A Teacher Non-pareil

Sri C. Srnivasa Ayyangar was my teacher in P.S. High School during the academic years 1949-52. Only a few teachers taught from text books and made them interesting. Sri C. Srnivasa Ayyangar was one of them and was an expert in teaching English and Social Studies. He had a wide knowledge in History and Geography thanks to his authorship of the book on Social Studies for the fourth form. This book was lucid, concise and above all easy to read. It can be described to be ‘racy’ in the same way as a novel. I remember that I got the highest mark in Social Studies in the Annual examination in fourth form only because I had gone through this book from cover to cover during the night before the examination. This book was also prescribed in many schools in Chennai as a text book.

The other memory that I have of Sri Srinivasa Ayyangar is that he used to be impeccably dressed in a pure white dhoti worn with a panchakacham and a namam on his forehead. He would occasionally wear a turban. But what I remember most is his genial and friendly nature. He had a warm smile and in the afternoons he would have taken vetrilai (betel leaf) and the red lips would accentuate the friendly smile and would add to the grace that he exuded. He was one of the best loved teachers in the School as he was non-controversial and did not play politics in school. He added to his graceful behaviour by his dignity.

There used to be a feeling in those days that the teachers of P.S.High School were partial to Brahmins. As one not belonging to the Brahmin community, I can say with certainty that this was a wrong notion. Most teachers were above such petty considerations and Sri Srinivasa Ayyangar was beyond any such feelings. He never got angry, was non-discriminatory and every student was a recipient of his kindness.

I was extremely happy to read in Mylapore Times that the children and grandchildren of Sri Srinivasa Ayyangar are planning to celebrate his birth centenary. This has triggered my own pleasant memories of my Alma Mater as well as those of my revered Guru. Sri Srinivasa Ayyangar was a teacher, non-pareil and I bow before him.

I can see him in heaven with that enchanting smile of his.

K.P.Gajaratnavelu(The author was a student of C.Srinivasan. He studied in P.S.High School from 1946 to 1952. Later he completed his B.E. and joined the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board in the design office. He retired as Superintending Engineer.)





Copyright © 2008 S.Parthasarathy