Chikkamagalur’s coffee planter Sri Srinivasa Rao used to tease Venkatakrishnaiah affectionately. “If some troublemakers made an association naming ‘Mysore’s Dacoits club’ and asked him to be the president; he would not deny”.
I have mentioned earlier about my first meeting with T S Venkannayya and A R Krishna Shastri. That was in 1915–16, just after the establishment of the Pariṣat. Even so, my friendship with Venkannayya became deeper only a few years later. He shifted his house to Shankarapuram sometime in 1920–21 perhaps. We would meet at least once a day. On so many occasions, we would spend half the day together.
Feeling of Oneness
Sharma took interest in getting to know the progress in the life and career of the students who had graduated from the college with a vidvat. He made it a point to enquire about their well-being through his circle of acquaintances or by writing letters.
Magnanimity of Seshadri Iyer
But Seshadri Iyer was a great person. He wouldn’t bring the political animosity to the personal relations. He had accepted the greatness of Venkatakrishnaiah wholeheartedly. Two or three of Seshadri Iyer’s children were dedicated students of Venkatakrishnaiah. While Krishna Iyer was the deputy commissioner, the recommendations of Venkatakrishnaiah were honored.
In 1902 my sister got widowed. Then she was about 10 years old. This matter somehow reached Sri Venkatakrishnaiah and he wrote to me and conveyed his condolences.
“Please bring that child to my place. I will take care of her at my house; I will arrange for her education. She should not be discouraged. She should be in a lively environment. You get her here in person”. But my parents were traditionalists. They adhered to old customs. Sri Venkatakrishnaiah’s suggestion was not accepted, but this shows the magnanimity of Sri Venkatakrishnaiah.