Friday, October 30, 2009

Old testimonial returns to where it originated

Just out of curiosity, I happened to google-search if "The Hindu Theological High School, Madras" still existed. My great grandfather K.Mylar Rao was a teacher in that school when it was started in 1889 (to 1891). There were two papers (pictured above) that he had got from the Head Master in 1891 when he left that job on the lookout for a better one. On the left is a certificate (notice the 'Aum' on top of it) written in beautiful script and on the right is a letter (read the language!) accepting his resignation.

I do not know the circumstances when he changed the spelling in his name from Malhari Rao to Mylar Rao.

To my surprise and utter delight, the search took me to the school's website. Immediately, I thought why not I return those two papers to the school because it had such a long history.

I learnt that the school was founded by Sri P.Sivasankara Pandiyaji . I reckoned that his original signature in the two papers might be of some interest to the school authorities now. My e-mail through the 'contact us' button on the website to the school offering the two documents (pictures were attached) was promptly answered by the present head master in a most enthusiastic tone. The school was really interested. The beautiful signature of the founder Sri Pandiyaji himself reveals much of his character. It came as no surprise that my forefather who having worked with such a great man, had risen to such heights.

Here is a brief on the school - The Hindu, 2006.

After a couple of e-mail exchanges the two original papers in reasonably good condition, were packed and dispatched to the school. Mylar Rao had procured them for a purpose at that time and since that purpose had been well served, they went back to where it originated, 118 years later, after I developed serious curiosity and those two papers developed history over all those years. It gave me immense pleasure in sending them back. The head master expressed his happiness in his message but before that, he had already dispatched me a school dairy and brochure as compliments.

The reputation of the school is recorded here in these messages. (click).

These were among the bunch of testimonials Mylar Rao collected in 1891 to support his endeavours. Around the same time, he had collected one from Marimallappa's School, Mysore, where he was a teacher before he went to Madras and from Central College, Bangalore where he did his B.A in English and Mathematics in 1888. He had put up the thread-tag himself to this bunch, in all likelihood in 1891 itself. I could have thrown them off any day because they were all faded old papers, but no. The language in them appealed to me, reflecting on the quality of education that was imparted at that time.

Now I had to cut the thread-tag away for good reason.


ER Ramachandran said...

This is what preservation of heritage is all about. Well done, Mr. Dinakar. Preservation of such treasures needs a sense of reverence, real hard work and a feeling that this should be preserved for posterity.
I am not sure the priceless paintings in Jaganmohan palace and Amba vilas Palace are being maintained, resurrected for the future generations. Paintings in Bidaram Krishnappa auditorium recently were all 'brought back to life' as it were, by renowned experts from Tamil Nadu.

YOSEE said...

Interesting. Felt good reading it because i have reverence for such old, handwritten manuscripts and strongly feel they should be preserved for posterity.

Dinakar KR said...

Thanks Mr.Ramachandran and YOSEE.

In my letter to them, I have suggested not to laminate them as it will spoil the originality.

GW said...

Those truly are treasures! I enjoy seeing old ephemera like this, even if it does not have a personal tie. When it has a story such as yours and can bring such happiness to others tied to it, all the better.

Gouri Satya said...

The school testimonial from Marimallappa's is issued by M. Venkatakrishnayya (the grand old man of Mysore), as Head Master of that school.