Ramanna is my Cikka-tāta (grandfather’s younger brother). Sheikhdar Gundappa’s second son. I had briefly introduced him in my earlier writings. He initially worked as a government employee probably in the excise department and seemed to have saved some of the money he earned during that period. By the time I was born, he was not formally employed. He was self-reliant. A bit of money lending along with a stamp vendor job.
An Experience at the Vasanta Mahal
On the evening of Deepavali in 1923, we, i.e., Sastri and his friends, reached Mysore. As per the directions of Sir Mirza Ismail, our stay was arranged at the Vasanta Mahal. There were no pre-determined errands or tasks to be carried out. Mirza Saheb wanted Sastri to spend the evening in whatever manner he wished to. It was to proceed ‘as the spirit moves’. I shall narrate a couple of incidents that took place then.
Srinivasa Sastri possessed several characteristic traits that won people’s heart and gained him their appreciation. Scholarship, oratory skills, boarded mindedness, generosity, profundity, ethical shrewdness and political stances – these were amongst the several different kinds of qualities he possessed. It would not be an exaggeration to say that he was largely unparalleled in these qualities.
Meeting Once Again!
I have told that my youngest grandfather was someone who indulged in loose talk. His view was also sinister. Sometimes he used to talk ill of my maternal grandmother Sakamma who was an extraordinary woman. With her being in the house, it had brought in a sense of good conduct, regulation and discipline. But our Sheenanna was opposed to being disciplined, “Who is she to this house?”, was his feeling. With such feelings came abusive words too.
My father was down with an illness. He was not in a condition to speak. His body and hand movements were also limited. When this was the situation, one morning at around nine, three to four Muslim men visited our house and told me, “We have come to see our teacher.”
I said, “He is extremely tired and he is unable to even speak.”
“We will not engage him in talk. We will just see him with our eyes, perform salām, and then we will return. Please inform him that Qasim and Haidar Sabi from Mulabagal have come to see him.”