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.
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 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.
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!
My Father’s Voice recorded and Preserved by me :