make a great and indeed an extraordinary mistake[20]

Peter, bishop of Alexandria (died 312), had a similar complaint

On the fourteenth day of [the month], being accurately observed after the equinox, the ancients celebrated the Passover, according to the divine command. Whereas the men of the present day now celebrate it before the equinox, and that altogether through negligence and error.[21]

The Sardica paschal table[22] confirms these complaints, for it indicates that the Jews of some eastern Mediterranean city (possibly Antioch) fixed Nisan 14 on March 11 (Julian) in A.D. 328, on March 5 in A.D. 334, on March 2 in A.D. 337, and on March 10 in A.D. 339, all well before the spring equinox.[23]

Because of this dissatisfaction with reliance on the Jewish calendar, some Christians began to experiment with independent computations.[24] Others, however, felt that the customary practice of consulting Jews should continue, even if the Jewish computations were in error. A version of the Apostolic Constitutions used by the sect of the Audiani advised:

Do not do your own computations, but instead observe Passover when your brethren from the circumcision do. If they err [in the computation], it is no matter to you....[25]

Two other objections that some Christians may have had to maintaining the custom of consulting the Jewish community in order to determine Easter are implied in Constantine's letter from the Council of Nicea to the absent bishops:

It appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of this most holy feast we should follow the practice of the Jews...For we have it in our power, if we abandon their custom, to prolong the due observance of this ordinance to future ages by a truer order...For their boast is absurd indeed, that it is not in our power without instruction from them to observe these things....Being altogether ignorant of the true adjustment of this question, they sometimes celebrate Passover twice in the same year.[26]

The reference to Passover twice in the same year might refer to the geographical diversity that existed at that time in the Jewish calendar, due in large measure to the breakdown of communications in the Empire. Jews in one city might determine Passover differently from Jews in another city.[27] The reference to the Jewish "boast", and, indeed, the strident anti-Jewish tone of the whole passage, suggests another issue: some Christians thought that it was undignified for Christians to depend on Jews to set the date of a Christian festival.

This controversy between those who advocated independent computations, and those who wished to continue the custom of relying on the Jewish calendar, was formally resolved by the First Council of Nicaea in 325 (see below), which endorsed the move to independent computations, effectively requiring the abandonment of the old custom of consulting the Jewish community in those places where it was still used. That the older custom (called "protopaschite" by historians) did not at once die out, but persisted for a time, is indicated by the existence of canons[28] and sermons[29] against it.

Some historians have argued that mid-4th century Roman authorities, in an attempt to enforce the Nicene decision on Easter, attempted to interfere with the Jewish calendar. This theory was developed by S. Liebermann,[30] and is repeated by S. Safrai in the Ben-Sasson History of the Jewish People.[31] This view receives no support, however, in surviving mid-4th century Roman legislation on Jewish matters.[32] The Historian Procopius, in his Secret History,[33] claims that the emperor Justinian attempted to interfere with the Jewish calendar in the 6th century, and a modern writer has suggested[34] that this measure may have been directed against the protopaschites. However, none of Justinian's surviving edicts dealing with Jewish matters is explicitly directed against the Jewish calendar,[35] making the interpretation of Procopius's statement a complex matter.


Date of Easter
Dates for Easter Sunday
1982–2022
In Gregorian dates Year Western Eastern
1982 April 11 April 18
1983 April 3 May 8
1984 April 22
1985 April 7 April 14
1986 March 30 May 4
1987 April 19
1988 April 3 April 10
1989 March 26 April 30
1990 April 15
1991 March 31 April 7
1992 April 19 April 26
1993 April 11 April 18
1994 April 3 May 1
1995 April 16 April 23
1996 April 7 April 14
1997 March 30 April 27
1998 April 12 April 19
1999 April 4 April 11
2000 April 23 April 30
2001 April 15
2002 March 31 May 5
2003 April 20 April 27
2004 April 11
2005 March 27 May 1
2006 April 16 April 23
2007 April 8
2008 March 23 April 27
2009* April 12 April 19
2010 April 4
2011 April 24
2012 April 8 April 15
2013 March 31 May 5
2014 April 20
2015 April 5 April 12
2016 March 27 May 1
2017 April 16
2018 April 1 April 8
2019 April 21 April 28
2020 April 12 April 19
2021 April 4 May 2
2022 April 17 April 24
Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts, in that they do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars (both of which follow the cycle of the sun and the seasons). Instead, the date for Easter is determined on a lunisolar calendar, as is the Hebrew calendar.

In Western Christianity, using the Gregorian calendar, Easter always falls on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25 inclusively.[36] The following day, Easter Monday, is a legal holiday in many countries with predominantly Christian traditions. In Eastern Orthodox Churches which continue to use the Julian calendar for religious dating, Easter also falls on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25 inclusive of the Julian calendar. (The Julian calendar is no longer used as the civil calendar of the countries where Eastern Christian traditions predominate.) In terms of the Gregorian calendar, due to the 13 day difference between the calendars between 1900 and 2099, these dates are between April 4 and May 8 inclusive.

The precise date of Easter has at times been a matter for contention. At the First Council of Nicaea in 325 it was decided that all Christians would celebrate Easter on the same day, which would be computed independently of any Jewish calculations to determine the date of Passover. It is probable, though, that no method of determining the date was specified by the Council. (No contemporary account of the Council's decisions has survived.) Epiphanius of Salamis wrote in the mid-4th century:

...the emperor...convened a council of 318 bishops...in the city of Nicea...They passed certain ecclesiastical canons at the council besides, and at the same time decreed in regard to the Passover that there must be one unanimous concord on the celebration of God's holy and supremely excellent day. For it was variously observed by people....[37]
In the years following the council, the computational system that was worked out by the church of Alexandria came to be normative. It took a while for the Alexandrian rules to be adopted throughout Christian Europe, however. The Church of Rome continued to use an 84-year lunisolar calendar cycle from the late third century until 457. The Church of Rome continued to use its own methods until the 6th century, when it may have adopted the Alexandrian method as converted into the Julian calendar by Dionysius Exiguus (certain proof of this does not exist until the ninth century). Early Christians in Britain and Ireland also used a late third century Roman 84-year cycle. This was replaced by the Alexandrian method in the course of the 7th and 8th centuries. Churches in western continental Europe used a late Roman method until the late 8th century during the reign of Charlemagne, when they finally adopted the Alexandrian method. However, with the adoption of the Gregorian calendar by the Catholic Church in 1582 and the continuing use of the Julian calendar by Eastern Orthodox Churches, the date on which Easter is celebrated again deviated, and the divergence continues to this day.


Computations
Main article: Computus
The rule has since the Middle Ages been phrased as Easter is observed on the Sunday after the first full moon on or after the day of the vernal equinox. However, this does not reflect the actual ecclesiastical rules precisely. One reason for this is that the full moon involved (called the Paschal full moon) is not an astronomical full moon, but the 14th day of a calendar lunar month. Another difference is that the astronomical vernal equinox is a natural astronomical phenomenon, which can fall on March 19, 20, or 21, while the ecclesiastical date is fixed by convention on March 21.[38]

In applying the ecclesiastical rules, Christian Churches use March 21 as the starting point in determining the date of Easter, from which they find the next full moon, etc. The Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches continue to use the Julian calendar. Their starting point in determining the date of Orthodox Easter is also March 21, but according to the Julian reckoning, which corresponds to April 4th on the Gregorian calendar. In addition, the lunar tables of the Julian calendar are 4 days (sometimes 5 days) behind those of the Gregorian calendar. The 14th day of the lunar month according to the Gregorian system is only the 9th or 10th day according to the Julian. The result of this combination of solar and lunar discrepancies is divergence in the date of Easter in most years. (see table)

The actual calculations for the date of Easter are somewhat complicated, but can be described briefly as follows:

Easter is determined on the basis of lunisolar cycles. The lunar year consists of 30-day and 29-day lunar months, generally alternating, with an embolismic month added periodically to bring the lunar cycle into line with the solar cycle. In each solar year (January 1 to December 31), the lunar month beginning with an ecclesiastical new moon falling in the 29-day period from March 8 to April 5 inclusive is designated as the Paschal lunar month for that year. Easter is the 3rd Sunday in the Paschal lunar month, or, in other words, the Sunday after the Paschal lunar month's 14th day. The 14th of the Paschal lunar month is designated by convention as the Paschal full moon, although the 14th of the lunar month may differ from the date of the astronomical full moon by up to two days.[39] Since the ecclesiastical new moon falls on a date from March 8 to April 5 inclusive, the Paschal full moon (the 14th of that lunar month) must fall on a date from March 21 to April 18 inclusive.

Accordingly, Gregorian Easter can fall on 35 possible dates - between March 22 and April 25 inclusive.[40] It last fell on March 22 in 1818, and will not do so again until 2285. It fell on March 23 in 2008, but will not do so again until 2160. Easter last fell on the latest possible date, April 25, in 1943 and will next fall on that date in 2038. However, it will fall on April 24, just one day before this latest possible date, in 2011. The cycle of Easter dates repeats after exactly 5,700,000 years, with April 19 being the most common date, happening 220,400 times or 3.9%, compared to the median for all dates of 189,525 times or 3.3%.

To prevent any differences developing in the dating of Easter in the Catholic Church, the Church has compiled tables for Easter, which are based on the ecclesiastical rules described above. All affiliated churches celebrate Easter in accordance with these tables.


Relationship to date of Passover
In determining the date of the Gregorian and Julian Easter a lunisolar cycle is followed. In determining the date of the Jewish Passover a lunisolar calendar is also used, and Easter usually falls up to a week after the first day of Passover (Nisan 15 in the Hebrew calendar). However, the differences in the rules between the Hebrew and Gregorian cycles results in Passover falling about a month after Easter in three years of the 19-year cycle. These occur in years 3, 11, and 14 of the Gregorian 19-year cycle (corresponding respectively to years 19, 8, and 11 of the Jewish 19-year cycle).

The reason for the difference is the different scheduling of embolismic months in the two cycles (see computus). In addition, without changes to either calendar, the frequency of monthly divergence between the two festivals will increase over time as a result of the differences in the implicit solar years: the implicit mean solar year of the Hebrew calendar is 365.2468 days while that of the Gregorian calendar is 365.2425 days. In years 2200-2299, for example, the start of Passover will be about a month later than Gregorian Easter in four years out of nineteen.

Since in the modern Hebrew calendar Nisan 15 can never fall on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, the seder of Nisan 15 never falls on the night of Maundy Thursday. The second seder, observed in some Jewish communities on the second night of Passover can, however, occur on Thursday night.

Because the Julian calendar's implicit solar year has drifted further over the centuries than the those of the Gregorian or Hebrew calendars, Julian Easter is a lunation later than Gregorian Easter in five years out of nineteen, namely years 3, 8,11, 14, and 19 of the Christian cycle. This means that it is a lunation later than Jewish Passover in two years out of nineteen, years 8 and 19 of the Christian cycle. Furthermore, because the Julian calendar's lunar age is now about 4 to 5 days behind the mean lunations, Julian Easter always follows the start of Passover. This cumulative effect of the errors in the Julian calendar's solar year and lunar age has led to the often-repeated, but false, belief that the Julian cycle includes an explicit rule requiring Easter always to follow Jewish Passover.[41][42]


Reform of the date of Easter
See also: Reform of the date of Easter
A Pan-Orthodox congress of Eastern Orthodox bishops met in Istanbul in 1923 under the presidency of Patriarch Meletios IV, where the bishops agreed to the Revised Julian calendar. The original form of this calendar would have determined Easter using precise astronomical calculations based on the meridian of Jerusalem.[43][44] However, all the Eastern Orthodox countries that subsequently adopted the Revised Julian calendar adopted only that part of the revised calendar that applied to festivals falling on fixed dates in the Julian calendar. The revised Easter computation that had been part of the original 1923 agreement was never implemented in any Orthodox diocese.

At a summit in Aleppo, Syria, in 1997, the World Council of Churches proposed a reform in the calculation of Easter which would have replaced the present divergent practices of calculating Easter with modern scientific knowledge taking into account actual astronomical instances of the spring equinox and full moon based on the meridian of Jerusalem, while also following the Council of Nicea position of Easter being on the Sunday following the full moon.[45] The WCC presented comparative data of the relationships:

Table of dates of Easter - 2001–2020
In Gregorian dates Year Astronomical
full moon Astronomical
Easter
(Sunday after full moon) Gregorian
Easter Julian
Easter Jewish
Passover
2001 April 8 April 15 April 15 April 15 April 8
2002 March 28 March 31 March 31 May 5 March 28
2003 April 16 April 20 April 20 April 27 April 17
2004 April 5 April 11 April 11 April 11 April 6
2005 March 25 March 27 March 27 May 1 April 24
2006 April 13 April 16 April 16 April 23 April 13
2007 April 2 April 8 April 8 April 8 April 3
2008 March 21 March 23 March 23 April 27 April 20
2009* April 9 April 12 April 12 April 19 April 9
2010 March 30 April 4 April 4 April 4 March 30
2011 April 18 April 24 April 24 April 24 April 19
2012 April 6 April 8 April 8 April 15 April 7
2013 March 27 March 31 March 31 May 5 March 26
2014 April 15 April 20 April 20 April 20 April 15
2015 April 4 April 5 April 5 April 12 April 4
2016 March 23 March 27 March 27 May 1 April 23
2017 April 11 April 16 April 16 April 16 April 11
2018 March 31 April 1 April 1 April 8 March 31
2019 March 21 March 24 April 21 April 28 April 20
2020 April 8 April 12 April 12 April 19 April 9

Notes: 1. Astronomical Easter is the first Sunday after the Astronomical full moon.
2. Passover commences at sunset preceding the date indicated.

The recommended WCC changes would have side-stepped the calendar issues and eliminated the difference in date between the Eastern and Western churches. The reform was proposed for implementation starting in 2001, but it was not ultimately adopted by any member body.

A few clergymen of various denominations have advanced the notion of disregarding the moon altogether in determining the date of Easter. Their proposals include always observing Easter on the second Sunday in April, or always having seven Sundays between the Epiphany and Ash Wednesday, producing the same result except that in leap years Easter could fall on April 7. These suggestions have not attracted significant support, and their adoption in the future is considered unlikely.

In the United Kingdom, the Easter Act 1928 set out legislation to allow the date of Easter to be fixed as the first Sunday after the second Saturday in April (or, in other words, the Sunday in the period from April 9 to April 15). However, the legislation has not been implemented, although it remains on the Statute book and could be implemented subject to approval by the various Christian churches.[46]


Position in the church year
Liturgical year
Western
Advent
Christmastide
Epiphany
Lent
Easter Triduum
Easter season
Feast of the Ascension
Pentecost
Ordinary Time

Eastern
Feast of Cross
Nativity Fast
Nativity
Theophany
Great Lent
Pascha
Pentecost
Apostles' Fast
Great Feasts
Transfiguration
Dormition
Protection


Western Christianity
In Western Christianity, Easter marks the end of Lent, a period of fasting and penitence in preparation for Easter, which begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts forty days (not counting Sundays).

The week before Easter, known as Holy Week, is very special in the Christian tradition. The Sunday before Easter is Palm Sunday and the last three days before Easter are Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday (sometimes referred to as Silent Saturday). Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday respectively commemorate Jesus' entry in Jerusalem, the Last Supper and the Crucifixion. Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday are sometimes referred to as the Easter Triduum (Latin for "Three Days"). In some countries, Easter lasts two days, with the second called "Easter Monday." The week beginning with Easter Sunday is called Easter Week or the Octave of Easter, and each day is prefaced with "Easter", e.g. Easter Monday, Easter Tuesday, etc. Easter Saturday is therefore the Saturday after Easter Sunday. The day before Easter is properly called Holy Saturday. Many churches begin celebrating Easter late in the evening of Holy Saturday at a service called the Easter Vigil.

Eastertide, or Paschaltide, the season of Easter, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts until the day of Pentecost, seven weeks later.


Eastern Christianity
In Eastern Christianity, the spiritual preparation for Pascha begins with Great Lent, which starts on Clean Monday and lasts for 40 continuous days (including Sundays). The last week of Great Lent (following the fifth Sunday of Great Lent) is called Palm Week, and ends with Lazarus Saturday. The Vespers which begins Lazarus Saturday officially brings Great Lent to a close, although the fast continues through the following week. After Lazarus Saturday comes Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and finally Pascha itself, and the fast is broken immediately after the Paschal Divine Liturgy.

The Paschal Vigil begins with the Midnight Office, which is the last service of the Lenten Triodion and is timed so that it ends a little before midnight on Holy Saturday night. At the stroke of midnight the Paschal celebration itself begins, consisting of Paschal Matins, Paschal Hours, and Paschal Divine Liturgy.[47] Placing the Paschal Divine Liturgy at midnight guarantees that no Divine Liturgy will come earlier in the morning, ensuring its place as the pre-eminent "Feast of Feasts" in the liturgical year.

The liturgical season from Pascha to the Sunday of All Saints (the Sunday after Pentecost) is known as the Pentecostarion (the "fifty days"). The week which begins on Easter Sunday is called Bright Week, during which there is no fasting, even on Wednesday and Friday. The Afterfeast of Pascha lasts 39 days, with its Apodosis (leave-taking) on the day before Ascension. Pentecost Sunday is the fiftieth day from Pascha (counted inclusively).

Although the Pentecostarion ends on the Sunday of All Saints, Pascha's influence continues throughout the following year, determining the daily Epistle and Gospel readings at the Divine Liturgy, the Tone of the Week, and the Matins Gospels all the way through to the next year's Lazarus Saturday.


Religious observance of Easter

Western Christianity

Procession in the Northwest of Spain.The Easter festival is kept in many different ways among Western Christians. The traditional, liturgical observation of Easter, as practised among Roman Catholics and some Lutherans and Anglicans begins on the night of Holy Saturday with the Easter Vigil. This, the most important liturgy of the year, begins in total darkness with the blessing of the Easter fire, the lighting of the large Paschal candle (symbolic of the Risen Christ) and the chanting of the Exultet or Easter Proclamation attributed to Saint Ambrose of Milan. After this service of light, a number of readings from the Old Testament are read; these tell the stories of creation, the sacrifice of Isaac, the crossing of the Red Sea, and the foretold coming of the Messiah. This part of the service climaxes with the singing of the Gloria and the Alleluia and the proclamation of the Gospel of the resurrection. A sermon may be preached after the gospel. Then the focus moves from the lectern to the font. Anciently, Easter was considered the ideal time for converts to receive baptism, and this practice continues within Roman Catholicism and the Anglican Communion. Whether there are baptisms at this point or not, it is traditional for the congregation to renew the vows of their baptismal faith. This act is often sealed by the sprinkling of the congregation with holy water from the font. The Catholic sacrament of Confirmation is also celebrated at the Vigil.

The Easter Vigil concludes with the celebration of the Eucharist (known in some traditions as Holy Communion). Certain variations in the Easter Vigil exist: Some churches read the Old Testament lessons before the procession of the Paschal candle, and then read the gospel immediately after the Exsultet. Some churches prefer to keep this vigil very early on the Sunday morning instead of the Saturday night, particularly Protestant churches, to reflect the gospel account of the women coming to the tomb at dawn on the first day of the week. These services are known as the Sunrise service and often occur in outdoor setting such as the church's yard or a nearby park.

The first recorded "Sunrise Service" took place in 1732 among the Single Brethren in the Moravian Congregation at Herrnhut, Saxony, in what is now Germany. Following an all-night vigil they went before dawn to the town graveyard, God's Acre, on the hill above the town, to celebrate the Resurrection among the graves of the departed. This service was repeated the following year by the whole congregation and subsequently spread with the Moravian Missionaries around the world. The most famous "Moravian Sunrise Service" is in the Moravian Settlement Old Salem in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The beautiful setting of the Graveyard, God's Acre, the music of the Brass Choir numbering 500 pieces, and the simplicity of the service attract thousands of visitors each year and has earned for Winston-Salem the soubriquet "the Easter City."

Additional celebrations are usually offered on Easter Sunday itself. Typically these services follow the usual order of Sunday services in a congregation, but also typically incorporate more highly festive elements. The music of the service, in particular, often displays a highly festive tone; the incorporation of brass instruments (trumpets, etc.) to supplement a congregation's usual instrumentation is common. Often a congregation's worship space is decorated with special banners and flowers (such as Easter lilies).

In predominantly Roman Catholic Philippines, the morning of Easter (known in the national language as "Pasko ng Muling Pagkabuhay" or the Pasch of the Resurrection) is marked with joyous celebration, the first being the dawn "Salubong," wherein large statues of Jesus and Mary are brought together to meet, imagining the first reunion of Jesus and his mother Mary after Jesus' Resurrection. This is followed by the joyous Easter Mass.

In Polish culture, The Rezurekcja (Resurrection Procession) is the joyous Easter morning Mass at daybreak when church bells ring out and explosions resound to commemorate Christ rising from the dead. Before the Mass begins at dawn, a festive procession with the Blessed Sacrament carried beneath a canopy encircles the church. As church bells ring out, handbells are vigorously shaken by altar boys, the air is filled with incense and the faithful raise their voices heavenward in a triumphant rendering of age-old Easter hymns. After the Blessed Sacrament is carried around the church and Adoration is complete, the Easter Mass begins. Another Polish Easter tradition is Święconka, the blessing of Easter baskets by the parish priest on Holy Saturday. This custom is celebrated not only in Poland, but also in the United States by Polish-Americans.


Eastern Christianity

Easter Procession in the Region of Kursk, Russia, painting by Ilya Repin (1880-83), depicting a Bright Week CrucessionPascha is the fundamental and most important festival of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches. Every other religious festival on their calendars, including Christmas, is secondary in importance to the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is reflected in rich Paschal customs in the cultures of countries that have traditionally had an Orthodox Christian majority. Eastern Catholics have similar emphasis in their calendars, and many of their liturgical customs are very similar. This is not to say that Christmas and other elements of the Christian liturgical calendar are ignored. Instead, these events are all seen as necessary but preliminary to, and illuminated by, the full climax of the Resurrection, in which all that has come before reaches fulfilment and fruition. They shine only in the light of the Resurrection. Pascha (Easter) is the primary act that fulfills the purpose of Christ's ministry on earth—to defeat death by dying and to purify and exalt humanity by voluntarily assuming and overcoming human frailty. This is succinctly summarized by the Paschal troparion, sung repeatedly during Pascha until the Apodosis of Pascha, which is the day before Ascension:


The congregation lighting their candles from the new flame, just as the priest has retrieved it from the altar - note that the picture is flash-illuminated; all electric lighting is off, and only the oil lamps in front of the Iconostasis remain lit (St. George Greek Orthodox Church, Adelaide)
Boris Kustodiev's Easter Greetings (1912) shows traditional Russian khristosovanie (exchanging a triple kiss), with such foods as red eggs, kulich and paskha in the background
Priest blessing Easter baskets in Lviv, UkraineΧριστός Ανέστη εκ νεκρών,
Θανάτω, θάνατον πατήσας,
και τοις εν τοις μνήμασι
ζώην χαρισάμενος!
Christ is risen from the dead,
Trampling down death by death,
And upon those in the tombs
Bestowing life!
Preparation for Pascha begins with the season of Great Lent. In addition to fasting, almsgiving, and prayer, Orthodox Christians cut down on all entertainment and non-essential worldly activities, gradually eliminating them until Great and Holy Friday, the most austere day of the year. Traditionally, on the evening of Great and Holy Saturday, the Midnight Office is celebrated shortly after 11:00 p.m. (see Paschal Vigil). At its completion all light in the church building is extinguished, and all wait in darkness and silence for the stroke of midnight. Then, a new flame is struck in the altar, or the priest lights his candle from the perpetual lamp kept burning there, and he then lights candles held by deacons or other assistants, who then go to light candles held by the congregation (this practice has its origin in the reception of the Holy Fire at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem). Then the priest and congregation go in a Crucession (procession with the cross) around the temple (church building), holding lit candles, chanting:

Angels in heaven, O Christ our Saviour, praise Thy Resurrection with hymns:
deem us also who are on earth worthy to glorify The with a pure heart.

This procession reenacts the journey of the Myrrhbearers to the Tomb of Jesus "very early in the morning" (Luke 24:1). After circling around the temple once or three times, the procession halts in front of the closed doors. In the Greek practice the priest reads a selection from the Gospel Book (Mark 16:1-8). Then, in all traditions, the priest makes the sign of the cross with the censer in front of the closed doors (which represent the sealed tomb). He and the people chant the Paschal Troparion, and all of the bells and semantra are sounded. Then all re-enter the temple and Paschal Matins begins immediately, followed by the Paschal Hours and then the Paschal Divine Liturgy. After the dismissal of the Liturgy, the priest may bless Paschal eggs and baskets brought by the faithful containing those foods which have been forbidden during the Great Fast.

Immediately after the Liturgy it is customary for the congregation to share a meal, essentially an Agápē dinner (albeit at 2:00 a.m. or later). In Greece the traditional meal is mageiritsa, a hearty stew of chopped lamb liver and wild greens seasoned with egg-and-lemon sauce. Traditionally, Easter eggs, hard-boiled eggs dyed bright red to symbolize the spilt Blood of Christ and the promise of eternal life, are cracked together to celebrate the opening of the Tomb of Christ.

The next morning, Easter Sunday proper, there is no Divine Liturgy, since the Liturgy for that day has already been celebrated. Instead, in the afternoon, it is often traditional to celebrate "Agápē Vespers". In this service, it has become customary during the last few centuries for the priest and members of the congregation to read a portion of the Gospel of John 20:19-25 (in some places the reading is extended to include verses 19:26-31) in as many languages as they can manage, to show the universality of the Resurrection.

For the remainder of the week, known as "Bright Week", all fasting is prohibited, and the customary Paschal greeting is: "Christ is risen!," to which the response is: "Truly He is risen!" This may also be done in many different languages. The services during Bright Week are nearly identical to those on Pascha itself, except that the do not take place at midnight, but at their normal times during the day. The Crucession during Bright Week takes place either after Paschal Matins or the Paschal Divine Liturgy.


Religious and secular Easter traditions
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Easter eggs are a popular sign of the holiday among its religious and secular observers alike.As with many other Christian dates, the celebration of Easter extends beyond the church. Since its origins, it has been a time of celebration and feasting and many Traditional Easter games and customs developed, such as Egg rolling, Egg tapping, Pace egging and Egg decorating. Today Easter is commercially important, seeing wide sales of greeting cards and confectionery such as chocolate Easter eggs, marshmallow bunnies, Peeps, and jelly beans. Even many non-Christians celebrate these aspects of the holiday while eschewing the religious aspects.


English-speaking world
Throughout North America, the British Isles, New Zealand and Australia the Easter holiday has been partially secularized, so that some families participate only in the attendant revelry, central to which is (traditionally) decorating Easter eggs on Saturday evening and hunting for them Sunday morning, by which time they have been mysteriously hidden all over the house and garden. Chocolate eggs have largely supplanted decorated eggs in New Zealand and Australia.


Coloured Easter eggs in the United States.In North America, Australia and New Zealand, parents often tell their children that eggs and other treats have been delivered and hidden by the Easter Bunny in an Easter basket which children find waiting for them when they wake up. Many families in America will attend Sunday Mass or services in the morning and then participate in a feast or party in the afternoon; the food cooked for the feast and the customs practiced at the feast may be influenced by Jewish cuisine and the Jewish holiday of Passover.


A Bermuda kite.In the UK children still decorate eggs, but most British people simply exchange chocolate eggs on the Sunday. Chocolate Easter Bunnies can be found in shops. Many families have a traditional Sunday roast, particularly roast lamb, and some eat Easter foods such as Simnel cake, a fruit cake with eleven marzipan balls representing the eleven faithful apostles. Hot cross buns, spiced buns with a cross on top, are traditionally associated with Good Friday, but today are often eaten well before and after. In Scotland, the north of England, and Northern Ireland, the traditions of rolling decorated eggs down steep hills and pace egging are still adhered to.

In the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda, the most notable feature of the Easter celebration is the flying of kites to symbolize Christ's ascent.[48] Traditional Bermuda kites are constructed by Bermudians of all ages as Easter approaches, and are normally only flown at Easter. In addition to hot cross buns and Easter eggs, fish cakes are traditionally eaten in Bermuda at this time.


Belgium and France
Flemish-speaking Belgium shares many of the same traditions as North America but sometimes it's said that the Bells of Rome bring the Easter eggs together with the Easter Bunny. The story goes that the bells of every church leave for Rome on Holy Saturday, called "Stille Zaterdag" (literally "Silent Saturday") in Dutch. So, because the bells are in Rome, the bells don't ring anywhere.

Similarly, in French-speaking Belgium and France, "Easter bells" (« les cloches de Pâques ») also bring Easter eggs. However, bells in churches are silent beginning Maundy Thursday, the first day of the Paschal Triduum, as a sign of mourning. It is said that all of the bells depart for Rome and return on Easter Day bringing eggs with them to drop during their passage.


Nordic countries
In Norway, in addition to staying at mountain cabins and cross-country skiing in the mountains and painting eggs, a contemporary tradition is to read or watch murder mysteries at Easter. All the major television channels run crime and detective stories (such as Agatha Christie's Poirot), magazines print stories where the readers can try to figure out "whodunnit", and new detective novels are scheduled for publishing before Easter. Even the milk cartons are altered for a couple of weeks. Each Easter a new short mystery story is printed on their sides. Another tradition, related to stays in holiday cabins, is playing board games, dice gamesYahtzee or cards.[citation needed] Stores and businesses close for five straight days at Easter, with the exception of grocery stores, which re-open for a single day on the Saturday before Easter Sunday.

In Finland, Sweden and Denmark, traditions include egg painting and small children dressed as witches collecting candy door-to-door, in exchange for decorated pussy willows. This is a result of the mixing of an old Orthodox tradition (blessing houses with willow branches) and the Scandinavian Easter witch tradition.[citation needed][49] Brightly coloured feathers and little decorations are also attached to birch branches in a vase. For lunch/dinner on Holy Saturday, families traditionally feast on a smörgåsbord of herring, salmon, potatoes, eggs and other kinds of food. In Finland, the Lutheran majority enjoys mämmi as another traditional Easter treat, while the Orthodox minority's traditions include eating pasha (also spelt paskha) instead.


Netherlands and Northern Germany

People watching the Easter Fire in 'De Achterhoek' in eastern NetherlandsIn the northern and eastern parts of the Netherlands (Twente and Achterhoek), Easter Fires (in Dutch: "Paasvuur") are lit on Easter Day at sunset. Easter Fires also take place on the same day in large portions of Northern Germany ("Osterfeuer").


Central Europe
Main article: see Egg decorating in Slavic culture
Many eastern European ethnic groups, including the Ukrainians, Belarusians, Hungarians, Bulgarians, Croats, Czechs, Lithuanians, Poles, Romanians, Serbs, Macedonians, Slovaks, and Slovenes decorate eggs for Easter.

In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, a tradition of spanking or whipping is carried out on Easter Monday. In the morning, men spank women with a special handmade whip called a pomlázka (in Czech) or korbáč (in Slovak), or, in eastern Moravia and Slovakia, throw cold water on them. The pomlázka/korbáč consists of eight, twelve or even twenty-four withies (willow rods), is usually from half a meter to two meters long and decorated with coloured ribbons at the end. The spanking normally is not painful or intended to cause suffering. A legend says that women should be spanked in order to keep their health and beauty during whole next year.[50]

An additional purpose can be for men to exhibit their attraction to women; unvisited women can even feel offended. Traditionally, the spanked woman gives a coloured egg and sometimes a small amount of money to the man as a sign of her thanks. In some regions the women can get revenge in the afternoon or the following day when they can pour a bucket of cold water on any man. The habit slightly varies across Slovakia and the Czech Republic. A similar tradition existed in Poland (where it is called Dyngus Day), but it is now little more than an all-day water fight.

The butter lamb (Baranek wielkanocny) is a traditional addition to the Easter Meal for many Polish Catholics. Butter is shaped into a lamb either by hand or in a lamb-shaped mould.

In Hungary, Transylvania, Southern Slovakia, Kárpátalja, Northern Serbia - Vojvodina and other territories with Hungarian-speaking communities, the day following Easter is called Locsoló Hétfő, "Watering Monday". Water, perfume or perfumed water is often sprinkled in exchange for an Easter egg.


Easter controversies

Christian denominations and organizations that do not observe Easter
Easter traditions deemed "pagan" by some Reformation leaders,[citation needed] along with Christmas celebrations, were among the first casualties of some areas of the Protestant Reformation.

Other Reformation Churches, such as the Lutheran and Anglican, retained a very full observance of the Church Year. In Lutheran Churches, not only were the days of Holy Week observed, but also Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost were observed with three day festivals, including the day itself and the two following. Among the other Reformation traditions, things were a bit different. These holidays were eventually restored (though Christmas only became a legal holiday in Scotland in 1967, after the Church of Scotland finally relaxed its objections). Some Christians (usually, but not always fundamentalists[citation needed]), however, continue to reject the celebration of Easter (and, often, of Christmas), because they believe them to be irrevocably tainted with paganism and idolatry. Their rejection of these traditions is based partly on their interpretation of 2 Corinthians 6:14-16.

This is also the view of Jehovah's Witnesses, who instead observe a yearly commemorative service of the Last Supper and subsequent death of Christ on the evening of Nisan 14, as they calculate it derived from the lunar Hebrew Calendar. It is commonly referred to, in short, by many Witnesses as simply "The Memorial." Jehovah's Witnesses believe that such verses as Luke 22:19-20 and 1 Cor 11:26 constitute a commandment to remember the death of Christ (and not the resurrection, as only the remembrance of the death was observed by early Christians), and they do so on a yearly basis just as Passover is celebrated yearly by the Jews.

Members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) traditionally do not celebrate or observe Easter (or any other Church holidays), believing instead that "every day is the Lord's day", and that elevation of one day above others suggests that it is acceptable to do un-Christian acts on other days—they believe that every day is holy, and should be lived as such. This belief of Quakers is known as their testimony against time and season.

Some groups feel that Easter (or, as they prefer to call it, "Resurrection Sunday" or "Resurrection Day") is something to be regarded with great joy: not marking the day itself, but remembering and rejoicing in the event it commemorates—the miracle of Christ's resurrection. In this spirit, these Christians teach that each day and all Sabbaths should be kept holy, in Christ's teachings. Hebrew-Christian, Sacred Name, and Armstrong movement churches (such as the Living Church of God) usually reject Easter in favor of Nisan 14 observance and celebration of the Christian Passover. This is especially true of Christian groups that celebrate the New Moons or annual High Sabbaths is addition to the seventh-day Sabbath. This is textually supported by the letter to the Colossians: "Let no one...pass judgment on you in matters of food and drink or with regard to a festival or new moon or sabbath. These are shadows of things to come; the reality belongs to Christ." (Col. 2:16-17, NAB)

Critics charge that such feasts are meaningless in light of the end of the Old Testament sacrificial system and the destruction of the Second Temple in A.D. 70. Televangelist Larry Huch (Pentecostal) and many Calvary Chapel churches have adopted Hebrew-Christian practices, but without rejecting Easter.

Other seventh-day Sabbatarian groups, such as the Church of God, celebrate a Christian Passover that lacks most of the practices or symbols associated with Western Easter and retains more of the presumed features of the Passover observed by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper.


Modern avoidance controversy
Main article: Easter/Good Friday controversy
In the modern-day United States, there have been instances where public mention of Easter and Good Friday have been replaced with euphemistic terminology. Examples include renaming "Good Friday" as "Spring holiday" on school calendars, to avoid association with a Christian holiday while at the same time allowing a state-sanctioned day off. (Note that the modern North American "Spring Break" can no longer be assumed to correspond with any version of Easter week.) In the United Kingdom, which still recognizes Good Friday and Easter Monday as national holidays, numerous secular events have been established to take advantage of the holidays but not the religious meaning behind the days including numerous annual clubbing events.[51]

philip said...
Who has pasted the scholarly dissertation on Easter.Can this be shifted to the stories page?

11:01 PM

11:33 PM  
Blogger shivats said...

What is Single Malt?
Single malt is so-called because the malt comes from a single distillery. It is a whisky refined by a single distillery, using malted barley as the only grain ingredient. Each distillery has its own distinct taste, flavour and style and single malts bear that. Some world-renowned single malts are Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie, Glenlivet, Glenkinchie and if you move into the rare varieties, Port Ellen. Enjoying a single malt is a connoissseur' s job and you have to learn to be one. A single grain, as distinct from a single malt, is a grain whisky made at one distillery, while the single malt is made with barley.

What is Blended Whisky?
Blended whisky is a mixture of single malt whiskys and ethanol derived from grains. Developed for those who could not stommach the strong taste of whisky, it is a combination of malt and grain whiskys. First distilled and bottled by Andrew Usher in Edinburgh in the early 1860s, it turned out to be softer, lighter and more palatable. The character of the whisky is determined not only by the proportions of malt and grain whisky, but also by the ages of the individual whiskies and the manner in which they are combined to bring out the finest qualities in each other. Most whisky drunk across the world is blended whisky. Famous Grouse, Bells, Teacher's, Whyte & Mackay and Johnnie Walker are a few that are well-known.

What is the difference between Whisky and Whiskey?
Alcohol, malted or not, made from grain which is produced in Scotland is called WHISKY, while it is called WHISKEY if it is produced in USA or Ireland . American whiskey is called Bourbon and is made from grain. Bourbon is at least 51 per cent corn or maize. Scotch whisky is generally double distilled, while Irish whiskey is generally distilled three times. Wheat whisky is the rarest whisky. Rye whiskies are mostly popular within the US . Scotch whisky is whisky that has been distilled and matured in Scotland for at least three hours in oak casks.

What is Alcohol?
Alcohol is obtained after breaking down natural sugar of grain into C02, ethanol or ethyl alcohol and residual content. Yeast from grains and vegetables changes the sugar into alcohol. From the cheapest beer to the most expensive wine or after dinner liqueur, all alcohol is made with the same fermentation process. The different colours, tastes, potencies and flavours come from the different fruits or vegetables used as well as the additives, by-products and diluting substances employed during the fermentation process.

Why should you never drink on an empty stomach?
Experts say eating food before drinking retains alcohol in the ~ where it is absorbed slowly into the blood stream. This gives the liver more time to break the alcohol down. Otherwise, it is directly absorbed without being broken down into simpler compounds into the blood stream. This can be harmful for the liver and general health. The kick comes when the alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream directly and slows down the central nervous system.. The absorbed alcohol blocks some of the commands the brain sends to the body; hence the reflexes and reactions are slower.

Does drinking water before or between drinks help you hold your drink better?
Dehydration causes your blood volume to go down and alcohol will cause it to go down further. So make it a habit to drink enough water before you go out for a hard drink. Experts say in case of alcohol consumption, the bigger you are the better it is. Big people have a larger quantity of blood, so alcohol they take in is more diluted as it mixes with the blood. Women are generally smaller than men. They also have proportionately more fat and less water in their bodies and so the entration of alcohol in their blood is higher for the same amount drunk.

What goes better with Whisky - Water or Soda?
Whisky is preferred with water more than soda as soda is carbonated water and it kills the taste of whisky. But real connnoisseurs of whisky like to have it neat or with water on side or with two cubes of ice.

What is Cognac ?
The wines of Poitou, La Rochelle and Angoumois , produced from high quality vineyards, were shipped to Northern Europe where they were enjoyed by the English, Dutch and Scandinavians as early as the 13th century. In the 16th century, they were transformed into eau-de-vie, then matured in oak casks to become Cognac .. That was the start of the adventure for a town, which was to become the capital of a world famous trade.
Cognac is a living thing. During its time in the oak casks it is in permanent contact with the air. This allows it to extract the substances from the wood that give both its colour and its final bouquet.

Ageing is indispensable if an eau-de-vie is to become Cognac . It takes place in casks or barrels that hold between 270 and 450 litres. The natural humidity of the cellars, in which the casks are stored, with its influence on evaporation, is one of the determining factors in the maturing process. With the balance between humidity and dryness, the spirit becomes mellow and ages harmoniously.

Making Cognac is the work of the Master Blender. Applying strict control, experience and intuition, he subtly blends eaux-de-vie of different ages and crus, producing a Cognac that through the years will not only retain its own personality, but will also keep a place in the heart of the consumer.

What is the difference between Scotch, Irish, Rye and Bourbon Whiskies?
Scotch Whisky is whisky, which has been distilled and matured in Scotland . Irish Whiskey means whiskey distilled and matured in Ireland . Whisky is distilled in Scotland from malted barley in Pot Stills and from malted and unmalted barley or other cereals in Patent Stills. The well-known brands of Scotch Whisky are blends of a number of Pot Still and Patent Still whiskies.. Irish Whiskey distillers tend to favour three distillations rather than two, as is general in Scotland in the case of Pot Still whiskies and the range of cereals used is wider.

As regards Bourbon Whiskey, the United States Regulations provide:
(i) that Bourbon Whiskey must be produced from a mash of not less than 51% corn grain;
(ii) that the word 'Bourbon' shall not be used to describe any whiskey or whiskey-based distilled spirits not produced in the United States .

Rye Whiskey is produced both in the United States and Canada but the name has no geographical significance. In the United States , Rye Whiskey by definition must be produced from a grain mash of which not less than 51% is rye grain. In Canada , there is no similar restriction. The relevant Canadian Regulation states: 'Canadian Whisky (Canadian Rye Whisky, Rye Whisky) shall be whisky distilled in Canada and shall possess the aroma, taste and character generally attributed to Canadian Whisky.'

Canadian Whisky is in fact often referred to simply as Rye Whisky or Rye .

What is the Origin of VODKA?
Vodka is a drink, which originated in Eastern Europe , the name stemming from the Russian word 'voda' meaning water or as the Poles would say 'woda'. The first documented production of vodka in Russia was at the end of the 9th century, but the first known distillery at, Khylnovsk, was about two hundred years later as reported in the Vyatka Chronicle of 1174. Poland lays claim to having distilled vodka even earlier in the 8th century, but as this was a distillation of wine it might be more appropriate to consider it a crude brandy. The first identifiable Polish vodkas appeared in the 11th century when they were called 'gorzalka', originally used as medicines.

Medicine and Gunpowder
During the Middle Ages, distilled liquor was used mainly for medicinal purposes, as well as being an ingredient in the production of gunpowder. In the 14th century a British Ambassador to Moscow first described vodka as the Russian national drink and in the mid-16th century it was established as the national drink in Poland and Finland . We learn from the Novgorod Chronicles of 1533 that in Russia also, vodka was used frequently as a medicine (zhiznennia voda meaning 'water of life'). In these ancient times Russia produced several kinds of 'vodka' or 'hot wine' as it was then called. There was 'plain wine' (standard), 'good wine' (improved) and 'boyar wine' (high quality). In addition stronger types existed, distilled two ('double wine') or more times. Since early production methods were crude, vodka often contained impurities, so to mask these the distillers flavoured their spirits with fruit, herbs or spices.
The mid - 15th century saw the first appearance of pot distillation in Russia . Prior to that, seasoning, ageing and freezing were all used to remove impurities, as was precipitiation using it in glass ('karluk') from the air bladders of sturgeons. Distillation became the first step in producing vodka, with the product being improved by precipitation using isinglass, milk or egg white. Around this time (1450) vodka started to be produced in large quantities and the first recorded exports of Russian vodka were to Sweden in 1505. Polish 'woda' exports started a century later, from major production centres in Posnan and Krakow .

From acorns to melon
In 1716, owning distilleries became the exclusive right of the nobility, who were granted further special rights in 1751. In the following 50 or so years there was a proliferation of types of aromatised vodka, but no attempt was made to standardise the basic product. Types produced included: absinthe, acorn, anisette, birch, calamus root, calendula, cherry, chicory, dill, ginger hazelnut, horseradish, juniper, lemon, mastic, mint, mountain ash, oak, pepper, peppermint, raspberry, sage, sorrel, wort and water melon! A typical production process was to distil alcohol twice, dilute it with milk and distil it again, adding water to bring it to the required strength and then flavouring it, prior to a fourth and final distillation. It was not a cheap product and it still had not attained really large-scale production. It did not seek to compete commercially with the major producers in Lithuania , Poland and Prussia . In the 18th century a professor in St.
Petersburg discovered a method of purifying alcohol using charcoal filtration. Felt and river sand had already been used for some time in Russia for filtration.

Vodka marches across Europe
The spread of awareness of vodka continued throughout the 19th century, helped by the presence in many parts of Europe of Russian soldiers involved in the Napoleonic Wars. Increasing popularity led to escalating demand and to meet this demand, lower grade products were produced based largely on distilled potato mash. Earlier attempts to control production by reducing the number of distilleries from 5,000 to 2,050 between the years 1860 and 1890 having failed, a law was enacted in 1894 to make the production and distribution of vodka in Russia a state monopoly. This was both for fiscal reasons and to control the epidemic of drunkenness which the availability of the cheap, mass-produced 'vodkas' imported and home-produced, had brought about.
It is only at the end of the 19th century, with all state distilleries adopting a standard production technique and hence a guarantee of quality, that the name vodka was officially and formally recognized. After the Russian Revolution, the Bolsheviks confiscated all private distilleries in Moscow . As a result, a number of Russian vodka-makers emigrated, taking their skills and recipes with them. One such exile revived his brand in Paris , using the French version of his family name - Smirnoff. Thence, having met a Russian émigré from the USA , they set up the first vodka distillery there in 1934. This was subsequently sold to a US drinks company. From this small start, vodka began in the 1940s to achieve its wide popularity in the Western World.

What is the origin of GIN?
The first confirmed date for the production of gin is the early 17th century in Holland , although claims have been made that it was produced prior to this in Italy . In Holland it was produced as a medicine and sold in chemist shops to treat stomach complaints, gout and gallstones. To make it more palatable, the Dutch started to flavor it with juniper, which had medicinal properties of its own.

From Dutch courage to William of Orange
British troops fighting in the Low Countries during the Thirty Years' War were given 'Dutch Courage' during the long campaigns in the damp weather through the warming properties of gin. Eventually they started bringing it back home with them, where already it was often sold in chemists' shops. Distillation was taking place in a small way in England , but it now began on a greater scale, though the quality was often very dubious. Nevertheless, the new drink became a firm favourite with the poor. The formation by King Charles I of the Worshipful Company of Distillers, where members had the sole right to distil spirits in London and Westminster and up to twenty-one miles beyond improved both the quality of gin and its image; it also helped English agriculture by using surplus corn and barley. When King William III - better known as William of Orange - came to the English throne in 1689, he made a series of statutes actively encouraging the distillation of
English spirits. Anyone could now distil by simply posting a notice in public and just waiting ten days. Sometimes gin was distributed to workers as part of their wages and soon the volume sold daily exceeded that of beer and ale, which was more expensive anyway.

The Gin Riots
The problem was tackled by introducing The Gin Act at midnight on 29 September 1736, which made gin prohibitively expensive. A license to retail gin cost £50 and duty was raised fivefold to £1 per gallon with the smallest quantity you could buy retail being two gallons. The Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole and Dr. Samuel Johnson were among those who opposed the Act since they considered it could not be enforced against the will of the common people.. They were right. Riots broke out and the law was widely and openly broken.. About this time, 11 million gallons of gin were distilled in London , which was over 20 times the 1690 figure and has been estimated to be the equivalent of 14 gallons for each adult male. But within six years of the Gin Act being introduced, only two distillers took out licenses, yet, over the same period of time, production rose by almost fifty per cent..

Respectability, High quality and Patronage
The Gin Act, finally recognized as unenforceable, was repealed in 1742 and a new policy, which distillers helped to draft, was introduced: reasonably high prices, reasonable excise duties and licensed retailers under the supervision of magistrates. In essence this is the situation, which exists today. These changes led to more respectable firms embarking on the business of distilling and retailing gin and it became the drink of high quality, which it has since remained. Many companies established themselves as well-to-do manufacturers, often becoming patrons for major enterprises; one such was the sponsorship of the attempt to discover the North West Passage 1829-33: the attempt failed, but the expedition did establish the true position of the North Magnetic Pole.

Gin had been known as 'Mother's Milk' from the 1820s but later in the century it became known as 'Mother's Ruin', a description perhaps originating from the earlier 'Blue Ruin' of the prohibition era in the previous century.

What is Tequila?
First the history: Tequila was first distilled in the 1500-1600's in the state of Jalisco , Mexico . Guadalajara is the capital of Jalisco and the city of Tequila was established in about 1656. This is where the agave plant grows best.

The agave is not a cactus as rumoured, but belongs to the lily family and has long spiny leaves (pincas). The specific plant that is used to make tequila is the Weber blue agave. It takes 8-12 years for the agave to reach maturity. During harvest, the leaves are cut off leaving the heart of the plant or pina which looks like a large pineapple when the jimadors are done. The harvested pina may weigh 200 pounds or more and is chopped into smaller pieces for cooking at the distillery. Tequila was first imported into the United States in 1873 when the first load was transported to El Paso , Texas .. In 1973 tequila sales in the US topped one million cases.

There are two basic types of tequila, 100% blue agave (cien por ciento de agave) tequila and mixto. The 100% blue agave tequilas are distilled entirely from the fermented juice of the agave. All 100% agave tequilas have to be distilled and bottled in Mexico . If the bottle does not say 100% blue agave, the tequila is mixto and may have been distilled from as little as 60% agave juice with other sugars.

Grades of Tequila:
• Blanco: 100% agave tequila that is un-aged and untreated with additives.
• Reposado: 100% agave, "rested" tequila that has been stored in oak between two months and one year.
• Anejo: 100% agave, aged tequila that has been stored in oak at least one year.
• Mixto blanco: mixto tequila that is unaged.
• Mixto reposado: mixto tequila that has been stored in oak between two months and one year.
• Mixto anejo: aged mixto tequila that has been stored in oak at least one year.
• Joven abocado: mixto tequila that has been treated with additives to achieve an effect similar to aging.

How many types of Beer are available to Drink?
Here are the different styles you may come across at our stores or your favourite local brew pub.

Ale - originally liquor made from an infusion of malt by fermentation, as opposed to beer, which was made by the same process but flavoured with hops. Today ale is used for all beers other than stout.

Alt - means "old". A top fermented ale, rich, copper-coloured and full-bodied, with a very firm, tannic palate, and usually well-hopped and dry.

Amber Beer - an ale with a depth of hue halfway between pale and dark.

Barley Wine - dark, rich, usually bittersweet, heavy ales with high alcohol content, made for sipping, not quaffing.

Bitter - the driest and one of the most heavily hopped beers served on draft. The nose is generally aromatic, the hue amber and the alcoholic content moderate.

Bock - a strong dark German lager, ranging from pale to dark brown in colour, with a minimum alcoholic content of about 6 percent.

Brown Ale - malty beers, dark in colour and they may be quite sweet.

Burton - a strong ale, dark in colour, made with a proportion of highly dried or roasted malts.

Christmas/Holiday Beer - these special season beers are amber to dark brown, richly flavoured with a sweetish palate. Some are flavoured with special spices and/or herbs.

Dopplebock - "double bock." A stronger version of bock beer, decidedly malty, with an alcoholic content ranging from 8 percent to 13 percent by volume..

Hefe-Weizen - a wheat beer, lighter in body, flavour and alcohol strength.

Ice Beer - a high-alcohol beer made by cooling the beer during the process to below the freezing point of water (32 degrees Fahrenheit) but above that of alcohol (-173 degrees Fahrenheit). . When the formed ice is removed and discarded, the beer ends up with a higher alcohol-to-water ratio.

India Pale Ale (IPA) - a generously hopped pale ale.

Kolsch - West German ale, very pale (brassy gold) in hue, with a mild malt flavour and some lactic tartness.

Malt Liquor - most malt liquors are lagers that are too alcoholic to be labelled lagers or beers.

Muncheners - a malty, pale lager distinguished from the darker, heavier Munich Dark beers by the term "dunkel".

Octoberfest/ Maerzen/Vienna - a copper-coloured, malty beer brewed at the end of the winter brewing season in March.

Pale Ale - made of the highest quality malts, the driest and most highly hopped beer. Sold as light ale or pale ale in bottle or on draft as bitter.

Pilsner - delicately dry and aromatic beers.

Porter - a darker (medium to dark reddish brown) ale style beer, full-bodied, a bit on the bitter side. The barley (or barley-malt) is well roasted, giving the brew a characteristic chocolaty, bittersweet flavour.

Stout - beer brewed from roasted, full-flavoured malts, often with an addition of caramel sugar and a slightly higher proportion of hops. Stouts have a richer, slightly burnt flavour and are dark in colour.

Sweet Stout - also known as milk stout because some brewers use lactose (milk sugar) as an ingredient.

Wheat Beer - a beer in which wheat malt is substituted for barley malt. Usually medium-bodied, with a bit of tartness on the palate.

8:52 AM  
Blogger rightergeorge said...

SHIVA
Devanagari शिव
Affiliation Deva
Abode Mount Kailāsa[1]
Mantra Aum Namah Sivaya
Weapon Trident (Trishul)
Consort Shakthi
Mount Nandi (bull)

Shiva (pronunciation: [ʃɪ.ʋə]; Sanskrit: शिव, Śiva, lit. "Auspicious one" ) is a major Hindu god and one aspect of Trimurti. In the Shaiva tradition of Hinduism, Shiva is seen as the supreme God. In the Smarta tradition, he is one of the five primary forms of God.[2][3]

Followers of Hinduism who focus their worship upon Shiva are called Shaivites or Shaivas (Sanskrit Śaiva).[4] Shaivism, along with Vaiṣṇava traditions that focus on Vishnu and Śākta traditions that focus on the goddess Devī are three of the most influential denominations in Hinduism.[3]

Shiva is usually worshipped in the form of Shiva linga. In images, he is generally represented as immersed in deep meditation or dancing the Tandava upon Maya, the demon of ignorance in his manifestation of Nataraja, the lord of the dance.

In some other Hindu denominations, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva represent the three primary aspects of the divine in Hinduism and are collectively known as the Trimurti. In this school of religious thought, Brahma is the creator, Vishnu is the maintainer or preserver, and Shiva is the destroyer or transformer.[5]

Contents [hide]
1 Etymology and other names
2 Historical development
2.1 The Pashupati seal
2.2 Rudra
2.3 Identification with Vedic deities
2.3.1 Agni
2.3.2 Indra
3 Attributes
4 Forms and depictions
4.1 Destroyer versus benefactor
4.2 Ascetic versus householder
4.3 Nataraja
4.4 Dakshinamurthy
4.5 Mrutyunjaya
4.6 Ardhanarishvara
4.7 Tripurantaka
4.8 Astamurti
4.9 Lingam
5 The five mantras
6 Relationship to Vishnu
7 Avatars
8 Temples
9 See also
10 Notes
11 References



[edit] Etymology and other names

A statue of Shiva on Delhi-Gurgaon HighwayThe Sanskrit word Shiva (Devanagari: शिव, śiva) is an adjective meaning "auspicious, kind, gracious".[6][7] As a proper name it means "The Auspicious One", used as a euphemistic name for Rudra.[7] In simple English transliteration it is written either as Shiva or Siva. Pronunciation is written in the International Phonetic Alphabet as IPA: [ɕivə]. The adjective śiva, meaning "auspicious", is used as an attributive epithet not particularly of Rudra, but of several other Vedic deities.[8] In the Rig Veda, Indra uses this word to describe himself several times. (2:20:3, 6:45:17, 8:93:3)

In Tamil, Shiva literally means "the supreme one". Adi Sankara, in his interpretation of the name Shiva, the 27th and 600th name of Vishnu sahasranama, interprets Shiva to mean either "The Pure One", "the One who is not affected by three Gunas of Prakrti, Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas" or "the One who purifies everyone by the very utterance of His name."[9] Swami Chinmayananda, in his translation of Vishnu sahasranama, further elaborates on that verse: Shiva means "the One who is eternally pure" or "the One who can never have any contamination of the imperfection of Rajas and Tamas".[10]

The Sanskrit word śaiva means "relating to the god Shiva", and this term is the Sanskrit name both for one of the principal sects of Hinduism and for a member of that sect. [11] It is used as an adjective to characterize certain beliefs and practices, such as Shaivism.[12]

The name Shiva, in one interpretation, is also said to have derived from the Dravidian word Siva, meaning "to be red". It is the equivalent of Rudra, "the red".[13]

Siva's role as the primary deity of Shaivism is reflected in his epithets Mahādeva ("great god"; mahā = great + deva = god),[14][15] Maheśhvara ("great lord"; mahā = great + īśhvara = lord),[16][17] and Parameśhvara ("Supreme Lord").[18]

There are at least eight different versions of the Shiva Sahasranama, devotional hymns (stotras) listing many names of Shiva.[19] The version appearing in Book 13 (Anuśāsanaparvan) of the Mahabharata is considered the kernel of this tradition.[20] Shiva also has Dasha-Sahasranamas (10,000 names) that are found in the Mahanyasa. The Shri Rudram Chamakam, also known as the Śatarudriya, is a devotional hymn to Shiva hailing him by many names.[21][22]


[edit] Historical development
For the early history, see Rudra.
The worship of Shiva is a pan-Hindu tradition, practiced widely across all of India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.[23][24] Some historians believe that the figure of Shiva as we know him today was built up over time, with the ideas of many regional sects being amalgamated into a single figure.[25] How the persona of Shiva converged as a composite deity is not well documented.[26] Axel Michaels explains the composite nature of Shaivism as follows:

Like Vişņu, Śiva is also a high god, who gives his name to a collection of theistic trends and sects: Śaivism. Like Vaişņavism, the term also implies a unity which cannot be clearly found either in religious practice or in philosophical and esoteric doctrine. Furthermore, practice and doctrine must be kept separate.[27]

An example of assimilation took place in Maharashtra, where a regional deity named Khandoba is a patron deity of farming and herding castes.[28] The foremost center of worship of Khandoba in Maharashtra is in Jejuri.[29] Khandoba has been assimilated both as a name for Karttikeya[30] and also as a form of Shiva himself[31], in which case he is worshipped in the form of a lingam.[28][32] Khandoba's varied associations also include an identification with Surya.[28]


[edit] The Pashupati seal
A seal discovered during the excavation of Mohenjo-daro has drawn attention as a possible representation of a "proto-Shiva" figure.[33] This Pashupati (Lord of animal-like beings)[34] seal shows a seated figure, possibly ithyphallic, surrounded by animals.[35] Sir John Marshall and others have claimed that this figure is a prototype of Shiva and have described the figure as having three faces seated in a "yoga posture" with the knees out and feet joined. However, this claim is not without its share of critics, with some academics like Gavin Flood[33][36] and John Keay[37] characterizing them as unfounded.


[edit] Rudra
Main article: Rudra

Three-headed Shiva, Gandhara, 2nd century CEShiva as we know him today shares many features with the Vedic god Rudra[38], and both Shiva and Rudra are viewed as the same personality in a number of Hindu traditions. Rudra, the god of the roaring storm, is usually portrayed in accordance with the element he represents as a fierce, destructive deity.

The oldest surviving text of Hinduism is the Rig Veda, which is dated to between 1700 and 1100 BCE based on linguistic and philological evidence.[39] A god named Rudra is mentioned in the Rig Veda. The name Rudra is still used as a name for Shiva. In RV 2.33, he is described as the "Father of the Maruts", a group of storm gods.[40] Furthermore, the Rudram, one of the most sacred hymns of Hinduism found both in the Rig and the Yajur Vedas and addressed to Rudra, invokes him as Shiva in several instances, but the term Shiva is used as a epithet for Indra, Mitra and Agni many times.

The identification of Shiva with the older god Rudra is not universally accepted, as Axel Michaels explains:

To what extent Śiva's origins are in fact to be sought in Rudra is extremely unclear. The tendency to consider Śiva an ancient god is based on this identification, even though the facts that justify such a far-reaching assumption are meager.[41]

Rudra is called "The Archer" (Sanskrit: Śarva)[42], and the arrow is an essential attribute of Rudra.[43] This name appears in the Shiva Sahasranama, and R. K. Sharma notes that it is used as a name of Shiva often in later languages.[44] The word is derived from the Sanskrit root śarv-, which means "to injure" or "to kill"[45], and Sharma uses that general sense in his interpretive translation of the name Śarva as "One who can kill the forces of darkness".[44] The names Dhanvin ("Bowman")[46] and Bāṇahasta ("Archer", literally "Armed with arrows in his hands")[46][47] also refer to archery.


[edit] Identification with Vedic deities
Shiva's rise to a major position in the pantheon was facilitated by his identification with a host of Vedic deities, including Agni, Indra, Prajāpati, Vāyu, and others.[48]


[edit] Agni
Rudra and Agni have a close relationship.[49][50] The identification between Agni and Rudra in the Vedic literature was an important factor in the process of Rudra's gradual development into the later character as Rudra-Shiva.[51] The identification of Agni with Rudra is explicitly noted in the Nirukta, an important early text on etymology, which says, "Agni is called Rudra also."[52] The interconnections between the two deities are complex, and according to Stella Kramrisch:

The fire myth of Rudra-Śiva plays on the whole gamut of fire, valuing all its potentialities and phases, from conflagration to illumination.[53]

In the Śatarudrīa, some epithets of Rudra, such as Sasipañjara ("Of golden red hue as of flame") and Tivaṣīmati ("Flaming bright"), suggest a fusing of the two deities.[54] Agni is said to be a bull[55], and Lord Shiva possesses a bull as his vehicle, Nandi. The horns of Agni, who is sometimes characterized as a bull, are mentioned.[56][57] In medieval sculpture, both Agni and the form of Shiva known as Bhairava have flaming hair as a special feature.[58]


[edit] Indra
The Indologist Koenraad Elst proposes that Shiva of Puranic Hinduism is a continuation of the Vedic Indra.[citation needed] He gives several reasons for his hypothesis. Both Shiva and Indra are known for having a thirst for Soma. Both are associated with mountains, rivers, male fertility, fierceness, fearlessness, warfare, transgression of established mores, the Aum sound, and the Supreme Self. In the Rig Veda, the term śiva is used to refer to Indra. (2.20.3,[59] 6.45.17,[60][61] and 8.93.3 [62])

Indra, like Shiva, is likened to a bull.[63][64] In the Rig Veda, Rudra is the father of the Maruts, but he is never associated with their warlike exploits as is Indra.[65] In the present form of Hinduism, Indra and Shiva are considered as distinct deities.[citation needed]


[edit] Attributes

Shiva with Parvati. Shiva is depicted three-eyed, with a crescent moon on his head, the Ganga flowing through his matted hair, wearing ornaments of serpents and a skull necklace, and covered in ashes, and Trisula and Damaru are seen in the background.Third eye: Shiva is often depicted with a third eye, with which he burned Desire (Kāma) to ashes.[66] There has been controversy regarding the original meaning of Shiva's name Tryambakam (Sanskrit: त्र्यम्बकम्), which occurs in many scriptural sources.[67] In classical Sanskrit, the word ambaka denotes "an eye", and in the Mahabharata, Shiva is depicted as three-eyed, so this name is sometimes translated as "having three eyes".[68] However, in Vedic Sanskrit, the word ambā or ambikā means "mother", and this early meaning of the word is the basis for the translation "having three mothers" that was used by Max Müller and Arthur Macdonell.[69][70] Since no story is known in which Shiva had three mothers, E. Washburn Hopkins suggested that the name refers not to three mothers, but to three mother-goddesses who are collectively called the Ambikās.[71] Other related translations have been "having three wives or sisters" or were based on the idea that the name actually refers to the oblations given to Rudra, which according to some traditions were shared with the goddess Ambikā.[72]
Blue throat: The epithet Nīlakaṇtha (Sanskrit नीलकण्ठ; nīla = "blue", kaṇtha = "throat")[73][74] refers to a story in which Shiva drank the poison churned up from the world ocean.[75][76] (See Halāhala.) The Hari Vanśa Purana, on the other hand, attributes the colour of Shiva's throat to an episode in which Vishnu compels Shiva to fly after taking him by the throat and nearly strangling him.[77]
Crescent moon: Shiva bears on his head the crescent moon.[78] The epithet Chandraśekhara (Sanskrit: चन्द्रशेखर "Having the moon as his crest" - chandra = "moon", śekhara = "crest, crown")[79][80][81] refers to this feature. The placement of the moon on his head as a standard iconographic feature dates to the period when Rudra rose to prominence and became the major deity Rudra-Shiva.[82] The origin of this linkage may be due to the identification of the moon with Soma, and there is a hymn in the Rig Veda where Soma and Rudra are jointly emplored, and in later literature, Soma and Rudra came to be identified with one another, as were Soma and the moon.[83]
Matted hair: Shiva's distinctive hair style is noted in the epithets Jaṭin, "the one with matted hair"[84], and Kapardin, "endowed with matted hair"[85] or "wearing his hair wound in a braid in a shell-like (kaparda) fashion".[86] A kaparda is a cowrie shell, or a braid of hair in the form of a shell, or, more generally, hair that is shaggy or curly.[87]

Shiva bearing the descent of the Ganges River as Parvati and Bhagiratha and the bull Nandi look, folio from a Hindi manuscript by the saint Narayan, circa 1740Sacred Ganga: The Ganga river flows from the matted hair of Shiva. The epithet Gaṅgādhara ("bearer of the river Gaṅgā") refers to this feature.[88][89] The Ganga (Ganges), one of the major rivers of the country, is said to have made her abode in Shiva's hair.[90]
Ashes: Shiva smears his body with ashes (bhasma).[91] Some forms of Shiva, such as Bhairava, are associated with a very old Indian tradition of cremation-ground asceticism that was practiced by some groups who were outside the fold of brahmanic orthodoxy.[92] These practices associated with cremation grounds are also mentioned in the Pali canon of Theravada Buddhism.[93] One epithet for Shiva is "inhabitant of the cremation ground" (Sanskrit: śmaśānavāsin, also spelled Shmashanavasin), referring to this connection.[94]
Tiger skin: He is often shown seated upon a tiger skin,[91] an honour reserved for the most accomplished of Hindu ascetics, the Brahmarishis. "Mythology ~ The birth of Brahmarishis" (HTML). http://www.tamilstar.com/mythology/brahmarishis. Retrieved on 2008-05-07.
Serpents: Shiva is often shown garlanded with a snake.[95]
Trident: (Sanskrit: Trishula): Shiva's particular weapon is the trident.[91]
Drum: A small drum shaped like an hourglass is known as a damaru (Sanskrit: ḍamaru).[96][97] This is one of the attributes of Shiva in his famous dancing representation[98] known as Nataraja. A specific hand gesture (mudra) called ḍamaru-hasta (Sanskrit for "ḍamaru-hand") is used to hold the drum.[99] This drum is particularly used as an emblem by members of the Kāpālika sect.[100]
Nandī: Nandī, also known as Nandin, is the name of the bull that serves as Shiva's mount (Sanskrit: vāhana).[101][102] Shiva's association with cattle is reflected in his name Paśupati, or Pashupati (Sanskrit: पशुपति), translated by Sharma as "lord of cattle"[103] and by Kramrisch as "lord of animals", who notes that it is particularly used as an epithet of Rudra.[104]
Gaṇa: The Gaṇas (Devanagari: गण) are attendants of Shiva and live in Kailash. They are often referred to as the Boothaganas, or ghostly hosts, on account of their nature. Generally benign, except when their lord is transgressed against, they are often invoked to intercede with the lord on behalf of the devotee. Ganesha was chosen as their leader by Shiva, hence Ganesha's title gaṇa-īśa or gaṇa-pati, "lord of the gaṇas".[105]
Mount Kailāsa: Mount Kailash in the Himalayas is his traditional abode.[91] In Hindu mythology, Mount Kailāsa is conceived as resembling a Linga, representing the center of the universe.[106]
Varanasi: Varanasi (Benares) is considered as the city specially loved by Shiva, and is one of the holiest places of pilgrimage in India. It is referred to, in religious contexts, as Kashi.[107]

[edit] Forms and depictions
According to Gavin Flood, "Śiva is a god of ambiguity and paradox," whose attributes include opposing themes.[108] The ambivalent nature of this deity is apparent in some of his names and the stories told about him.


[edit] Destroyer versus benefactor

Shiva carrying the corpse of his first consort Dakshayani (Sati)In the Yajurveda, two contrary sets of attributes for both malignant or terrific (Sanskrit: rudra) and benign or auspicious (Sanskrit: śiva) forms can be found, leading Chakravarti to conclude that "all the basic elements which created the complex Rudra-Śiva sect of later ages are to be found here."[109] In the Mahabharata, Shiva is depicted as "the standard of invincibility, might, and terror", as well as a figure of honor, delight, and brilliance.[110] The duality of Shiva's fearful and auspicious attributes appears in contrasted names.

The name Rudra (Sanskrit: रुद्र) reflects his fearsome aspects. According to traditional etymologies, the Sanskrit name Rudra is derived from the root rud-, which means "to cry, howl".[111] Stella Kramrisch notes a different etymology connected with the adjectival form raudra, which means "wild, of rudra nature", and translates the name Rudra as "the wild one" or "the fierce god".[112] R. K. Sharma follows this alternate etymology and translates the name as "terrible".[113] Hara (Sanskrit: हर) is an important name that occurs three times in the Anushasanaparvan version of the Shiva sahasranama, where it is translated in different ways each time it occurs, following a commentorial tradition of not repeating an interpretation. Sharma translates the three as "one who captivates", "one who consolidates", and "one who destroys."[114] Kramrisch translates it as "the ravisher".[76] Another of Shiva's fearsome forms is as Kāla (Sanskrit: काल), "time", and as Mahākāla (Sanskrit: महाकाल), "great time", which ultimately destroys all things.[115][116][117] Bhairava (Sanskrit: भैरव), "terrible" or "frightful"[118], is a fierce form associated with annihilation.[119]

In contrast, the name Śaṇkara (Sanskrit: शङ्कर), "beneficent"[44] or "conferring happiness"[120] reflects his benign form. This name was adopted by the great Vedanta philosopher Śaṇkara (c. 788-820 CE), who is also known as Shankaracharya.[121][122] The name Śambhu (Sanskrit: शम्भु), "causing happiness", also reflects this benign aspect.[123][124]


[edit] Ascetic versus householder

An illustration of the family of Shiva, consisting of Shiva, Parvati, Ganesha and Skanda (Kartikeya)He is depicted as both an ascetic yogin and as a householder, roles which are mutually exclusive in Hindu society.[125] When depicted as a yogin, he may be shown sitting and meditating.[126] His epithet Mahāyogin ("the great Yogi: Mahā = "great", Yogin = "one who practices Yoga") refers to his association with yoga.[127] While Vedic religion was conceived mainly in terms of sacrifice, it was during the Epic period that the concepts of tapas, yoga, and asceticism became more important, and the depiction of Shiva as an ascetic sitting in philosophical isolation reflects these later concepts.[128]

As a family man and householder, he has a wife, Parvati (also known as Umā), and two sons, Ganesha and Skanda. His epithet Umāpati ("The husband of Umā") refers to this idea, and Sharma notes that two other variants of this name that mean the same thing, Umākānta and Umādhava, also appear in the sahasranama.[129] Umā in epic literature is known by many names, including the benign Pārvatī.[130][131] She is identified with Devi, the Divine Mother, and with Shakti (divine energy). As a householder, he is known for the great love and respect he has for his consort.

Shiva and Parvati are believed to be the parents of Karthikeya and Ganesha. Karthikeya is worshipped in Southern India (especially in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka) by the names Subrahmanya, Subrahmanyan, Shanmughan, Swaminathan and Murugan, and in Northern India by the names Skanda, Kumara, or Karttikeya.[132] The consorts of Lord Shiva are the source of his creative energy. They represent the dynamic extension of Shiva onto this universe[133].


[edit] Nataraja

Bronze Chola statue depicting Shiva dancing as Nataraja. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.Main article: Nataraja
The depiction of Shiva as Nataraja (Tamil: நடராஜா, Sanskrit: naṭarāja, "Lord of Dance") is popular.[134][135] The names Nartaka ("dancer") and Nityanarta ("eternal dancer") appear in the Shiva Sahasranama.[136] His association with dance and also with music is prominent in the Puranic period.[137] In addition to the specific iconographic form known as Nataraja, various other types of dancing forms (Sanskrit: nṛtyamūrti) are found in all parts of India, with many well-defined varieties in Tamil Nadu in particular.[138] The two most common forms of the dance are the Tandava, which later came to denote the powerful and masculine dance as Kala-Mahakala associated with the destruction of the world[139][140], and Lasya, which is graceful and delicate and expresses emotions on a gentle level and is considered the feminine dance attributed to the goddess Parvati.[141][142] Lasya is regarded as the female counterpart of Tandava.[142] The Tandava-Lasya dances are associated with the destruction-creation of the world.[143][144]


[edit] Dakshinamurthy
Main article: Dakshinamurthy
Dakshinamurthy, or Dakṣiṇāmūrti (Sanskrit: दक्षिणामूर्ति)[145], literally describes a form (mūrti) of Shiva facing south (dakṣiṇa). This form represents Shiva in his aspect as a teacher of yoga, music, and wisdom and giving exposition on the shastras.[146] This iconographic form for depicting Shiva in Indian art is mostly from Tamil Nadu.[147] Elements of this motif can include Shiva seated upon a deer-throne and surrounded by sages who are receiving his instruction.[148]


[edit] Mrutyunjaya
Literally translated as "victor over death", this is an aspect of Shiva worshipped as the conqueror of death as manifested in the Hindu lord of death, Yama. The particular legend in question deals with the sage Markandeya, who was fated to die at the age of sixteen. On account of the sage's worship and devotion to Shiva, the lord vanquished Yama to liberate his devotee from death. Shiva is often worshipped as Mruthyunjaya by the aged or ill to ward off death and mitigate its harshness when it does occur. He is worshipped as such at the temples of Thirupainyeeli, near Trichinopoly, and at a shrine in Thirukadaiyur, near Chidambaram.[citation needed]


Chola bronze from the 11th century. Shiva in the form of Ardhanarisvara.
[edit] Ardhanarishvara
Main article: Ardhanari
An iconographic representation of Shiva called Ardhanarishvara shows him with one half of the body as male and the other half as female.[149] According to Ellen Goldberg, the traditional Sanskrit name for this form (Ardhanārīśvara) is best translated as "the lord who is half woman", not as "half-man, half-woman".[150] In Hindu philosophy, this is used to visualize the belief that the sacred ultimate power of the universe as being both feminine and masculine.[133]


[edit] Tripurantaka
Main article: Tripurantaka
See also: Tripura (mythology)
Lord Shiva is often depicted as an archer in the act of destroying the triple fortresses, Tripura, of the Asuras.[151] Shiva's name Tripurantaka (Sanskrit: त्रिपुरान्तक, Tripurāntaka), "ender of Tripura", refers to this important story.[152]

Metaphysically, Tripura has been considered by many scholars to mean the three kinds of bodies of man viz. Sthula sharira—the external embodiment, Sukshma sharira—the intellectual corpus, and Karana sharira—the consciousness or the soul. The Tripurantaka manifestation of the Lord destroys and extinguishes the tri-partite compartmentalisation of the being and merges all three essential componenets of man into the supreme consciousness. The lord as Tripurantaka destroys the veil of maya, agyaan(ignorance), and affects the unision of the indivdual soul with the supreme consciousness.


[edit] Astamurti
Main article: Astamurti
Astamurti represents the eightfold appellations of Shiva in forms of Bhava as Existence, Sarva as the great Archer, Rudra as the giver of sorrow and sufferings, Pasupati as the Herdsman, Ugra as the Fearsome, Mahan, i.e. Mahadeva as the Supreme soul, Bhima as the Tremendous force, and Isana as the Directional ruler of the universe.


[edit] Lingam

A Shiva Lingam worshipped at Jambukesvara temple in Thiruvanaikaval (Thiruaanaikaa)Main article: Lingam
See also: Jyotirlinga
Apart from anthropomorphic images of Shiva, the worship of Shiva in the form of a lingam, or linga, is also important.[38][153][154] These are depicted in various forms. One common form is the shape of a vertical rounded column. Shiva means auspiciousness, and linga means a sign or a symbol. Hence, the Shivalinga is regarded as a "symbol of the great God of the universe who is all-auspiciousness".[155] Shiva also means "one in whom the whole creation sleeps after dissolution".[155] Linga also means the same thing—a place where created objects get dissolved during the disintegration of the created universe. Since, according to Hinduism, it is the same god that creates, sustains and withdraws the universe, the Shivalinga represents symbolically God Himself.[155] Some scholars, such as Monier-Williams and Wendy Doniger, also view linga as a phallic symbol,[156][157] although this interpretation is disputed by others, including Christopher Isherwood,[158] Vivekananda,[159] Swami Sivananda,[160] and S.N. Balagangadhara.[161]

The worship of the Shiva-Linga originated from the famous hymn in the Atharva-Veda Samhitâ sung in praise of the Yupa-Stambha, the sacrificial post. In that hymn, a description is found of the beginningless and endless Stambha or Skambha, and it is shown that the said Skambha is put in place of the eternal Brahman. Just as the Yajna (sacrificial) fire, its smoke, ashes, and flames, the Soma plant, and the ox that used to carry on its back the wood for the Vedic sacrifice gave place to the conceptions of the brightness of Shiva's body, his tawny matted hair, his blue throat, and the riding on the bull of the Shiva, the Yupa-Skambha gave place in time to the Shiva-Linga.[162][163] In the text Linga Purana, the same hymn is expanded in the shape of stories, meant to establish the glory of the great Stambha and the superiority of Shiva as Mahadeva.[163]

Another theory is that Shiva linga might have been originated from the erect memorial topes of Buddhists consecrated in the memory of Buddha; and the very poor, who were unable to build big monuments, used to express their devotion to him by dedicating miniature substitutes for them. Scholars note that similar instances are still seen in the case of Hindu temples in Varanasi and other sacred places of India where those who cannot afford to build temples dedicate very small temple-like constructions instead. Scholars note that during the period of Buddhist ascendancy, the rich Hindus, in imitation of the Buddhists, used to erect something as a memorial resembling their Skambha, and the poor in a similar manner copied them on a reduced scale, and afterwards, the miniature memorials of the poor Hindus became a new addition to the Skambha.[162][163][164]


[edit] The five mantras

Adoration of five-headed Shiva by Vishnu (blue figure, to left of Shiva), Brahma (four-headed figure to the right of Shiva), Ganesha (elephant-headed son of Shiva, bottom left) and other deities. Painting from LACMA.Five is a sacred number for Shiva.[165] One of his most important mantras has five syllables (namaḥ śivāya).[166]

Shiva's body is said to consist of five mantras, called the pañcabrahmans.[167] As forms of God, each of these have their own names and distinct iconography:[168]

Sadyojāta
Vāmadeva
Aghora
Tatpuruṣa
Īsāna
These are represented as the five faces of Shiva and are associated in various texts with the five elements, the five senses, the five organs of perception, and the five organs of action.[169][170] Doctrinal differences and, possibly, errors in transmission, have resulted in some differences between texts in details of how these five forms are linked with various attributes.[171] The overall meaning of these associations is summarized by Stella Kramrisch:

Through these transcendent categories, Śiva, the ultimate reality, becomes the efficient and material cause of all that exists.[172]

According to the Pañcabrahma Upanishad:

One should know all things of the phenomenal world as of a fivefold character, for the reason that the eternal verity of Śiva is of the character of the fivefold Brahman. (Pañcabrahma Upanishad 31)[173]


[edit] Relationship to Vishnu

Vishnu (left half—blue) and Shiva (right half—white)During the Vedic period, both Vishnu and Shiva (as identified with Rudra) played relatively minor roles, but by the time of the Brahmanas (c. 1000-700 BCE), both were gaining ascendance.[174] By the Puranic period, both deities had major sects that competed with one another for devotees.[175] Many stories developed showing different types of relationships between these two important deities.

Sectarian forces each presented their own preferred deity as supreme. Vishnu in his myths "becomes" Shiva.[176] The Vishnu Purana (4th c. CE) shows Vishnu awakening and becoming both Brahmā to create the world and Shiva to destroy it.[177] Shiva also is viewed as a manifestation of Vishnu in the Bhagavata Purana.[178] In Shaivite myths, on the other hand, Shiva comes to the fore and acts independently and alone to create, preserve, and destroy the world.[179] In one Shaivite myth of the origin of the lingam, both Vishnu and Brahmā are revealed as emanations from Shiva's manifestation as a towering pillar of flame.[180] The Śatarudrīya, a Shaivite hymn, says that Shiva is "of the form of Vishnu".[181] Differences in viewpoints between the two sects are apparent in the story of Śarabha (also spelled "Sharabha"), the name of Shiva's incarnation in the composite form of man, bird, and beast. Shiva assumed that unusual form to chastise Vishnu in his hybrid form as Narasimha, the man-lion, who killed Hiranyakashipu, an ardent devotee of Shiva.[182][183]

Syncretic forces produced stories in which the two deities were shown in cooperative relationships and combined forms. Harihara is the name of a combined deity form of both Vishnu (Hari) and Shiva (Hara).[184] This dual form, which is also called Harirudra, is mentioned in the Mahabharata.[185] An example of a collaboration story is one given to explain Shiva's epithet Mahābaleśvara, "lord of great strength" (Maha = "great", Bala = "strength", Īśvara = "lord"). This name refers to a story in which Rāvaṇa was given a linga as a boon by Shiva on the condition that he carry it always. During his travels, he stopped near the present Deoghar in Bihar to purify himself and asked Narada, a devotee of Vishnu in the guise of a Brahmin, to hold the linga for him, but after some time, Narada put it down on the ground and vanished. When Ravana returned, he could not move the linga, and it is said to remain there ever since.[186] The story of Gokarna in Karnataka is also similar in that Ravana, on the way to Lanka from Kailasa, gave the lingam to Ganesha to keep until he bathes, but Ganesha fits it in the earth, so the lingam is called Mahabaleshwara.

As one story goes, Shiva is enticed by the beauty and charm of Mohini, Vishnu's avatar, and procreates with her. As a result of this union, Lord Ayyappa is born.


[edit] Avatars
Shiva, like some other Hindu deities, is said to have several incarnations, known as avatars. Adi Shankara, the 8th-century philosopher of non-dualist Vedanta, was named "Shankara" after Lord Shiva and is considered to have been an incarnation of Shiva.[187] In the Hanuman Chalisa, Hanuman is identified as the eleventh avatar of Shiva.[188]


[edit] Temples

One hundred and eight Shiva lingas carved on the rock at the banks of River Tungabhadra, HampiIn Shaivism, Shiva is the god of all and is described as worshipped by all, including Devas (gods) like Brahma and Indra, Asuras(demons) like Bana and Ravana, humans like Adi Shankara and Nayanars, and creatures as diverse as Jatayu, an eagle, and Vali, an ape. Deities, rishis (sages), and grahas (planets) worshipped Shiva and established Shivalingas in various places.

The holiest Shiva temples are the 12 Jyotirlinga temples. They are Somnath—Prabhas Patan, Nageshwar—Dwarka, Mahakaleshwar—Ujjain, Mallikārjuna—Srisailam, Bhimashankar, Omkareshwar, Kedarnath, Kashi Vishwanath—Varanasi, Trimbakeshwar—near Nasik, Rameswaram—Rameswaram, Grishneshwar—near Ellora and Vaidyanath—Deoghar.

In South India, five temples of Shiva are held to be particularly important, as being manifestations of him in the five elemental substances:

Pancha Bhudha Sthalams

*Thiruvanaikaval(Sri Jambhukeswar) - appu - water
*Thiruvannamalai(Sri Arunachaleswar) - thEyu - fire
*Thirukkalahasthi(Sri Kalahastheeswara Nathar) - vAyu - air
*Kanchipuram(sri Ekampareswar) - pruthvi - land
*Chithambaram(Sri Natarajar) - AkAsam - sky

Other notable temples in India include:

Vemulawada in Karimnagar District of Andhra Pradesh
Kaleswaram in Karimnagar District of Andhra Pradesh
Draaksharamam in East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh
Bhramaramba-Mallikarjuna Temple in Srisailam at Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh
Thayumanavar in Tiruchirappalli
Meenakshi Sundareswar in Madurai
Brihadeeswarar in Thanjavur
Nellaiappar in Aragalur(Tirunelveli) District of Tamilnadu
Pashupatinath Temple in Nepal and the pilgrimage site of Kailash Mansarovar are noteworthy. The world-famous Amarnath Yatra to the Amarnath ji Cave in Kashmir (India) is also significant.[189]

[edit] See also
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Shiva
Shaivism
History of Shaivism
Shiva Puja
Varanasi
Shiva Purana

[edit] Notes
^ For the name Kailāsagirivāsī (Sanskrit कैलासिगिरवासी), "With his abode on Mount Kailāsa", as a name appearing in the Shiva Sahasranama, see: Sharma 1996, p. 281.
^ http://www.himalayanacademy.com/resources/books/dws/dws_mandala-02.html
^ a b Flood (1996), p. 17.
^ Tattwananda, p. 45.
^ Zimmer (1972) p. 124.
^ Apte, p. 919.
^ a b Macdonell, p. 314.
^ For use of the term śiva as an epithet for other Vedic deities, see: Chakravarti, p. 28.
^ Sri Vishnu Sahasranama, Ramakrishna Math edition, pg.47 and pg. 122.
^ Swami Chinmayananda's translation of Vishnu sahasranama, pg. 24, Central Chinmaya Mission Trust.
^ Apte, p. 927
^ For the definition "Śaivism refers to the traditions which follow the teachings of Śiva (śivaśāna) and which focus on the deity Śiva... " see: Flood (1996), p. 149.
^ Encyclopedia of Indian Tribes By Shyam Singh Shashi, p. 190
^ Kramrisch, p. 476.
^ For appearance of the name महादेव in the Shiva Sahasranama see: Sharma 1996, p. 297
^ Kramrisch, p. 477.
^ For appearance of the name महेश्वर in the Shiva Sahasranama see:Sharma 1996, p. 299.
^ For Parameśhvara as "Supreme Lord" see: Kramrisch, p. 479.
^ Sharma 1996, p. viii-ix
^ This is the source for the version presented in Chidbhavananda, who refers to it being from the Mahabharata but does not explicitly clairify which of the two Mahabharata versions he is using. See Chidbhavananda, p.5.
^ For an overview of the Śatarudriya see: Kramrisch, pp. 71-74.
^ For complete Sanskrit text, translations, and commentary see: Sivaramamurti (1976).
^ Flood (1996), p. 17
^ Keay, p.xxvii.
^ Keay, p. xxvii.
^ For Shiva as a composite deity whose history is not well-documented, see: Keay, p. 147.
^ Michaels, p. 215.
^ a b c Courtright, p. 205.
^ For Jejuri as the foremost center of worship see: Mate, p. 162.
^ For use of the name Khandoba as a name for Karttikeya in Maharashtra, see: Gupta, Preface, and p. 40.
^ 'Khandoba: Ursprung, Geschiche und Umvelt von Pastoralem Gotheiten in Maharashtra, Wiesbaden 1976 (German with English Synopsis) pp. 180-98, "Khandoba is a local deity in Maharashtra and been Sanskritised as an incarnation of Shiva."
^ For worship of Khandoba in the form of a lingam and possible identification with Shiva based on that, see: Mate, p. 176.
^ a b Flood (1996), pp. 28-29.
^ For translation of paśupati as "Lord of Animals" see: Michaels, p. 312.
^ For a drawing of the seal see Figure 1 in: Flood (1996), p. 29.
^ Flood (2003), pp. 204-205.
^ Keay, p. 14.
^ a b Michaels, p. 216.
^ For dating based on "cumulative evidence" see: Oberlies, p. 158.
^ Doniger, pp. 221-223.
^ Michaels, p. 217.
^ For Śarva as a name of Shiva see: Apte, p. 910.
^ For archer and arrow associations see Kramrisch, Chapter 2, and for the arrow as an "essential attribute" see: Kramrisch, p. 32.
^ a b c Sharma 1996, p. 306
^ For root śarv- see: Apte, p. 910.
^ a b Chidbhavananda, p. 33.
^ For translation of Bāṇahasta as "Armed with arrows in his hands") see: Sharma 1996, p. 294.
^ For Shiva being identified with Agni, Indra, Prajāpati, Vāyu, and others see: Chakravarti, p. 70.
^ For general statement of the close relationship, and example shared epithets, see: Sivaramamurti, p. 11.
^ For an overview of the Rudra-Fire complex of ideas, see: Kramrisch, pp. 15-19.
^ For quotation "An important factor in the process of Rudra's growth is his identification with Agni in the Vedic literature and this identification contributed much to the transformation of his character as Rudra-Śiva." see: Chakravarti, p. 17.
^ For translation from Nirukta 10.7, see: Sarup (1927), p. 155.
^ Kramrisch, p. 18.
^ For "Note Agni-Rudra concept fused" in epithets Sasipañjara and Tivaṣīmati see: Sivaramamurti, p. 45.
^ Rig Veda: Rig-Veda, Book 6: HYMN XLVIII. Agni and Others
^ For the parallel between the horns of Agni as bull, and Rudra, see: Chakravarti, p. 89.
^ RV 8.49; 10.155.
^ For flaming hair of Agni and Bhairava see: Sivaramamurti, p. 11.
^ For text of RV 2.20.3a as स नो युवेन्द्रो जोहूत्रः सखा िशवो नरामस्तु पाता । and translation as "May that young adorable Indra, ever be the friend, the benefactor, and protector of us, his worshipper" see: Arya & Joshi (2001), p. 48, volume 2.
^ For text of RV 6.45.17 as यो गृणतामिदासिथापिरूती िशवः सखा । स त्वं न इन्द्र मृलय ॥ and translation as "Indra, who has ever been the friend of those who praise you, and the insurer of their happiness by your protection, grant us felicity" see: Arya & Joshi (2001), p. 91, volume 3.
^ For translation of RV 6.45.17 as "Thou who hast been the singers' Friend, a Friend auspicious with thine aid, As such, O Indra, favour us" see: Griffith 1973, p. 310.
^ For text of RV 8.93.3 as स न इन्द्रः सिवः सखाश्चावद् गोमद्यवमत् । उरूधारेव दोहते ॥ and translation as "May Indra, our auspicious friend, milk for us, like a richly-streaming (cow), wealth of horses, kine, and barley" see: Arya & Joshi (2001), p. 48, volume 2.
^ For the bull parallel between Indra and Rudra see: Chakravarti, p. 89.
^ RV 7.19.
^ For the lack of warlike connections and difference between Indra and Rudra, see: Chakravarti, p. 8.
^ For Shiva as depicted with a third eye, and mention of the story of the destruction of Kama with it, see: Flood (1996), p. 151.
^ For a review of theories about the meaning of tryambaka, see: Chakravarti, pp.37-39.
^ For usage of the word ambaka in classical Sanskrit and connection to the Mahabharata depiction, see: Chakravarti, pp. 38-39.
^ For translation of Tryambakam as "having three mothers" and as an epithet of Rudra, see: Kramrisch, p. 483.
^ For vedic Sanskrit meaning and "having three mothers" as the translation of Max Müller and Macdonell, see: Chakravarti, pp. 37-38.
^ For discussion of the problems in translation of this name, and the hypothesis regarding the Ambikās see: Hopkins (1968), p. 220.
^ For the Ambikā variant, see: Chakravarti, pp. 17, 37.
^ Sharma 1996, p. 290
^ See: name #93 in Chidbhavananda, p. 31.
^ For Shiva drinking the poison churned from the world ocean see: Flood (1996), p. 78.
^ a b Kramrisch, p. 473.
^ Ziegenbalg, Bartholomaeus; Germann ,Wilhelm and Metzger, G.J. (869). Genealogy of the South-Indian Gods. Germann1. p. 151.
^ For the moon on the forehead see: Chakravarti, p. 109.
^ For śekhara as crest or crown, see: Apte, p. 926.
^ For Chandraśekhara as an iconographic form, see: Sivaramamurti (1976), p. 56.
^ For translation "Having the moon as his crest" see: Kramrisch, p. 472.
^ For the moon iconography as marking the rise of Rudra-Shiva, see: Chakravarti, p. 58.
^ For discussion of the linkages between Soma, Moon, and Rudra, and citation to RV 7.74, see: Chakravarti, pp. 57-58.
^ Chidbhavananda, p. 22.
^ For translation of Kapardin as "Endowed with matted hair" see: Sharma 1996, p. 279.
^ Kramrisch, p. 475.
^ For Kapardin as a name of Shiva, and description of the kaparda hair style, see, Macdonell, p. 62.
^ For alternate stories about this feature, and use of the name Gaṅgādhara see: Chakravarti, pp. 59 and 109.
^ For description of the Gaṅgādhara form, see: Sivaramamurti (1976), p. 8.
^ For Shiva supporting Gaṅgā upon his head, see: Kramrisch, p. 473.
^ a b c d Flood (1996), p. 151.
^ Flood (1996), pp. 92, 161.
^ Flood (1996), p. 161.
^ Chidbhavananda, p. 23.
^ Flood (1996), p. 151
^ Michaels, p. 218.
^ For definition and shape, see: Apte, p. 461.
^ Jansen, p. 44.
^ Jansen, p. 25.
^ For use by Kāpālikas, see: Apte, p. 461.
^ For a review of issues related to the evolution of the bull (Nandin) as Shiva's mount, see: Chakravarti, pp. 99-105.
^ For spelling of alternate proper names Nandī and Nandin see: Stutley, p. 98.
^ Sharma 1996, p. 291
^ Kramrisch, p. 479.
^ Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna L. Dallapiccola
^ For identification of Mount Kailāsa as the central linga, see: Stutley (1985), p. 62.
^ Keay, p. 33.
^ For quotation "Śiva is a god of ambiguity and paradox" and overview of conflicting attributes see: Flood (1996), p. 150.
^ For quotation regarding Yajur Veda as containing contrary sets of attributes, and marking point for emergence of all basic elements of later sect forms, see: Chakravarti, p. 7.
^ For summary of Shiva's contrasting depictions in the Mahabharata, see: Sharma 1988, p. 20-21.
^ For rud- meaning "cry, howl" as a traditional etymology see: Kramrisch, p. 5.
^ Citation to M. Mayrhofer, Concise Etymological Sanskrit Dictionary, s.v. "rudra", is provided in: Kramrisch, p. 5.
^ Sharma 1996, p. 301.
^ Sharma 1996, p. 314.
^ For translation of Mahākāla as "Time beyond time" see: Kramrisch, p. 476.
^ For the name Kāla translated as "time; death", see: Kramrisch, p. 474.
^ The name Kāla appears in the Shiva Sahasranama, where it is translated by Ram Karan Sharma as "(The Supreme Lord of) Time". See: Sharma 1996, p. 280.
^ For भैरव as one of the eight forms of Shiva, and translation of the adjectival form as "terrible" or "frightful" see: Apte, p. 727, left column.
^ For Bhairava form as associated with terror see: Kramrisch, p. 471.
^ Kramrisch, p. 481.
^ For adoption of the name Śaṇkara by Shankaracarya see: Kramrisch, p. 481.
^ For dating Shankaracharya as 788-820 CE see: Flood (1996), p. 92.
^ For translation of Śambhu as "Causing Happiness" see: Kramrisch, p. 481.
^ For speculation on the possible etymology of this name, see: Chakravarti, pp. 28 (note 7), and p. 177.
^ For the contrast beteween ascetic and householder depictions, see: Flood (1996), pp. 150-151.
^ For Shiva's representation as a yogin, see: Chakravarti, p. 32.
^ For name Mahāyogi and associations with yoga, see, Chakravarti, pp. 23, 32, 150.
^ For the ascetic yogin form as reflecting Epic period influences, see: Chakravarti, p. 32.
^ For Umāpati, Umākānta and Umādhava as names in the Shiva Sahasranama literature, see: Sharma 1996, p. 278.
^ For Umā as the oldest name, and variants including Pārvatī, see: Chakravarti, p. 40.
^ For Pārvatī identified as the wife of Shiva, see: Kramrisch, p. 479.
^ For regional name variants of Karttikeya see: Gupta, Preface.
^ a b Search for Meaning By Antonio R. Gualtieri
^ For description of the nataraja form see: Jansen, pp. 110-111.
^ For interpretation of the naṭarāja form see: Zimmer, pp. 151-157.
^ For names Nartaka (Sanskrit नर्तक) and Nityanarta (Sanskrit नित्यनर्त) as names of Shiva, see: Sharma 1996, p. 289.
^ For prominence of these associations in puranic times, see: Chakravarti, p. 62.
^ For popularity of the nṛtyamūrti and prevalence in South India, see: Chakravarti, p. 63.
^ Kramrisch, Stella (1994). "Siva's Dance". The Presence of Siva. Princeton University Press. pp. 439.
^ Klostermaier, Klaus K.. "Shiva the Dancer". Mythologies and Philosophies of Salvation in the Theistic Traditions of India. Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press. pp. 151.
^ Massey, Reginald. "India's Kathak Dance". India's Kathak Dance, Past Present, Future. Abhinav Publications. p. 8.
^ a b Moorthy, Vijaya (2001). Romance of the Raga. Abhinav Publications. pp. 96.
^ Leeming, David Adams (2001). A Dictionary of Asian Mythology. Oxford University Press. pp. 45.
^ Radha, Sivananda (1992). "Mantra of Muladhara Chakra". Kuṇḍalinī Yoga. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.,. pp. 304.
^ For iconographic description of the Dakṣiṇāmūrti form, see: Sivaramamurti (1976), p. 47.
^ For description of the form as representing teaching functions, see: Kramrisch, p. 472.
^ For characterization of Dakṣiṇāmūrti as a mostly south Indian form, see: Chakravarti, p. 62.
^ For the deer-throne and the audience of sages as Dakṣiṇāmūrti, see: Chakravarti, p. 155.
^ Goldberg, p. 1.
^ Goldberg specifically rejects the translation by Frederique Marglin (1989) as "half-man, half-woman", and instead adopts the translation by Marglin as "the lord who is half woman" as given in Marglin (1989, 216). Goldberg, p. 1.
^ For evolution of this story from early sources to the epic period, when it was used to enhance Shiva's increasing influence, see: Chakravarti, p. 46.
^ For the Tripurāntaka form, see: Sivaramamurti (1976), pp. 34, 49.
^ Flood (1996), p. 29.
^ Tattwanandaz, pp. 49-52.
^ a b c Harshananda, Swami. "Sivalinga". Principal Symbols of World Religions. Sri Ramakrishna Math Mylapore. pp. 6–8.
^ See Monier William's Sanskrit to english Dictionary
^ O'Flaherty, Wendy Doniger (1981). Śiva, the erotic ascetic. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-520250-3.
^ Isherwood, Christopher. "Early days at Dakshineswar". Ramakrishna and his disciples. pp. 48.
^ Sen, Amiya P. (2006). "Editor's Introduction". The Indispensable Vivekananda. Orient Blackswan. pp. 25–26.
^ Sivananda, Swami (1996). "Worship of Siva Linga". Lord Siva and His Worship. The Divine Life Trust Society. http://www.dlshq.org/download/lordsiva.htm#_VPID_80.
^ Balagangadhara, S.N.; Sarah Claerhout (Spring 2008). "Are Dialogues Antidotes to Violence? Two Recent Examples From Hinduism Studies". Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies 7 (19): 118–143. http://www.jsri.ro/new/?download=19_balagangadhara_claerhout.pdf.
^ a b Harding, Elizabeth U. (1998). "God, the Father". Kali: The Black Goddess of Dakshineswar. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 156–157. ISBN 9788120814509.
^ a b c Vivekananda, Swami. "THE PARIS CONGRESS OF THE HISTORY OF RELIGIONS". The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda. Vol.4.
^ Isherwood, Christopher. "Early days at Dakshineswar". Ramakrishna and his disciples. p. 48.
^ For five as a sacred number, see: Kramrisch, p. 182.
^ It is first encountered in an almost identical form in the Rudram. For the five syllable mantra see: Kramrisch, p. 182.
^ For discussion of these five forms and a table summarizing the associations of these five mantras see: Kramrisch, pp. 182-189.
^ For distinct iconography, see Kramrisch, p. 185.
^ For association with the five faces and other groups of five, see: Kramrisch, p. 182.
^ For the epithets pañcamukha and pañcavaktra, both of which mean "five faces", as epithets of Śiva, see: Apte, p. 578, middle column.
^ For variation in attributions among texts, see: Kramrisch, p. 187.
^ Kramrisch, p. 184.
^ Quotation from Pañcabrahma Upanishad 31 is from: Kramrisch, p. 182.
^ For relatively minor position in Vedic times, and rise in progress by 1000-700 BCE see: Zimmer (1946), p. 125, note 2.
^ For the rise in popularity of Shiva and Vishnu, and the role of Puranas in promoting sectarian positions, see: Flood (1996), pp. 110-111.
^ For Visnu becoming Shiva in Vaishnava myths, see: Zimmer (1946), p. 125.
^ For Vishnu Purana dating of 4th c. CE and role of Vishnu as supreme deity, see: Flood (1996), p. 111.
^ For identification of Shiva as a manifestation of Vishnu see: Bhagavata Purana 4.30.23, 5.17.22-23, 10.14.19.
^ For predominant role of Shiva in some myths, see: Zimmer (1946), p. 128.
^ For the lingodbhava myth, and Vishnu and Brahmā as emanations of Shiva, see: Zimmer (1946), pp. 128-129.
^ For translation of the epithet शिपिविष्ट (IAST: śipiviṣṭa) as "salutation to him of the form of Vishṇu" included in the fifth anuvāka, and comment that this epithet "links Śiva with Vishṇu" see: Sivaramamurti, pp. 21, 64.
^ For Śarabha as an "animal symplegma" form of Shiva, see: Kramrisch, p. 481.
^ For incarnation in composite form as man, bird, and beast to chastise Narasimha, see: Chakravarti, p. 49.
^ Chakravarti, pp. 54-55.
^ For Harirudra citation to Mbh. III.39.76f see: Hopkins (1969), p. 221.
^ For the story of Rāvaṇa and the Mahābaleśvara linga see: Chakravarti, p. 168.
^ Padma Purana 6.236.7-11
^ Sri Ramakrishna Math (1985) "Hanuman Chalisa" p. 5
^ http://www.shaivism.in

[edit] References
Apte, Vaman Shivram (1965), The Practical Sanskrit Dictionary (Fourth revised and enlarged ed.), Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, ISBN 81-208-0567-4
Arya, Ravi Prakash & K. L. Joshi. Ṛgveda Saṃhitā: Sanskrit Text, English Translation. Parimal Publications, Delhi, 2001, ISBN 81-7110-138-7 (Set of four volumes). Parimal Sanskrit Series No. 45; 2003 reprint: 81-7020-070-9.
Chakravarti, Mahadev (1994), The Concept of Rudra-Śiva Through The Ages (Second Revised ed.), Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0053-2
Chidbhavananda, Swami (1997). Siva Sahasranama Stotram: With Navavali, Introduction, and English Rendering.. Sri Ramakrishna Tapovanam. ISBN 81-208-0567-4. (Third edition). The version provided by Chidbhavananda is from chapter 17 of the Anuśāsana Parva of the Mahābharata.
Courtright, Paul B. (1985). Gaṇeśa: Lord of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN ISBN 0-19-505742-2.
Flood, Gavin (1996). An Introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-43878-0.
Flood, Gavin (Editor) (2003). The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. ISBN 1-4051-3251-5.
Goldberg, Ellen (2002). The Lord Who is Half Woman: Ardhanārīśvara in Indian and Feminist Perspective. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-5326-X.
Griffith, T. H. (1973), The Hymns of the Ṛgveda (New Revised ed.), Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0046-X
Gupta, Shakti M. (1988). Karttikeya: The Son of Shiva. Bombay: Somaiya Publications Pvt. Ltd.. ISBN 81-7039-186-5.
Hopkins, E. Washburn (1969). Epic Mythology. New York: Biblo and Tannen. Originally published in 1915.
Jansen, Eva Rudy (1993). The Book of Hindu Imagery. Havelte, Holland: Binkey Kok Publications BV. ISBN 90-74597-07-6.
Keay, John (2000). India: A History. New York: Grove Press. ISBN 0-8021-3797-0.
Kramrisch, Stella (1981). The Presence of Śiva. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01930-4.
Macdonell, Arthur Anthony (1996). A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers. ISBN 81-215-0715-4.
Mate, M. S. (1988). Temples and Legends of Maharashtra. Bombay: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.
Michaels, Axel (2004). Hinduism: Past and Present. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-08953-1.
Sarup, Lakshman (1920-1927). The Nighaṇṭu and The Nirukta. Reprint: Motilal Banarsidass, 2002, ISBN 81-208-1381-2.
Sharma, Ram Karan (1988), Elements of Poetry in the Mahābhārata (Second ed.), Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0544-5
Sharma, Ram Karan (1996), Śivasahasranāmāṣṭakam: Eight Collections of Hymns Containing One Thousand and Eight Names of Śiva, Delhi: Nag Publishers, ISBN 81-7081-350-6 This work compares eight versions of the Śivasahasranāmāstotra with comparative analysis and Śivasahasranāmākoṣa (A Dictionary of Names). The text of the eight versions is given in Sanskrit.
Sivaramamurti, C. (1976). Śatarudrīya: Vibhūti of Śiva's Iconography. Delhi: Abhinav Publications.
Stutley, Margaret (1985). The Illustrated Dictionary of Hindu Iconography. First Indian Edition: Munshiram Manoharlal, 2003, ISBN 81-215-1087-2.
Tattwananda, Swami (1984). Vaisnava Sects, Saiva Sects, Mother Worship. Calcutta: Firma KLM Private Ltd.. First revised edition.
Zimmer, Heinrich (1946). Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01778-6. First Princeton-Bollingen printing, 1972.
Hanuman Chalisa. Chennai, India: Sri Ramakrishna Math. 1985. ISBN 81-7120-086-9.



This article contains Indic text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks or boxes, misplaced vowels or missing conjuncts instead of Indic text.

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12:52 AM  
Blogger Glennie9654 said...

幸福是人人都要,又怎麼可能都歸你所有?要知道這世界幸福本來就不多........................................

8:31 AM  
Blogger 陳育政 said...

成功是一把梯子,雙手插在口袋裡是爬不上去的。........................................

6:38 PM  
Blogger 志文 said...

喜歡你的部落格,讓人流連忘返 ........................................

5:26 AM  
Blogger Stanes said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:54 AM  
Blogger 展姍展姍 said...

人有兩眼一舌,是為了觀察倍於說話的緣故。...........................................................................

4:13 PM  
Blogger jackveronic said...

黃金千金,不如季布一諾。 ............................................................

3:12 PM  
Blogger 宜欣 said...

人因夢想而偉大,要堅持自己的理想哦......................................................................

6:56 AM  
Blogger 廷雯 said...

一定要保持最佳狀況呦,加油!!!期待你發表的新文章!.................................................................                           

9:42 PM  
Blogger 江婷 said...

pleasure to find such a good artical! please keep update!!.................................................................

10:09 AM  
Blogger 啟均 said...

向著星球長驅直進的人,反比踟躕在峽路上的人,更容易達到目的。............................................................

11:28 PM  
Blogger 毓er曹妃sf炳hd張jtr珠 said...

Hello~Nice meet you~~............................................................

4:51 PM  
Blogger 婷珊 said...

you are the best 1..................................................................

8:00 PM  
Blogger 新順 said...

累了嗎?來杯咖啡休息一下吧!............................................................

9:37 PM  
Blogger 吳玉婷 said...

Nothing comes from nothing.............................................................

4:05 AM  
Blogger 堅強堅強 said...

有夢最美啦~~加油!元氣滿點!............................................................

7:21 PM  
Blogger 盈廖生家秀蔡 said...

希望我的支持可以帶給你快樂--加油...................................................................

9:33 PM  
Blogger 淑娟淑娟淑娟 said...

真正仁慈的人,會忘記他們做過的善行,他們全心投入現在的工作,過去的事已被遺忘。..................................................

6:44 PM  
Blogger 陳韋夏陳韋夏益東富益東富 said...

河水永遠是相同的,可是每一剎那又都是新的。. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

6:44 PM  
Blogger 張袁小璇翊瑜 said...

Learning makes life sweet.

4:24 PM  
Blogger 家許迪 said...

人不能像動物一樣活著,而應該追求知識和美德............................................................

6:26 PM  
Blogger 家唐銘 said...

心中醒,口中說,紙上作,不從身上習過,皆無用也。..................................................

9:27 PM  
Blogger 晨晨 said...

完成一個小目標,會把自己推向一個大目標............................................................

2:46 AM  
Blogger 黃智樺黃智樺 said...

鞋匠能作好鞋子,因為他只做鞋,不做別的。..................................................

4:19 PM  
Blogger 奕玲張奕玲張奕玲張 said...

這一生中有多少人擦肩而過?而朋友是多麼可貴啊!......................................................................

11:53 PM  
Blogger 佳張張張張燕張張張張張 said...

學而時習之,不亦樂乎˙ω˙..................................................................

12:14 AM  
Blogger 文岳仲君 said...

路過留言支持~~~..................................................

6:54 AM  
Blogger 陳昆珍 said...

朋友是一面鏡子......................................................................

6:55 PM  
Blogger 瑞蕾 said...

加油!期待更新哦!.................................................................

2:12 AM  
Blogger Stanes said...

The Cake Bandit

Stanes school, Coonoor was one of those fine institutions that carried on the grand old British tradition of afternoon tea in the late 70's. This tradition was also carried on in the Defence Services Staff College, Coonoor Club, Wellington Gymkhana club, where tea and hot buttered scones or crumpets were the norm. Davis Hotel in Coonoor also carried on this tradition. One could have a nice hot cup of refreshing Nilgiri tea with rock cakes, Coconut balls or for the savoury-toothed, there were hot flaky mutton puffs!
The 3:00 O'clock tea bell had rung at Stanes and a long line of hungry boarders were waiting impatiently in line in front of the dining hall. The dining hall doors were taking an inordinately long time to open. The boys' patience was wearing thin. There were rumblings of dissent! Speculation and rumours were running rife as to the cause of the delay. Afternoon tea and pastry was sacrosanct at Stanes and how dare they deny them their sacred right?
The doors were finally opened and the boarders were told that someone had stolen all the two hundred cakes that had been laid out on the dining table. The boys would have to do without their pastries and just gulp down their tea. Disappointment and anger surfaced. There were some indignant remarks heard with some of the boys venting their frustration and calling the thief a pusky bugger! The teacher on duty sternly reminded the boys to keep a civil tongue in their heads and mind their manners! Elbows were to be kept off the table even if the cakes had been swiped! God Almighty! This had never happened in the history of Stanes! The staff informed the principal and an emergency meeting was convened! This was a grave act of indiscipline and could never be tolerated within the hallowed halls of this fine school! Hadn't the students been taught right from wrong, with assembly hall sermons from the mouths of distinguished missionaries from far and wide? Hadn't this been re-inforced with the punishment of caning, impositions, cancellation of tuck etc.? A cake sniffing hound was pressed into service to track down the culprit! None other than Mr. Wood's mongrel! One of the cakes from the staff dining hall was brought to the dog so he could get a good sniff and give chase to the robber. The cake was held close to the mutt's nose- A big mistake! In the twinkling of an eye the newly baptised cake hound snatched the dainty morsel from the unsuspecting hands of the teacher and gobbled it down before you could say "Cake bandit"! When the mongrel found that no more cake was forthcoming, it searched under the dining table and found a trail of cake crumbs leading out of the dining hall. The dog happily followed the trail with it's nose or should I say tongue close to the ground, lapping up the crumbs as it followed the trail and scent. But the scent trail ran cold and the crumbs disappeared. What was a pooch to do? As if on cue the school cat appeared and the dog forgot it's sacred duty of following cake crumbs and took off after the cat. What was better than a cat chase in a dog's world? The cake bandit was scott free.
After the boys' anger had subsided and they had accepted their loss, they began to talk about the cake bandit in awe and hushed tones. This was no ordinary pastry pilferer! It required a lot of guts to carry out this operation and nerves of steel too! What planning, what sleight of hand, what timing and precision. This bandit had pulled a houdini on the school! Who could it be? That the perpetrator was one of their own, was a certainty in the minds of the boys! They would never know the identity of the cake bandit. It was to be a mystery forever.
---Continued in next comment--

10:11 PM  
Blogger Stanes said...

Elias sat among the boarders having their tea. Unlike the others he was not hungry but rather stuffed and nauseous. He had planned this operation for weeks and carried it out to perfection! He had gorged on as many cakes as he possibly could. He had stashed away the remainder in a safe hiding place. It would remain there till he felt hungry again or till the ants, rats and roaches not to mention the distracted pooch, got to the cakes first! Elias had a satisfied look on his face! He had outsmarted everyone! A tell-tale smudge of icing could be seen at the corner of his mouth! Here was a story to pass on to his children and great grandchildren! The cake bandit was never caught!

Peter Greene

10:12 PM  
Blogger Stanes said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:26 AM  
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4:32 AM  
Blogger fusionanil said...

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6:31 AM  
Blogger shivats said...

Inter School Sports
The Wellington Olympiad (Thank you, Peter Greene )

One of the most exciting events to look forward to, while growing up in Coonoor was the Inter School Sports, Our very own mini Olympics! This was an annual event that took place at the Rajendra Singhji Stadium, belonging to the Madras regimental Centre, in Wellington. All the hill schools participated in this grand event! The schools from the plains of Coimbatore, Trichy, Yercaud, like Stanes Cbe., Campion, Montford, Vestry, etc. would have their own sports and it used to be called "The Quadrangle". Our inter School Sports was anxiously awaited by all students, whether athletes or nerds! Preparations would begin months in advance Mr. Bird our PT master would get busy, classifying athletes into different groups according to age, height and weight. The heats would be in full swing.
I remember we had a Science master for a very brief period, Mr. C.P. Varghese (not to be confused with the principal). He was diminutive in stature and small made, but he never knew it! What he lacked in physical stature, he made up for in guts and courage! When we asked him, what his initials, C.P. stood for, he replied, "Corrupted, Polluted"! He once showed up for morning assembly in a simple shirt, plain white dhoti and slippers! Miss.Cherian our principal,was furious and demanded an explanation from him. He coolly replied, "I am wearing the national dress"! Miss. Cherian told him in no uncertain terms that he had to conform to the rules of the school and wear a pant, shoes and socks! (Underwear was optional, unless you wore pants that were too thin like silk or any transparent material!) Mr. Verghese told Miss. Cherian, that if she wanted him to wear Western dress, then lady teachers should also wear Western dress! Can you imagine Miss. Cherian in a smart mini-skirt and low-neck blouse with high heel stilettos! Or imagine Mrs. Rajan in a flouncy polka dot dress with puffy sleeves and padded shoulders with platform shoes! The possibilities were endless! Miss. Cherian hauled Mr. Verghese off to the chairman, Mr. Enwright. C.P. V. was not cowed down by the furious Mr. Enwright! He argued that as an Indian, he had every right to wear the national dress! Mr. Enwright threatened him with expulsion and C.P. finally agreed to wear pants, shoes & socks. C. P. took over the duties of sports master from Mr. Bird, temporarily. C.P. took our athletes to St. Joseph's college for weigh-ins. He suspected that St. Joseph's was using a faulty weighing scale that when our athletes were weighed, it would show high! C. P. confronted Bro. Bonafus, who was Sport's master for Joseph's. They had a big argument, but C.P. stood his ground! he forced Bro. Bonafus to come to our school and compared their scale with ours! There was a huge difference! The red faced Bonafus, finally accepted their error and used our weighing scale! During a football match between Stanes and St. Joe's, C.P. would yell, "Kick him in the belly"! Sadly. Mr. C.P. Verghese never lasted long in our school and soon left! We were not surprised!

10:41 PM  
Blogger shivats said...

We would all assemble on our field facing the flag staff. Wren Johnson would lead us in the oath taking ceremony; "We would all raise our right hands (the Nazi salute) and repeat after Wren, " We swear that we will take part in these sports, in the true spirit of sportmanship -------------"! Wren Johnson was tall and athletic! A very good sportsman and captain of Stanes House! (My house for 9 years. I became David house captain in the 10th.). The field would get busy with athletes practicing, running, long jump, triple jump, high jump, discuss throw, shot put, etc. we also borrowed St. Anthony's school grounds or St. Joseph's. Our field was rich in yellow clay, pink carving stone rocks and perennial swamps! It was like the Florida everglades without the alligators! Plenty of dragon flies, frogs, tadpoles and "water boatmen" (ABC puchies) in the sylvan streams!

When the big day finally came, we would wend our way to Wellington stadium. There would be a festive atmosphere. The military brass band would be in attendance and the tracks would be neatly marked in chalk. Loud speakers and amps from "Murugan sound Systems'' (Lower Coonoor) would be placed around the stadium. Army tents would be pitched around the perimeter. Each school had it's own tent for athletes to rest and prepare themselves. We would always wander over to the tent of Lawrence School, Lovedale. Their school van would be parked nearby. We never had a van! We depended on our trusty legs for transportation! We would watch hungrily as butlers with their noses in the air, attired in starched white linen, scurried to and fro bearing trays heaped with ham sandwiches and hot and cold beverages for their athletes! Spoilt rich brats! Shift that scene to the Stanes school tent! Mr. Bird would summon the athletes around him, holding a green Glaxose box of glucose powder! The athletes held out their palms and Stanley Bird would dispense small heaps of the precious powder onto their palms. One lick and it was gone! That's all our poor athletes got, a lick and a promise! Mr. Bird would give his pep talk in his classic pose! Head slightly bent, hands pointing down. The forefinger of his right hand would be pointing down, thumb out and fingers curled. as if holding an imaginary starter's pistol! " I say you chaps, you'll are the biggest rascals I've ever come across! You've got to put your best foot forward! ( How else was one supposed to run?)

10:43 PM  
Blogger shivats said...

We always envied the Lawrence school students! They had the best! As I stood near the Lawrence tent, I watched a girl athlete from law. who had just run the 200 metres race and she suddenly flopped down on the grass, grimacing in pain! It looked like she had pulled a hamstring muscle! Immediately the Lawrence Coach appeared like magic at her side and began to massage the backs of her legs and thighs--where the hamstrings are located! Now this girl was well built and I could see that the coach had his hand's full! Now I knew where all that ham from those sandwiches was going! I wondered whether I should step up and help him with the other leg! On second thoughts I thought it would be too disastrous and seriously contemplated taking up a job as assistant coach in Lawrence, after leaving school! Now why wasn't this VIP. treatment meted out to our athletes! I never saw Mr. Bird doing that to our athletes! Our poor athletes had to squat on the grass, draw their knees up to their chins and massage their own little ham or bacon strings, the best way they could, all by themselves! Despite these drawbacks our gifted athletes did very well and we remember those who brought glory to our school: R. Krishnan, Wren Johnson, Crystal Godfrey, Yon Tan, Devan Menon, Premila Miranda, Yvonne Johnson to name a few! The march pasts used to be very impressive.

After the sports meet ended, we would make the long trek back to school or home, using all the short cuts we knew. Tired and exhausted, we would lie in our beds at night, our minds full of the memories of the event! Music from the brass band would linger in our ears as we slowly drifted off to sleep thinking about the next year's grand event. Suddenly a loud speaker blares, " Last and final call for the 200 metres relay race! Would R. Krishnan report to the starting line please"!

10:45 PM  
Blogger shivats said...

Eternal Vigil - POW : By Unni Kartha

Joe's Story

There is a Prisoner Of War (POW) story

He passed away last year in Pune of brain haemorrhage.

My story below is what I recollect of it from what he told me about it
in 1973-74. Afterwards he never talked about it despite my repeated
urging him to write an auto biography because his life’s story from
beginning to his end was one of tenacity and resilience against
incredible odds which would have made you cry on every page. I have
never known life to f*** any one with such zest on daily basis as it
did to Joe.

I first met AGJ Swittens (Joe) when I was returning home during term
break after my first term in NDA in Jun/Jul 1967. While haunching and
front rolling in the corridor of the first class special compartment,
simply to entertain a few bored seniors, I discovered that Joe and I
came from the same place in Kerala. He from the coastal town of
Alleppey and I from a village called Ambalapuzha, about 13 km further
south. During the front rolling and haunching in confined space,
around three feet of the compartment’s corridor, we bumped into each
other many times and as a result we fused into a lifelong friendship
that surpassed the ordinary feeling of brotherhood.

Because neither of us had any meaningful friends at home, during the
holidays in that term break, as well as all the other term breaks that
followed, Joe and I travelled the 13 km coastal strip to and fro to
meet practically on daily basis. We did many interesting things
together including joining a typing school because a large number of
pretty Mallu girls were found going to the typing school. As a result
of this very innovative idea we not only learnt to type but also the
use of ‘Brail’ for man-woman communications after the sun set on
Alleppey beach. Sometimes we managed to get hold of a ‘Pauwa’ Rum
(smaller bottle with just 6 pegs) and learnt to drink it neat because
the sea water did not taste good with Rum. It was difficult to climb a
Coconut tree for coconut water and Coke was too expensive on our
meagre pocket money. Hence, it was cheaper and more stimulating to sip
neat rum, passing the bottle from one to the other, swearing
everlasting friendship between each sip. Licking lime pickle in
between helped tone down the euphoria. The packet of lime pickle came
free with the Pauwa.

9:43 PM  
Blogger shivats said...

Joe and I were just 16-19 yrs old when we were in NDA. Joe was the
eldest son of the keeper of the lighthouse at Alleppy beach and had
more than a dozen siblings of all shapes and sizes, mostly girls who
giggled loudly from behind closed doors when I visited their house.
His younger brother Johnny (now an AF officer) was just a tiny toddler
then. It was only natural that both our parents soon began to treat us
like twins because of the NDA induced behavioural pattern that made us
indistinguishable one from the other. While my father thought of me as
someone incapable of earning a livelihood, Joe’s father was counting
the days when Joe would get a commission and add something to the
family pot.

In our 4th term, ‘Rangila’ the terrible, in the equitation lines
kicked Joe in the face and he lost four of his front teeth and had to
get dentures when he was 17 yrs old, a compulsive reason he had to use
Brail to communicate with our GFs from the typing class. I think it
was a blessing in disguise, probably the only time God was kind to Joe
and I. His troubles were just beginning. We passed out of NDA in Dec
1969, he from J Sqn and I from F Sqn. The war clouds were beginning to
rise in East Pak (now Bangladesh) border, but we had no idea of such
things then and were single-mindedly interested only in the tactical
manoeuvres of typing and Brail at Alleppey without misfiring our guns
in the cockpits, a condom was unheard of those days. The tactical
manoeuvre we had to master ourselves at our young age was ‘Coitus
Interruptus’, a failsafe military tactic, not taught in NDA, but which
we believed was perfected by the Roman army of Julius Caesar on their
visit to Alexandria (Cleopatra).

9:45 PM  
Blogger shivats said...

While I went to the flying school in Bidar, Joe went to the Military
Academy in Dehra Dun. He was commissioned into the Gorkha Rifles on 20
Dec 1970. After a short break he joined his Battalion (I think 1/4
GR). His unit at that time (I think) was deployed right on the Indo
Pak border in Chamb sector somewhere near Mole and Phagla ahead of the
Munawar Tawi river with Sikhs (5 Sikh ?) on their northern flank and
Assam Rifles (5 AR ?) on their southern flank facing Koel and Bakan
Paur, a few km ahead of them, probably held by the 111 Brigade of the
Paki army.

Joe went through the usual initiation ceremonies in his battalion and
by end of Nov 1971, he was already a hardened soldier and had endeared
himself to his company commander. His company was deployed some 2 km
away from the Unit HQ - rear administrative location with his CO and
the 2 i/c. For tactical advantages Joe’s Company Commander had
established an observation post (OP) about 400 mtrs ahead of the
company deployment area ahead or almost on the Cease Fire Line (CFL)
of 65 war which was at that time the border. The OP was around 50 feet
higher than the surroundings and hence had a commanding view. The
company itself was deployed in well prepared bunkers and trenches. The
OP was simply a fox hole behind a low bush about four feet by three
and around three feet deep, very painstakingly and surreptitiously dug
over a period of time, at night, using helmets and Khukris so that
it’s existence would not be noticed by the enemy. Every night the
Company Commander would send someone or the other crawling forward
towards the OP and they would replace the OP crew who had been there
for the previous 24 hrs. The OP crew generally consisted of a junior
officer (or an NCO) with two Jawans simply for company and for time
pass, usually playing cards while staying hidden and surreptitiously
observing enemy movements and deployments across the LOC. The enemy
was deployed in depth and hence there was not much that one could see
from the OP foxhole. So the OP duty was considered a boring and
unproductive job, though it gave 2nd Lt AGJ Swittens some respite and
relaxation from the daily rigours of infantry life.

On the evening of 3rd Dec 1971, a Friday, it was Joe’s turn to do the
OP duty. So after sunset, after an early dinner, he collected his two
Shakarpara packets (next day’s breakfast and lunch), filled his water
bottle, and along with a Naik and two soldiers crawled to the OP to
replace those who had spent the previous night and day there.
Everything looked peaceful, there was no noise or activity or any
lights from across the border and so Joe called up the Company
Commander and reported, ’All quiet on the western front.’ He could not
have been more mistaken, it was the lull before the storm. To his
horror, Joe also discovered that the battery discharged and soon
afterwards the ANPRC radio set went completely dead. But Joe was not
too concerned, his entire Company was deployed just 400 mtrs behind
him and that gave him a tremendous sense of security, adequate to fall
asleep in the fox hole, a habit inculcated in NDA, to sleep instantly,
anytime, anywhere, in any position.

9:47 PM  
Blogger shivats said...

Unknown to Joe, around 1800 hrs while he was on his way to the fox
hole, the Paki AF crossed the border and launched a massive
pre-emptive strike on various Indian airfields in the western sector.
But all was quiet around the fox hole and Joe slept and dreamt, the
kind of dreams that a healthy happy 20 yr old would have, I presume
the Brail kind.

At around 2020 hrs Joe was rudely woken by incredible explosions of
heavy calibre artillery shells. There was nothing that fell on him,
but when he looked back he could see that his Company position was
being obliterated systematically, inch by inch by a creeping barrage.
He could not see from where the guns were firing, they were located
beyond comprehensible distance in the west. However, he could see the
entire sky filed with artillery shells streaking like meteors, each
going overhead with shrieking banshee wail. Some were aimed at his
Company position, but most of them were going deeper eastwards towards
the other deployments of Indian infantry and armour. There were more
than 150 enemy guns, probably 105 mm variety firing at them with
deadly accuracy. Soon a similar number of Indian guns, probably of
bigger calibre, began to return the fire. Heavy calibre artillery
shells were firing to and fro, hundreds of them every minute over
Joe’s head, but none fell on him. Joe and the three soldiers with him
lay flat in the foxhole, one on top of the other for lack of space,
cringing and shivering, covering their ears from the unbearable and
most frightening sounds.

After about 30 minutes, they felt the ground begin to tremble like a
mild earthquake. They heard clanking and grinding noises. When Joe
peed out of the fox hole he saw a Paki Sherman tank about fifty meters
ahead, heading straight for him. Joe ducked back into the fox hole and
the tank rolled right over them almost crushing the fox hole and
burying them into the ground. Soon there were other tanks going over
them or around them and after a while he lost track which way they
were coming or going, there were shouts and battle cry, soon he could
hear soldiers running about, but he had no idea whether they were
friends or foe. This went on all night.

In the twilight hours that arrived after an eternity (4th Dec 71), Joe
poked his head out. He found himself surrounded by Paki soldiers and
two Sherman tanks. When he looked backwards, he could not find any
trace of his company. Unknown to Joe, when the shelling started, the
Company along with the entire Indian Brigade had been ordered to
withdraw, leaving poor Joe and his companions in the foxhole.

In the Foxhole the Naik took out his Khukri.

‘Shhaab’, he advised Joe, ‘Kafar Hunu Bhanda Marnu Ramro (Better to
die than live like a coward)’.

The three soldiers took out their Khukri and Joe took our his revolver.

‘Ayo Gorkhali’, they screamed at the top of their voice, jumped out of
the fox hole and charged out. They caught the Pakis completely by
surprise, they were brewing or sipping tea with their weapons at ease.
One of the tank crew jumped up, climbed his tank and let fly a burst
of MMG fire at them. Joe tripped and fell down. The burst of bullets
miraculously went by Joe, but cut up the other three Jawans into
pieces. By then the Paki soldiers had grabbed their 303 rifles and
formed a ring around Joe, twenty to one. Joe kept pointing his
revolver from one to another, he turned round, fired one round and
because his hands were shaking, the round went over the enemy’s head.

9:50 PM  
Blogger shivats said...

The circle of enemy soldiers got closer and closer. Finally Joe gave
up. He unhooked the revolver from his lanyard and put it on the
ground. He raised his hands in surrender. A Paki JCO gestured to him
to kneel. They ripped out the lanyard and bound his hands behind his
back. For next half an hour they played ‘Russian Roulette’ with his
own revolver. They would insert one round, twirl the drum and empty
the gun on Joe’s head. Each time the gun clicked but did not fire, the
Paki soldiers would laugh aloud, pass lurid comments and poke him with
a bayonet several times. This went on and on and Joe died a thousand
deaths.

After about half an hour, a Paki officer, probably a Colonel came by
in a jeep. First he was unmoved by the fun that the Paki soldiers were
having. Then better sense seemed to have prevailed. ‘Stop it,’ he
ordered. ‘Put him behind my jeep.’ Joe was then taken to what he
perceived as 111 Brigade HQ, large number of tents under camouflage
netting, for interrogation. He was also given field dressing by a Paki
MO who stitched up 64 bayonet wounds without the use of any morphine.
Joe realised the futility of resistance, he was far too gone, he was
just 20 yrs old, and he probably was the first helpless Indian POW of
1971 war.

About an hour later, there was a flurry of activity and the Pakis
began dismantling the tent. Their HQ was being moved elsewhere. He was
handed over to two villagers who put him into a bullock cart and took
him westwards, he had no idea where they were taking him. His hands
were put around his legs and tied tightly with his lanyard so that he
was in a very uncomfortable yoga posture, completely immobile.
En-route, along the villages where they stopped, children pelted him
with mud and stones, while their parents watched with disdain. He was
not given any water or food. After a long ride, he was taken to a
police station and locked up, probably at Kakian Wala. The Military
Police visited twice. They stripped him naked, hung him on a hook and
beat him with a thin Malacca cane. All the bayonet wounds which had
been stitched up, tore open once again and he started to bleed
profusely. Joe gave them his life history, that he was just twenty
years old, that his father was a light house keeper, about how Rangila
kicked him and how he lost his teeth, how much he yearned his typing
class in Alleppey and probably about a stupid friend called Unni in
the AF, but he stuck to his story that he had joined his unit just two
days earlier and that he did not even know the name of his company
commander leave alone deployment locations or strength of the Indian
army in Chamb. They beat him some more, just for the heck of it, but
they fed him tea and rusk twice a day and two chapatis with dal at
night. A local civilian compounder was called and he applied raw
Iodine on his wounds, just as bad and painful as the beating. After a
day he was put into a local bus handcuffed to a policeman and taken by
road to Rawalpindi jail. He was incarcerated there along with common
criminals. He was issued prison clothing. However Joe did not throw
away his OG jersey, a memento of his Indian army uniform.

9:52 PM  
Blogger shivats said...

Around the 7th or 8th Dec 1971, because Joe’s name was not announced
on Paki radio as a POW, or the names of the three soldiers in the OP
with him, his unit presumed that he was ‘missing believed killed’.
Soon afterwards, the Army HQ sent a terse telegram to his father.
‘Your son/ward missing / believed killed in action’.

For several nights, though the lighthouse continued to go round and
round beaming high power lights to the ships at sea, there was gloom
and darkness in the household below the lighthouse. The war had
extinguished their aspirations and livelihood.

Seven months later, on 2 Jul 72 the Shimla accord was signed by Madam
I Gandhi and Mr Bhuto. The two armies, both Indian and Pakis, went
back to business as usual with their guns pointed at each other. A
new Line of Control (LOC) was defined, doing away with the earlier CFL
of 65. All captured territories by both sides were returned, except
that in Chamb where Bhuto managed to convince I Gandhi that it was to
be gifted to them. Sacrifices, blood sweat and tears, in Chamb and at
Hajipir Pass were soon forgotten and in the diplomatic circle at
Chanakyapuri both the Indian and Paki envoys began to once again have
Mushairas and Mujras, excuses to hug and kiss each other as well as
each other’s wives. Everyone went home happy and there was large
acclaim internationally about how well India had handled the handing
back of 98,000 Paki POWs. No one asked how many Indian POWs were
still in Paki jails. Who cared, everyone was celebrating, writing
their own citations and congratulating each other in Delhi.

Joe managed to make friends with his ‘Ward Supervisor’ in Rawalpindi
jail, a convict with a life sentence for murder. He was very tall and
well built sympathetic Pathan who was ‘desperately seeking Susan’. In
Joe he found his Susan, a life’s companion. As Joe told me later with
a sad smile, ‘What did it matter, what difference did it make, I was
just 21. What choice was there, it was either being public property or
exclusive private property. God probably decided that it was payback
time for what we did to the typing girls on Alleppey beach’.

Despite his going around wearing his OG Jersy with two pips on either
shoulders with 4 GR written on the epaulets, no one asked who he was,
what crime he had committed and whether he had ever been tried for any
crime in any court of law. He had no access to any news papers,
magazines or a radio. In the Pathan’s cell, which Joe shared, he had a
Paki calendar in Urdu on which he kept ticking the days and months as
they flew by. Several times he wrote to the jail authorities, advising
them that he was a POW, an Indian being kept in a civil jail with
convicts without any trial and that he should be moved with other
Indian POWs if there were any in Pak. But because the application had
to be routed through the Pathan ward supervisor, who knew no English
and who did not want to lose his Susan, none of his appeals were ever
given to any one in authority. Two years went by. Everyone including
me forgot about Joe Swittens. Joe had no idea that the war was over,
that there was a Shimla accord and that 98,000 Paki POWs had been
returned to Pak and in reciprocity all known or publicly acknowledged
Indian POWs had been sent back to India.

9:52 PM  
Blogger shivats said...

Then one day, in Feb 1973, the Pathan told Joe that there was a team
from ‘Amnesty International’ who was to visit Rawalpindi jail, to
check for human rights violations. He wanted Joe to act as the
interpreter. Joe really had no choice, he had to do whatever the
warder told him to do. So he went and had a haircut, shaved, got his
prison clothes pressed, rubbed toothpaste on his 2nd Lt’s cloth pips
on his OG jersey so that it looked bright, rubbed shoe polish on 4GR
to get it to lose the faded look, polished his torn and tattered shoes
and was ready for the Amnesty team when they arrived.

‘Ladies and gentlemen, follow me, I shall take you on a conducted tour
of the prison’, he announced like Dev Anand in the movie Guide,
smartly saluting the ladies and shaking hands with the gentleman. The
Pathan had briefed him that he was to make all efforts to show off and
to make belief that there was no human rights violation in Rawalpindi
jail.

‘Of course not, everyone is treated well here’ Joe kept saying with a
sad smile whenever someone questioned him.

There was an elderly Swiss woman from the Red Cross in the team who
was more curious and inquisitive. She took Joe aside.

‘Mon Ami’, she asked, ‘Who are you and why are you wearing an army
jersey with a pip on each shoulder, were you in the Paki army ?’.

9:52 PM  
Blogger shivats said...

‘No Mam’, replied Joe vehemently. ‘I am a POW. I am 2nd Lt AGJ
Swittens of the Indian Army.’

‘Arme de terre l’Indianne ? Incredible’, the lady exclaimed. ‘Don’t
you know that the war finished two years ago and that all POWs went
back home last year ?’.

The Pathan did not like Joe having a private conversation in a
language which he did not understand, he sensed that something was
going wrong. He quickly herded the lady away. But before they left the
jail, the lady asked the Pathan, ‘May I take your photo and one of
this young man for my personal album ?’.
The Pathan had no choice because there were Paki jailors present at
that time who desperately wanted to please the foreigners.

The lady took several photographs of the Pathan and one of Joe too.

‘Please send one photo to my father, he is at Alleppey light house in
India,’ Joe whispered to the Swiss lady from Red Cross.

So it was that one fine morning in Jun or Jul 1973, a Photo card came
by ordinary post, addressed simply to ‘Mr Swittens, Light House
Alleppey, India’, on which there was an address and tel number of the
person who sent it from Switzerland. And the photo at the back was a
black and white close up of a smiling Joe Swittens with no teeth, in a
torn OG jersy, but with shining pips and 4GR on his shoulder. Below
the photo was inscribed ‘Rawalpindi Prison’. There was much
consternation as well as incredulity at the light house. Mr Swittens,
Joe’s father immediately sent a telegram to Army HQ and MoD describing
the event. It took MoD almost four weeks to send a reply by normal
post. ‘You son/ward missing/believed killed in action’ the Under
Secretary simply said. They had not even bothered to type it – it was
a cyclostyled unsigned letter and left it to the recipient to cross
out what was not applicable.

9:53 PM  
Blogger shivats said...

Mr Swittens went to see the local MLA in Alleppey who then had an agenda of his own. He raised the issue in Kerala assembly and soon there were questions asked by MPs in Delhi. It became a starred question in the question hour. The defence minister Jagjivan Ram sought time to reply. The R&AW were told to go and investigate in Rawalpindi Jail. They embarrassed the Pak Govt, the system in Pak did not want to accept that they had made a mistake by sending POWs to ordinary jails. They did not wish to proclaim that that POW camps were set up only after 15 Dec 71 and that there could be others who had suffered the same fate as Joe.
‘There is no 2nd Lt AGJ Swittens in Rawalpindi Jail’ was their reply. ‘There is no 2nd Lt AGJ Swittens in Rawalpindi Jail’, Jagjivan Ram announced in parliament with a sense of finality.
Mr Swittens, Joe’s father, did not give up. He mobilised a few sympathetic Mallus and they in turn mobilised some more Mallus.
There was a demonstration outside the Pak embassy in Chanakyapuri. The press picked up the news. Someone, (I think the ‘Hindu’ paper) managed to get a sworn statement from the Swiss lady that she had indeed met a person in Rawalpindi jail who claimed that he was Joe and corroborated it with several photographs that she had taken. MEA asked the US Ambassador to intervene. Finally Pakis bowed to international pressure. They admitted that they did indeed have a person in Rawalpindi jail named ‘Wasim Khan Akram’ or such a name arrested for murder in general area of Kakian Wala and if the Indians think he is one of their army officers, Indians were welcome to have him.
2nd Lt AGJ Swittens walked through the Wagha border into the waiting arms of Indian military police (MP) sometime Sep Oct 1973. He was the last POW to be exchanged after 71 war. Promptly, as soon as he set foot in India, he was arrested and incarcerated in Red Fort in Delhi.
He was accused of being a spy, that he voluntarily stayed back in Pak and that he was brain washed. Joe told me afterwards, ’I did not mind what they did to me in Pak, after all they were the enemy. But what the MPs did to me afterwards in Red Fort was completely unjust’. He said all that with a smile. A man who had been to hell and back had much resilience and tenacity.

9:56 PM  
Blogger shivats said...

Mr Swittens went to see the local MLA in Alleppey who then had an agenda of his own. He raised the issue in Kerala assembly and soon there were questions asked by MPs in Delhi. It became a starred question in the question hour. The defence minister Jagjivan Ram sought time to reply. The R&AW were told to go and investigate in Rawalpindi Jail. They embarrassed the Pak Govt, the system in Pak did not want to accept that they had made a mistake by sending POWs to ordinary jails. They did not wish to proclaim that that POW camps were set up only after 15 Dec 71 and that there could be others who had suffered the same fate as Joe.
‘There is no 2nd Lt AGJ Swittens in Rawalpindi Jail’ was their reply. ‘There is no 2nd Lt AGJ Swittens in Rawalpindi Jail’, Jagjivan Ram announced in parliament with a sense of finality.
Mr Swittens, Joe’s father, did not give up. He mobilised a few sympathetic Mallus and they in turn mobilised some more Mallus.
There was a demonstration outside the Pak embassy in Chanakyapuri. The press picked up the news. Someone, (I think the ‘Hindu’ paper) managed to get a sworn statement from the Swiss lady that she had indeed met a person in Rawalpindi jail who claimed that he was Joe and corroborated it with several photographs that she had taken. MEA asked the US Ambassador to intervene. Finally Pakis bowed to international pressure. They admitted that they did indeed have a person in Rawalpindi jail named ‘Wasim Khan Akram’ or such a name arrested for murder in general area of Kakian Wala and if the Indians think he is one of their army officers, Indians were welcome to have him.
2nd Lt AGJ Swittens walked through the Wagha border into the waiting arms of Indian military police (MP) sometime Sep Oct 1973. He was the last POW to be exchanged after 71 war. Promptly, as soon as he set foot in India, he was arrested and incarcerated in Red Fort in Delhi.
He was accused of being a spy, that he voluntarily stayed back in Pak and that he was brain washed. Joe told me afterwards, ’I did not mind what they did to me in Pak, after all they were the enemy. But what the MPs did to me afterwards in Red Fort was completely unjust’. He said all that with a smile. A man who had been to hell and back had much resilience and tenacity.

9:58 PM  
Blogger shivats said...

There were more protests by Mallus in front of the Red Fort and after a month of ill-treatment by our own MPs, Joe was asked to go and join his unit in Arunachal, at a post called Gelling which took about 22 days to back pack (walk) from the Unit rear.
I think that is where I met him in 1973 or 74, and where he told me his POW story. Gelling was another POW camp of sorts, at least for a 23 yr old.

The last time I met Joe was in his flat in Hinjewadi in Pune, around two years ago (2010). He only smiled, and said very happy things about our life and times while we passed the same Pauwa back and forth.
After 1973 Joe Swittens lived to fight again and again, with tenacity and resilience, and with the same chant ‘Ayo Gorkhali’ , the last time in Kargil war in Jul 99 after which he retired and settled in Pune.
Col Swittens spoke perfect Gorkhali besides several other languages. The last time I spoke to Joe was around three days before he died.

Joe died of a brain hemorrhage last year in the middle of the night with just his Alsatian dog for company. He died a lonely man. I can say this with certainty that his last words may have been the same, ‘Kafar Hunu Bhanda Marnu Ramro’.

I went to the lighthouse in Alleppey, With half bottle of rum looking for the youth that I miss.
They looked at me with suspicion, ‘Are you a terrorist ?’, they asked. I went out into the setting sun and to the beach where we learnt to Brail,
The Typing Girls are all grand moms in Dubai,
The sea water tasted just the same.
So I passed the bottle from left hand to right hand
And took sips from each hand, one for Joe and one for me.
Joe my friend, I am glad you are gone, A prisoner of life no more.
Set a table for me, where ever you are,
And keep the chair tilted for me, I am bound to come after this life.
I walked back in the dark, the sun had set.
The band began to play
Sare Jahan Se Acha, Hindustan Hamara,
The band began to play..............
With an apology to Rudyard Kipling as well as Joe. I stole the story
from both of you.

Please forgive me.

Cyclic
( Reproduced courtesy Cyclic)

9:59 PM  
Blogger Peter Greene said...

A Milkman's Tale

One of the many blessings of living in Coonoor was that we got to drink fresh milk everyday! Coonoor's economy was mostly agricultural. Apart from the Tea industry, Coonoor's rich soil also supported the growing of vegetables and fruits. Grass or fodder was also plentiful and Coonoor's jersey cows, thrived on it! Quite a few people kept cows and depended on the income from the sale of milk. We have had several milkmen delivering milk to our house over the years! When we lived in the Lawley hospital quarters, we had the privilege of seeing Mohideen the milkman bring his cow and calf to the house everyday and draw milk right in front of our eyes. this was an endless source of entertainment and wonder for Richard and me! The calf would usually be muzzled and Mohideen would apply some castor oil on the cow's udder and massage it. Then the milking would start. With expert fingers he knew just how much pressure to apply to each nipple and how musch to pull it down between thumb and forefinger! Later when we moved to Grey's hill, the milk used to be delivered in aluminum milk cans to our house. I remember one such milkman whose name was Healthswamy. He was not very well off and a very humble and pleasant man. He was always dressed in a light coloured shirt and a white dhoti. He always had a woollen muffler draped around his neck or on his shoulder. He would not just deliver the milk and run away, he would stay and have a chat with us. In those days everyone had time to stay and chat! It was considered polite! As he spoke to my grandmother and grand aunt, I would listen to the conversation. One day he told us a story which really surprised us!

Healthswamy had a brother who worked as a labourer in a lorry transport company. Part of his brother's job was to load wooden tea boxes into the lorry for shipment. One day one of the plywood tea boxes fell down and split open. It was kept aside for the moment. Later when his brother checked the box, he found that it did not contain tea leaves! It was stuffed full of counterfeit 100 rupee currency notes! The brother decided to keep this a secret and never told his employer or anyone else. He hid the box and waited. After a few weeks had elapsed, no one claimed the missing tea box and no one reported a missing box! Healthswamy's brother decided to take the next step. There was enough money in the box, (albeit counterfeit) to make someone rich for life! That someone could very well be himself! He contacted a friend who worked as a cashier in a local bank and swore him to secrecy. They then hatched a plan to distribute the money without causing any suspicion! The plan was put into action and with the help of the cashier, the counterfeit bills were gradually exchanged for genuine bills at the bank over a long period of time! No suspicions were raised. The money was divided equally between the labourer and the bank cashier. Healthswamy never got a paise! His brother left his job and slowly starting buying lorries and built up a successful lorry transport company in the Nilgiris. He also disowned his poor brother Healthswamy! Healthswamy was very bitter about his brother's behaviour and change in status! I do not know if this story was true or false! I did think that Healthswamy was a sincere man and could not have made up this tale!

Peter Greene

7:46 PM

3:36 PM  
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8:16 PM  
Blogger willians conllins said...

I AM BELA i want to give thanks and i will always give thanks to DR.utimate who brought back my love that has left me for 6years within 48hours, i have said about this last week but i promised to always tell people about this every week end so that those that did not read about it last week will read about it this week, i have been looking for how to get this boy back to my life because i love this boy with the whole of my heart, i could not replace him with any body,one day i was watching my television when i saw a lady giving thanks to DR.utimate and telling the world how he helped her i was so shocked i could not believe it because i never taught that there are powers that can bring back lost love, then that was how i decided to contact him too because i do really need my love back,when i contacted him i told him everything and he told me not to worry that my love will surely be back to my arms within 48hours at first i could not believe because i was thinking how could somebody that has gone for 6years come back within 48 hours,so then i decided to watch and see,unbelievable within the next 48hours i got a call from unknown number so i decided to pick the call the next thing i could hear was my loves voice he was pleading and begging me on the phone that i should forgive him that i should forget all that have happened that he did not know what came over him,he promised not to leave for any reason, that he was really sorry for what he did,i was so surprised because i never believed that this could happen,so that was how i accepted his apology and the next morning he came to my house and still pleading for me to forgive him i told him that everything is okay that i have forgiven him, that was how we started again and now we are married, i promised to say this testimony in radio station, commenting this testimony is still okay but before this month runs out i promise to say this in radio station and i will,sir thank you very much.World please am begging you people to try and thank this man for me,or if you need his help here is his email address:utimatespellhome@gmail.com

8:28 AM  
Blogger Vikram said...

The Stanes Cliff

The cliff that skirted the playing field at Stanes was alive. Towards its far corner, below what used to be Mrs. Rajan's house and later the residences of bachelor teachers, it was turgid with water that would burst forth in a clear spout when a hole was poked into its clayey bank. Club foot moss that grew no where else, grew on its moist banks. Pure white chunks of clay were dispersed in between yellow, brown and reddish clay. As you moved towards the drill shed, where we learned of the great sins, envy, jealousy, malice and pride, the cliff became dryer and the object of immense interest to boys who would mine its banks for the wondrous carving stone. Every break-time, its face would be swarming with industrious boys with pen knives and other portable digging implements, digging for the mother lode, that big curved carving stone that conferred great status on its possessor.

So much carving was done. Animals, geometric shapes, seals and hearts. Hearts that were polished and gifted to girlfriends, hearts that broke in pant pockets, hearts that were confiscated by teachers. Our pockets bulged with the stones. Did mothers of those days find life harder with all the mess they had to clean when we were finished with our exertions? Did girls really appreciate the efforts that were made on their behalf? The largest and most beautiful carving stones were however left uncarved, uncut, possibly waiting for some grand inspiration.

What is a carving stone? Did any explorer determine its composition? Are any left, anywhere in the world? The carving stone had the texture of soapstone, smooth but veined, colors ranging from tan to ruddy, could be easily carved with a shaving blade or a pen knife and took on a beautiful translucency when polished with coconut oil. The shavings were as smooth as talc and reminded me of the brown foundation powder the teachers used to put on our faces before plays. The younger boys mined the lower reaches of the cliff, while the more adventurous and senior boys mined near the very top of the cliff. It is a wonder that no one fell off their precarious perches. Turf was inviolate and occasionally battles were fought over conflicting claims.

Then the bulldozers came. The field hummed with the roar of the machines. They attacked the cliff, day in and day out, until the school became the proud possessor of a larger playing field. What a loss it was to cliff lovers. No carving stones, no white clays, no wondrous springs, no break-time climbs. No more hearts to gift.

Stanes had changed.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Vikram said...

The swamp

The swamp formed the natural boundary between the Ritz Hotel and Stanes. Thickly covered with Arum lilies and tall grasses, it evoked a primeval fear in a lot of us. There were rumours of a cow that couldn't escape its inexorable pull and it was with great caution that we fished footballs and volleyballs out of its treacherous grasp. The swamp abounded with tadpoles, crabs and varieties of brilliant dragonflies. In later days someone introduced guppies into it. At its narrowest point, it became a clear stream that could be crossed with a little jump and that was our entry into the woods where we established camps by bending and intertwining acacia saplings. The swamp drained down into the Blue Hills compound but not before emptying some water into a little cement pond opposite the girls' hostel.

One day a new classmate arrived and during the break we took him down to the swamp to catch tadpoles. Introducing the swamp to him, we recounted some of its legends to his disbelieving ears. He could not understand how that seemingly solid patch of land in the middle could actually be sinking sand. Before we could convince him otherwise, he took a wonderful flying leap onto it and though we could appreciate a future long jumper in the making we feared for his immediate predicament. He sank straight up to his armpits and began frantically trashing around. It is wonderful to think how the mind immediately looks for avenues to shift the blame but in this case, luckily, there was no one to blame but the foolhardy boy. There was fear in his eyes as he somehow scrambled towards the opposite bank where he was helped out by others who forded the swamp at its narrowest point. He came out coated in slime and smelling like mouldering vegetation. He shuddered with the shock of it all. We helped him to the pond to wash a large part of the muck off and he got a fresh set of clothes from the boys' hostel.

Our respect for his guts was established but the swamp it was that showed us that all rumours were not untrue.

8:07 PM  
Blogger Vikram said...

The Principal and the Pig

Simba the white Labrador was equally a student of Stanes as the rest of us were. He attached himself to Mr. Wood, the Principal and never left his side. Not a very gregarious dog, he seemed to tolerate the masses of students he had to face everyday, attended assemblies and even staff meetings with a resigned air. Education must have seemed a great waste of time to him.
Life certainly became exciting for him and the rest of the school when Mr. Wood was gifted a baby wild boar by Mr. Corfield. In those days everything was simple and nobody made a great hue and cry about the education of animals in schools. This little bundle of joy was named Mr. Muthuswamy and Mr. Wood and his entourage made a fascinating sight as they perambulated the corridors and walkways of the school. Simba seemed more animated with this new companion who grew at a prodigious rate. The baby stripes were replaced by wiry hair and Mr. Muthuswamy took on a distinctly wild appearance. Small tusks soon appeared and Simba became circumspect in his dealings with him. There was some loose talk of the danger Mr. Muthuswamy posed to the students.
Mr. Wood then locked him up in a small shed beside his residence and we could hear the pig banging away at the sides. Every now and then Mr. Muthuswamy would break out, necessitating reinforcement of the shed. Then the holidays were upon us and Mr. Muthuswamy's cloistered existence came to an end. He had the run of the school and his adventurous ways led him to cross the Rubicon, that thin stream that separated Stanes from the Ritz Hotel grounds. Nights were probably spent in rooting up the forest and having whatever nocturnal fun that pigs had. His wanderings took him further afield into the virgin territory of the adjoining girl's school where he rooted up the nuns’ carrots and exotic flowers.
These gentle nuns tolerated these incursions for a while and then seething with holy indignation hired a hunter to shoot the creature down. Fortunately it was Christmas time and Mr. Muthuswamy made an excellent roast for the nuns, so used to eating chicken and other watery victuals. Mr. Wood never shared his thoughts on the matter with the school but a wave of righteous anger possessed the boys when they returned from the winter vacation.
What reprisals were conducted is not known, but the planning would have put the Vandals to shame. Simba seemed to age quite a bit after Mr. Muthuswamy became roast, until of course, Angel the brown Labrador came along.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Peter Greene said...

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2:13 PM  
Blogger Peter Greene said...

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2:17 PM  
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6:13 AM  
Blogger Peter Greene said...

The Hindi Master By Peter Greene

I am sure everyone remembers the unforgettable Mr.CS our Hindi master of "Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha" fame. What a character! I can still picture him in my mind. You couldn't miss him trudging slowly up Mount Road on his way to school, hands clasped firmly behind his back, with his measured gait, head bent down as if deep in thought, graying hair closely cropped, dressed in his thread bare grey cotton coat, shirt and white trousers, well-worn black shoes (that could have used a lick of "Cherry Blossom") and white socks that always kept disappearing into his shoes ( It was rumoured that they belonged to his son!). Half of his ankles were always exposed. He sauntered into class with the all pervasive odour of snuff surrounding him. One of his prized possessions was a tiny thimble sized, cylindrical silver tin box. The box contained Coonoor's finest "Pattanum Podi" snuff. This was easily accessible to him in his right coat pocket. When there was a lull in his teaching, he would retrieve his precious box and indulge his olfactory organs by inhaling a pinch of the addictive brown powder. This would be followed by a mighty sneeze that could be heard up in the principal's office! This little pantomime would never fail to amuse us. It was a welcome diversion from the intricacies of Hindi grammar!

Mr. CS was an awesome presence in the classroom. He was not a man to be trifled with! If we did not do our home work or answer questions to the previous day's lessons, he would glare at us with a withering stare with his constantly blood shot eyes and spew hateful invective at us. Poor NS, his least favourite student always seemed to bear the full brunt of his rage! He would glare at her malevolently, point his finger and say, " that fool there, you are an idiot, a "Congenital Muff". I was really amazed at his rich vocabulary of invectives! NS would stare back at him and give him one of her favourite grins. This infuriated him further. Due to the central government's imposition of Hindi as our national language at that time, there were a lot of Hindi agitations going on in Coonoor. We even had to join the other schools by taking part in processions through the town, chanting, "Hindi Olige". But "Hindi Olige" or not, Mr.NS did his duty and expected us to do ours. I am thankful to Mr.NS for teaching me Hindi in his own inimitable way. It helped me a lot when I joined the Navy and was surrounded by Hindi speaking "Vadakens"!. I am sure a lot of you were benefited through your knowledge of Hindi.
Regards,

Peter

12:06 AM

5:52 PM  

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