Dr. C. V. S. Ratnam was known to us as ‘Pedda Bawa’. Pedda Bawa was our family’s second most honoured person after our father, Darsi Rangayya. Our father and Pedda Bawa were our family’s first two personalities that we always looked up for advice. Pedda Bawa’s education was our family’s pride.
His professional career was also our family’s pride. We used to adore his looks as well, and proudly describe about him to all our friends. We used to be little afraid of him because he had a habit of laughing very loudly for almost anything and everything!
Personally, I should be very thankful to Pedda Bawa. I got my Chemical Engineering College seat in Annamalai University in Chidambaram with his influence only. My first job in Nuchem Plastics in Faridabad was also because of his recommendation. We used to idolize his Doctorate in Chemical Engineering, that too, because it was from USA. We heard that he was one of the first 25 people from India who got Ph. D degrees in American universities.
Because Neyveli and Chidambaram were only one hour away in bus, I used to visit Pedda Bawa and his family very often during my 5-year degree college education. His personality had a lot of impact on my education and career.
I had one funny incident with him. It was a very hot summer night when a thief broke into his house in Greater Kailash, NewDelhi, when all of us were sleeping with windows wide open. Peddakka sensed the thief’s entry and screamed. He was focusing his flash light on Shoba for her necklace (probably).When I heard Akka’s scream, I got up, saw the thief, and started chasing him as he started running towards a window. He jumped out, I jumped out too to catch him. Then, another big guy also jumped out of the window after me. I thought there were two thieves. Meanwhile the first fellow jumped out of the compound wall. I and the third guy were trying to punch each other. Then, Akka and other family members came to the spot and put the lights on. It was so funny. The third guy was Pedda Bawa.
Actually, we both were trying to punch each other when the lights came on! Hahahahah what an incident. Of course, we were able to trace out the thief later on.
Another funny thing about Pedda Bawa and Peddakka. Like most housewives, Peddakka used to start narrating to Bawa all the things about the day as soon as he came home after work. He used to sit on his reclining chair with a big mug full of black tea reading newspaper. We knew he was not listening. But, he used to continuously say. “aa, aaaa.....”. Probably, she also knew that he was not listening, but she wouldn’t stop telling him everything, non-stop!
The love between Bawa and Akka was unconditional.
I learnt a few life lessons from my Pedda Bawa. He will always live in our hearts.