Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Eight of my 78 year life was spent in hostels


Eight  of my 78 year  life was spent in hostels

By
P.R.Ramachander






From the age of 15  till I attained  23  , I  spent  my life  in four hostels and four different corners  of  India.

SKV  college Trichur  (South west  1955-57))
    Few months    after  I joined  the  Kerala Varma college  , the new hostel (vadakkunathan block)   was inaugurated .During  first year I was with N.Sambashivan who was my neighbour  in my village .Life  was very pleasant .I  developed  friendship with many  people .Sri K.P.Balakrishnan , the former Ambassador to Sweden, Sri.K.K.Padmanabhan(Pathan to me), Mithran  etc were my close friends Due to Pathan I became member of a big Malayalam library in Trikumarakodam and read lots of Malayalam books.I gained lots of knowledge  from my friend Balakrishnan who was   a great genius.I remember  very many hostel mates. Sri Vaidyanathan(  we use to call him Kallu Vaithi) , Sri Chidambaran of Puthucode  , Abdulla kutti, Rajagopalan ,Mithran  etc etc.
   The cook    was one nair   .I do not remember his name  but I remember one  Balakrishnan   who used to serve us food.For the first time in life I tasted  Puttum Kadalayum. AApaam Ishtu,  Theeyal , unni appam, Elayada with  avil for some reason called Vathsan was all new to me. One Nendan pazham   steam cooked daily   formed   a part of our breakfast. I remember a funny incident regarding food.One day Idli was very hard   and so One Idli was nailed to the notice board in front of warden’s room .
    Since I had  played in state  tournament in Hyderabad  at age of 13 , I was a good carom player ,I took great fancy  in playing Tenniquoit (ring tennis)   also. I enjoyed my stay  here

Annamalai university-South east –(1957-1960)
    I  stayed in THiruvalluvar block and Kambar block  during the three years.I had lot of friends.Among them the most important were DR.C.K.Nalina Babu   (who is no more) and Dr,P.Sivadas( who is my face book friend even today) .They both  recognized that I was suffering from inferiority complex and changed it and made me a very confident person,
   There were seven messes   in the hostel during that time. All the three years , I took meals in mess 1, where the  personal cook of Sir C.P.Ramaswami Iyer    was the chief cook. Food was indeed divine. Among the new things that I ate there was  Samba chatham  , vadai KOthsu, Vegetable Pulav  etc .I really enjoyed my stay there .
   Annamalai university had a divine library  .I also became a member of District  Library , Chidambaram and read lots and lots  of Tamil books

Indian Statistical Institute Calcutta-North east -(1960-1961)
   I Stayed in a single room .Large number of my seniors and   several of my class mates were from South  .The Great DR.Subramanyan Swami  was my classmate there. Among my friends there  Sri Kalakkad Sundaram Natarajan, DR.P.S. Nair who was my senior are my face book friends   today. The hostel had a wonderful library  of English fiction. I read almost  300 books during  that one year. Once I was playing ring tennis wearing A dhothi  . Our warden  who was passing by that way   shouted at me for wearing a Dhothi. Next day  all the South Indian in mates   went to his class   wearing Dhothi  and he was really shocked.
   I never expected  that I would get  South Indian food there. But our head Cook was one Rao  who was from Udipi. He prepared  mouth watering Kannada   dishes. I still remember his  Vangi bath

IASRI  , New Delhi-North west   (1961-63)
     I stayed in atriple room in the first year and single room  in the next year. My senior V.Gopalan was   a book worm like me. He had a  huge collection of  english  detective novels. He was a great fan of Perry Mason and Agatha   Christie  .I read all of them. I also read lot  of Hindi novels when I was there. Sri Kalakkad Sundaram Natajan and SRi Seetharama Sharma, Dr.Vinod Prakash Monglik   who were  my class mates  then are  my   face book friends today
   Both years  we had to eat North Indian food only  .Almost daily  our breakfast   was Corn Flakes and Bread .I developed a taste   for some North Indian dishes there. WE used to buy one bottle  of  south Indian pickle every weak .Whenever   any South Indian goes home , he invariably  brought South Indian pickles. On every Sunday the hostel mess   was closed in the afternoon. All of us used to Karolbagh and eat in Ramanujam Mess, Subbarao Mess, Kanpur mess etc

     I enjoyed my eight years stay  in hostels and improved my knowledge  by reading  lots of books

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