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From a homely nursery with four kids, to a professionally run set-up which accommodates a play school, lower KG and an Upper KG, Himangi Verma is surprised at their success report, which is glowing with flying colours. A peek into Bambino.

The school is housed in an ordinary corner, ground floor flat but the premises seems to be a part of the tropical jungle. Huge shady trees, lush ferns and a patch of green grass cut out the dusty glare and traffic sounds. A little artificial waterfall cascades down serenely, skipping over rocks and boulders to form a tiny pool below. A second gate opens onto a playground fitted with bars and drums for children to climb around. The jungle effect is continued on to the outer walls which is painted over with scenes form the Jungle Book. Little Mowgli, Kaa the snake, Bagheera and the other enchanting figures welcome you to step inside.

The walls of the first classroom has Bambi, frolicking with friendly squirrels, rabbits and birds in the middle of forests and meadows. The blue sea dominates the walls of the second room. Mermaids seem to come alive amidst bunches of seaweed and colourful fishes.Colour - It is there painted on the walls and even in the various posters and toys hung on the walls.There are   vibrant hues in every bit of furniture, whether it is the mini-sized ones for the kiddies or the larger ones meant for the teachers or the cupboards to the stationery.

When Himangi Verma started Bambino in 1987 with four students in a flat, her mother had given her, it was a nursery school like any other and provided a nearby option for the residents of Kalyani Nagar. Over the years however, Himangi added new ideas. About four years ago, her daughter Asmita, trained in interior designing and teaching, joined her with a burst of novel innovations. It was Asmita, who provided the colourful face-lift for the school. The waterfall was a gift from Himangi's husband, Col.O.P.Verma who is already famous in the largest and most realistic looking, man-made waterfall!  Himangi adds, "We work on the child as a whole. We are interested in making the child a better human being who is kind to friends and animals. We don't admit more than fifty students in the school."

They have wide range of activities from aerobic classes, or even hold your breath cooking classes! Continues Asmita, "As for the teaching, we make it a fun experience . When we were teaching them about animals, we really brought along horses, goats and dogs. The kids were so thrilled."  Moral values figure high on their list. Each day of the week has a special prayer attached to it. it could be "Give me oil in the lamp" one day,"Om jaya jagdish" the next, followed by "We shall overcome" Prayers are followed by Jana Gana Mana everyday because no age is too young to inculcate a feeling of patriotism. " To ensure that they learn the words perfectly, Himangi presents each student with a pre-recorded cassette of all the songs compiled together. Religious festivals are celebrated in the typical traditional ways.  On Christmas, a jolly, round Santa makes a cheery entrance. There are gifts too, but with a difference - each child gives something. 'Share' with each other is the message, loud and clear.

Whether it is Kamini Bhat who teaches the group the play, Asmita who looks after LKG or Naina Shah in UKG, the teachings are value based, if a child pulls out a leaf, he is told, "How would you like it if someone pulled your hair?" It is only in UKG that the furniture is arranged in rows. In LKG, the chairs are informally grouped around a large table and the Play Group has no tables at all. The toddlers can sit either on the seats around the wall or on mats placed on the floor. It isn't unusual to see little one sprawled on the floor as they draw and paint. Some even take a stroll to see what is happening in another classroom!

A perfect world tucked away in corner!


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