Saturday, May 28, 2005

Meet an Alum: Kumar Krishnamoorthy(1970 batch)

"KVP gave us a sense of balance and equanimity "

If the Kendriya Vidyalaya Picket reunion is gathering some momentum, it is thanks to an idea floated by Mr.Kumar Krishnamoorthy(KK). It was he who set the ball rolling.

He suggested that we have a PICKET REUNION and everyone readily agreed.!At a time when we were thinking that we might be able to contact folks only from the 1995 batch onwards, Mr. KK surprised us with his statement that he was from the 1970 batch.!!That means aprroximately 90% of the current members in the alum group were not even born when he passed out of school.

But have you ever wondered how was life back then.? The Picketians never had motorbikes to go to school.There were no computer classes to attend and certainly no
camera mobile phones to do mischevious acts.;)

The KV Picket Alum association decided to have an E-interview with Mr KK.
Ladies and Gentleman, presenting before you the interview of Mr. Krishnamoorthy, an alumni of Kendriya Vidyalaya Picket (1970 batch). Please leave ur comments or queries on the interview for Mr Krishnamoorthy.


Could you please tell us something about yourself,your childhood days and places where you have done your schooling?

I was born in Maharashtra (in Bhusaval – the good old railway town!) in 1953, raised in Bombay and Secunderabad (the town I love most!). Being a railway-man’s son, I went through at least 6 schools before KVP. The one I attended in Bombay was St. Mary’s at Byculla.
Railway life in Secunderabad was good – large houses (we lived in a house that had 19 rooms - at No. 100. Lallaguda on the Tarnaka road! I believe the house still stands today!), a few servants, Maali (Gardener), pet dogs, free travel to all parts of India.
I used cycle to school: the part I hated most was the uphill ride on some sections of the journey! On a few occasions I have been caught by “Khatmals” (as the police were known at that time!) for carrying a “doubles” passenger on my cycle! The parting with a Rupee and a sob story used to successfully purchase my
Those were the days of no TVs, no faxes (faxes were unheard of – the nearest to it was the telegram
delivered by the friendly Postman (Dakia)!), no computers, no calculators (mental arithmetic was a
must), no mobile phones (the vision of a phone without a cord was unthinkable those days!). We did however
have land phone lines!

I saw a main frame computer for the first time when I went to work in Bombay – in 1978!! TVs arrived only in
the mid 1970s. But we had the good old, dependable transistor radio and every Wednesday we would be glued
to it from 8 pm to 9 pm, listening to Binaca Geet Mala compered by Amin Sayani and broadcast by Radio Ceylon
(later called Sri Lanka), a weekly Top 20 of film songs. Many of the songs are now in re-mixes and
re-re-re-re- mixes e..g. Piya Tu, ab to aaja…Oh mere sona re sona…

I remember vividly that Sangeet theatre opened in 1968 (on Sarojini Devi Road I believe). It was one of the
first 70mm screens in town. I saw Camelot, the first film on show at Sangeet. Ashok theatre (next Garden
Restaurant) was also a favourite for Hindi films, as were a few others near Patny circle. Minerva theatre
(saw Fraz there – starring Jeetendra – his daughter is Ekta Kapoor – the famous producer of serials today)
was near the Chinese restaurant, Nan King. Cinema tickets were priced at Rs. 1.50 for rows in the middle
and Re. 0.75 for the front rows. We would get Rs. 1.50 from our parents and buy the Re. 0.75 ticket, using
the rest to eat some samosas during the interval!

I still love the Hyderabadi Hindi accent – with the Kya Hona Ji? kya karleyrae? Unae ek achha potta hai or Yeh Potti kamal ki hai!” leaves one nostalgic. One of the firsts that I learnt in Telugu were a few four letter words! Unhurried formality, gentle manner,gracious respect and the Nawabi style are the hallmarks of Hyderabad, something that no city can imitate! I carry special and very pleasant memories
from Secunderabad / Hyderabad.

For how many years were you in Picket and for which all grades.?

I joined KVP in 1966 in the 8th grade, and went on to complete my schooling in the 11th grade in March 1970.
The 12th grade was not yet introduced those days. I think we were the first AIHSC batch (All India Higher
Secondary School Certificate)

Do you remember how the school looked then? Was there the Tarbund, Old and the New block?

What a shock it was for me to see the school for the first time in 1966, coming from the “posh” Bombay of
those days! The school was a “U” shaped, small building (looking more like a horse-stable!) and our
class had to sit on the floor! We got chairs and tables a few months later. The school was then so
small that it had only 300 children!
Our Principal was Mr. K. G. Sukumaran, a committed educationist, full of energy, drive and discipline. He
managed to convince the Army top brass to fund the new building. We saw the new building come up, brick by
brick! If you were to come on the road on which Mahbub College is, cross the parade Ground and proceed
towards Bolarum, this is the building to the right of where the road forks between Picket to the right and
the straight going to Bolarum.

We were so thrilled to move in into the new building! The “U” shaped building was behind this, away from the
road. All other buildings came up many years after I left. Those days the school was known as Central
School….it became KVP perhaps by 1969 or so…our uniforms were white shirts and blue shorts / trousers
and black shoes.

During the summer months (March, April & May), the school used to work from 7.30 am until 1 pm.

Do you have any pictures of your school or class of those times? Can you please share them with us?

I have posted a class photo on the KVP Alumni site
(Attached below is the picture)
Image Hosted by
I am in the back row, 5th from the right ( I look very different now I suppose …after 35 years!). It was taken at the end of the class party to commemorate our passing school when the results were announced in June 1970.
I remember that some of us decided to wear ties for the occasion and felt very important, expecting that the class girls would look at us admiringly…but none of them even noticed that we had ties on! Seriously though, our class was so cohesive that we used to have dinners at some of the houses, both girls and boys
included! This was a major step forward for those conservative Secunderabad!
Many of the teachers are in the photo - Ashwathnarayan (Math) - second from the right, 1st row sitting - Mr.Ganapathy (Hindi teacher - for some strange reason we used to call him Chuyyia (God knows why!) , (don’t
know what that means in Hindi) is to his right. Next to him is Kistayya (Social Studies). Padmaja (Biology) is also in the photo

Do you remember the school houses? Which house were you in?

I don’t exactly remember – it was either Azad or Nehru House…..the other houses were Sarojini and Tagore.

Can you name a few teachers whom you remember?

Ashwath Narayan (math), Ganapathy (Hindi) Mohandas
(Social Studies / economics), Premalatha (Chem)
Kishtayya (Indian Culture), AL Narasimha Rao
(English), Padmaja (Biology), Azharuddin (not the
cricketer!!) (PT)

Who was the favorite among them? And why was that teacher the favorite?

I did not have a favourite one. I liked each one for his or her special attributes.

Which were the subjects you liked the most?

Perhaps unusual, but I liked all the subjects.

Any funny incident that happened to you during school?

I took part in a lot of drama/comedy plays which were held on February 11th each year, the school day. On one such event, I acted in 3 plays during the evening, and ended up mixing the dialogues of one play with another…much to the consternation of the prompter,confusion amongst the other actors and with peels of laughter from the audience!!!!
Central School Trimulgherry were our archrivals at cricket. They always ended up defeating us. We once managed to beat them – we were so euphoric, and I was given the onerous task of getting “treat money” (for the victory) from the strict Principal, Mr. Sukumaran which I did, but after countless bouts of nervous
tension! We had a grand feast of vada sambar + masala dosa at Taj Mahal Hotel, next to Patny Motors….don’t know if these still exist.
Cricket was a major part of my life those days. As soon as I joined KVP in grade 8, I was made V Captain of the junior team and a member of the Senior team too. I later captained the Senior team in Grade 11, and was the School Leader (not called Captain those days) during 1969-1970 – my name was painted on the
Board next to the Principal’s office - I don’t know if my name still exists on it.
I remember that our PT Sir Mr. Azharuddin fell in love with the PT Teacher…what a talk of the school it was! I believe that they got married later….a fitting end to a love story! I heard that Azhar did a stint in Saudi Arabia later.
We had a “self-government day” at school in 1970. As School Leader, I felt extremely important when I was asked to sit in the Principal’s chair and our 11th Grade conducted all the classes in the school, with our teachers as visitors for the day! Sadly, I got back to being an ordinary student the next day!
1969-70 was the year of the Telengana agitation – KVP was the only school in the Twin cities that functioned during this year. All other schools were closed. In the process, everyone else lost a year, excepting us. We had military guards outside our school to ensure that the school would function!

What did you do after your XIIth? From where did you graduate?
When did you move to Canada? And how has been the experience.?

It was the dream of every KVP-ian at that time to become a dashing Captain in the Army, thanks to the heavy influence of the armed forces on our school:
young Captains and Majors sometimes visited our school. We were fired up upon seeing their smart uniforms, and the array of medals that we hoped to one
day don!
My non-forces family influence put an end to such flights of fancy, and I saw my self enter the staid world of business studies at Badruka College of
Commerce & Arts, where I did my B.Com (Honours) during 1970-73.

In these years, the city was recovering from the Telengana agitation. College attendance mechanisms were lax, so we spent many a fun filled afternoon at
the movies and played a lot of cricket! Smoking was very much in vogue and the picture of a cigarette smoking in your hand was a macho sign and we expected
girls to swoon, although I seriously doubt if this actually happened!

I played cricket for an A League (then the top league) team called Secunderabad Union Cricket Club, with visions of a career in cricket and rubbed shoulders
with Vijay Paul (played Ranji for Hyd – now runs a coaching clinic, I believe), Narashima Rao (known as Baabji – Ranji & 1 Test for India, now lives in
Ireland), Joythi Prasad (Ranji). Played many league games opposite Abid Ali (India), Jaisimha (India), Nagesh Hamand (Ranji),etc. My home ground was the
Gymkhana (adjacent to the Parade Grounds).
Then, it happened for a second time. My father brought me back to reality from my reverie of a cricketing career into the real world of numbers. I was sent to
Madras and completed my CA course in 1977. I commenced my corporate career in Bombay with Larsen & Toubro Limited and Voltas Limited before going overseas in
1981, for what I imagined to be a short assignment. It turned out to be otherwise. I have never lived in India since.
I was with the Government of Bahrain for a few years
before joining the off shore investment banking
industry. After spending a few years in the Middle
East, my family and I headed out to Canada.

Tell us something more about ur family. ?

My wife is Lakshmi, and we have 3 children aged 24, 19 and 15.

What is your current profession?

Chartered Accountant / Investment Banker.

Would you be willing to guide any enthusiastic Picketians who wish to pursue a similar profession as your?


What do you think was the biggest learning/lesson you learnt studying in Picket?

I speak for my 1970 batch I suppose. KVP gave us a sense of balance and equanimity that we took with us all our lives. They made us sensitive to the needs of
others and taught us to appreciate the larger picture in life. Our teachers were dream weavers. They instilled in us a passion for excellence and the ability to dream, for dreams propel future creative action. KVP was a place where they made the
environment conducive to personal initiatives. They gave us space that allowed us to blossom in and find ourselves. They maintained that all-round development,
including the ability to get on well with others, is essential for good, healthy, satisfied living and is as important as academics, perhaps inadvertently
training us in emotional intelligence (not defined as such in those days!)
We ended up doing all sorts of things - from writing and staging plays, debating (we did not go to the Toastmasters Club to learn public speaking!), to physically preparing the cricket pitch, to running the "Self-Government Day", to conducting quizzes, to taking joy and pride in ones work. All in all we had such an interesting childhood, thanks to KVP. It taught us to retain our innocence,and yet inculcated strong values on which we built our lives.

Did you have crushes on any girl back then? If you don't mind, if yes, can we have her name? What quality of hers did you like the most?

this is a tough one… ! :)

Picketian: Did you like going to school then?
Yes. It was a wonderful atmosphere.

Had you been in India and in secunderabad, would you have sent your children to KV Picket? Why or why not?

Yes. Great education, going by the products that I have come to know after I joined the Alumni.Incidentally, the last time I visited KVP was in 1998.I gave a 45 minute talk on “Attributes for a good career” to the school’s 11 & 12th Grade students. Perhaps this is one humble way of giving something back to the school.

Do you think if there is anything that the school desperately needs?

Cannot say, as I have not seen the school for a while

Will you be there for the Picket reunion?

Yes. I have also managed to contact some of my other Classmates too – Deepak Sinha (in Jamshedpur), B. S.
Mohan (in Bangalore) and Maya Shenoy ( a Doctor in Secunderabad).
I am trying to contact R.A. Krishna (Banking consultant)who was a couple of years senior to me –look like our reunion will span quite a few generations of Picketians!

Great..Thanks and we are looking forward to meet you at the reunion.Is there anything more that you would like to add?

Yes. Just to say a big thank you to Biswajit and the team for taking the initiative to spur on the Reunion effort!

Thanks for your time. Can you please share with us a picture of you and ur family.

I will try and send one – once I figure out how to get to blog! Or I will send one to you.


At 12:12 PM, Blogger Picketian said...

This was so good.We are fortunate that we could get in touch with you.
Waiting for a recent picture of urs. The one in school uniform is too old..Don't you think so? :)

At 7:26 AM, Blogger surender mohan said...

Hi Kumar
it was nice to read about you after so many years (decades). I am mohan Ratiram, stayed two houses away from yours in Lallaguda. In case your memory is tricking on you, I was more popularly known for my badminton than my achievements in academics.

if you happen to read these comments do drop in a line at . Say hello to Sharad for me - yes, I do remember him as well.

cheers, mohan

At 7:27 AM, Blogger surender mohan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Kumar,
I am Ravi from XII 1993. I stayed in Lallaguda from 1991 - 2004. My father served in the Railways till 2004. I was a frequent visitor to the Railway Club. The BAdminton courts were moved to a different bldg with 2 courts.

The railway colony is surely a world within itself insulated from all the painful elements in the non-railway world.
HAving come from a Railway family and KV Education, I doubt whether my kids can really get to experience the rich culture of the Railways and the KV Communities.

ravi-xii 1993

At 5:01 PM, Blogger JR Rao said...

Absolutely so. I miss my Picket days and Railway Colony days as well, with the thought that I can never recreate those experiences for my 3 year old.
JR Rao
KV Picket 1978-1990
More thoughts to follow...

At 4:17 PM, Blogger Gautam said...

Hi Kumar,
You will know me better as Gautam Ramarow, your neighbours in Nagpur and then in Lancer Barracks flats opposite Sangeet Theatre. Vijay was a year older to you and i was 3 years younger.
Good to read about you again! I'm in Goa, Vijay is in Bangalore & Ashvin in the States.
Gautam Hosangadi

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Gautam said...

You forgot Mrs Marian David, Veena Kotak, Mrs Rama Srinivasan, Miss V.Mary (English). PT sir was Mr Azad(?)I am sure you remember his hitting us on the knuckles with a scale, since you got it regularly from him!!

At 5:26 PM, Blogger Gautam said...

Chuiyya is a mouse in Hindi. He was called 'Bada Chuiyya'. For a year or two, we had a hindi Sir from Bihar, who was shorter in height and was automatically christened 'Chota Chuiyya'!!

At 11:11 PM, Blogger ^^*I);VY@*^^ ' S said...

Absolutely! I miss my Picket days.. (1976 batch --Dr.Mohan Krishna now in Goa 0992346999)

At 11:13 PM, Blogger ^^*I);VY@*^^ ' S said...

Absolutely! I miss my Picket days.. (1976 batch --Dr.Mohan Krishna now in Goa 09923466999)

At 8:20 PM, Blogger Bahwan said...

Never thought i will miss the school days.... 12th pass in 1988

At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Vijay Prabhakar said...

Hi Kumar, Stumbled upon your interview on KVP website. This would be another tough one; I am Vijay Prabhakar. For a hint I used to substitute for you at the morning school meet and made students sing the national anthem in a stand at ease position. Give it a try and get back. My mobile 9742744693.Met Ramani a few times while at Delhi.Most in touch friend is Surinder Sharma now a General in the Indian Army.I am at bangalore now. Vijay Prabhakar (batch of 1970)

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To: Vijay Prabhakar. Hi Vijay, So wonderful to hear from you - sorry that I did not see your message earlier! Will call you to establish contact. Regards. Kumar Krishnamoorthy

At 8:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kumar,
I am Major General Surinder Sharma. I am fourth from rite in de second row from top in de group photo. Got a call from chandan today after ur chat wid him. Nice 2 here from old pals of 40 years ago!!

At 5:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Surinder, So nice to read your blog message! Am trying to locate other classmates of ours - B S Mohan, S Shanker. By any chance would you be able to locate Himmat Singh - I believe he joined the Air Force. Lets keep in touch! Regards. Kumar Krishnamoorthy

At 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I am George Abraham from the 1971 batch. My brother Abraham Kayalath was from the 1969 batch.

Those days initially our school was in the old building behind the new school (new !! of those days 42 years back!!!) Principal was Mr Atchunni and his naughty son !!! was our batch mate.

At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sorry the principal initially was Mr Sukumaran, and later was Mrs Naidu I think. Sports master was Mr Azaruddin.

At 7:26 AM, Blogger Subramanian said...

Hi Kumar and George.This is Subri from the 1971 batch.If you remember mail me or mobile )9444383252.I am in Chennai

At 9:57 PM, Anonymous George said...

Hi Subri

Great to know you still remember all of us. If I am correct you had made a fantastic Zoology record book for the Final exam. I will email email is I work for Chevron Oil in Nigeria with base in Bangalore.

Hi Kumar,

Do you remember my brother Abraham Kayalath who passed out in 1969 was a very good cricket player

At 9:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too belong to the 1971 batch - left picket in 10th - Raghuram.G and Chandrsekar.T were my class mates I recall - Raghu joined me at IITM and Chander was in Loyola and went on to PRL. I recall Rama srinivasan's daughter jeyshree was in our class along wwith one Geetha - these were the brainy ones in MPC thoses days. Not sure what happened to them
I do recall the principal's son very well - yes very naugthy specially in the Zooology class. Those were fun fileld days.
More next
S.Rammohan (MPC)

At 8:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Everyone,

I am accessing the blog after quite a while.....

I am so glad that the 5th Pratibimb of December 28, 2013 was successful. I saw a few pictures posted by a couple of people who attended. Looks like it was a lot of fun.

Would you have ever imagined a decade ago that KVP would have such a well-organized alumni association - with a membership of over 1,000!? Such alumni associations are perhaps more prevalent in private schools where there is a common background, limited number of people, funding is by private means, is easy to manage and therefore establishes a clique. In KVP we are from varied backgrounds and our numbers are large, yet there seems to be something that has bound us together even after all these decades. Perhaps the ground on which KVP is built has enormous positive Vaastu to attract talent and also endear so many of its ex-students into its benevolent fold.

I laud the untiring efforts of the managing committee for Pratibimb 2013 and to the previous committees who have passed on the mantle well. Kudos to all.

I feel proud to be a Picketian.

Kumar Krishnamoorthy - Class of 1970 - AIHSC

At 12:55 PM, Anonymous SS YADAV said...

I, Satyavir Singh Yadav and my elder brother Umed Singh Yadav are from 1973 batch. We left school in 1972. We used to commute from Trimulgherry/Lal Bazar area. Nice to hear about KVP dAYS.


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