The New College, MadrasDecember 25, 2006 at 1:33 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
I studied for my graduation from The New College. This was run by a Trust called Muslim Educational Association of Southern India, MEASI for short. This was called a Minority Institution. Most of the students were Muslims with a smattering of a few Hindus and Christian students. It was a growing institution. Apart from the college buildings, there were hostel buildings, a canteen and a moderate sized Mosque. There was a bit of an open space used for games and sports and for general purposes.
I remembers my lecturers were Mr. Abbas, Mr. Khasim, and our Principal Syed Abdul Wahab Bukhari Saheb was also taking classes for us. He was a very pious man, given to using scented snuff, always wearing alpaca or shervani type of attire and a cap over his head. He was an affectionate person, scholarly and a very respected man. In our History class we were just five students and we have all scattered and faded away from each other’s memories. I do’t know how many are around now though age 60 is too early for people to kick the bucket. But you can never say.
I was the Secretary of the History Students Association and once we had invited the Malaysian Consul then, Mr. Razali Ismail to address the History students.
Mr Gopalakrishna succeded Mr Bukhari as Principal. I think he was the Head of the English Department.
I was a regular at the British Council and the American Library, and also the District Central Library and occasionally the Connemara Library. I dared not go to the University Library which I could use only when I was pursuing my Masters in History. That I was an utter failure in my Masters Examination is a different matter. Those days, American Library membership was free and I used to lug heavy books on Painting, Photography, Travel etc., home to keep for a fortnight to browse them. I had read almost all the American Novelists ‘ books available then . British Council Membership by subscription and I maiontained my membership as long as I could afford it. The library atmosphere of the American Library was distinct from the British Library. At least I could get glimpses of the then Librarian of the American Library, Mr. Thiruvengadam, who used to go round the library smiling occasionally at the people using the library.
Americdan Library was earlier situated in a building near the LIC Building, and there was a Little Theatre where I used to watch documentaries, dramas and other performances. Later the Library moved Gemini Circle. The British Council remained in the same place.