I belong to Nangal Township in the present Ropar district of Punjab. I was a recipient of Punjab Government scholarship. I was an active participant of extracurricular activities. I used to take part in House Shows, Group singing, Gandhi Jayanti and School functions.
Music was my favourite hobby and used to participate in the Instrumental orchestras arranged by Mr. KC Tandon (music). I have sent a pic where Alka (daughter of Physics teacher IB Kakkar) and me are at both ends playing Israj. Jojo used to play Sitar.
I was in the Airforce wing of the NCC and attended the Camps near Joginder Nagar and Dharamsala. I also attended the Rock Climbing camp at Manali as also was part of the School group which crossed the Rohtang pass. Hampta pass crossing had to be abandoned due to inclement weather.
Below are two experiences of The Punjab Public School, Nabha, which I still remember.
-Ashwani Kumar (R-80,1969)
Ashwani Kumar when he was in School.
1. Perfect understanding by the Headmaster Mr. JK Kate and humanities teachers in shaping my future.
Taking part in dramatics
Despite my extracurricular activities, however, I was poor in Maths due to which Mr. YP Johri was totally against my continuance in School. One day Mr. JK Kate called me to his office and with great concern and affection stating that I was a well behaved and otherwise an intelligent student but I would have to improve my Maths to remain in School being the scholarship holder. However, with no aptitude for Maths and Science subjects, I failed in 9th class. There was a long discussion about my case in the Staff Room and they found out a way out. A re-test in Maths was held for me on reopening of the School after Winter break. This, I easily cleared. Thereafter, I was allocated the Humanities batch where I did quite well in studies.
Excellent cooperation of all staff in deciding a student’s future. I don’t think it happens today. , Yes, it was a very pleasant experience of the involvement of school teachers and the Headmaster Mr JK Kate, in my foundation years. Had they not understood my academic bent of mind and not supported me, especially the Language and Humanities teachers, my life would have a wreck.
The historical trekking trip to Rohtang pass in 1961 led by Mr MN Tankha (Tallest in the background). Picture taken in Mohali with then PM , Jawaharlal Nehru. Some of the boys are Jeevan Puri, Jeevan Kate (both Sutlej) son of Headmaster JK Kate (foreground), Rajkumar Huku (Ravi) covered by Kate etc. Mr Tankha was a monutaneer, photographer, basketball player, great organiser of Sports (his system of athletics day is still followed in school), good at dramatics and used audiovisual means to teach way back in 1960s (epidascope and slide projectors. Geography room could be converted into a theatre for projection with thick black curtains in few minutes.
He was the first teacher to join The PPS after Mr JK Kate the headmaster along g with Senior Master Mr. SC Cowell in March,1960. All three prepared the model on which school was to be run. He was also the Ravi Housemaster.
It was Dec 1967, when our winter vacation got over and I left home forschool. Between January and May 1968, I was in school. During this period I used to receive affectionate letters from my father. By and by, they got shorter and then I started getting letters written on his behalf informing that my father had difficulty in writing the letters. I used to enquire from my folks as to what was wrong with him. There was never any satisfactory, reply-only saying that my father wants me to study well and he will wait for me when exams are over. By April 1968, our exams were over and results were awaited after which we were to go back home for the summer vacation.
On 2nd May, 1968, I got a message during breakfast that I should meet Mr. Tankha, the Ravi Housemaster. I was puzzled at the sudden summons and I did a quick search in my mind as to whether I had committed any wrongdoing. I could not recall anything and hence I was intrigued by the cause of the summons. When I went to Mr. Tankha’s house, he was waiting for me along with a senior friend. He gave me some money and asked me to go home. Generally, we were too happy to go home but I sensed something wrong. I confronted Mr. Tankha with the argument as to why was I being sent home when the results were soon to be announced and we were to go home anyway. He very affectionately said that my father was not very well and it is good to be with him. I could come back if he is fine. That “if” set me thinking as to how my father would be. I remembered that he had stopped sending letters in his own hand. Mr. Tankha patted me and asked the senior to help me board the homeward bound bus. Throughout the journey I kept wondering about the health condition of my father. Actually, he had died at 5 am that day but Mr. Tankha conveyed the news in such a delicate manner that I did not breakdown and could travel to home alone with mixed thoughts and emotions. I still remember this sensitive handling of Mr. Tankha with gratefulness.
My father died of lung cancer and I did not have any incling from the time I said goodbye in Dec 1967.