Celebration of the 125th birth year of
Padmashree Prof. (Dr.) Siyali Ramamrita Ranganathan
Happy Teacher’s Day
The light of the world, the beacon in the dark and the hope that gives us strength to survive, are our teachers. They play a great role in building up the characters of students and shape them to overcome hurdles in the life thereon. 5th of September is celebrated as Teachers’ Day all over the India every year. Actually 5th of September is the birth anniversary of the Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who was a great scholar and teacher.
This Teacher's day is significant to the Library Science professional as this year marks the 125th Birth Anniversary of the Father of LIS in India ‘Dr. S R Ranganathan’. I am very much thankful to Chitra Ma’m for sharing her experience of her days in DRTC with us. Almost after 46 years we also experienced similar vibes in our classrooms. I think only faces have changed but the soul remains the similar. Still our teachers are like compass activating the magnets of idea, knowledge and wisdom in us.
Mr. Vikas Bhushan, Asst. Library Officer
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Bangalore
A Memory of our beloved Teacher Dr. Padmashree Prof. (Dr.) Siyali Ramamrita Ranganathan
Chitra Krishnaswamy [née Chellapa]
17971 Sun Knoll Drive, Yorba Linda, CA 92886-5144, USA
It was my first day and I was being shown around the library at DRTC [11th Cross - Malleswaram] by the librarian Mrs. Bhattacharya. All of a sudden I hear the tap-tap of a walking stick and inarrives a distinguished gentleman with a chandan tilak on his forehead and he says to me - “so you are this year’s batch, where do you hail from?” I indicated that I was from Bombay - a little annoyed &exasperated he says, what I mean is “where are your forefathers from?” He chats with me for a while and then learns that his son and my paternal uncle are classmates. This was my first introduction to the eminent Dr. S.R. Ranganathan, the Father of Library Science.
I was pleasantly surprised that he spent some time chatting with me - mostly about my family and paternal grandparents whom he had met. He expressed hope that I would finish the course and be a productive citizen of the world.
My batch mates were Ms. P. Bavadekar, Mr. C. Sastri, and Mr. T. Ranganathan - just the four of us. Prof. A. Neelameghan & Prof. Ganesh Bhattacharya were our teachers. We had a few guest lecturers from time to time.
Dr. SRR did not teach us frequently. Our dormitory room windows faced one of the side streets. The first time he rapped on our windows with his inimitable walking stick was startling. He wanted us to show up at his home [very close to the campus] for a class in 15 minutes. I have oft wondered what would have happened if we had not been in our rooms. At times he sent word with one of the peons that he was going to take a class. His classes were never more than 45 minutes and we were expected to give our all and be attentive. Unfortunately for our batch these classes were few and far in between and tapered off by December. By this time he had a nagging cough and his health precluded any teaching.
In February ’68 I went to Bombay to get married - Dr. SRR had met my fiancée in January and was glad to hear that I would stay behind and finish my education. I was emphatic that I would not give women a bad rap. His wife, Sarada mami, would send for me for all religious functions. She looked upon me as a granddaughter and the rituals increased after I returned to Bangalore after getting married. They both were very compassionate, considerate, and kind.
I was to leave for California end of June ’68 and I promised Dr. SRR, that I would finish my thesis ad mail it in a timely fashion. I was neither privileged nor blessed to meet him after this. Yes, I did finish my thesis and was gainfully employed.
When I applied for my first job, it was rather tiresome as I had no ‘degrees’ from any universities in the US. At Cal State LA, one of the professors was kind enough to look at my course work and determine the standard. The key that opened doors for me -- “Oh my, you studied under Dr. S.R. Ranganathan” -- just his name worked magic.
I was first employed at the Piness Medical Library at the City of Hope National Medical Center for 5 years. A hiatus when our son was born and then worked for 28 years at U.S. Borax Inc., [later became Rio Tinto Minerals] a mining company. I was the Global Information Manager here and had a very satisfying career. I am now retired and enjoying my hard earned retirement.
See Also- Contribution 1- http://www.lisportal.com/en/lis-result/1873-celebration-of-the-125th-birth-year-of-dr-s-r-ranganathan
SRR 125: A Digital Event