"Don't of course ask me about my OL results" --Teena
Teena Shanel, a tele-drama actress and model met us recently and reminisced her past. This is how she brought to memory her school life in the 'Back to school' feature:
* Let us first hear about the school akka attended.
My school ... Good Shepherd Convent.
* Can you remember with whom you went to school with on the first day?
I went to school of course with my two elder sisters ... because I was small no then. At that time I was in the hostel. So it was the two elder sisters who first of all accompanied me to school ... because I was a bit scared. It was the two of them who escorted me ... the first day.
* Did you cry on the first day?
No. It's like this ... since both my elder sisters were there, I didn't feel much of a sadness as such. Very joyful it was ... I can remember, I ha a beautiful bag ... a round type of small bag with something like tiny cockroaches and I carried it to school with joy and I wanted to focus attention of others to my bag. It was a funny kind of bag of an egg-shape. So I took it along to school with joy.
* Did you take part in games in school?
Yes ... I of course have actually engaged in sports. I was involved in a lot of sports. I have been engaged in basketball ... gymnastics ... netball ... athletics. I have done almost everything as much as possible.
* Are there any unforgettable memories you got involved in during 1 - 5 years?
Unforgettable means ... a small naughty character. You find things like going on see saw and going on the swing in the small days, no. So I used to in a split second put a friend and push with all my might for the swing to go at a terrific height. There are instances when children used to fall. A naughty character in school. But I became a prefect in year 5. I have become a game prefect in sports in my House. Those days ... the Sister in the primary loved me very much. I remember she used to bring me eggs on the sly to eat ... to develop strength ... I was in the hostel, no. She used to call me to the principal's room separately and give me a small egg, to eat.
* So you were a naughty character in your small days?
Yes ... naughty.
* Have you ever misbehaved and gone in the presence of the principal?
Yes ... ammo, may have gone an uncountable number of times to the principal. Sister in the primary loved me a lot. Sister, upto school loved me. Doesn't show it. Sister is a little short ... so she can't be seen. Now when we go separately, we can't dress below waist. Where my uniform was concerned, the waist was so low. Children of course won't say anything much as such because I used to scold at a rate. Nobody dares say anything much. Sister of course has noted ... I have slowly attached a safety-pin towards the top part. However sister has noted a day or two. When I was passing, sister was standing there. I didn't notice sister because she is short. Whatever it is, while so passing she took me to sister's room. She asked me to bring all the uniforms and to hand them over. She asked me to have a new uniform stitched without a low waist. In any case, I brought and gave about three uniforms with mud stains on them. But once again a uniform was stitched with low waist as before. Maybe sister would have got fed up ... thinking that this child of course doesn't seem to listen.
* If we are to talk about the O/L times, what is the subject you liked most?
* Then can you remember O/L results?
Ammo ... don't ask about results ... can't remember. Can't remember any of those things.
* Then what is the subject you disliked most during OL times?
Ammo ... hate Maths.
* Have you cut periods during school hours?
Yes ... may have cut periods without number. I didn't like if there was a period ... I get a headache ... stomachache ... a chain of problems. In the Science period ... I feel terribly sleepy. As there are periods after the interval ... I begin to feel a big sleepiness, laziness. What should I do then. I would say that I am having a headache or some other lie and used to keep my head down and go to sleep. Miss used to approach me and would ask me, "Why, any problem?" I would say, 'having a headache' or some such thing and get way. Sometimes I used to give the book. So if there is someone who has not brought a book ... 'shape' no.
* Did you a school romance at that time?
Uh ... had a schoolgirl romance.
* Where did you go for tuition class?
I think ... to OKI.
* Can you recall the nickname friends called you in school?
There was no nickname as such for me in school. But those in the boy's school next to my school had given me a name ... boot Teena'. The reason for that is because I give a boot to boys. As such I have been given the name 'boot Teena'.
* Then have you cut class by any means?
I have not cut classes as such because when going for classes, boys come. Used to dress happily and would take the books and go. Knowing that can have some fun by keeping on reading, would go before sir arrives.
* Are you more afraid of your mother or father?
It's like this ... it was father from my small times. Therefore, if father was there, I may have got scared ... a father is generally is strict, no. Not that I am scared of mother. Mother is very cordial ... can tell her anything. So there's no fear about her as such.
* During O/L time there are moments which can't be forgotten ... if you recall such an unforgettable moment?
There's a lot. It's like this ... there was a small set of 'chandiyas' in our set. The nangis were scared. When I pass by I used to give a hard tap on the head ... used to do small small things to the small nangiyas. But there are instances where nangiyas have handsome elder brothers ... used to flatter them and ask, "How are you nangiya ... did your elder brother go to school today and thus speak to them by giving them a small toffee or chocolate. During schooldays I was a nut character. Was someone who would lend a helping hand to anybody. During O/L time of course there are times when conflicts arise with boys.
* What did you do for your A/Ls?
I didn't do the A/L. I did only the O/L. After that I left school. It was after that I stepped into the field as such.
* Was there an influence from your home-people?
No ... there was no influence from home as such. It's like this ... I am in any way in a better position than antone in our school. Even when I was at school, the teacher knows who wants to be a doctor, lawyer etcetera. Now I can't, no. Don't know what fellow I will be ... no good desire to learn either. But I liked dancing, sports. I had a fantastic desire for the PT period. I used to come running even before being called. So that was not because there was no interest. Those days when I was at the hostel, our mother didn't get a chance of teaching. Now however much they become lawyers, doctors ... all our fellows are married and have children also. I am in a better position than any one of them.
* What do you think of our Back to School programme?
Really good. Because I can't remember to speak about school ... much of the things. So, those things are brought to memory again and school is spoken of. Schooldays is a wonderful time for everyone. So I think it's a good programme. Some people don't know what my school is; what I did. I now think that everyone came to know of all the details.
* Say something about these days.
These days of course my latest film is being screened in film halls. Have got invitations for two or three films. Still not confirmed really. I am engaged in modelling-work. I have got an offer for a tele-drama too. It's still at a discussion level. Let's see in the future.
Narration -- Janani Tharushika