Tambhram and Nadar Christian! a 1930 love story

           A love story of 1930.              

The small town of Palayamkottai (called oxford of south now)in Tirunelvelli district did not have a ladies college like the Sarah tucker college of today.

 So when Mr. Ponniah Nadar found that his second daughter has finished  her schooling with distinction, he was desperate to give her college education.His elder and youngest daughters were both blind and could not even finish schooling. A man who was  a Sanskrit teacher who had  no son to carry his ideals to write poetry not only in Sanskrit but also in Tamil and English. This giant of a 6′ 2" man with his handlebar mustache was desperate.He cannot afford education in distant Madras and so he approached the Principal of Hindu college of Tirunelveli which is a typical Gents only college and dominated by mainly tambhrams of that age.The Principal Dr.Alexander Gnanamuthu, a scholar of Shakespeare immediately gave admission to that girl Chandra breaking the tradition of The Hindu college. The principal has never to regret the decision as the girl came  second only to  VV Sadagopan , a topper who has always topped academics in every subject. Ponniah nadar  willingly sold his land for the education of his daughter who bought him laurels in studies.     There was this agitation for freedom movement and the students of college wanted to go on strike.But there was to be a debate on the issue.This sprightly young girl spoke openly against the strike and wanted students to concentrate on studies to do duty to their motherland.It was then decided that individual students can take their own decision on the matter.On the day of strike, it was the two girls and VVSadagopan who joined the class.Those days people donot convey their love by talk but only through their eyes.Sadagopan was smitten by this dark nadar christian girl who had a vivacious smile.When the University  exams were over it was found that chandra had a second division in English while Sadagopan had first division. But he had the courage and conviction about his love that he approached Ponniah nadar in his house and  asked for the hand of his daughter. A Tambhram asking for a nadar christian girls hand in the house of the girl in 1940s. Ponniah nadar put only one condition.Convert to Christianity. Sadagopan argued that he will allow his wife to be a christian while he himself will continue practicing Hinduism. Ponniah nadar did not agree. Chandra married a nadar christian boy from Chennai , a student of MCC, who loved wines,racing and gambling and never much bothered about Sunday school Christianity, a follower of EVR. To Chandra, a devout christian and member of choir this man was SINFUL.But she dutifully bore him two sons and a daughter. Sadagopan was a distant memory.  Now the eldest of her son is selected to work in delhi in central government and she asked him to lookup Sadagopan who is working as professor of Music in Delhi university.Year 1961.I am that eldest son and with great difficulty i managed to find the address of the professor. As I was walking the street of KaraolBagh, i noticed CN.Annadurai (of DMK)was just taking a stroll after espousing an independent Dravidanad in Rajya Sabha that morning only.None recognised him and i just wished him which was acknowledged.Then i found the house of Prof .Sadagopan. He was sitting bare bodied with a long beard and sipping his coffee.As soon as i introduced myself,he got up and embraced me with his Poonool(sacred thread) and rudraksha malai touching me.I felt awkward as also his teen aged daughter and his wife who just gaped, How come a typical nonbrahmin  from deep south is being embraced by the Tambhram without inhibition. I told him about my grandfather’s translation of thirukural from tamil into sanskrit and can he do something about it. He readily agreed and asked him to bring it next time i visit his house. It was nearly 3 years later i visited his house and found that the family has moved. On enquiry i found that Prof.VVSadagopan, has taken to Sanyasam after informing his family and just vanished after doing everything for his family in a proper way. Was it a sad story of unfulfilled love. No.   I married a rajasthani girl and my sister married a Hindu thevar(an antagonist caste in southern districts) and my brother had an arranged marriage.I found that to love and marry has one advantage even if the marriage fails.That is the decision is taken by YOU. In arranged marriages, if one does not find love, one tends to blame the parents. 

 " A true measure of love is that when you feel that no one could have loved like you and no one is going to love like this hereafter."I think this is said by Goethe. i know i have felt it that way and i hope everyone who reads this blog feels it  once and has the courage to FACE THE CHALLENGE  OF MARRIAGE  for the sake of LOVE.

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