Friday, October 09, 2009

Life imitates Onion: Area people unable to recall their interactions with Venki

With his extended family migrating from Chidambaram, Venki has no relatives left in thetown. Radhika Ravikumar, associate professor in the bio-chemistry department of Raja Muthiah Medical College, Annamalai University, who apparently was Ramakrishnan's classmate in PUC Class I said, "This is such great news. However, I can't place his face. ... In fact, I have contacted some of my batch mates and they too don't have any memory of Ramakrishnan. His achievement, however, is inspirational for students in India. We distinctly remember the classroom where our PUC classes in B group (physics, chemistry and biology) used to be held."

There's more such hilarity in this story; it's an Onion-worthy story, but it appeared in DNA.

Update (14 October): Here's what Venki said to PTI:

He expressed anguish over "all sorts of lies" published about him in a section of the media that he went to school and pre-Science in Chidambaram, the Tamil Nadu temple town where he was born in 1952.

"People I don't know, for example a Mr Govindrajan, claim that they were my teachers at Annamalai University which I never attended, since I left Chidambaram at the age of three," Ramakrishnan clarified.


  1. Anonymous said...

    "I was able to recollect the boy through his father's name Venkataraman. Those days we used to have study hours after school and this lad used to be a regular there. The study hours were mainly meant for dull students, but some brilliant students also availed of the facility as they did not get time to study at home for various reasons. Ramakrishnan never used to be active in sports. He lived on Nattupillai Street, which is close to the school. He completed his PUC from Annamalai University," the 83-year-old said.

    The reporter has been looking for the father who is Ramakrishnan. The son and Nobel laurate is Venkataraman alias Venki.

    Obviously, the reporter didn't stop to ask: if the son were Ramakrishnan, why would he be called Venky?


  2. Anonymous said...

    Further, as per an interview to the Hindu,
    "I moved to Baroda in 1955 at the age of 3. I visited Tamil Nadu occasionally and until my mother’s death two years ago, my family owned a flat in Madras, where my aunt used to live."

    Funny that even Indian reporters don't have a clue reg Indian names.


  3. Cosmic Voices said...

    Journalism is not as easy as blogging. You have to 'create' news.

    Sometimes out of nothing.

  4. Anonymous said...

    Except that TheOnion is far more mature than DNA, which is produced by a dozen pimple-faced teenagers who learned a bunch of vapid ishtyle but no substance.

  5. B said...

    I think it is remarkable that the people were honest when their memory could've easily failed and they claimed they were good friends. (if I was in that batch I would've said without my help Venky would not have passed SSLC!). Turns out he didnt study in TN, so the credibility of the "batchmates" and the headmaster only increases after the story.