Primary School, Valangaiman Town, Thiruvarur District, Tamil Nadu, India
Government Primary School
My father was working as a clerk in the panchayat union office at Valangaiman village, later turned to be a small town, in Thanjavur district [now in Thiruvarur district after Thanjavur district was denominated to Pudukkottai, Thiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts], Tamil Nadu, South India. I was born in Mayavaram [now newly named as Mayiladuthurai], as my father was working there then, and came to live in Valangaiman when he got transferred. The mariamman temple [a tamil goddess temple] is very famous here. People flock in during the annual celebration. The speciality of the temple is that deities fast for 40 days before the festival and come in catafalques to be carried up in the pillar that you see in the left picture. Hundreds and thousands of small shops would appear before the festival and disappear the next day.
I remember to have accompanied my sisters to the primary school, when i was four years old and later joined directly to the second standard as i passed the oran and written test given by the headmaster. In this way, i never went to first standard in my life. When I was five years old, i was ready to go to third standard while all the others have to wait for their fifth birthday to finish to join in the school to study first standard.
Primary School, Thanjavur Town, Thanjavur District, Tamil Nadu, India
St. Joseph's Primary School
From Valangaiman, my father was transferred to Thanjavur Collector’s office, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, S.India. The whole family was shifted to Thanjavur. We stayed in a rented house just opposite to Arul Nursery Thottam, in Arulananda Nagar, Thanjavur. Behind our house there was a cemetery, running along Nanjikottai Road. I was admitted in St. Jospeh’s School for the third standard while eldest sister was admitted in Kundavai Nachiyar College for her Pre University College (PUC) and other two sisters Juliet and Alphonse was admitted in Sacred heart girls high school near Mary’s corner . My school was better known as ‘Tamil Madam’ then as it was administered by sisters of Bon Secours Congregation. My third standard teacher was Ms. Manimekalai. She used to be kind while there was another teacher, her name i forgot, was terrific. She always had a stick in her hand.
Arokia raj was my friend. He also was from Arulananda Nagar. I studied 3rd and 4th standard in this school. It was near ‘Basca Medai’ and a big ground, where Easter mass and Easter drama used to be staged every year. This school was situated near Pookara Street, very famous with a market named ‘poo chandhai’ was there. Later when my daughter and son studied in this school, the tiled building was changed to the building that you see here above and new extensions were built.
High School, Thanjavur Town, Thanjavur District, Tamil Nadu, India
St. Antonys' High School
When I finished my fourth standard, i was admitted to fifth standard in St. Antony’s High School, which later became a higher secondary school. I am proud to say that my father Mr. Parisutham Masilamani also studied in this prestigious school.
I studied there from 5th to 10th standard. I was the last batch who studied till 10th and go to pre-university for one year and to Bachelors for three years. After next to my batch, after 10th students sat for +1 and +2 for two years and directly went to higher studies.
I have a lot of good memories in this school. I always sat in the first bench and was a high ranking student, though i did not shine in sports. Once i joined in the running race and came as the last person running. But i used to get certificates and prizes for getting high scores in all the exams.
I was taught by good teachers. We used to be afraid of Lala vathiyar, who used to beat all students, i don’t know for what reasons, but everyone feared him. I remembered art teacher Mr. Arumugam who taught us how to draw.
I learnt English grammer from Fr. Savarmuthu who was very kind to teach us with patience and love.
Every monday we had assembly as you see in this picture. We used to wear red and white as the uniform for many years. Then it was changed to blue and white.
When i was studying 7th standard in my 12th age, i saw a group of boys wearing white trousers and white shirts, coming in disciplined line to the school. I wanted to know who are these people and from where are they coming. I gathered courage and asked one of the students who came in the line. He said that they were studying for christian priesthood and were coming from a seminary [ a hostel for boys to prepare themselves to study for priesthood]. I wanted to join them without knowing the future consequences. I asked my parents. They reluctantly accepted for me to join the seminary, as i was the first son for them after my three elder sisters.
I went to the seminary, St. Mary’s Minor Seminary, Thanjavur and studied 8th, 9th and 10th at this school, staying at the seminary, foregoing my sweet family, loving parents and siblings.
Pre-University, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India
St. Joseph's College
When I was studying 10th standard in St. Antony’s high school, a priest from Holy Cross Congregation, Trichy came to the school and gave a talk about their congregation and their service for humanity. I was attracted by the speech and attended their workshop at Trichy, to be selected by them, to keep me in their house [at woraiyur] and help me study my higher studies before i become a priest in their congregation.
I used to stay at the Holy Cross house at Uraiyur, Trichy and attend my pre-university course, with economics and commerce at St. Joseph’s College, Trichy, now became an autonomous university.