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Cement, calcium carbide, shipping… TSN turned these and more into gold Fighter-pilot turned monk... A genius civil servant fades A versatile legend moves on Samskrt loses a passionate exponent... A versatile, humane and efficient administrator/litterateur He contributed so much to the telecom revolution ‘Sai’ Srinivasan no more Another Leo of real estate and education is no more Endearing Aachi... Music loses a maestro New team at the helm at TANSTIA Tribute – Ja Ra Su The Rajha of Rajapalayam... Transport S Narayanan Big ideas, not big words, are important... He was the greatest. A multi-faceted leader rests in peace A statue for RV, at last! He took Kone to great heights… India’s Master Builder… Brilliant Saeed saab He breathed transport development KB Sir for all... KP is no more Tribute – Baldev Raj Dada of drip irrigation... Deora – the best networked politician.... The honest Sardarji Honest civil servant Centurion ‘Leo’ rests in peace Question on Operation X Scientist and leader of educational reforms He took space science to such great heights! Master of strokes VV Goes... If only he had fastened the seat-belt... Dr M G K Menon Tribute: Dr. Krishnamoorthy Srinivas The scientist-engineer who lucidly explained economics This trendsetter is no more Jeppiar calls it a day Music Samrat!!! - TMS Colour-Chem's colorful personality A welcome biography on a towering CA How to build a nation He elevated B&C to its best... The Hero of bicycles rests in peace ‘Mandolin’ stops playing... A multi faceted prince is no more... Tribute - R K Baratan Justice Iyer, 100 A Gandhian breathes his last on Gandhi Jayanthi The ‘Q’ factor cost him Cabinet Secretary’s post Remembering Chariji Sivaraman, 100 Flute falls silent A honest bank executive... M Subramaniam Saeed Jaffrey When SPIC spawned star managers... R Desikan – the crusader of consumer interests is gone Bal Thackeray Missile Man takes flight The motor sportsman is no more MSV – the King of Light Music Father of German unification no more... ‘Hero’ rides into the sunset Remembering I K Gujral…
 
Samskrt loses a passionate exponent...
P S Ramamurti (PSR) had two passions: Samskrt and the Bhagavad Gita. Till his demise on 31 March he breathed Samskrt.

PSR ran the Egmore Samskrt School founded by his illustrious father P A Subrahmanya Ayyar, a former Professor of English at Annamalai University. The Surabharati Samiti conducted monthly meetings to encourage spoken Samskrt. Close to 600 such meetings were conducted without break rain or shine.

The annual Gita recitation competition held every January attracted hordes from the very young to the very old. In recent years, the participants exceeded 2000 from near and far. Aided by the members of his family, notably his wife Lalitha, a well-known maths teacher and his disciples, he planned and executed the competition to perfection. Every participant was provided with a certificate and the hundreds of winners with books. The six chapters for recitation have been planned for the next decade and more. All these were done through his own modest financial resources.

PSR and his team used to recite all the 18 chapters of the Gita to a metre that became the standard (the Chinmaya Mission adapted this), on specific dates every year.

A passionate teacher PSR taught Samkskrt to hundreds - all for free - and spread the interest in and love for the language. Endowed with a beautiful handwriting, PSR used to send individual letters and regular reminders to prospective participants.

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My days with PSR...

My association with PSR extended over six decades. We studied together at the M.Ct.M Boys High School. He pursued his Masters in English Literature, worked with Efficient Publicities as an Account Executive in the 1960s before joining IE. He was the Associate Editor, IE  for over a decade.

    We grew together at Loyola College through intermediate and again a decade later at IE, along with another young executive S Narayanan. With the close involvement of young artist C L Boopaty, IE was built in quick time as the business magazine of south. We were ready with special issues on several industrial events. At short notice, we produced special supplements on the inauguration of works at the Salem, Visakhapatnam and Vijayanagar steel plants and got these released at the functions participated by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Our work extended to the entire southern region. Narayanan used to be at the project site sending editorial and ad material through phone till the early hours of the day (Remember those were decades ahead of the cell phones with connections uncertain, taking long and expensive). PSR and I would be converting these to edit matter at the printing press in Mount Road, get the issue printed in the next few hours. PSR would be with the press till 6 am, then rush to his house in Purasawalkam and then to Central to catch the Coromandel Express scheduled to depart at 0840 hours. I would rush with the supplement copies and hand these over to PSR for release at Visakhapatnam – steel plant, shipyard, port,  etc., on which we produced special issues.

With his background in advertising, PSR helped in the advertisement campaigns of IE. His erudition and humility won him wide circle of friends in the ad world. Many still remember PSR’s regular column Advertising on the March reviewing advertisements. When IE shifted to Guindy he switched to Lokmat and served as business representative in Chennai for a couple of decades.   

 

The perfect gentleman

PSR was methodic, disciplined and had a yen for perfection. He used to relate current happenings to the rich lore of Samskrt literature drawing copiously from Kalidasa  Bhavabhuti. After he turned 70, PSR registered for his

Ph D and got a doctorate in Samskrt literature from Sri Venkateswara University.

PSR was a wordsmith facilely describing men and matters with phrases from Samskrt or English. He once described an active personal  secretary as a ‘Laplander’ for her closeness to her boss. Of course, such vintages are reserved only for close friends from the adolescent days and family members. PSR donated his body to Sri Ramachandra Medical College & Hospital. IE shares the grief of Lalitha and her family members.

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