But help came unexpected.
As stated earlier, my elder brother V.A.P.Namboodiri was working in Manathana Peravoor U.P.School, near the eastern high ranges. Since my cousin brother, Shri A.P.Namboodiri was working as a clerk in the Assistant Educational Office at Mattanur, he could know the leave vacancies in various schools and helped me getting posted in these leave vacancies, mostly of maternity leave. Worked for a few months in Pazhassi L.P.School, Kunnoth L.P.School and lastly at Manathana Peravoor U.P.School, where my brother worked.
Since Pazhassi LP School was nearby, I could reach there by walking for about half an hour. At Kunnoth, I stayed at the residence of the manager of Nambissans D.V.Dairy Farm, who was a close friend of my cousin brother. The family gave all help in making the stay very convenient. When my brother got selected in Government Harijan Welfare School and left, I was posted in his vacancy In Peravoor School. I was working there earlier on leave vacancy. The regular posting was a great relief.
Peravoor was a small town then, on the way to the famous Kottiyoor Shiva temple, in the midst of forests. Whether from Tellicherry or Cannanore, you have to touch Peravoor to reach Kottiyoor. There will be thousands of devotees passing through the town during the period when Kottiyoor Temple festival takes place.
The school was in the centre of the town. Stayed in the upper portion line room of a hotel, from where I used to take meals. After getting salary, the monthly food bill will be paid. In the morning, I will walk about two miles to the river, swim a little, bathe and return. That was good exercise.
The condition of the teachers in the private aided schools was very much pitiful. No regular salary. Sometimes, a meager amount will be paid by the School Manager once in a year. But gradually the situation improved. The Education Bill passed during Com.E.M.S.Namboodiripad Ministry in 1957 ensured regular payment of salary and security of job. The pay was Rs. 40 and allowance Rs. 21, if my memory is correct. After meeting my expenses, the balance used to be given to mother. An amount of Rs. 10 was deposited every month in the Post Office SB Account, which came to my help later.
First I was class teacher in First Standard and later to higher classes. All subjects used to be taken by class teacher. There used to be 50 to 60 students in a class. The residents were mainly families migrated from South Kerala, places like Kottayam, Palai etc. The hilly forests and high ranges were tilled and cultivated by these hardworking people, facing much hardships. Diseases like malaria killed many. They could manage both ends meet, only if all the members put in hard work. As usual with migrants, it was not unusual to have eight to ten children in the same family. Hence, there was no dearth of students in the schools. Remember the family of famous National Volley Ball player Shri Jimmy George, whose brothers themselves formed a strong team of Volley Ball players with their father as Coach and mother as Manager. They were studying in a nearby school at Manathana.
Students will reach school in time. Parents used to meet teachers and enquire about study progress of their children. Some of them will even tell us to punish their children, if they are lazy. There was no need for any punishments; the students studied well. It is a well-known fact that these migrant families gave valuable contribution to the spread of education in the hilly areas. Many new schools were founded, especially by the Christian Church.
After attending school, used to walk in the evening watching the beautiful sceneries around the area. Spent time meeting friends in the Ayurveda Vydyasala owned by Shri Prabhakaran as also in the dispensary of Dr. Bhaskaran. Shri A.C.Shanmukhadas, who later became a leading politician and Minister in the Kerala government, used to be present. He was studying Ayurveda medicine there. Our friendship continued till his death. After dinner, used to read books. Went home on almost all week-ends. Life was simple, routine. (to be continued).
Photoes of Brothers (1) V.A.Parameswaran Namboodiri . (2) Smt. Parvathi Anterjanam (3) Smt. Sreedevi Anterjanam.(4) Prof. V.A.Kesavan Namboodiri (5) V.A.Sankaran Namboodiri