Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dad ,Kalaignar ,E.V.K.Sampath

I found an old Photograph - mid -late 1950s of my father , Mr.V.P.Raman , Dr.Kalaignar M.Karunanidhi , CM of TN , Mr.E.V.K.Sampath and Mr.N.V.Natarajan ( I think) . This was during the time my father was an active party member - he quit and never got involved in active politics , though he remained connected with Leaders from all parties.
He left the Party and so too did Sivaji Ganesan , E.V.K.Sampath , Kannadasan probably not in that order.
He seemed to have a knack of attracting Politically sensitive cases for all politicians. He was MGR's advocate when he also used to advise Dr.Kalaignar , and some Congressmen , such was the faith they had in his integrity and of course his legal acumen. I remember his filing a case for Sri "Pollachi" N.Mahalingam against the Congress chief for criticising Sri NM throwing a dinner for "Anna" on his victory. This led to the first fissures in the congress and thereafter the split came as Indra congress and old congress nationally.
In fact it was well known that he along with Era Sezhiyan and Sampath drafted the final Constitution of the DMK. The AIADMK Constitution was based entirely on that ( those days - do not know its position now) except part president was replaced by General Seceretary. Knowing this , K.Rajaram , Nedunchezhiyan , Panrutti S.Ramachandran and Thirunavukkarasu came home after MGR's Death and wanted him to advice them against Rm.V and V.N.Janaki. They had decided to prop up J.Jayalalithaa. It was my father who adviced them upto the point of freezing the two Leaves symbol and they fighting under the Dove and Cock symbols. In retrospect Kalaignar must have felt so happy about his "old" friend totally bringing the AIADMK to a standstill. For a few months including JJ's maiden political speech ( post MGR) , the storming of the "thalamai seyalagam " in Lloyds Road - now avvai shanmugam salai , the petitions before the Election commission , parallel General Council meetings , were all under his advice.....when most people who had come to him initially left her , Panrutti, Navalar, Thirunavukkarasar,KKSSR , to name a few , my father too quietly moved away as by then she had her own set of advisors. It was during this period that I was closely involved in all the Political machinations. Spent several months steeped in it , including the electioneering etc.
We even went to New delhi to talk to Dorab Sopariwala and Prannoy Roy. They came down to start their work - but then i think madam had other ideas.......

He also fought the University Syndicate appointments of Durai Murugan and a few others who were "removed" by the MGR Government. Remember he was 'close' to MGR....despite that Kalaignar wanted him to fight the case. I guess he never had to do any balancing act for two especial reasons - Highest possible levels of Professional Integrity and Extreme Professional Competence. What a reputation ? Tough act to follow.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A great Guy in a great tour.

This blog is about 15 days of great fun and sight seeing my wife Padma, my daughter Vidyullekha and I had.We were part of a thomas group European Tour that left India on 15th April and we came back on the 30th. It was a defenite value for money tour. My wife and I are vegetarians and hence we wanted to travel in a group that promised us indian vegetarian food. may I add that they delivered on their promise we had Indian vegetarian food. I am not going to talk about the careful and meticulous planning , the arrangements etc but the person who stood by us and with us in our travel - The Senior travel manager of Thomas Cook Mr.Atul Chaudhary. Those who know Mumbai cricket will recognise him as a Ranji cricketeer of yore but I can tell you one thing , he is a superbly efficient , terribly affectionate human being. The way he looked after us at each and every place and time, the way he ensured all were there in time , but no one was rushed was simply magnificent. If at all there is a man who knows where every "free" Toilet is situated in Europe I think it must be Atul. He ensured that everyone of us had a place to sit at meal times , we had our free time and always stuck to his plan and schedule. That the schedule was hectic is an understatement - Imagine covering parts of Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria,Netherlands, France and England in all of two weeks. Almost every day started with a wake up call at 6 AM and ended with dinner at around 8.30 PM - travelling the better part of 350 Kms. But if at the end of the day there can be a man who is smiling and enquiring if all is well at 10 PM plus and literally serves you with the Paappad or pickle - then he truly deserves some praise. I do not care if he is well paid or ill paid but to do it with passion and relishing every moment takes some dedication. He managed to put up with 45 people with 45 tastes and timings and egos....without managing to hurt or ruffle anyone. He is a truly people loving person and packed with knowledge and information on the places we saw - If ever there is a group tour I undertake , then it will only be with this group -Thomas Cook.....Please not that I am not a paid advertising man for them.....Just a very very satisfied customer.....You may well ask if everything was so perfect that there are no areas to improve.....Guess there are .The Hotel in Paris - in comparison to the classy accomodation we were given elsewhere was a bit off.....purely relatively speaking . For those of us who are not terribly fit -physically , this was tightly packed - but that is what ensured that all of us got more than our money's worth. I did miss my south Indian cuisine - they did serve ONE south Indian meal - however when 35 of the 45 were from the South , maybe they could have given more southy meals.

There were a few days , may be just one, where we spent more time travelling in the bus then sight seeing....In such cases I was wondering why a night train could not be thought of....Just random thoughts - but I am sure experts have looked at the itenary with a magnifying glass and have arrived at this near perfect combination - what added to this perfection was the perfect Tour manager. More on this in my next Blog.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

More Stamps on Cinema - S.D.Burman and Madhubala

The Indian Government has been leasy busier than my scanner has been for I have been remiss.

There have been a few worthy releases that I have not reported here as I wanted to....Indeed that was the original intent of my Stamps on Cinema. Everything else but that has happened here. In the unrelenting heat of the Chennai summer , I have today , been , fortunately left free - No shooting. Now for the stamps.....Real Beauties.....The Madhubala stamp is a Diamond Stamp....the image shown is the Miniature souvenir sheet that envelopes the stamp....

The S.D.Burman stamp though lacks any kind of decent design innovativeness....dull and drab ...the image however does indicate his "bengalee - Rabindra sangeeeth" influence. Nothing Dull or drab in his Music though......Thank God they have honoured him.

More to follow.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.