Those days we used to get charged up for the SSLC called Secondary School Leaving Certificate which will determine our fate to enter the College, called Pre University Course!
I remember getting 70% ensuring automatic admission to St. Joseph’s College, Trichy as such great Institutions where from Abdul Kalamgraduated, never deviated an inch from admission criteria!
Father Ehrhart, was like our Real father in Clive’s, very very strict in discipline but extremely benevolent and affectionate! Many like Gopalsami, ex CEC, who was senior to me by a year, even now recall with fond memories, how we owe our life to that One year in St. Joseph’s!
One day just before our PUC examns (April 62) I was in St. Joseph’s Library, when Father Lawrence Sundaram, a typical Brahmin accented Father told me :”I see your father contesting for the Teachers Constituency, against a Syndicate Member, Alexander Gyanamuthu! “(Alexander Gyanamuthu was the Principal of Alagappa Arts College and a Senior Syndicate Member of the Madras University)
I told him ‘Father, I am really surprised as first I don’t know about it! Second I thought as a Headmaster well respected all over Tamil Nadu, my father wdnt take such a’wrong step‘in his life’ and I collapsed weeping like a Child!
Father Sundaram took hold of me and explained ‘that he won’t quit his HM’s position but continue to serve only for Teachers’ cause. Probably he didn’t inform you because your exams are shortly coming and I shdnt have disturbed you either! ‘
From then on Father Lawrence Sundaram was more particular about my examn preparations!
When I entered Alagappa Engg College, I was pleasantly surprised to see many of my St. Joseph’s College Classmates, as that Principal Mani Sundaram had a liking for students from St. Joseph’s!
I was surprised when I appeared for the IIMC personal interview, one in the panel was from St. Joseph’s and he was more happy talking about Father X. Ehrhart than anything else!
The importance, that discipline is intricately embedded in your blood in such Institutions, more so by the Blessings of Fathers Ehrharts and Lawrence Sundarams, makes you a Man worthy of your very existence!
Todays youth must try to become an Abdul Kalam and not aspire to own a Koda Nadu Somehow !