My friend and classmate Kalakkad Sundaram Natarajan –Who played an important role in my life
After I completed my post graduation in Annamalai University, (1960) I was lucky to get admission in the Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta. On the day that I had to start to Calcutta, I received an appointment order as Statistical assistant in National Sample Survey in Trivandrum. I knew that I should accept that because the financial condition of the family was not good. But my great father told me that I should study further, because I was getting stipend. He said he will manage the affairs of the family for two or three years more. The first problem to be solved was dress. For the five years preceding, I was wearing only white Dhothi and White shirt. I along with my father felt that I should at least have a few pants. There was no tailor in my village who could stitch pants. The time left was short. Father had a very close friend Sethu mama , who was running a hotel in Vishakapatnam en route. My cousin Visweswaran was working in his hotel. I got down there by one train and within a day, a few white, poor looking pants were stitched at lightning speed. Next day I reached Calcutta. I had not spoken in the phone till then and for the first time was forced to call the warden of the hostel to get directions. That gentleman was speaking a benglish accent. Some how, I reached ISI. I stayed there in the hostel for the next one year. I made many friends. .
Sri Kalakkad Sundaram Natarajan a son of school teacher Sundarm Iyer of Thirunelveli, became one of my closest friends there. It was through him that I became friends with other Tamil and Malayalam speaking people who were in ISI hostel . (For example DR.K.R.,Parthasarathy, who joined the mathematics s department of IIT , Madras, Sri T.A.Anathaswamy Row who joined Brakes India Limited Madras . DR.Balasubramanian who joined later as professor in Christian college , Madras , One Mr.Krishnan who was a great sportsman and joined ,IIM , Calcutta for further studies, Dr.G.Narayana Murthy of Batlakundu who settled down in Mumbai, Dr.N.C.Chidambaran and DR.Panchapakesan who both settled down as professors in USA , then itself, DR.SWaminthan who went to Canada and settled down there , DR.P,S.Nair(still a face book friend) , DR.T Sankaran Kutti , Dr.Subramanyam Swamy who is now Rajya Sabha MP and so on and on) ,Though I became friends with all of them ,I was specially attached to Sri.K.S.Natarajan and I always think , he played a great role in making me what I am today.
After one year , when he had vacation , we both had saved some money from our stipend and we wanted to buy some presents to our family members ,We went to Ballygunge and waited it Rash Behari avenue for some time and located a Tamilan Brahmin mami . We both told about our problems and she helped us . I remember that during those times Calcutta Karandi was famous and we bought one each, That Mami also directed us to a shop selling Saris . I remember we bought one each., Both of us went to Delhi from there some time in July . Our North Indian class mates in New Delhi scared us by saying that unless we buy a suit we both will die in winter . We were wondering what to do and fortunately met a senior of ours called Sri.V,Gopalan. When we told about our problem, he said he was very much alive after passing through a winter wearing a half swetter. That time we were getting slightly more stipend. I remember we purchased one each of a rexine brown suitcase and one each of a reversible double coloured pull over.
Life went on. I specialised in Biometrics of tree crps and my friend rose to very high positions in Census commissioners office.
My friend Kalakkad Sundaram Natarajan is a face book member like me and has settled down in Madras and I have settled down in Bangalore. Our friendship as on today is nearly sixty years old.
My deep sense of gratitude my friend