Tuesday, February 3, 2009

V.P.Raman , My father

A sunny day in LLoyd Road

He took to smoking when he was past 50 - still injurious.

Pensive mood.

At his "Castle" - Glen Gyle in Kodaikanal

VENKATA PATTABHI RAMAN or simply Bala to his friends

I just wanted to write a few lines on my father. If ever there was a list of men whose amazing intellect was to be revered for the sheer variety of subjects they could intelligently converse on , I guess my dad will be somewhere right on top of that list.
Born on 3rd October, 1932 . He was brilliant academically and finished School from the Church Park Convent ( Yes it was Co-ed ) then. He , having had 2 double promotions on the way to finishing could not join College right away and spent that time reading, learning shorthand and typing , accounts and the Violin - from the noted violinist Pappa Venkatramaiah. I have heard some really great ( I am given to understand) Jam sessions in my house. Ramnad Krishnan and my Mother ( who is today on the Grading and selection Panel for All India Radio) Smt.Kalpakam Raman sing, with dad on the Violin , Joined in by S.Balachander on the Veena ( My grandmother has a few at Home) and Mali on the Flute.....wish we had those sessions Taped.
My Dad then joined loyola College for his B.Sc in Physics , he was not too taken up with Science and did not do his usual Brilliant best. Thereafter he Joined the Madras law College and in those 3 Years set records that to this Day remain unbroken. He stood first and obtained the Gold medal in so many subjects that the record stands unbroken - even after 55 years. He was offered a Lecturership straight after his Graduation which he took up for a while. Many an Advocate has told me of how he used to make Dry subjects like Hindu Law and Jurisprudence interesting.

He had by then finished experimenting with Communism and joined the DMK Party where he was given the alliterative title/name of "Vazhakkarignar VPR". He along with M/S EVK Sampath, Era Sezhiyan wrote the Constitution of the Party. In 1955 he married my mother and the next year in 1956 I was born.
His life was filled with so many highlights that I can proudly say that even to this day...some 17 years after his passing away , his name still spins magic and opens doors for us. His forte was his
sharp intellect , swift repartee , ability to grasp a problem and reduce it to the simplest of terms , and all this , thinking out of the Box. His approach was so different , his language , so fluently stylish. His speech - crystal clear and crisply to the point that as an Advocate he simply stood out. At the young age of 34 he was made the Public Prosecutor and this was when the State had an Advocate general and a Public Prosecutor - not the big band of Law Officers that the States these days seem to require. ( That My brother P.S.Raman - is the current Additional Advocate general is another matter for another Blog maybe).

In 1975 he was called to Delhi to take over as Additional Solicitor General , again at the age of 43.
He made his mark in Courts all over India - by appearing for the Government of Smt. Indira Gandhi , defending the Fundamental Rights case. Indeed , Sri L.K.Advani commented that Mr.Raman was one of the fairest advocates to have prosecuted him !!!
My father's adherance to Truth and Ethics of the profession was obsessive. Almost a disorder. He could not Stomach many things that happened , which is why he could never make it in the political Arena. His contacts were numerous but they were all in dread of his tongue as he never hesitated to call a spade a spade. Diplomacy and tact were alien to the Man. After the Emergency was called off and the Congress lost power he came back to Madras to be appointed the Advocate general of the State in 1977 for Sri.M.G.Ramachandran. Our relationship to this legend requires another Blog - I promise it will be there. After 1979 he did not take up any Law office but focussed on his Private Practice. He passed away in 1991 at the age of 59. Having packed enough in that lifetime that a 95 year old would not have.

To me he was a friend - so too to my brothers , and I can safely say that he was the first friend we lost.......Many left thereafter , each leaving a small cut in our hearts but Dad's passing left a gash so big that even now , at times it opens and silently bleeds......
My eternal regret is that he could not see his children become successful and his grand children grow up. He was very well connected to the film world what with Anna, Kalaignar, MGR, Gemini,Kannadasan,Visvanathan Ramamurthy,ALS,AVM,Saroja Devi , Sridhar and Sivaji being some of his clients ,and would have been thrilled to see me do so well in the silver screen.


pudugaithendral said...

மகனாக அப்பாவைப் பத்திய உங்கள் பதிவு அருமை. நானும் அப்பாவைப் பத்தி பதிவு போட்டிருக்கேன். முடிஞ்சப்போ பாருங்க


Ejji said...

Wonderful words and feelings. Congrats Mo.

Raghavanmurari said...

I was trying to understand the concept of communism for last few days. So i delved the internet,read a book and watched "anbe sivam". the latter happened just 10 mins ago and immediately after that, when i read your blog, i was happy to know that your father was also interested about that topic.

Anonymous said...

Shri Mohanram,

I luckily stumbled onto your blog today. My name is RV Subramanyan. You may remember me - I have some not so popular opinions regarding Kalaignar's comments on erecting a statue for his friend, Sivaji and we had exchanged some comments on that.

I didn't know that your father was the late Shri V.P. Raman. This was a terrific post, throwing lot of light on his achievements. It also brought out the respect and affection you have for him very nicely. (BTW, you do look like your father)

Forgive me for mentioning the caste angle here, but I have heard that he was one of the few brahmins who not only joined DMK but had also become an important figure in the party. (Did he also serve as a minister?) Could you throw any light on why he took this unusual step?

Awaiting more posts on him!

Tusky said...

Good day to you Sir, I enjoyed your posting about your dear father - the link was sent to me by a friend in Australia who together with me are working on the history of our old school which will be 100 years old in 2013. Incidentally, the school was originally started in Kodaikanal and the first set of boarders were housed in Glengyle, your father's 'castle'! I was wondering if you would have pictures of Glengyle or if I could go and take some pictures of the old 'castle' in Kodaikanal. Does your family still own the place? I would much appreciate a response from you on my email id - sailendra.bhaskar@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the valuable information. I have used it.

ingloroiusidiot said...

Fantabulous achievements of ur father.You can always raise your collar proudly and say that you are the son of Mr.respected Venkata Pattabhi Raman.When i read about the musical discoveries of ur father WITH OTHER GREAT MUSICIANS.I brought this to my dads notice and when he found the names flute mali and veena balachandar(He got excited too much).Cos,Veena (Balachandar) was the person who opposed Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna of his own compositions.My dad had known and read so much about your father thorugh so many books and glad to know that you are his son.But,This reminds me of the great saying from a great person.Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar,said:'I look upto my father.He has been role model,and i want to be like him.'It is believed that a father can influence upto four generations mini"mum".For that matter,'Mother Power' is also equally important.Atlast,you can proudly say that "I inherit my father".

ingloroiusidiot said...

while speaking about your fathers language i would like to improve my skill in writing and alsoin speaking.Please share any of his writings.Meanwhile,let me share something after checking with my grandpa.

VIKKY said...

i am obliged to read this!!!

Unknown said...

Dear Mr.Mohan Ram, my mother Mrs.Parvathy who is a cousin of your mother just called me to watch Vijay TV namma veetu kalyanam. Very interesting and got to know the relationship though I have come to your houseat Lloyd's road in 80s. My mother is the daughter of Kamala sister of chitra.s.narayanaswamy. enjoyed your writings on your father.
Sridhar ramachandran, Mumbai

Unknown said...

Dear Mr.Mohan Ram,
Just now my my mother Mrs.Parvathy who is a cousin of your mother called me to watch Vijay TV's namma veetu kalyanam. Very interesting as I got to know that you are VPR's son. I have visited your house in early 80s at Lloyd's road corner house. I really appreciated your writings on your father. My mother is the last daughter of Kamala sister of Chitra s.narayanaswamy and your grandfather.

Unknown said...

Mr.V.P.Raman was a regal lawyer if there ever was one in 150 years of Madras High Court.There would be pin drop silence when he spoke .The court craft used
was unparalleled especially his eloquent pregnant pause which made the judge wait for the word he would utter having the effect of dictating the order required to be passed in his favour.


Very nicely written.Thanks Sir.I was searching information about your father and got some.I have heard from my father that you father got gold medal in all the subjects.Sad that he left too early.

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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.