MY VANTAGE POINT
I wanted to write from my eyes and heart ( MY VANTAGE POINT) what it was to go to School after 33 years: Passing out thru the gate in 1976, thought i wanted to go an see the school a number of times, it never happened. This journey is memorable. Yes I drove from Hyderabad to APSK and back an act normally I would hesitate to do because of distance and strain it puts on driving. Let me start from First- 12 noon when we left at my home and see how much I can write. I want to write from the time I started to the time I came back on Sunday night at 10:30 pm
Friday Feb 26, 12:00 Noon:
Kaipa came to meet with me at home and we started off in my vehicle. We picked up Madhava Reddy and Eka in Gachibowli. Madhav brought books donated by Vandemataram a NGO, worth Rs 5000.00 for School library. We went to pcik up Ramakrishna Momidi (RK) from 1982 batch at his house in Hill Ridge. RK works as Human Resources Director in Microsoft with me. the way we connected before as Alumni of SVU College of Engineering is one thing and how it transformed when we came to know as KODIs is a completely different experience and feeling (That story is for a different time)
We hit the road NH7 around 1 pm. We started driving with so much energy and enthusiasm. We took a break around 2:30 afternoon for lunch. My wife and my mom made good pulihora, chicken and Curd rice. All the 5 of us ate well and completed all of them. (Wonder why when you travel you get more hungry????) We had some sweets, snacks to complete lunch. Around Dhone by pass Kaipa asked me to stop and wait for a few others that are joining us. Comes a Maroon Tavera and a white Suzuki vehicles out of it 10 folks hopped out of them. I cannot express my feelings in words when I started seeing them and their interaction with others there. The passion for school and the connection how it all ties us together showed when everyone that I don’t know personally were talking to me. Kaipa shifted to another car and Venkata Ramana Assistant Director in Veterinary Dept joined us in CRV. Madhav, Eka and Venkata Ramana started talking about so many success stories from school and so many challenges people have to face after 10th class were a great eye opener for me. We discussed and analyzed why we some people failed in life after school. What was missing in their life - a support system to sustain after school that was not there and we need to work to put this in place was the main theme that came out.
A junior who is a true success story in Anantapur Pawan and his wife hosted us in their lovely home for snacks in Anantapur Prasanthi Nagar. All 5 of us: Eka, Madhava, Venkata Ramana , RK and me had a great conversation in his house and tasty food. What else we can ask for. This student I do not know ever hosted us for the single fact that we belong to same CULT called APRSK.
We started driving again. Venkata Ramana was my navigator not knowing where I am driving. After taking the turn towards Hindupur I read a road sign Hindupur 26 KMs and my heart started jumping with a unknown joy that I am going to this place after 33 years. The road was not so good but did I care. With my juniors in car and talking about the memories made me hit the road and complete the driving reaching Hindupur around 10 pm. Ratnakar whom I forgot to mention in my previous email is the MAN behind everyone’s accommodation and responsible for taking care of 70 teachers (he got hold of all of them in less than a week and spent hours talking to everyone of them on phone for hours), and also first few batches where we lacked ownership was there waiting to receive us at Saptagiri Residency. We checked into our room and made sure everyone is comfortable. Me and RK spent another hour or so talking to Kaipa and his school batch. We met Sri Guna Bhushana Naidu family. Both his son and daughter are our students and came with their mom. I never met sir but was very happy to see them all. Went to bed with a whole lot of excitement and joy.
Saturday Feb 27, 2010 6:30 am
Started the day with a hot cup of coffee. RK and me woke up and took an hour or so to get ready. When I was about to get out CS Reddy my classmate called me and came to see me. We all went to have breakfast. We ariived in school around 9:30 am. The drive to school was really great, memorable experience again. While crossing Penna Bridge RK was asking me if that was the same bridge we crossed so many times to go to school The river bed is filled with Circar Tumma (The way Sri Obaiah sir called it later in his speech) instead of sand we used to play. From there I could see the school and my adrenaline started flowing more. The feeling again cannot be explained. we stopped for a few mins to take pictures of the check post that was in the corner and does not exist now. We remembered how people snuck out to buy burfees there or to go to Kodege Palli ( as they call in Telugu). When i was entering the gate and saw the color party boys there that is a moment I can never forgot. The way parking was organized by the current drill master was really an example of how things happen at APRKS are it 33 years before or today with same DISCIPLINE. The lines were marked with white muggu and in order. We parked and took out stuff and first stop was registration before KSR House where I stayed in Room 2. From this moment I felt I am in cloud nine. The distance I thought is a long from our KSR house to new Dormitory in those days was just a hop now. Madhava Reddy was telling me that we were small and the steps were small to make us feel the distance is far while we now feel they are very close now. I ate breakfast in same dining hall with first batch students (Upma with chenakkayala chutney). We sang our prayer. Took pictures. I went to the medical camp, walked thru the new dormitory, same taps in gym we took so many baths under, the assembly we went every day to, Principal house and medical house, other so many places. One thing I realized is my age and my physical condition will not make me last the whole day around noon, however, i lasted till evening 9:30 pm just because of the place where I was in. Started meeting so many juniors and ONLY one batches my seniors was a wonderful feeling. When so many of 1982 batch students walked up to me and reminded me they were my students from SVU College of Engineering and they never knew about me being from APRSK I felt my dad was alive to hear this. It is sentimental as he would have loved to be on campus.
During the day met our Telugu master Sri P Venkateswarlu who wrote the School song jayatu jai, our social master Amjaneyulu Sir, Our Chemistry teacher Sri Raja Rao garu and his son Ravi who is my classmate, my own classmates, Ravindra, Kala, Pakkerappa, Another Ravi, Sankaraiah - WOW so many people I met I cannot write everyone’s name here.
Around 2 pm we ate lunch. I have to commend the work of our kitchen staff for this. I am sure going to go another time leisurely and spend more time with people on a listening tour in school to learn more. While the expectation was 300 people the total old students based on last numbers that came were at 756 - can you believe - these are just registrations and many came with families. So making food for an unexpected numbers and serving was a herculean task. They did it- that is APRSK spirit- whatever we put our mind to we can achieve it. It was a delicious, coconut rice, chenaga kayala chutney, pappu, rasam, majjiga and white rice. What else we can ask for. When I was eating I felt I might fall asleep after that.
Lot of group pictures were taken on campus and thanks to all the people who thought of every single detail, it was great to see other and take pictures. We gathered at assembly and started with color party and reached the place where meeting was supposed to happen. The enthusiasm, patience and the way the students conducted the march past our chief guest of the day Srinivasa Raju IAS from APRSK was a memorable site. You need to watch the video to enjoy this. our 1981 batch student Sastry who is with AIR Anantapur stated anchoring the program around 3 pm or so a little late than we expected to start. I was 2nd to be called on to stage after Srinivasa Raju. My defining moment is when Raju told me he is from SVU College of Engineering from 1981- 85 sitting next to me. Lot of people spoke. High light was L Venugopal to me- when he told the crowd that he was one among 9 children for a elementary school teacher and how the school helped him to be where he is now in life. That is what APRSK is about making great people out of nobody’s when they are young. It gave opportunity, it provided a structure, shelter, food and for many self confidence that took us out into the world and be successful.
Fireworks after the function was a huge hit with everyone. The snake that was lit last HISSING and spewing fore like a real snake spewing venom was a site to see.
Dinner: WAS DELICIOUS. Roti, mixed vegetable curry, dal, veg fried rice and raita - WOW we ate and ate. Final touch - was ice cream with mixed fruit. Have to see how my throat will be in next few hours but was good food. By then I am so tired so tired I am longing for a hot bath and a good sleep. we drove back to Hindupur and had my hot bath and slept with a permanent smile on my face my father would have loved to see and enjoy a lot.
Feb 28th 2010 8:00 am.
When I got ready and came out O Gopala Krishna reddy from first batch was in lobby and told me about the article in Andhra Jyothi daily. I came with RK and next moment I found him missing. When I found him he came with a bag of news papers where our function coverage was there. Every news paper had an article - Sakshi, Jyothi, Bhoomi, and Eenadu. RK and me ate good breakfast. The trip will never be complete without a visit to LEPAKSHI. So we decided to hit the road to go there. Saw the BIG NANDI, temple and left around 11 am there driving to Anantapur. It is like a pilgrimage that won’t be complete without a trip to Lepakshi I found most of the people from school there.
Driving back to Anantapur was an adventure since we missed to drive thru a tank bed (Cheruvu) and drove on good looking asphalt just to find ourselves lost for about 40 mins. Finally we got back on track and stared driving fast to have a home made launch waiting for us in Pawans house in Anantapur again. Dr Pallavi a doctorate in Microbiology is a great cook and awesome host. She made sure we all ate well with a typical Kurnool sweet that we need to eat with milk and ghee, Sambar, aloo and goby fry, vadiyalu, appadalu, rasam to die for and perugannam out of this earth. Took a small nap and after nice cup of coffee left Anantapur around 4 pm. I do not want to even talk about dinner we had after such a good lunch. I got home by 10:20 pm tired after driving about 523 Kilometers today. My body aching with pain. However i felt it is all worth very much for what I experienced yesterday. Could not sleep till 1 am or so as I was reading all news articles on web and in print and was seeing all pictures Madhava has posted. I need to unload my pictures and upload them to some place too..
The 3 memorable days in my life will be cherished for many more years to come. Thank you APRSK for making me what I am and who I am. If I can give anything back to the school and to the young souls out there, I will be there to lend my hand. To all my juniors and my senor batch - we are one hell of a group that can do anything we put our mind to. Lets get APRSK a status that was there before - that it caters to 5 districts to produce RAYALA SEEMA RATNALU again.
another KODI from 2nd batch