Articles About ANNA

ANNA SIMPLE AND SPLENDOUR – C.Ramachandran             Back to Article Titles

It was in month of June of the year 1928, I had the joy of meeting, for the firs time, my esteemed friend late Aringar Annadurai in the Juniou Intermediate class of the Pachaiyappa’s College, which was housed at that time in the present Pachaiyappas Higher Secondary School in Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road. I do not know how I became closely associated with him within a short time. Within a few days Mr.Annadurai by his winning manners and amiable nature endeared himself, not only to me, but to a large circle of the students of the college. It is weith feelings of great rapture, I recall that with a number of other students of the locality used to meet at Sri Ramar Koil Mint Street – that place in those days was known as “Sumaithangi” – at about 9.30 am.m. on almost all the college days. In view of the fact that most of us belonged to the lower middle class. We used to walk leisurely through Nattu Pillaiyar Koil Street, Varada Muthiappan Street, Govindappa Naicken Street and China Bazaar and reach the college just five minutes before the ring of the college bell. Throughout the journey all of us used to be passive listeners to the scholarly talk of late Aringar Anna and I cannot forget how entertaining and instructive his talks used to be. At the college Mr. C. Chinnathambi Pillai, was the Principal with sacred Ash and sandal-wood paste displayed prominently on his forehead.

As the names used to be written in the attendance register according to the alphabetical order Mr. Annadurai’s name was first in it, perhaps it was good augury for him to become the Chief Minister of our beloved Tamil Nadu State. We were taught English by such eminent professors like R.Krishnamurti, M.A. He was teaching us English propose “A Shorter Bosell’s life of Dr.Johnson”. In those days I cannot forget how Aringar Annadurai used to make the calss lively whenever he answered a question put by Professors. It is no exaggeration to state that every sentence of his, would reveal his great scholarship and inimitable humour when he was in the Intermediate class.

I cannot forget that Mr. Annaduarai was keenly interested in reading extra books from the library. Every day he used to bring two books from the house back to the library. It was his gift to get the essence of the books without going through the entire book. As we were having Dr.Samuel Johnson’s life for our study, we often used to compare Mr.Annadurai to Dr.Samuel Johnson, who used to get at the essence of the books without going through them completely. Aringar Anna also possessed like Dr.Johnson’s conversational ability and wonderful powers of grasping, retaining and successfully recalling.

As a matter of fact, the college library and books were his good friends and companions. Even in those days he used to participate in the Inter-collegiate debates and competitions and come out successful with flying colours establishing a great name for the Pachaiyappa’s college in the oratorical field. Even as a student of the college he was a brilliant speaker not only in Tamil but also in English. We often used to compare him with the late S.Satyamurty, Mayor of Madras, who had the distinction of speaking both English and Tamil with equal eloquence and fluency. He and myself along with the other students were given opportunities on the last day of social break-up to speak on the past college days. After completing my Intermediate course I discontinued my studies while Mr.Arignar Anna continued studies in the same college and passed his Economics Honours Degree Examination of the Madras Varsity with a high class and distinction.

As he happened to live in the same locality even after I discontinued my studies, we often used to meet each other and speak. A many other young men of those days Aringnar and myself were also unemployed for some time why for a fairly long time. Later Aringnar Anna entered Politics and became Sub editor “Viduthalai” under Periyar. Before that he also for some time served as a teacher in the Govndappa Naicker’s Secondary School under the Pachiappa’s Management on a small remuneration. He also stood for Election as a Justice Party candidate for the Peddu Naickenpet Corporation Concellor’s Constituency agains Sri.M.Balasubramanian M.A. another Pachayapite. I and Kuppuswamy and his father, a stout gentleman also worked for him. It is understood that Arigner Anna financially helped Kuppuswamy when he became completely invalid.

Later I got an appointment in Pachaiyappa’s College, Madras, my Alma Mater, as a stenographer and even after he became a prominent and popular political leader, he mw me a number of times and recalled our happy days. Once I met him at Seven Wells Junction near Barracks, not Vellalar Nagar, He was on his way to address a public meeting. Even in his hurry, he stopped his jeep and would not go until he had a cordial talk with me for a few minutes.

After he became the Chief Minister, by a happy coincidence I met Peraringa Annadurai in his own house at Kanchipuram. While I was waiting at the bus stop with my grand child at the bust stop near his house, he saw me and condescended to come and take me in and would not leave me until he had a talk with me for a few minutes in spite of the fact that a number of people were waiting for him.

Next I met him as at the Pachaiyappa’s College, Chetpat, when he came to deliver the Commemoration address and Prize Distribution of Pachaiyappa’s College and High School which honour was given to him as a distinguished old boy of the Pachaiyappa’s College. Even in the most crowded programme for him on that day, he would not leave me until he had a heart to heart talk with me for a few minutes.

The last occasion when I met him was on the occasio of the unveiling of the portrait of Dr.M.Varadarajan of Tamil Dept., in the Pachiyappas College, Madras, along with a portrait of an ex-trustee and Ex-Judge W.S.Krishnaswami Nayudy of the Madras High Court, an eminent old boy of Pachiyappa’s College, when late Hon’ble Mr.V.V.Giri, President of India presided over the function. He shook hands with me and departed.
I am grieved to pen here that the last occasion when I saw him was the melancholy occasion of his funeral when I went from my college as one of the mourners along with the staff and students to pay my last respects. Though it is more that 16 years since he passed away, he is still green in the pages of my memory.

I recall my halcyon days with Peraringar Anna, who’s one of the greatest sons of India who by dint of his superior genius and high intelligence scaled the highest heights of splendour and glory in his life


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