Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"PAATI PUJA"

Yesterday evening the doctor told me to go for a short walk as it would help the healing process. As I walked down the streets of Mavelikara, kerala I observed the nature. It has been dressed greenly with different colors of flowers. All these flowers are also found in my home town Bassein, Mumbai. These flowers brought back some of my childhood and school day’s memories. I studied in a government school up to primary and then shifted to the parish school. In the government school we celebrated all national and state feasts with pomp and gaiety. The celebrations were eagerly awaited as we would receive some sweets and half day leave. One of the local celebrations was the “PATTI PUJA” the worship of the Slate. You may wonder why on earth one should worship the slate on which we first begin to scribble and explore the world of writing. In fact now I understand the meaning of it more than before. The teacher would communicate about the feast two days in advance and give all information. We were asked to draw on the slate a picture of goddesses Wisdom or Knowledge using our imagination. Then decorate it with some beautiful flowers which I saw yesterday evening. They are wild but you the beauty of wild flowers. They capture all your senses. The decorated slated had to be brought in procession to the head teacher who would judge and declare the winner. The winner would get a chance to explain the image before the assembly of the school.  The Primary schools were really challenging the young little minds of ours. The teachers who really be our gurus teaching us the mantra of life and the world. I still remember one of the teachers telling us that all of you must become good and see that your goodness must reach every nook and corner of the world. Your education is not only for yourself but also meant to educate others in order to be good. Oh, what lessons we learnt. The lessons to respect and love, the lessons to see and experience God in all that we did, lessons to be more human and touch the core of the others with kindness and smile.
Today all this is gone. Our education institutions have become more business center. The wild flowers brought these thoughts to my mind and made me to travel to 43 years back. God bless my primary school which exists today but no more as excellent as it used to be.  
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