I should have visited him. I should have done it as soon as I was notified that he was unwell. I should have at least called. I can’t believe I didn’t attempt to get in touch with one of my most favourite college professors – Sir P.K. Ravindranath.
I’m guessing he was 86-years-old. But that man had a charm that could convince me into anything that was of benefit to me. PKR sir (that’s what we all called him) taught me Indian Regional Journalism in my Semester V. The first day I saw him, I thought it was a terrible idea to let such an old man teach a young batch like ours, but I was wrong. My narrow thinking misled me. He was the best. I never missed a single lecture. He taught us journalism, but he also made me love history and politics. Today, every time I say I love history and politics, it’s because of PKR. He narrated every story patiently. At times, I’d sit with him after the lecture and get more details. He explained the Emergency in 1975 beautifully. And believe me, prior to this, I never scored good marks in history. I was a part of the lucky batch that got a veteran journalist like PKR as a professor during Semester VI as well. He taught us Media Management.
Apart from being an amazing journalism teacher, he also encouraged me to read. But it was not just text books, he gave me his copy of Serious Men by Manu Joseph. Since then, I’ve not stopped reading. Reading was something I didn’t care much about. But here I am, not just reading, but writing as well.
I remember stepping into his house one afternoon when I was worried about choosing a job. I was straight out of college and this was my first job. No doubt, I wanted to get into serious journalism, but no newspaper wanted to hire a graduate. You had to have completed a post graduation in Journalism. However, I got through a newspaper in Goa. I also got through an interview at a Lifestyle website in Mumbai. There, I had to choose – Newspaper, but in Goa and Lifestyle in Mumbai. I wanted Newspaper in Mumbai! Nothing was going right. Hence, I visited PKR that afternoon. He said, “Girl, very soon, everyone will start using a chip to read news. Everything’s going to be digital. And there are enough people to take care of a newspaper, as of now. I suggest you take up the job with the website. Start writing there, and you can always move to a newspaper later.”
I didn’t question any of those words. I took up the job at InOnIt.in as a content writer. Worked with the company for one year eight months. But before I took up a new job as a content writer at MSL India, I also started freelancing with The Goan on Saturday, a weekly that’s published in Goa. And I wanted to tell PKR about this. I really wanted to give him this good news. How terrible I feel to not share this amazing information about me with him.
For me, PKR was a very important figure. He helped me change the way I think. I liked him as a person and loved him way too much as a professor. If every college gets professors like PKR, you will love sitting in college. Believe me, you will give a second thought before bunking.
Rest in Peace dear Sir PKR. I’m sorry, I didn’t come to see you before you passed away.