On August 15, seventy excited people came together at the Sree Vidyadhiraja Vidyamandir School in Thiruvananthapuram for a grand reunion of the 10th class batch of 1990.
Many of them had traveled from other countries to meet their childhood friends and honour their teachers.
Though the event went well, there was one vacuum, one of their most favorite teacher had not turned up. It was their Sanskrit teacher. Since he was an aged man, the alumni assumed that he was no more.
Few weeks later, some of these students saw a news report on Malayalam channel Amrita TV about an award given to Mahakavi Muthukulam Sreedhar, their beloved Sanskrit teacher. The news report mentioned that the teacher was living in Alappuzha, so the students took the exact address from the TV channel.
The 90-year-old beloved teacher was alive and kicking. He was living with his daughter and still helping students learn and research in Sanskrit. Though his family was taking good care of him, the students felt that some financial assistance would help the teacher in covering his medical expenses.
Through Facebook and Whatsapp groups, the message was passed on, and they collected Rs 1.8 lakhs.
On Friday, four from the group visited Sreedhar and handed over the money.
â€śHe was one of the best teachers we had. He was loving, caring and taught us very well. It was a proud moment when we learnt about the award given to him, we were also relieved that he was still amongst us,â€ť said Binulal DS, one of the coordinators of the reunion and a businessman from Thiruvananthapuram.
Ninety year old Sreedhar has written twenty two books in Sanskrit including seven mahakavyas and 20 books in Malayalam. He has also written hundreds of articles and poems in Sanskrit and Malayalam magazines, journals and newspapers from the 1970s.
He was overwhelmed to see his old students and surprisingly remembered some of them.
â€śOne day one of my old students called me over phone; I was surprised and felt happy. The other day, four of them came here to give me some money. I am not able to express my happiness. I donâ€™t remember all of them, but I am definitely a lucky teacher to have a set of loving students,â€ť Muthukulam Sreedhar told TNM.
â€śWe gave him money as a token of our love,â€ť Binulal added.