My Life Memoirs-7
My Life, Full of Beautiful Memories
- Mr. Vijay Rajkumar and family
Innaiah’s brother Vijaya Raj Kumar lived in Sangareddy for many years along with his wife Kanya Kumari and two sons- Devaraj Kumar and Rajendra Kumar. He cultivated his lands there and also ran a printing press. He was a great orator and a good writer. He had a wonderful command over language. He took care of his family after the demise of his father and helped his brother to complete his studies. Our mother-in-law mostly stayed with them. He passed away due to kidney failure. Shortly afterwards, our mother-in-law’s end came. Then their family moved to Hyderabad. Kanya Kumari, by then retired as Headmistress of a government high school in Sangareddy.
- My Career Takes off
I was a student for a brief period along with our children as; I prepared for my M.A. Final (English) on my own, borrowing books from Osmania University and American Library. In the summer of 1968 I went to Vizag to write my exams. I stayed with Prof. Ramamohan and his wife Kamala for a month. They treated me like their own family member their own relative, Kanakamani who was already staying with them and also preparing for her exams.
Raju was a child kid-under two years, and it was painful to leave the kids behind, but I decided to finish my examinations that year. My mother and mother-in-law Anthonamma took care of Naveena and Raju in my absence for a month. The kids missed me but endured the separation. When I returned home the way they both rushed to me and told me how much they missed me. They were not the crying type. They bore the pain silently.
I appeared for a few interviews, pending my results. I was selected as a lecturer by the management of Anwarul-Uloom College in Mallepalli, Hyderabad. Prof. Shiv K. Kumar of Osmania University interviewed me and I fared well.Later – I heard that Prof. Alam Khundmiri, a good friend of Prof. Shiv K. Kumar might have put in a word about me though he never told me that. Prof. Khundmiri was Innaiah’s teacher, friend and colleague in Osmania University. He was a thorough gentleman.
The day my M.A. results were published, I reported for duty at the college. I left my good friends Sarojini (Botany) Hema Rani (Physics) Ramalakshmi (English) in the school and moved. When Multi- Purpose System (10+2) was dropped, my friends also joined different colleges, we met once-in- a while, continuing our friendship from the school.
At the school, I shared Sarojini’s staff room and she was quite helpful. When I was pregnant with Naveena Sarojini (Saro) invited me home for lunch. Her mother served me delicious food the taste of it I remember even today. We lost Hema Rani in unimaginable circumstances very early and Saro passed away five years ago. Ramalakshmi left Hyderabad along with her family, and I didn’t meet her after that. She was a loving person, hard working with her students to prove herself to be a good teacher. She was very close to me, sharing her personal, family matters with me for advice and solace. Wherever I worked, I was lucky to make good friends whom I cherish life-long.
- My Work At Anwarul- Uloom
Our head of the department Mr. A.M. -Vatcha made us work hard but we enjoyed our work. We were like a family,- Christina Andrews, Raghavendra Manvi, Jaffri. Shiv Kumar (he later moved to Kakatiya University)and I were very happy to work under the guidance of Mr. Vatcha, who was dedicated to work. I remember him never taking leave, not – even a single day.
I handled large Commerce and Science degree classes and also the Urdu Medium Arts Section. The students were quite friendly and I never faced any problems from them.
My school’s management, however troubled, me for six months refusing to relieve me from duty though I was ready to pay back three months salary in place of three months notice. Our Principal wrote a strong letter to the school secretary, Narasimha Reddy, to accept money and relieve me. They finally relented.
In the college, lecturers from other departments too were quite friendly and I remember- Miss Sravanthi Clarence (Chemistry), Naga Raj (Botany) A.R. Varna (Zoology), Miss. Subhashini Niloufer (Botany) and Ms.Qamarunnisa (Economics) as our good friends. People used to call, Christina, Qamarunnisa and me as Three Musketeers as we were together almost every day. Subhashini was dear to me and after. Sravanthi and Subhashini settled in America. I am in touch with Sravanthi but miss Subhashini’s where abouts.
I left Anwarul-Uloom college in 1983 to join Dr. B.R.Ambedkar Open University.
In- between, I had a short go at Ph.D Programme. With all my enthusiasm; I registered my name for Ph.D in Andhra University with Prof. K. Viswanatham as my guide. I worked seriously on the topic:- Katherine Mansfield and her short stories. But, in the middle of my work, I got a shock when my guide said I should change the topic, as he had realized very late that someone else was also working on that same topic. I was disappointed and switched to Henry Fielding and his novels, I passed the preliminary examinations but, slowly, my interest diminished. The physical distance between me and my guide was one of the factors as. I couldn’t meet him for guidance, Eventually my Ph.D work ended up in the attic.
Innaiah said that his Ph.D saga put me off my work and made me lose faith in my own Ph.D . I am not sure that is true. I was lazy, and not ambitious,and never ready to take any risks. I was perhaps happy with my simple life without many responsibilities.
I felt like I could not rise, academically, to the expectations of my father, my brother and my husband.
My father had wanted me to study medicine or law. I opted for Social Sciences and English Literature. My brother was ready to send me to England to study Linguistics. I didn’t want him to spend much on my studies as he had three kids to raise. So I said I was not interested in Linguistics. Those days Linguistics was not yet introduced in Indian universities.
My husband wanted me to do Ph.D. but I stopped half way and didn’t fulfill his wish. It is all because I was lazy and – shirked from personal improvement. It was my youthful foolishness but it no use regretting it. My daughter studied Medicine and thus fulfilled my father’s wish.
(To be continued-)
Komala Venigalla, wife of Sri Inniah Narisetty is a retired Assistant Professor of English from Ambedkar Open University, Hyderabad. Written on Modern Women covering various aspects of their lives in contemporary world. Traslated M.N.Roy’s Memoirs of Cat into Telugu. Contributed articles to Misimi Telugu monthly.