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    April 30th, 2016adminArts, Culture & Entertainment


    The audience and the musicians have surprising notions about what passes off as tradition

    Every two minutes the audience applauded ecstatically. Requests were streaming in, there was a small mound of chits before the artistes. Behind me, from the fairly large audience, I heard whispers: ‘What a genius!’, ‘Wow, what speed.’ That done, they went back to chatting with their companions to the concert, took selfies, sauntered in and out, a quick coffee at the canteen etc. It was afterall possible to catch up with what was happening on stage at any point.

    Even if it is not your favourite musician, it is good to be at the Ramanavami pandal once in a while to catch up with what’s happening in the music world.

    The concert that was taking place at Fort High School was violin-mandolin duet by Mysore Manjunath and Mandolin U. Rajesh, accompanied by Thiruvarur Bhaktavatsalam on the mridanga and Giridhar Udupa on the ghatam. The very able Mysore Manjunath, groomed by his renowned father Vidwan Mahadevappa in the traditional Carnatic style, is much sought after in the international concert circuit considering his felicity with the violin. U. Rajesh is also widely acclaimed for his collaborations within the country and with western music groups. So, by the sheer choice of artistes, one fairly knows what to expect.

    Carnatic music is traditional, conservative, and rigid – so goes the popular notion. If varna is the opening, if it is followed by a quick madhyamakala kriti, if it is then followed by a longer vilambakala kriti with alapane, neraval and swarakalpana and so on – all is well. Tradition is in safe hands. The audience is happy that all the pre-requisites are met.

    Let’s take for instance, the piece de resistance of the concert. The ragam-tanam-pallavi in Simhendra Madhyama. Jugalbandis are undeniably about each musician bringing his own idea to the table, it is also however about an underlying harmony, and a shared vision. Manjunath played his part of thealapane – there were long, western concerto passages, there were Hindustani phrases, and suddenly, like a reminder, came Carnatic in a flash. Rajesh played staccato notes, and his parts were heavily inspired by film music. In between, for the tanam, they soared and plummeted the octaves in breakneck speed. Natakuranji, Bilahari, Desh and other ragas came, in complete absence of their selves. It was stream of consciousness, defiant to inherent structure, replete with broad brush strokes and high decibel. Thiruvarur Bhaktavatsalam added his bit – what’s moderation he seemed to ask as he thundered through his tani avartanam. The sedate, composed Giridhar Udupa held on bravely. There were bright moments, brilliant strokes – but parts hardly make for a whole.

    But, there were thunderous applauses.

    I am no conformist – I can listen and appreciate any kind of music rendered in its own way. I am sure there were many that evening who felt the way I did. This eclectic blast that tossed one between time-tested notions of tradition and avant gardism, seemed to have none of either.

    Then maybe tradition is simply about donning an exterior? And maybe we, as audiences, love to fuss about a traditional core but actually find facades irresistible.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> Features> Friday Review  / Deepa Ganesh / Bengaluru – April 28th, 2016

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    Picture shows Yoganand and Shyla Yoganand posing with their sons Manu and Prithivi during their visit to Surya Kund in Gangotri in 1993. Picture right shows Yoganand’s family during their visit to Death Valley in California (2011) — (From left) Prithvi, his wife Seema, Yoganand, Shyla Yoganand, Nishita and her husband Manu.

    Picture shows Yoganand and Shyla Yoganand posing with their sons Manu and Prithivi during their visit to Surya Kund in Gangotri in 1993. Picture right shows Yoganand’s family during their visit to Death Valley in California (2011) — (From left) Prithvi, his wife Seema, Yoganand, Shyla Yoganand, Nishita and her husband Manu.

    by S.N. Venkatnag Sobers

    These days, when people are setting records in sports, entertainment, science, technology etc., every other day, here is a family that achieved the same feat way back in the 1990s. This family has its name engraved in the Guinness Book of World Records and Limca Book of Records for Travelling to the Highest Motorable Road- Khardung La in Ladakh and for being the Youngest Marathon Luna Riders in 1989 and 1993 respectively.

    Though the news was widely published in many newspapers across North India, not many know that the couple and their children, who created the record, are natives of Mysuru. Yoganand, a retired bank employee, and his wife Shyla Yoganand, who lived in Pune for most of their lives, have returned to their native to live the rest of their lives at the place where their ancestors had roots. In fact, Yoganand’s father Dr. Ramaraju, lived in Vidyaranyapuram for many years.

    While Yoganand and Shyla became the first couple to travel to the highest motorable road-Khardung La on a Kinetic Honda during 1989 creating a Guinness Record, their sons Prithvi and Manu entered the Limca Book of Records as the Youngest Marathon Luna riders in 1993. They travelled from Dehra Dun to Gangotri covering a total distance of 3,250 kms on 35cc Luna Wings. The journey, which started on May 9, 1993 ended on May 26, 1993. The purpose of this expedition was to collect water samples from River Ganga and spread the message to save the holy river from pollution. Prithvi was 11-years-old and Manu was 9-years-old when they undertook this expedition. Currently, Prithvi works as a software engineer at San Francisco and Manu works for a private bank in Dubai.

    While this is the story of the two sons, their parents’ story is even more fascinating. Initially, Shyla did not know how to ride a two-wheeler. While Yoganand left early for work after dropping the kids to school, both found it difficult to bring back the kids from school. Yoganand was busy with work and Shyla was left with no option but to learn riding as the rickshawallas had refused to ply to their kids’ school as it was located in a restricted area under Indian Military.

    The couple, on separate Kinetic Hondas, travelled 11,000 kms across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Punjab and Jammu and Kashimir. Interestingly, when the couple wrote to various State Governments seeking help for their expedition, none responded. It was only Farooq Abdullah, the then Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir who offered to help the couple complete their expedition.

    Speaking to Star of Mysore, Yoganand said that they were treated like State Guests in Jammu and Kashmir and Farooq Abdullah had himself enlightened the couple to apply for Guinness Book of Records.

    “We had to pass through 200km of swamps of the Kutch in Gujarat, 600 km of Thar Desert in Rajasthan, 250 km of dense Amar-Kantak forest in Madhya Pradesh and 3,700 km in Himalayan stretch across the dangerous Zojila pass. With no experience of travelling to such an extent, we were supported by Kinetic Honda,” he added.

    Shyla Yoganand and Yoganand entered the Guinness Book of Records as the ‘first woman’ and ‘first man’ and the ‘first couple’ to have taken a normal ‘civilian’ scooter to the highest motorable point in the world. Kinetic celebrated this achievement on Indian television during the 1990 by sponsoring a weekly program on ‘Guinness records.’

    The Yoganand couple fondly remembered Kinetic Engineering Managing Directors S. Hirose and Koji Wanaka for their help during the expedition. Yoganand has also helped biking enthusiasts draw the route map for their expeditions. The couple lives in an apartment in Vontikoppal close to Sri Lakshmi Venkataramana Swamy Temple.

    source: / Star of Mysore / Home> Feature Articles / Saturday, April 30th, 2016

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    Retired IAS officer Shivanand Jamdar has come out with a book which highlights the step-motherly treatment meted out to north Karnataka as far as creation of infrastructure is concerned.

    In the book, Taratamya, he has said barely any efforts have been made to develop the region, backing his claims with statistics. The disparity in allocation of funds and lack of commitment from the elected representatives collectively ensured the region remains backward.

    Former journalist Patil Puttappa will release the book on Thursday at Suvarna cultural complex at 6.30pm.

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Hubli / TNN / April 28th, 2016

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    Bengaluru :

    Sita Bhateja may be one of a kind in the obstetrics-gynecology world. She has been an active practitioner for the last 67 years, and at the age of 88, she shows no signs of slowing down. “I love my job… I wouldn’t have survived 67 years if I didn’t enjoy it,” Bhateja says laughing.

    Her passion for her job is exhibited by the fact that she has worked free of cost at the CSI hospital for eight years, and has even funded the setting up of the maternity ward at St Martha’s Hospital.

    She goes to the gym thrice a week, is very strict about her diet and is a voracious stamp collector. In fact, she is world famous for her philatelic activities. In her younger days, she was a horse-rider. However, none of these hobbies came in the way of her one passion — gynaecology. In fact, she quips that she used to go on horseback to attend to expectant mothers if the need arose! She also had to witnessed the horrors of the partition, but went on to Bombay to pursue her higher studies.

    She has engaged in several philanthropic activities-some of them including establishing an orphanage called the ‘Child Foundation Karnataka’, and engaging in polio eradication activities.

    She set up the Sita Bhateja Hospital in 1965. It originally started out as an obstetric hospital, but became a multi-speciality hospital in 1969. Owing to her long years of practice, it should come as no surprise when she reveals that she has helped deliver three  generations of the same family.

    Her delivery count exceeds an astounding one lakh babies. On being asked whether mothers opt for normal or C-section delivery these days, she says, “Most prefer C-section, as this prevents further complications like prolapse and urinary infections. They see no reason to persist with difficult vaginal deliveries. Further, women these days are not engaged in physical activity, so the body is not cut out for normal delivery.”

    source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Bengaluru / by Namrata Menon / April 28th, 2016

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    Mysuru :

    Mysore District Athletics Association (MDAA) will present Nandi Awards-2016 during a programme organised at Lions Hall, next to Oval Ground, University of Mysore, tomorrow (Apr. 29) at 6.30 pm.

    The awards will be presented to Mayor Bhyrappa (Sports Promotion), M. Bheeresh of Vijaya Karnataka (Sports Journalist) and M.N. Lakshminarayana Yadav of Star of Mysore (Sports Photographer).

    The association will also honour ‘Best Athletes of Mysuru District 2015-16’ during tomorrow’s event.

    Girls’ and Women’s category: B.S. Ananya (U-16 years), S.S. Vasudha (U-18), R.A. Chaitra (U-20), Shahejahani (Women’s Section).

    Boys’ category: B. Munush (U-16) and C. Druva (U-18).

    UoM DPE Director (in-charge) Dr. P. Krishnaiah and former Director of DPE Dr. C. Krishna will be the chief guests.

    MDAA Chairman and MLA Vasu will preside.

    MDAA President and former International Athlete S. Somashekar, MDAA Sr. Vice-President B.L. Jagadish and MDAA Vice-Presidents Mahesh Ballal & Abhilash Nair will be present on the occasion.

    source: / Star of Mysore / Home> Sports News / Thursday – April 28th, 2016

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    April 28th, 2016adminRecords, All, Sports, World Opinion


    Mysuru :

    S.N. Jatin, a resident of Yadavgiri in city, won the World Amateur Chess Championship held at Greece yesterday. Jatin, who participated in the U-1700 ranking, scored a total of 8.5 points from 9 rounds to emerge as the world champion.

    Jatin defeated players from Mongolia, India, Israel, Romania, Russia and other countries to win the coveted title becoming the first player from the State to win the tournament.

    A student of the JSS Public School (SJCE campus), Jatin is also a trained flautist. Jatin’s father Nagabhushan runs a small scale industry in Bannimantap and Vani, his mother is a teacher. Meanwhile, M.P. Ajith, a resident of T.K. Layout, who participated in U-2000 ranking category, won the silver medal.

    source: / Star of Mysore / Home> Sports News / Thursday – April 28th, 2016

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    Chandrahasa Charmadi after receiving the Padyana Gopalakrishna Memorial Award 2015 in Mangaluru on Tuesday.— Photo: By Special Arrangement

    Chandrahasa Charmadi after receiving the Padyana Gopalakrishna Memorial Award 2015 in Mangaluru on Tuesday.— Photo: By Special Arrangement

    Dakshina Kannada Superintendent of Police Sharanappa S. Dhage on Tuesday said that journalists in the district work in the interest of society with progressive and reformative outlook. That is the reason they excel all over, he said. He was speaking after presenting Padyana Gopalakrishna Award, instituted by the Dakshina Kannada Working Journalists Union, to journalist Chandrahasa Charmadi, here. Mr. Sharanappa said that the police and the media persons work alike and are almost like a family because of their nature of work.

    He appreciated the efforts of the union in instituting the award and presenting it to a reporter from rural area.

    Responding to the felicitation, Mr. Charmadi, who works for the monthly magazine of Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project, said that he was thankful to the Dharmadhikari [Veerendra Heggade] for allowing him to contribute articles to other publications too. The award-winning article, appearing in a Kannada daily, Prajavani, was on the miserable living conditions of tribal people in a haadi in Chamarajanagar district, he said.

    He said that he was happy that the government and other associations initiated reform measures after his article was published. Mr. Charmadi also declared that the purse of Rs. 10,000 coming with the award would be spent on the betterment of people living in the tribal haadi.

    Senior journalist Manohar Prasad spoke about his association with late Gopalakrishna. The biography of late Gopalakrishna, being written by senior journalist Chidambara Baikampady, would be released in Bengaluru on April 30 and at Mangaluru on May 3, Mr. Prasad said. Office-bearers of the union were present.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> Cities> Mangaluru / by Special Correspondent / Mangaluru – April 27th, 2016

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    Bengaluru :

    Performing at the prestigious Carnegie Hall, New York, is a dream for any musician. And a 12-year-old Bengaluru girl is all set to live this dream.

    Nilanjanaa Jayant will join a handful of musicians like Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and Ustad Zakir Hussain when she performs at the hall in October. The honour follows her victory at the Golden Voices of America competition.

    In March, Nilanjanaa’s mother asked her to send an entry for the event. The girl sent a clipping of her performing Frank Sinatra’s popular jazz number Fly me to the Moon.

    Declared a winner in the Musical Theater/Disney/Broadway/Jazz category a month later, Nilanjanaa will perform live the same song at Carnegie Hall this October. Winners in other categories will also perform with her.

    Music and Nilanjanaa go a long way, recalls her mother, Sangeeta Ananth. “Even as a young girl, she’d hum the tunes of songs really well. When she turned six, we made her join Carnatic music classes. Though she was left-handed, she was expected to put the tala only with the right hand. This she couldn’t digest and refused to attend the classes.”

    “I didn’t understand why I had to use my right hand,” says Nilanjanaa, who was later introduced to Bengaluru-based music school Taaqademy, founded by musicians Rajeev Rajagopal and Bruce Lee Mani.

    “It was so much more fun learning music at Taaqademy. They encourage you to do what you want to rather than what you are expected to do,” said the 12-year-old.

    The only child of JP Nagar residents Jayant Ananthkrishnan and Sangeeta Ananth, Nilanjanaa studies in class VIII at The Samhita Academy, Bannerghatta Road.

    Not just Nilanjanaa, even her teacher Ragini Ramanathan will get a certificate of recognition from the Golden Voices of America for having trained her. “When she came to Taaqademy, she showed a lot of potential. Her voice was loud and clear and her pitch would hit the right notes. She is so determined to learn and so hard working that she wouldn’t give up even if she didn’t get it right after trying 3-4 times,” said Ragini, 25, faculty at Taaqademy.

    For IT professional Jayant Ananthakrishnan, Taaqademy was the best thing that happened to his daughter.

    “The experience with the music school has been very fulfilling. This success is the result of the training she has been getting there. Coming from a south Indian background, people kept advising us against western music, telling us that she will get used to using the right hand to put her talas. But we know we weren’t wrong in choosing Taaqademy,” he said.

    “I have a bit of stage-fright. I’m just going to try and calm myself down before I get on the stage there,” said Nilanjanaa, gearing up for an experience of a lifetime.

    Golden Voices of America

    Golden Voices of America is an international competition, open to all countries for vocalists of different age groups. It began in 2009 under the American Fine Arts Festival.
    Vocalists compete on this global platform and the winners get to perform at the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall and at Bruno Walter Auditorium in Lincoln Center.

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Bangalore / Deepika Burli, TNN / April 27th, 2016

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    He grows from one book to the other …. And even the best book has more to say

    He grows from one book to the other …. And even the best book has more to say

    Muralidhara Khajane scans the innumerable books written on the iconic actor Rajkumar, and finds that every book remains incomplete, simply because the man was multi-dimensional

    Even after ten years of his ‘physical departure’ from this mortal world, there’s no remote possibility of anyone filling the vacuum created by Dr. Rajkumar, the cultural icon of Kannada land, language and culture. To this day, he occupies a position most unique in the culture-scape of the land. Rajkumar is an institution, a status that few film stars boast of in India. He is still “Annavru” for the true-blue Kannadiga. Rajkumar’s stardom doesn’t merely come from the fact that he was an actor exemplar, but because he was an ideal, a role model for the Kannadiga. In the absence of a dedicated political movement for the cause of Kannada and local culture, he came to symbolise the hope and angst of a large section of Kannada-speaking people. He was a singer par-excellence. There was no character which he had not portrayed with distinction. It is hard to find an actor in Kannada, who has not acknowledged him as his idol.

    It is not possible to capture the persona of this legendary actor in one visual or literary piece. Those writers, who have tried their hand at capturing the ‘spirit’ of Dr. Rajkumar in the last five decades still feel that they have touched only the peripheral aspects of his personality.

    According to film historians, as many as 71 books have been published on Rajkumar so far, besides nine souvenirs. Rajakumara – a small book written by Kannada activist Kodihosalli Ramanna in 1964 is said to be the first work on the actor. Bhagyada Bagilu — a work by V. Nagaraju was published when the film with the same title (Rajukmar’s 100th film) was released; it is an important work. Padmabhushana brought out by Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, which has complete details of all the 170 films of Rajkumar is another such work. Kathanayakana Kathe by filmmaker Dattu serialised in a Kannada film magazine, enjoys the credit of chronicling the life of Rajkumar for the first time. Besides, Jananayaka by Baraguru Ramachandrappa and Rajamuttu by journalist and script writer Satyamurthy Ananduru are other important works on the actor.

    Dr. Rajkumar Samagra Charitre by film writer Doddahulluru Rukkoji, a 2148 page, two volume work with 8,700 exclusive photographs, published recently is being considered as the latest and complete work on the iconic actor. Works on the actor, published till date, pales before this work, be it in size, content, quality of publishing or in terms of the depth of the author’s analysis. The weight of these two volumes is a humungous 10 kilos and they were ferried to Bengaluru all the way from the press in Sivakasi for the launch!

    This voluminous work won the Swarna Kamal at the 63rd National Awards recently and the citation described the work as an “encyclopaedic study into the life and career of one of India’s greatest screen legends, Dr. Rajkumar. The 15-year research behind the writing of this twin volume makes it a valuable resource for scholars, students and cinephiles of the present and future. ”

    Rukkoji described the award as: “another award for Dada Saheb Phalke recipient actor Rajkumar at the national level. It is posthumous award to the great art soul.”

    While the first volume chronicles early life, times and family details of Rajkumar, the second volume delves in to 206 films in which the actor acted. Rukkoji started writing about Rajkumar when he was working for Kajaana a film weekly. The writer travelled to various places to source material and pictures. Over 140 persons including directors, producers, artistes, technicians and family members of the thespian were interviewed and over 20,000 exclusive pictures were collected. It cost Mr. Rukkoji nearly a crore for printing and publishing the book.

    Dr. Rajkumar: The Person Behind the Personality by thespian’s son and popular actor Puneeth Rajkumar is another picturesque volume on the actor. This coffee table book is a record of the legendary actor’s life and career, packed with no less than 1,750 photographs, many of them never published before. According to Puneet, who teamed up with Prakruthi N. Banavasi to bring out this bilingual volume, it is an attempt to preserve the soul of the legendary actor for posterity. This work is replete with anecdotes and incidents that shaped Rajkumar’s persona and tracks his early life, childhood, adolescence, early career in company drama, cinema, his stint as a singer as well as defining moments in his personal life and the Kannada film industry itself. Puneet tried to understand his iconic father through the eyes of his mother, brothers, family and friends. According to him, it is not a documentation of Dr. Rajkumar’s life, but simply unveils the persona of the great artiste through the words of those who knew him from close quarters.

    Rajkumar Ondu Belaku and Rajkumar: A journey with the Legend – another bilingual work on the thespian by filmmaker and writer Praveen Nayak. This work with 47 small chapters delineates every aspect of Rajkumar’s life with a personal touch. This film maker, who was associated with the actor for more than 30 years, etched a picture of the actor with vivid details. Praveen Nayak says that his interaction with Rajkumar over a period of time had made him realise that at his core, he always remained Mutturaj — a name and personality he was born with. “He never lost his Mutturaj-ness,” he says.

    Praveen Nayak, a still photographer, has a huge collection of Rajkumar’s photographs; he followed the actor like Nemai Ghosh followed Satyajit Ray. He selected best of his works and sourced rare pictures from others to make the volume picturesque besides being poetic.

    Kannadada Muttina Kathe: Rajkumar by cine-writer and journalist B. Ganapathi is another important work on the actor. The author put together all his articles and interviews with Rajkumar for over two decades. There is a long chapter on the days the actor spent in forest, when the brigand Veerappan abducted him. A chapter on fifty years of his professional life is an important chapter. Here, which is a powerful instance of his humility, the actor says that the film industry gave him all the necessities of a good life, and what he gave in return was meagre. The most interesting chapter in the book is of his childhood years.

    Bangarada Manushya by writer and a bureaucrat Aa. Na. Prahlada Rao is another important work on Rajkumar. It closely examines the achievements of the actor both on and off the screen. The writer delves into genres of films Rajkumar acted — mythology, social dramas, etc. besides exploring his role of a singing star. This too has rare photographs of his films and other achievements. Bangarada Manushya can also be considered as a referral volume, because of its rich details on the growth and evolution of Kannada film industry. This was published first in 2005, when Rajkumar was alive and has run into four editions so far.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> Features> Friday Review / by Muralidhara Khajane / Bengaluru – April 21st, 2016

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    While a trip to the United States may not be unusual for Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy , the one starting this week promises to be different.

    Kick-starting one of the biggest alumni hunts, Narayana Murthy and his team will be travelling coast to coast in the US to find and reconnect with the ‘missing’ alumni of the Mysuru-based National Institute of Engineering (NIE).

    It is estimated that around 8,000 graduates from the institute who moved to the US – especially in the 1960s and 1970s – had lost touch with their alma mater and their colleagues over the years.

    Given the prevalence of social media and various other channels of communication, it is now time to reconnect.

    According to NIE principal Gowri L Shekar, NIE had been planning an expansion and had recently inducted Narayana Murthy as a board member. “It was Murthy’s idea to reach out and reconnect with the institute’s global alumni.

    It is a fact that thriving institutes across the globe maintain a good relationship and are in contact with their alumni. So, we too are attempting to do this. Murthy, who is on the board of some top institutes in the world, including Princeton, suggested that we take a global tour to connect.

    So, as per the plan, our team along with Narayana Murthy will begin our alumni connect in Austin on April 30 and conclude their trip in New York on May 7.

    In a span of eight days, they will organize events in six US cities and meet with our alumni,” added Shekar.
    Shekar said that Narayana Murthy is deeply involved in their efforts to reconnect with the institute’s alumni. “Narayana Murthy has asked us to concentrate on the San Francisco Bay Area and talk to the alumni there and build a connection. He said doing so will make us a healthier institution and will add immense value to the university.

    “His knowledge of higher education is very significant as he is well aware of the industry. His mantra was that well-known universities in the West focus on their alumni and Indian colleges should follow suit. He spoke of adapting good practices of universities and the US alumni connect tour is part of it,” said Shekar.

    Narayana Murthy passed out of NIE in 1967 with a degree in electrical engineering and was the highest ranking student from his branch. “One thing I remember was his punctuality, he would not miss a single class even on days when there was a strike or a bandh in Mysuru.

    Narayana Murthy would often recall his mother’s words that he was studying in an aided college which was funded by the state government and hence bunking a single day would amount to doing injustice to tax payer’s money. So, Murthy religiously followed his mother’s words and never missed a class,” added Shekar.

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> Tech> Tech News / Sridhar Vivan, Bangalore Mirror Bureau / April 26th, 2016

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