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G.T. Narayana Rao: RIP

Posted by anandrr on July 4, 2008

We just learned from this morning’s paper that G.T. Narayana Rao, also known as GTN, passed away recently. We barely knew the good man, indeed the complete absence of any formal Kannada learning at our school ensured that we could get by entirely without every hearing of him. But our life did intersect with GTN’s twice some 20 years ago. Back then, we were a young impressionable lad in middle school, and we were participating in the MSIL-Lekhak Student of the Year shindig. This was a big thing back then. MSIL which was in the business of manufacturing/marketing all manner of student accessories used to conduct this grand statewide hunt for the best well-rounded student every year among students in middle school and students finishing high school. GTN was a big part of the “zonal” and “state” finals. He along with three others would sit in judgement on our efforts at presentation, extempore speech, and many other activities of which we have little memory now. We do have a lasting memory of GTN who left a deep impression on us with his erudition, energy and apparent mastery of everything. He could test our knowledge of English literature, show us the constellations in the night sky and speak knowledgeably about music,  rock climbing and mountaineering. Apart from a couple good friends whom we still run into now and again, we remember no one else from those days, that alone tells us what a powerful force he could be. May you rest in peace, GTN.


6 Responses to “G.T. Narayana Rao: RIP”

  1. PS said

    Yes, what a grand old man! The last time I met him was about a year ago, when he was as sharp as ever.

    Interesting that you mention the Lekhak contest – did you win your year? My husband was in it too, until the finals, but the eventual winner was a girl that year.

  2. abhayaftii said

    Dear Sir, while casually browsing through the net, I found this entry in your blog. G.T. Narayana Rao happens to be my grand father. It was really nice to read about him here. Thanks for those nice words on my grand father. I was about 7-10 year old while he used to go to these Lekhak tours and some time I have been along with him for some tours. I was too small then to remember anything now but I remember visiting Hampi and some other places for this contest. You can visit this link to know a bit more about him.


    Abhaya Simha

  3. anandrr said

    Abhaya: You have my condolences.
    PS: My year, nobody won. Either they decided everybody was equally good, or they decided nobody was good enough. Most likely the second.

  4. Hello Abhay, Anand – GTN was indeed a great personality. Feel very sad he is no more. My condolenses. I visited him twice once in 1999 and then in 2006 after first meeting him in 1985 Lekhak contest. He was as sharp and as knowledgeous as ever. I also met K N Ahokkumar – Then Public Relations Officer at MSIL yesterday. We recalled past days and also about GTN. I am very keen to get Lekhak Contest started again and Ashok is verymuch keen to help. Hoping to get something going in this regard.

    May we have many more GTNs in the society!

    vasu dot deshpande at gmail dot com

  5. Ganapati Hegde said

    I was also one of the Zonal level winnerof the MSIL Lekhak Contest in 1985. It was really a prestigious contest during those times.

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