NBN's message for Old Boy's Day
Respected Principal, Headmaster, Registrar, members of the faculty, dear old boys, dear cadets, ladies and gentlemen.
I might be a stranger to the post-1990 batch. So may I say that I am NB Nair, a teacher in the Chemistry section, and retired from service in 1989.
Please pardon me for not being present here to share with you the happiness and nostalgia of the occasion. Old age has enfeebled me. Many are the lessons which our alma mater taught me.
1) Sacrifices of today's pleasure and leisure is the major part of the price of success,
2) Efficiency in work and courtesy in behaviour would solve many, if not all, problems.
With folded hands I thank our alma mater for giving me security, peace of mind and happiness in my old age far more than I yearned for or deserved. May our alma mater retain and enhance its pride of place in institutions of its kind. May success, happiness and prosperity illuminate your path ahead in the pursuit of excellence in all fields of endeavour.
Thank you all.
The One and Only NBN
I went to meet NBN in Bangalore last year to offer my condolences after his wife passed away. As usual, he was very happy to see me. We caught up with things happening around during the last couple of years. On my way back home, I was thinking about something he said - “sorrow shared is sorrow divided”. Simple but quite profound.
My earliest memory of NBN goes back to Pangode days. It was my third day in school. Dressed in white and white, he was ringing the bell in front of Duty master’s room, in the red house building, near the MI room, for us to line up to go for the assembly. I hardly knew who he was. Few days later, he would walk into our classroom and introduce himself as our Chemistry teacher. Those days, we had an hour a day devoted to science and during that hour, physics, chemistry and biology classes would take turns.
Our batch got a little carried away with the Chemistry lab. Bunsen burners were new, Chemicals were neatly stacked in new bottles, nice and clean pipettes were placed in a corner. We looked forward to a full afternoon of fun. Some of us went overboard. I still remember him explaining how to determine the taste of a chemical – dilute it so that it does not burn the mouth, how to sense the smell of a chemical – hold it away from your nose and blow the air over the chemical with the other hand to your nose, how to heat the contents of a test tube – hold it the just above the blue flame where maximum heat is dissipated. In the lab, he gave us enough freedom to experiment our curiosity while ensuring the limits are not crossed. He always explained a concept and the scientific rationale behind it, in a simple and easy to understand way.
His enthusiasm to teach did not stop with Chemistry. Once, when he was supervising our evening studies in new Blue house, one of us had problem with an English word. He showed us how to use the oxford dictionary and to my surprise, I realized the dictionary contained more than just meanings of words. He told us how to take a bath. Apply soap to the body and wait for few minutes for the soap to break the bond between the dirt and body before washing the dirt off. Once in a class, I was caught using word VD for vapor density and he explained to the class what VD commonly meant, how venereal diseases are caused and cured. – quiet an enlighteningexperience for all of us.
The best advice he gave us, I would say, was about the “fear of studying”. He told us that studying is nothing but “repetition”. One grasps 50% material first time when another 30% next time read, and rest the third time. I followed this advice all my life and I found myself free of any fear to learn however difficult the topic seemed, right from philosophy to science. I passed on this advice to my children and many youngsters I came across and most of them did appreciate it.
He was very committed to our school and took pride in our successes and happiness. He shared our sorrows too. He shared his knowledge and experiences with all of us so that we could learn from them to make our lives better, He was a true educator, guide and mentor. We were all very fortunate to have him as our teacher. May his soul rest in peace.
-- K.BabuGireesh 158/65(Sri BabuGirish is from the first batch and recipient of first Late Sri PC SatishChandran Memorial Life Time Achievement Award)
In 1964 there was an inter house debate and NBN sir was to coord and guide the students. I still remember that there were six participants for and six against the motion on "Foreign Mania". He dictated verbatim the complete script to all 12 of us .just imagine his depth of knowledge and command over English language. If I recall, NJ Nair and RajRam were also a part of this debate.
Before the launch of info era, it was Always a treat to write and receive letters to NBN. Many of us still treasure the choice of his golden words. The Englishmen would have never imagined the use of their language to express so much. I visited school first time in 1984 after I left school. His memory was amazing and the way he introduced me to the class, I thought even I did not know so much about myself. NBN was an enigma and a phenomenon. People like him rarely pass this globe. Generations to come will wonder that a teacher like this ever existed. I am reminded of a few lines "lives of great men all remind us that we can make our lives sublime and departing leave behind us footprints on the sands of time".
Brig ShyamLal (171/68)
1159/82 Pradeep Nair (s/o Sri NBN sir) on the behalf of NBN sir (founder, OBA), presenting an album each made by Sri NBN to the OBA President, Cdr Sam T Samuel (Retd) and SSKZM Principal Col A. Rajiv. The year was 2015.