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MADRAS MISCELLANY

The postman knocked


Reader Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, referring to my mention of Kesari Kuteeram, where the Music Academy functioned for a while in the 1940s (Miscellany, January 29), recalls the music classes of the Academy that he listened to in his grandfather’s premises. “A boy from Kesari Kuteeram, my son Unnikrishnan,” he adds, is now a senior singer. Kesari Ayurvedic Clinic and the Kesari Kuteeram ayurvedic medicines manufacturing unit, founded by Dr. K.N. Kesari (in picture), are over 100 years old. Sixty years ago, Dr. Kesari sold his garden house in Bangalore, where his flower and fruit gardens were his pride, and with the proceeds founded the Kesari High School in Mylapore. Now there is a second Kesari High School — in T.Nagar. A statue of Dr. Kesari (donated by the Class of 1954) was unveiled in the Mylapore school a few weeks ago. The historic Kesari Kuteeram building in Westcott Road, Royapettah, is, however, no more. In its place is a seven-storey building with the same name.

* Referring to my recollection of veteran advertising personalities (Miscellany, February 5), reader R. Seshadri hopes the Advertising Club’s history will include such stalwarts as N. Abhiraman, a copywriter “who became an outstanding communicator and ghost wrote the hilarious script for Sex in Advertising, a lecture delivered at the Advertising Club Madras, and V. R. Srinivasan of The Hindu “who never missed a meeting.”

* Dr. P. S. Venkateswaran writes to tell me that P. S. Kumaraswamy Raja was defeated in the election mentioned (Miscellany, January 12) by his close relative, D. K. Raju, elder brother of his constant companion A.K.D. Venkata Raju. A former administrator says that he thinks I’m wrong about Venkata Raju being the first judicial officer to serve as a Premier’s gazetted secretary. He thinks that T. Prakasam and Omandur Reddiar were served by judicial officers.

Reader Venkateswaran adds that Kumaraswamy Raja was a man of strong convictions and resigned the Governorship of Orissa when he disagreed with Prime Minister Nehru. So too did another Raja, Lt. Col K.A.A. Raja, who resigned as Lt. Governor of Arunachal Pradesh; he had disagreed with Indira Gandhi. He also tells me that it was P. S. Chinna Venkata Raju, an ardent follower of Annie Besant, who started the Home Rule and, later, Congress movements in the Rajapalayam area. Chinna Venkata Raju, K.A. Pedda Raju and I. S. Rengasamy Raja attended the Kakinada Congress Sessions in 1923 and paved the way for the visit of Gandhiji to Rajapalayam. S. MUTHIAH

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