For many,A High School Teacher is God Himself!

Karmegam,is a School mate of mine.

On Every Full moonday he never misses to go for Girivalam@Thiruvannamalai.

I come to know that it is a Full Moon Day because of his never Failing SMS..

“Suri..I am doing this Girivalam,praying sincerely for your family’s welfare!”

President's Award 1965

President’s Award 1965

Invariably,tears will blind my eyes,when I see this SMS!

Karmegam means,A  Dark Cloud-literally if translated.

Was it a Dark cloud around this wonderfil fellow in his early days?May be Yes.

My Father's last Photo in a function in Ramnad

My Father’s last Photo in a function in Ramnad

Dry lands of Ramnad produced drier people and their ability to think and do something great was relative to their intake- after all you need food which is hard to get.Karmegam was a young man who desired to excel in studies but poverty prevented him from pursuing what he wished to do.

One day he met his Teacher and explained to him his desire to study and his inabilty to come all the way from his village which was 15 kms away.He was also from a very poor Harijan Family,adding to his woes.His Teacher,being taken aback by this man’s

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amazing enthusiasm and alertness in General Knowledge Quiz he did for him,said:”You can join VIvekananda Hostel and study well.But with a condition that you must excel every where to become an engineer ultimately to bring glory to this Ramnad!”

Well Karmegam used to live on frugal meals in that Hostel and did well to go to Engineering college as demanded by his Teacher.He excelled in Engineering and he became an authority in Water Management in India.He went to various conferences in UK,USA and presented his papers.One fine morning in 1990 he came to see me at a very early dawn.He greeted me with an young boy of 15 yrs age.

“Suri,I want you to bless my son….”

“Karmegam,come on man,who am I to bless your wonderful Boy?”

“I see my beloved Teacher in you and I want your blessings before he Joins his engg., college?”

“Nice to know he is going to do engg.All the very best and do well like your Dad?”I said

“You know ,Suri.He is a British Citizen!”

“Thats a great news Karmegam.How come?”

“well when I was in England I got married to a Malaysian Lady and we are nicely settled now and as you know I am the Director of Water Management at Anna University!”

“I am so proud that from such a background like Ramnad,you have come thro hard fought life and indeed you deserve everything in life,Karmegam”

“It is definitely my Teacher’s blessings and thats why I chose to take yours for my son too today.”

After a few years again Karmegam gave me a ring.

“Suri I am retiring as Director of Anna University tomorrow.But I want to confide with you that the Correspondent of Rajalakshmi Engg., college was after me for a while and he wants me to be the Dean!”

“Great news.Why dont you join,Karmegam”

“I want to take your blessings before I do that on MOnady -day after tomorrow”

He is now heading that Institution with Honour and Pride!

I sulked a bit ,as ,as a son I haven’t been telling my father many things in life and what great citizens this Teacher has produced.

Tho’ these anecdotes are not for self glorification,it may one day motivate others to emulate them to do more good to the society.

‘vidyadhanam sarva dhanam pradhanam

Pls read this Blog too:
http://creative.sulekha.com/mayalagu_136722_blog

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Are you a Laughing Stock..?Nothing Wrong!

To day is World Laughter Day!
If anyone doesn’t know how to Laugh,One doesn’t deserve to be a Human…
As we dont know whether Animals laugh at us but every one else will!!

There is also nothing wong if someone laughs at us..
Look at Me..
The people around me try to avoid me as I am supposed to be a Moran..
Sometims my own closest family members wd like to avoid me as they wd like to have some more pleasnter ,laughabale company,as I am not that very Laughable!!

Well dont worry..

If we know how to laugh at our ownself we have achieved the Ultimate..

Upanishads divided the HUman form into 5 Kosas or Shields starting from the Earthly Mass…our Body as the very Basic form as Annamay Kosa….till the ultimate 5th one as Ananda Maya Kosa!
Yes..We,every one of us, are supposed to be the Happiest for ever and ever…

So dont worry if anyone says you are a Laughing Stock..

Every one else is also..to be TRue to Upanishads…

There was a time Times of India sold their dailies ‘Only based on R.K.Laxman’s catoons..People used to buy only just for that momentary tocklish time..”

Look at the Kerosene Lantern!in 1995!!

Look at the Kerosene Lantern!in 1995!!


Because when we laugh,we reach the ultimate eality Ananda Maya Kosa..
Even after today’s Karnataka Elections,
we may again see a Krishna who read a wrong paper in a wrong coutry as External Affairs MInister,as CM of Karnataka,for alll that you know..
In every Election Politicians Promise the Moon!

In every Election Politicians Promise the Moon!


Don’t worry..Just Laugh..
Laughter is the best Medicine..
Especially in India when we see Darkness and Corruption everywhere!
Have faith in your ownself..
That you are the Happiest by Nature..
Thats what Upanishads say!
Look at these catoons for a change & Relax!!

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My Father’s greatest strength..

Feb 21st is a fasting day for me since 1974..

I cdn’t digest the sudden departure of a Great Gandhian & guide in mylife.

It was just impossible to forget Him from then on,I have always been a miserable man!

Receiving President's award in 1965

Receiving President’s award in 1965

My father’s greatest strength was His Truthfulness.He never ever deviated from the Path of Truth and I wd like to recall some incidents as a tribute to His greatness on this day..

1967…

He being a simple Headmaster of  Rajah’s High School ,was only a servant to the Rajah of Ramnad,Shamugaraja Sethupathi who commanded so much respect all over Tamil Nadu and in many Princely states..But since my father was such a strict disciplinarian and headed a school of nearly 2000 students with such discipline,none including the Rajah,wd like to interfere with this great Institution..Rajah also had so much respect for my father and probably my father was the only one Rajah of Ramnad used to call “Mr.Rajah Iyer” as all others wdn’t get that special respect..

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In 1967 when the elections were announced,Kamaraj,the great Congress Leader refused to give COngress Ticket to the Rajah,who was earlier a COngress MInister!Rajah wanted to contest the elections as an Independent!

Since my father was also an elected M.L.C representing the TEachers COnstituency,He was well aware the mood of the people.So my father ‘advised’ the Rajah ‘not to contest’ as th mood was against him..Rajah refused to listen to my father.My father went out of the way to tell the Rajah that people around him were after his money only and hence ‘this elections wd be a big drain on his wealth’.He didnt listen to My father…

I was doing my Final year Engg. examn when the elections was in the offing and had come down to Ramnad to prepare for the examns.Normally I used to spend a lot of time with my father and when we were together in an afternoon in our HOuse,there was such a noise outside our house..that nearly 400 to 500 boys shouting slogans..’Vote for DMK..Vote for Thangappan’ was heard.My father was a bit startled when the very crowd suddenly became silent when they reached my house!

A tall 6 footer,with a thick MOustache,Thangappan entered my house with a Huge Garland of Roses..He prostrated before my father seeking His blessings..

My father,being never afraid of anyone,leavealone Thangappan,an Old student of His,told him”How dare you enter my own House and ask for my vote for you?”. The crowd  was watching!Thangappan again prostrated and sought His blessings.My father told him”All the best..”

Thangappan won the elections and Rajah was devastated after losing the elections,that too to a drop out from his own school!Thangappan,after the announcements were made,again came with nearly a 1000 boys with a bigger garland and prostrated to my father..”I need your guidance in the Assembly.”

My father told him”Do everything possible for the poor..all the best.”While Thangappan was going back ,my father called him and asked him “How did you come?”

“By a Horse -Cart!”

“Don’t worry..sooner you will get a car!”

Exactly in 6 months’ time,he was given a car by the DMK and he drove straight to my house to take my father’s blessings…

In the meantime,the Rajah was bedridden after the elections..

He sent word for my father and my father went to the Palace..Rajah hugged my father and wept over His shoulders

“Rajah Iyer..you are the Only One who advised me Truthfully..I have lost a few crores..I am so much upset..”Rajah was uncontrollable..

He passed away in a few months..

My father used to say..”Rajah cd have lived a bit more had he ‘not stood for that elections.”

My father served as an M.L.C., for 12 yrs between 1962-74 when he died as a sitting member(see Govt notification)He was commanding so much respect from all the Chief Ministers,like Kamaraj,Bakthavatsalam,Annadurai and Karunanidhi.

He died a poor man.He never had a car.He always travelled by Bus in Madras as an M.L.C.,Some of His students are holding top positions in Nasa,in UK,Singapore&Middle East and the Crescent Group Chairman was my father’s student..Abdul Kalam used to recall about my father’s greatness,as narrated by Abdul Kalam’s gaurdian in Rameswaram,Manikkam,who was my father’s student.Kalam writes he owes a lot to Manikkam!

Well..He has left behind a wealth of pride for us,thats immeasurable!My tribute@Ramnad function

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A Day with Lions,Leopards &Rhinos!

13 th Jan 2013!

A memorable birthday present for me from my younger daughter!

a day with Lions,Leopards,Rhinos,Wilddogs!

Lion Cub 1

Lion Cub 1

Sarasa with Lion Cubs

Sarasa with Lion Cubs

Set in the heart of the Cradle of Humankind, the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve lies roughly 40 kilometres north-west of Johannesburg; a chance to see white rhino, lion, buffalo, hippo and other species of game up close and within half an hour of the major metropolis.

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If you get to the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve at feeding time, you’re virtually guaranteed to see predators, as they are hand-fed – a bit like cheating, but a big bonus if you haven’t the time to head off to the Kruger National Park on safari. You can also select to go on a game drive offered by the reserve with a knowledgeable ranger, and with roughly 600 head of game within the reserve, a visit is bound to include almost all of the reserve’s species – endangered species such as cheetah, wild dog and the Cape vulture.
The highlight of any visit to the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve, which covers 1200 hectares of land, is without doubt a visit to see the lion cubs, one of the species that forms part of the reserve’s breeding programme. Most of the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve’s focus is on their breeding programme.

Another interesting project of the reserve is the vulture restaurant – literally a way of providing the vultures that live in the surrounding Magaliesberg with carcasses, donated by local farmers. Up to 200 birds feast at a time in the reserve.
If you wish to enjoy a ride in a Nature Reserve,with an experience of touching the cubs like Lions,Tigers,Cheetah..this is the place to be in!
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ஏலே பித்துக்குளி – சிட்டுக்குருவி!

ஏலே பித்துக்குளி!
“ஏன்டா சிட்டுக்குருவி யையே பாத்திண்டிருக்கே? ‘

பாட்டுக்கொரு புலவன் – பாரதி

“யேசுதாஸ் நேற்று எனக்கு ஓர்பாடம் கற்றுதந்தான் வளமோடு வாழ்வதை  பற்றியும், பாரதியின் அருமையான சிட்டுக்குருவி பாடலைபற்றியும்!”
‘ அடி சக்கை!
எப்படிடா யேசுதாஸை
பிடிச்சே? ‘
“நீ நினைக்கிற
Singer Yesudas
இல்லைடா பித்துக்குளி!
Uber Driver, Yesudas!
Coimbatore Junction ல்
Front Entrance ல்
கார் நிறுத்த இடமிருக்காது!
Back Side ல் Rs20
Parking Fees!
Yesudas ஐ’ Back Side லேயே நிறுத்திவிடு! Parking Fees கொடுத்து விடுகிறேன் என்று சொல்லியிருந்தேன்!
காரில் ஏறியவுடன்
‘சார் இந்த 20 ரூபாய்க்கு யோசிச்சு, 
போனவாரம் ஒரு
வயசான அம்மா, 
என்னையும்

கண்டுபிடிக்க
முடியாம ஒரு
பெரிய பெட்டியுடன், 
விழுந்து, கால் Fracture ஆகி,
போலீஸ்காரன்
என்னோட சண்டைபோட்டு..
இதெல்லாம் தேவையா சார்
வயசான காலத்திலே
வசதியுள்ள அம்மாவிற்கு! ‘
என்று ஆரம்பித்து
‘ என் ஆத்தாவிற்கு 28 பேர் பையன்
பொண்ணு
பேரன் பேத்திகள்!
எல்லாருமே
ஞாயிரானா
ஆத்தாளுடன்
சாப்பாடு!
லஷம் கொடுத்தாலும்
ஞாயிறு விடுமுறை!
குழந்தைகளுடன்
கும்மாளம்!
என்னத்தை
எடுத்துட்டு
போகப்போறோம்
சொல்லுங்க சார்? ‘
என்றான்!
ஒரு லட்ஷியவாதியை கண்டேன் அவனிடம்!
என் பாரதி
பாடல் நினைவுக்கு
வந்தது!

“விட்டு விடுதலை யாகிநிற் பாய்
இந்தச்
சிட்டுக் குருவியைப் போலே

எட்டுத் திசையும் பறந்து திரிகுவை
ஏறியக் காற்றில் விரைவொடு நீந்துவை
மட்டுப் படாதெங்கும் கொட்டிக் கிடக்குமிவ்
வானொளி யென்னும் மதுவின் சுவையுண்டு.(விட்டு)

பெட்டையி னோடின்பம் பேசிக் களிப்புற்று
பீடையிலாத தொர் கூடு கட்டிக்கொண்டு
முட்டைதருங் குஞ்சைக் காத்து மகிழ்வெய்தி
முந்த வுணவு கொடுத்தன்பு செய்திங்கு.(விட்டு)

முற்றத்தி லேயுங் கழனி வெளியிலும்
முன்கண்ட தானியம் தன்னைக் கொணர்ந்துண்டு
மற்றப் பொழுது கதைசொல்லித் தூங்கிப்பின்
வைகறை யாகுமுன் பாடி விழிப்புற்று.(விட்டு)
நம்மில் பலர்
20 ரூபாய்க்கு
Penny wise
Pound Foolish
ஆகிவிடுவதுண்டு!
புரிஞ்சதோடா
பித்துக்குளி? “

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Memories of Holi!

Charu Receiving President’s Award in 1986

We cannot forget the Colourful Holi of 1986! We were in Delhi to receive Sankar’s Weekly, Silver Medal, for poetry, my elder daughter, Charu had won in an international Poetry competition! We were staying in Lodhi Hotel and were proceeding for the function in an Auto, my daughter obviously well decked up! Suddenly some roadside enthusiasts poured the Holi Powders on all of us, despite our desperate pleas that we were heading for the President’s function! ‘No way’  they said!

Luckily the Auto fellow was so nice, that he drove us back to the hotel and to get’ renovated again’ and dropped us back  to the venue! We felt, on that day, we should celebrate such festivities in all Happiness but shdnt become an un Holi affair , as we had experienced in Delhi!

Charu’s Poem “Thoughtless Self” which won the Silver Medal as a 10 year old:

Thoughtless Self, a Poem by a 10 yr old Charu Suri!

As a freelance Travel Journalist in NYT to WSJ, Charu constantly adds colours to herself!

Charu, my elder daughter

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Charu, Receiving President’s Award in 1986

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We Men without Women!

The World is centered around Women & We Men know it more than anyone else! Women, in general are milder in Nature but that shdnt be taken as a Sign of Weakness! Our Scriptures have given a pride of place for Shakti! Maitreyi, one of the Two wives of Yagyavalkya is said to be the most intelligent ever! 

Yagyavalkya Teaching Janaka

Maitreyi  is mentioned in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishads. She is said to have lived around the 8th century BCE.In Mahabaratha  and the Grihyasutras however, Maitreyi is described as an Advaita philosopher who never got married!The word Advaitham is said to have been coined by Yagyavalkya. In ancient Sanskrit literature, Maitreyi  is known as a Brahmavadini  – an expounder of the Vedas .

Ten hymns in the Rgveda are attributed to Maitreyi, and she explored the Hindu concept of Atman  (soul or self) in a dialogue with Yajnavalkya in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. According to this dialogue, love is driven by a person’s soul, and Maitreyi discusses the nature of Atman and Brahman and their Unity , the very essence  of Advaithic Philosophy . This Maitreyi-Yajnavalkya dialogue is a delight of intellectual curiosity, one must read atleast once in One’s Lifetime! 

Maitreyi is  an example of the educational opportunities available to women in Vedic India, and their philosophical achievements .

Let us understand that Women undergo the most painful experiences in Life, and We Men must therefore Respect WOMEN,under any circumstances ! 

Poor Man by RK Laxman

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Remembering A Great Teacher – M. Rajah Iyer

President's Award 1965

President’s Award 1965

Shivarathri is the day my father left us all,  just after his Shashtiaptha Purthy, and I can never forget this day, when, the entire Ramnad gave such a Send off to their beloved ‘Head Master’ , as he was always affectionately called.

RADHAKRISHNAN

was a classmate of mine, a brilliant boy. His father, Karunanandampillai, was the PA to the Rajah of Ramnad, Shanmuga Rajeswara Sethupathi, a well Respected Rajah in those days.

My Father's last Photo in a function in Ramnad

My Father’s last Photo in a function in Ramnad

My father always admired Studious and intelligent students like RADHAKRISHNAN. However, since my father was only a HM under the Rajah of Ramnad, Radhakrishnan’s father, Karunanandam Pillai, being closer to the Rajah, wdnt give the type of Respect to my father, which even Rajah of Ramnad used to accord.

It so happened that RADHAKRISHNAN somehow wanted to become a Doctor but his PUC (Today’s +2)marks cdn’t get him a seat in Medical Admissions! So frustrated, RADHAKRISHNAN relentlessly pursued B. Sc., so that with Distinction in B. Sc. he can again try for Medical Admissions! One evening RADHAKRISHNAN came to see my father after writing his B. Sc examns. I was also there on that day. RADHAKRISHNAN prostrated before my father and sought his help.

Rajah Iyer with Lalbahadur Sastri

Rajah Iyer with Lalbahadur Sastri

My father was a sitting MLC then and well respected by the CM, Baktavatsalam (1965).

My father asked him :”How did you do the BSc examns? “

RADHAKRISHNAN :”Extremely confident of getting Distinction Sir,  but there is a Problem! “

My father :” What happened? “

RADHAKRISHNAN :” Sir, the BSc results are being published tomorrow and the Medical Admissions’ Application date also closes Tomorrow!By the time the result is known to us in Rural areas like Ramnad, it will be late for us to apply whereas a City Student can find the BSc results at the University and he can apply for Medical Admission based on either his BSc or PUC marks? “(Those days one has to wait for next day’s daily for the results!) 

My father : “So in other words there is a discrimination against the Rural students due to clash of dates?”

” YES Sir “

” Are you 100% sure? “

” YES Sir. See the notifications!”

“OK. Don’t worry. I will talk to the CM and see whether something can be done but remote chances as the Last date for Medical Admissions is Tomorrow! You should have come earlier! Let’s see! See me by evening!”

In those days, there was no phone in our house and my father walked to the Post office and made a call to PA to the CM! (The Post Master Veluchamy was also my father’s student.  His son Gandhi Ramasubramanian,my Alagappa Classmate, was also my father’s student!)

The PA understood the problem and told my father that he will convey this to the CM and asked my father to contact him  again in the evening!

When my father again walked to the PO and made a call, the PA conveyed to my father, ‘that the CM says, if what Rajah Iyer says is true, the CM will issue an order extending the date of Admissions for Medical!’ 

The date was extended by Midnight! 

RADHAKRISHNAN got distinction in BSc based on which he got Medical Admission.

Karunandam Pillai came with a huge garland and a Silver plate full of fruits to prostrate before my father and he wept uncontrollably, holding my father’s feet “Rajah Iyer, I have consciously insulted you on many occasions but you have killed me by your extreme kindness!”

My father said “I did it for My Student. Nothing else!”

Dr. RADHAKRISHNAN practices in Chennai and he can’t forget this day in his life !

Many of my father’s students still call me and enumerate such experiences!

A Good Teacher is God’s Gift!

A Hall in Rajah's HIgh School with His name

A Hall in Rajah’s HIgh School with His name

My Father’s Voice recorded and Preserved by me :

The Hall was opened by another MInister who was his student..Satyamurthy

The Hall was opened by another MInister who was his student..Satyamurthy

With my daughter @Rajah's High school

With my daughter @Rajah’s High school

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Rajah’s HIgh school 

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With my daughter @Rajah’s High School 

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