My learning looks unending, so also the list of teachers that are being added at every turn of my life. Let me first acknowledge that it was the hotel working-class fraternity and the Kurnool customers that taught me Telugu.
I was born in Kuradi, Hanehalli Village near Barkur (Then in South Kanara district Madras State) in Udupi Dist Karnataka on 20th June 1940. I had my Elementary schooling in Navbharat Elementary School (1946-51, Kuradi. It was a humble hut and long became extinct. It was under this hut that N.Narasimha Bhat, taught me Kannada Alphabet. Vishnumurthy Bairi, Ramanna Shetty .were the teachers..Smt Chandravali Kalkura, a prodigy in Arithmetic was our headmistress.
I persued my Higher Elementary Schooling in Board Higher Elementary School and went to National High School, Barkur, about 5 k.ms away from our village. Barkur was once a major principality, under the sway of Jain Rulers, Alupas. Throughout the Medival period for about 700 years, they ruled as vassals of various dynasties, including Vijayanagara. Barkur was an important trading port, in the West Coast under the Vijayanagara. Condiments grown in the neighborhood were exported to Arabian countries.
At Board Higher Elementary School, Barkur, Udupi, Karnataka, between 1951 and 54. H.Subbanna Shetty, with a flourishing teaching career, was our H.M. There P.Manjunatha Holla, taught me English Alphabets in sixth class; , Smt Dias, Social Studies; Vittal Kamath, Science, N.Lakshmi Narayana Hebbar Kannada and Somanna Crafts, were the other teachers in the Higher Elementary School.
At National High School, Barkur, the teaching fraternity was headed by the disciplinarian, Head Master.
P.N.Bhoja Rao; Picardo and Subbanna Hegde, Maths; Rajeeva Shetty and Sarvothama Pai, Social Studies; Anantha Naik, Science, Rotch, English; Krishna Sarma and Krishna Bhat, Kannada; B.L.Adiga, Hindi; Ramesh Adiga, Sanskrit; Sreenivas Kalkura, Music; Venkatadasa Adiga, Drawing; Madhyastha, Crafts and Citizenship Training, Mahaba Shetty Drill and Puttanna Aithal, Scouts were other teachers and all of them left a permanent memory in our minds.
After passing my SSLC in 1957 from National High School, Barkur, I was assisting my mother, Lakshmidevamma in agricultural operations of our ancestral property. (My father died in Nov 1944, when I was four years old). As the family was heavily into debt, the chances of my pursuing higher studies were ruled out. My two elder brothers, Govinda Kalkura and Narasimha Kalkura Achar migrated to Nandyal, Andhra Pradesh as Hotel workers where my cousin K Ananthakrishna had established a small restaurant. As he wanted to expand his business by opening a new branch with modern amenities, I was also summoned to Nandyal. I landed and joined my brothers in Nandyal in Feb 1958.
N.Narasimha Bhat, postmaster cum Teacher, cum Purohit in our village, Kuradi and Ananthkrishna Achar and his brother Gangadhara Achar of Udupi who were running hotels at Nandyal (of Hotel Shobha fame), were a source of strength to our family. We were treated as equals by them, not as workers. The tradition continues in the Fourth Generation as well.
After three years of labor at Nandyal, we were able to liquidate the ancestral debts, by early 1961. By that time my younger brother, Mahabaleswara Kalkura completed his SSLC. He opted to settle in the village to develop the barren lands. Another brother of mine, Sadashiva Kalkura was pursuing Secondary Grade Teacher’s Training. So I was asked to pursue Collegiate Studies. Since I did not know Telugu, I went back to Udupi and joined the newly started (1960) Poornaprajna College, Udupi in July 1961, and completed the one year Pre University Course (PUC) in April 1962.
At Poornaprajna College, Udupi (1961-62) V.M.Inamdar, an model Professor of English and a renowned Kannada writer was the Principal. Other staff members were Smt Lakshmi Kutty and Damodar Rao(English), Rajgopal Acharya (Kannada), Koulagi Seshachar (Sanskrit), Varadaraja Ballal (Hindi) Shivarama Shetty and Subba Rao(Economics) Rama Rao (Human Achievements), and Sripathi Upadhyaya (History).
By that time my brothers started their own venture, Udupi Hotel, opp. King Market, Kurnool. Since I had opted for Hindi as my third language in PUC, I could get admission into Osmania College, Kurnool, for my graduation affiliated to Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati. At Osmania College, Kurnool (1962-65) Saintly Bachelor
Md. Hussain was Principal as well as a Professor in Islamic History. The galaxy of my teachers included Yacoub Hussain, KSS Sarma, Varaprasad, Stout Iqbal, Imdad Ali Quadri, and Ramachandra Rao (English); Narasimha Murthy and Venkatasubbaiah (Hindi); Khaja Hussain, Khalelullah Khan, Khader Ali and Hussamuddin Quadri, (History and Political Science); Vakil, Krishna Murthy and Rahamathullah (Economics); Almost all the contemporary College staff knew me by name.
Particular mention of N V Krishnamurthy (Zoology and Telugu Scholar) and M.D Venkatasubbaiah (Telugu)is not out of context for their erudition and Special affection for me.
After completion of the Degree Course in 1965, I joined Govt Law College, Bengaluru, affiliated to the infant Bengaluru University. As for Govt Law College, Bengaluru (1965-67) my salutations go to M Sadashivayya (Principal and an Authority on Law of Property), K. Jagannatha Shetty who later became a judge of the Supreme Court, (Constitutional Law); Balakrishna (Law of Torts), Havanur (Criminal Procedure Code) Biligiri Rangaiah (Indian Penal Code), Puttaiah, (Mohammedan Law); Gopal (Hindu Law), Ramalingaiah (Evidence Act and Moti Rao (Law of Contract).
Later, I started to practice at Kurnool under Sri Venugopal Rao. If there are any inadvertent omissions, I pray for their excuse.
I practiced for five years in Kurnool Bar and A.Venugopal Rao was my Senior. In July 1966, I attended a meeting, Opening Ceremony of the Gandhi Bhavan by Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan in Kumara Park, Bengaluru, just a stone’s throw from our Hostel.
Earlier I saw him traveling from Kurnool to Srisailam by road in 1964. (Helicopter culture dawned about 15 years later).
A boy suddenly came on the road and fell under the car of the President right opposite the General Hospital. The convoy of not more than five cars stopped. The boy was taken to the hospital. President walked and sat in the visitor’s gallery of the Casualty.
Within fifteen minutes a thorough check-up was made and declared that no major injuries were caused. After first aid, the patient was sent home.
While the President was coming out, the Superintendent of Police was taking the Policemen to the task. Radhakrishnan patted his back and said: “Nothing has happened. Be cool, keep calm. They are also human beings.”
Earlier, as Vice President, he attended the inaugural Function of the Andhra State on Oct 1, 1953. Way back in Nov 1927 he presided over wathe Andhra Political Conference at Nandyal, where the Ceded Districts were renamed Rayalaseema.
In 1955 he graced and spoke in Telugu at a literary meet at Alampur, organized by Gadiyaram Ramakrishna Sarma.
(KC Kalkura is an advocate from Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh)