Father’s Day Contest: Leading By Example
Sulochana Satyanarayanan’s father was an academician who made education come alive for her and lead by example. She shares her memory with us here. It’s one of the Top 5 entries in our Father’s Day Contest. Enjoy this inspiring read…
On Father’s Day I, his eldest daughter, now three score and ten years, recall with gratitude, my father’s contribution to my ‘growing up’. My father, R. Subramaniam Iyer, was an academician, a man of rectitude and a service-minded soul.
My father had a stentorian voice. He used to speak in idiomatic English about famous authors, about history from the Mughal Period, and about world geography, making us feel we had ourselves travelled those countries! In those days, our life was simple, without any modern gadgets. All India Radio was the only medium for entertainment, apart from the daily newspaper. Letter writing was the only contact.
On the streets of Trichy one day, we fell in with a haggard old gentleman, with unbuttoned shirt and dishevelled hair. The sight induced laughter. But father immediately warned us not to be swayed by outward appearance. The gentleman was, in fact, an educationist par excellence, commanding respect among an august, erudite circle, a retired Principal of National College, Trichy. Father paid his respects to the gentleman and offered him a lift. By this act, he set an example for us, worthy of emulation.
There was no dearth of people seeking father’s help in various things including financial matters. I remember he was generous to a fault. Now and then, father used to visit my school to interact with our teachers and the Headmistress. I recall how father used to sing with ‘sruti laya,’ perform alapana with élan, asking us to identify the ragas. Father used to take us regularly to concerts by great maestros. Back home I would be asked to elaborate the songs. This fostered our skill in music. Even now, thanks to father’s efforts, I am able to identify major ragas. Father used to involve us in crossword puzzle solving. We vied with one another to find the proper word, and struggled with anagrams. This absorbing and interesting ‘home-schooling’ went on day in and day out, making our life a real Shangri-La on earth!
While my father entertained and enriched us with his knowledge, mother cooked wonders. When will come such another golden period?
Sulochana Satyanarayanan is 78 years old and a resident of Bangalore. She is a member of Nightingale’s Elder’s Enrichment Centre.
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