PU’s oldest ‘old boys’ are stars of global alumni meet
They were the stars of the Panjab University alumni reunion, and the oldest of its ‘old boys.’
For 90-year-old Satya Vrat Shastri, a decorated Sanskrit scholar, writer, grammarian and poet and 89-year-old Heera Luthra, a student from the first batch of DM College in Moga, who went on to become its principal, these were moments to be prized.
Among the alumna, 76-year-old Rajinderjeet Hans Gill, PU’s first woman dean university instructions (DUI) and her 68-year-old former student, Sudesh Kaur Khanduja, were delighted to have met again at the alumni meet hosted by Panjab University on Wednesday.
Shastri, who graduated in arts from PU’s Lahore campus in 1949, has written three Mahakavyas (genre of Indian epic poetry), three Khandkavyas (composed in the manner of an epic highlighting a particular section), one Prabandhakavya and one Patrakavya (forms of Sanskit poetry) and five works in critical writing in Sanskrit.
Currently an honorary professor at the special centre for Sanskrit studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, Shastri was dean of the faculty of arts at Delhi University and also heading its Sanskrit department.
Among his numerous awards, Shastri has won the Sahitya Akademi Award for Sanskrit, given by the Sahitya Akademi in 1968 for his poetry, Srigurugovindasimhacharitam. He also became the first recipient of the Jnanpith award in Sanskrit language in 2006.
Luthra joined Moga’s DM College in 1951, as a student of its first batch. After that, he joined the University of Lucknow for his masters in law and public administration.
In 1995, he became a lecturer and eventually, in the 1960s, he joined PU’s Shimla campus as a professor.
He served there till the 1990s after which he went to the US to pursue his PhD from the University of Arizona and later retired from there as professor.
VARSITY FIRST WOMAN DUI RECOUNTS GOLDEN DAYS
For Gill, one of PU’s first women DUIs, being with her student, Khanduja, was a moment to treasure.
Of her teacher, who graduated from the Ludhiana campus of the varsity in 1962 with a mathematics masters and later joined PU as a teacher in the mathematics department, Khanduja says,”one of my fondest memories of the university era was with Gill ma’am. I joined PU as a teacher later. At that time Gill ma’am was the only female faculty at the department because of which we became very close.”
If it wasn’t for PU they would not have become such good friends, say Khanduja and Gill.
Interestingly, all of Gill’s family members are PU alumni. Her son graduated from the chemistry department, daughter from the statistics department and her husband from the botany department. Her brothers studied in the mathematics and economics departments.
An alert patrolman averted an accident by stopping a locomotive along the Mumbai-Pune rail route as it was approaching a fallen boulder on the track in the early hours of Friday. Rail services on the route that had to be temporarily halted but it was restored by 8:15am on Friday morning. Patrolman Motiram Lodhi who was on duty at that time, immediately stopped the approaching locomotive and informed his seniors about the incident.
A 23-year-old woman from Karnataka's Ballari named Vidyasri B has sent 900 rakhis to army personnel stationed at external borders on Raksha Bandhan, The Times of India reported. Vidya reportedly sent these rakhis through an army organisation in Bengaluru, Yodha Namana. Out of 900 rakhis, 300 were sent to soldiers at the Wagah border, 300 to soldiers at the Assam border and 300 to the Border Security Force personnel in Haryana, said the report.
The Shiv Sena on Friday slammed Maharashtra's Eknath Shinde-led government for exonerating Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kirit Somaiya in a case related to alleged misappropriation of funds raised to save decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Vikrant from getting scrapped. An editorial in Sena's mouthpiece Saamana said that after Shinde, who became the chief minister with BJP's help after rebelling against Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, came to power all “scamsters are having a free run”.
In a tragic incident, at least five persons died while four others were hospitalised after consuming spurious liquor in Bihar's Saran district on Friday. Mohammad Alauddin Khan (resident of Audha village), Kameshwar Mahto alias Loha, Ramjeevan alias Rajendra Ram, Rohit Singh and Papu Singh (Bhuwalpur village) died after consuming the poisonous liquor. Four others namely—Ramnath Mahto, Lalbabu Shah, Shankar Rai and Hira Rai are undergoing treatment in the hospital.
Karnataka Police on Friday said that more than 25 people were taken into custody in Hulihyder village, in connection with a clash that broke out between two communities in the Koppal district on Muharram. Superintendent of Police, Arunagshu Giri, Koppal said, "We have deployed the police and have asked to impose Section 144 in the area for seven days."