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Tributes and Rememberances

Prof. Anirudhan Sahadevan officially bows out from University of Kerala.
This month of March, 13 is quite important to me as my good friend Prof. Anirudhan (aka ani) is getting ready for the mandatory retirement. I wish to flag some among many of miles we walked together in the road of research, until I retired in Jan., 2004 leaving behind the ENVIS Center and the tech. staff of the center. When I look back, the closing down of the ENVIS center in the Department of geology, Kariavattom campus gave an opportunity for the staff to re-energize and fly new heights in their own lives. Now back to ani and me.

In 1952, the Indian Academy of Sciences, on the invitation of the Vice-Chancellor of Travancore University (TU), decided to hold the annual meeting in Trivandrum. Dr.C.S.Venkateswaran, was the local organizer. The Pro-Vice Chancellor, Sri Parameswara Panicker was the Chairman of the reception committee.
The Annual Meeting was held from 26th to 29th Dec., 1952, and the scientific sessions met at the V.J. Town Hall and the Physics Lecture Hall of the University College, Trivandrum.  His Highness the Rajapramukh of Travancore-Cochin state inaugurated the meeting.

Dr.Thrivikramji.K.P. (Work Story-1)

I started my research career immediately after completing the M.Sc degree from the University of Kerala in June, 1965. I belonged to the first batch or was a member of the class of 1965.However, I was clueless about what exactly I shall be focusing at after the MSc course. In fact, the faculty of the department also did not explicitly tell me as to what are the avenues open before me or the career tracks available to a post graduate in the country. In fact no suggestions whatsoever was offered by the faculty..

But only one man in the faculty, Prof Menon, suggested that if I were free and willing I could assist in the lab work in his research. Indeed, it was very exciting to me and I jumped into it. My family also did not object to this idea. Imagine, an invitation or offer thrown at you from the boss. The next day onwards, I started going over to lab.  I rode my bicycle to the campus at Palayam. Dad gave a rupee or two routinely to meet to buy a lunch. I loved to eat in the Aruna Lodge, Palayam..These days the place is renamed as Aruna Hotel.

Dr. Gopi, passed away on the Feb.13, 12 at Muthuvila, his village and in his own house “Anandavalliswaram” Gopi was one of my good friends, and Technical Assistant in Dept. of Geology, University of Kerala, University Park, Kariavattom, 695 581, India. But later on Gopi  earned a Post-Graduate degree in Russian language and joined upon selection, as Lecturer in Rsusian, then completed a PhD with (Late) Dr AP Andrewskutty of Linguistics Department of the U of Kerala. This new degree gave a great opportunity to Gopi to get higher teaching positions like Reader in Russian, Professor of Russian and then finally retired as HOD of Russian in 2002. 

In my undergraduate years (1960-63) in the University College, Trivandrum, I never met Gopi, as to remember this man’s face. He studied Geology with Mr. NRS Babu- my one time college mate (in Pre-University class, 1959-60) in the Intermediate College, Trivandrum,. Mr. Babu, proved to be a great enterprising chap; after graduation he founded the Universal Academy (Attingal)- a coaching centre for school as well as college going students. This academy made an indelible mark in private-paid-coaching meant for those ill-confident adolescent boys and girls. 


The time frame under reference is 2000. GOSAN, an alumni association of graduates of the DoG (Department of Geology, University of Kerala, Kariavattom Campus 695 581), is in fact the first of its kind to have come into being in the university of Kerala (UoK), when only informal deliberations and discussions were in the air, and especially in the office of VC Dr Ekbal. Seeking, earning and accruing monetary contributions from former graduates (who have prospered in life and career) was a moot point.


When I morphed into the HoD’s chair, in the DoG of the UoK (in July 2000), my colleague, Roy Chacko had raised an important point, regarding installation of an intercom system in the DoG, despite the fact that Department has been around for more than 40 yr. (The DoG came into being or let us say was born when Prof. KK Menon took over as Reader-in-Charge – perhaps in the month of June 1963). Such a system was not even considered in the DoG or even by the administration. For the question of funds for the project, Roy’s suggestion was approaching the willing donors among the former graduates of DoG.  

  I took over as HOD of GoD on the 1st July 2001, when PKR decided finally to relinquish the HOD ship to pave way for his smooth bowing out of the DoG on superannuation in the following Jan. On the evening of June 30th I called upon Mrs. Menon (widow of late Prof. KK Menon) in her house in the Navarangam lane, Medical College PO, to inform her in person that that I will be HOD from the next day onwards and will continue to be so for the next 3 yr, i.e., till my retirement in Jan, 2004.
She was indeed gladdened by the news and immediately wanted me to help create an endowment in the U of K and in the name of her late husband, Prof. Menon. She added that she was waiting for the day of my taking over as HOD so that she could see her long cherished desire fulfilled. She also told that the required fund will be a donation of the Menon children and grand children. I replied affirmatively and agreed to work on the proposition earnestly.

Mr. PC George (1943-2011)
Mr George, a good friend and one time Director of Mining and Geology Department, Government of Kerala died, after short duration of breathing difficulty, in the early hours of May 15, 2011, in his apartment at Trivandrum. His wife Ms. Valsa George alone was near him as the couple was settled in Trivandrum and their only son works in Canada. The final rites and burial will take place only on Wednesday (18th May). As a fellow geologist and friend, and class mate and his teacher for a brief while, I wish to record a narrative of our knowing and the friendship we nourished and cherished.