Have you ever asked for directions in Bangalore? Try it, and this is what you will hear, “Straighta, Dead End, Left!” I am still trying to figure how a dead-end can be a right or left turn. I remember, once while driving in Bangalore, I had to ask for directions. Though I already knew the answer, I just wanted to hear, “Straighta, Dead end, Left!”
I had taken an overnight train from Hyderabad to Bangalore. I remember going to the station and almost feeling the only one leaving the city. Almost everyone was coming towards me from the opposite direction. What was happening in Hyderabad? I guess I’ll never know.
Bangalore traffic can be killing so I had to plan my days very well. One of the projects could be on one end of the city, while the other could be somewhere else. Commuting in Bangalore can take a couple of hours, so when Cr.Sonali (LC31) offered me to take me to her school straight from the station, I didn’t say no. Sonali and her husband Tr.Anant took me to their adopted school called the Aerolex Pottery Town Primary School. They had adopted the school when it was in shambles and since then they have constructed the school and replaced the flooring and painted all rooms. The school has a unique system of painted blackboards on the walls, for each student! The school is run by a not for profit organization, which is headed by a lady called Simran. Hats off to you guys!
After the shoot, Tr.Anant took for breakfast to Veena Stores. The name may sound like a hardware shop, but is, in fact, one of the most popular idli joints in Malleswaram. It is also extremely popular with college students and that’s how my host knew of this little shop. Go in the morning and you will find a queue of office-goers, students and neighbours trying to get a hand at his famous idli with chutney. No sambhar here! My first helping was something like a babai idli, with lots of butter and chutney. My second helping had something sweeter! The store gets a 5-star recommendation from ghummakkad! And just to add the extra spice- the owner sells a 100,000 idli’s a day at a cost of Rs 7 each. Start doing the mathematics!
It was a hot day and I decided to brave the heat and shoot a school by Ladies Circle No.5 at noon. We went to the Round Table School in Roopenaagarahara, Hosur Road. Round Table has made this project a Trust and thus have complete control over its activities. With around 580 children, the tablers and circlers take care of all infrastructure demands which includes the main building and the toilets. They have also made a vocational study block and a library. One of the rooms has been colorfully painted by animated characters!
I was shown around the school by Tr.Anurag and Cr.Nupur. We walked through an extremely well equipped computer lab, a biology lab with biological specimens and an open terrace which is used for big functions. The table and circle also takes care of the books which are distributed to the students and also the salaries of the teachers. An interesting fact about the school is that the girls musical band has been getting many awards (actually first in the last three years) at the district level. Their trophies are kept with the other trophies the school has received. The annual cost of running this school is Rs 12-15 laks, which is a minimum the table and the circle have to raise. Tough task but their golf tournament and corporate donations do the trick!
Just in case you want to see the school, the directions are simple. Go straighta, dead-end, turn left, straighta, dead-end right!