Bowled over by their selfless acts

DH PHOTO: SRIKANTA SHARMA R

 Growing up, I was exposed to the esteem in which teachers are held by their students from a very young age.

My paternal grandfather K Nanjundiah was the headmaster at the National High School, and even long after he retired, we used to have elderly gentlemen knocking at our doors just so that they could enquire after his health and pay their respects to him.
Once his students, they used to talk about what a great teacher he had been and how much they had enjoyed attending his classes. It was amazing to see the bond that existed between the teacher and his students even after all these years, and it’s a memory that I will always cherish.

It wasn’t long before I understood how such bonds originate. Two gentlemen I will forever be indebted to for having been able to complete my engineering degree further reinforced my faith in and respect for the teacher-student relationship. By the time I joined the RV College of Engineering, I had already played at the age group level for India, and cricket – playing, training, practice and travel – took up a lot of time. Indeed, were it not for Professor TS Sridhar, who taught at the college, and principal Professor Holla, I doubt if I would have been able to manage my cricket and my studies well enough on my own to emerge with an engineering degree.
I played international cricket in my second year in college, and Professor Sridhar used to teach one of the subjects. In all, between the first and final years, he taught nine subjects, and when he came to know of my juggling act between studies and cricket, he volunteered to help me.

It was wonderful of him to ask me to go to his house long after college hours for an hour of devoted studying. He used to stay in Malleswaram and he used to take regular tuition. I would go over from my house in Jayanagar for an hour every night between 8.30 pm and 9.30 pm. He used to teach me, and teach me in a way that I could grasp what he was saying and therefore was in a position to clear my exams. You don’t find people like that all too often. He didn’t have to do it, but he wanted to do it!

Professor Holla was totally supportive of sports, and it was a combination of his support and help, and the commitment of Professor Sridhar that proved the key for me to complete my engineering course. Professor Holla remembers every student to pass out of RVCE, no matter if he is a famous person or not. He would teach first year physics, and call every single student by name. It was incredible, just to see the commitment and discipline,  the openness and the warmth with which the two most influential men in my educational career approached their tasks.
The virtues of selflessness and of pride in the success of their wards were all too apparent. Much of what we eventually become in life stems from our experiences at home and in school/college.

I have been extremely fortunate to have had a great role model in my grandfather at home, and to have had the privilege of having been closely associated with Professors Holla and Sridhar at RVCE. Thank you, sirs, for everything!

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