While referring to Sri M. Venkatakrishnaiah we should first respectfully acknowledge the small number of his disciples who were serving him with utmost dedication. That highly devoted bunch extended much needed assistance promptly in the matters of his food, his health, and his public programs. In my opinion, it would not be possible for Sri M. Venkatakrishnaiah to have led such an able and long-lasting life without that devoted resourcefulness of the disciples. From where they came and what their whereabouts are now is unknown. They recognized the greatness and served.
1. Inner Vision
Five or six days after the [Kannaḍa Sāhitya] Pariṣat was established (in 1915), one day at about three in the afternoon, two eminent people came to my workplace. At that time, I was running the Karṇāṭaka, an English newspaper that was published twice a week. The newspaper office was in Gundopanth’s building on Gundopanth Road in Siddikatte [Today’s Krishna Rajendra Market]. The Karṇāṭaka office was on the top floor. K S Krishna Iyer’s Irish Press occupied the ground floor of the building.
One more instance to exemplify Shastri’s verbal prowess.
In a village near Bangalore, K— had taken some money as a loan from R— saying that he would return the money the very next day. But even after months he did not return it. Later once somewhere in the Gandhinagar locality of Bangalore they met each other by accident and the topic of money came up immediately and resulted in heated exchange of words.
Meeting with Arcot Ramaswamy Mudaliar
Mahāmahopādhyāya Vidvān N. Ranganatha Sharma (1916-2014), who lived amongst us until recently was known for his thoroughness in traditional knowledge and clarity in understanding of śāstras. He made tremendous contribution in passing on knowledge and awakening of values in the society. Our country has only had a handful of men who paid back the ṛṣi-ṛṇa that was upon them – they paid back in large quantities and great quality – and among them, Ranganatha Sharma stands supreme.
There is one more episode worth narrating.
During 1938–39, he wrote a letter to me. It read as follows – “I have attached a letter of a person with this letter. It appears that he is facing great difficulties. Meet Dewan Mirza Ismail tomorrow and request him to help this person on behalf of both of us; obtain Mirza’s assurance and send me a written reply.”