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AIR # 3:

A friend of mine sent me a link of the top 3 rank holders in the recently declared results of CA Final November 2012 examinations. The media had yet not unearthed the story of Prema Jayakumar being a daughter of a auto rickshaw driver in Mumbai. One was amazed by the name of the town and the score of the AIR-2 Anandhi. However I yelled with joy as my eyes fell on AIR-3, a recognizable round, bespectacled face with a mild smile. The smile was familiar and the same one was exchanged about 8 months back when I waved my fingers at a batch-mate waiting for the commencement of Pattabhi Ram’s SFM class. We shook our hands exchanged our names and started discussing about classes one had engaged and nativity. My Prime Academy batch-mate, Gnana Sampath hailed from Coimbatore and had come to Chennai for his classes prior to his examinations in November. He was attired in a light blue shaded Shirt and gray cotton trousers. He appeared simple and by his movement and mannerisms seemed to prefer solitude.

I gathered that like me, he was also residing in Triplicane which is home to several mansions (lodge) teeming with bachelors (working and student) and a good number of them pursuing Chartered Accountancy and hailing from Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and rest of Tamil Nadu. As is common to residents in Triplicane, no conversation between new acquaintances ends without a mention of which Mess/eatery one frequents to. Soon Mr. Vaidyanathan came and opened the doors opened for us and started distributing study materials.

Subsequently, I started spotting Gnana at various places and he would always exchange a smile and return to his thoughts. In a classroom, I am like a horse in a chess board and gallop with a strategy to earn friends and collect notes (with a neat handwriting) from them and also stay in a comfortable distance to various pretty faces. I wish my readers do not inculcate the last demeanor while preparing for examinations. Unlike me, Gnana would only sit at one place, i.e. within approachable distance to Mr Pattabhi Ram.

Occasionally I sat with Gnana and was wonderstruck at the neatness and clarity of his notes. He was pretty fast and I loved to give him competition while computing and answering the final answer. Unlike my excitement, Gnana kept a peaceful demure around him and express solace in simple expressions while getting the right answer. Over a period of time, there was mutual admiration and conversations regarding studies, audit and various humdrums in life. I would often ask him about the temples in and around Tamil Nadu as he would give me a lift from the classes to Ratna Café in Triplicane near my mansion.

In classrooms students find a number of distractions ranging from pretty/handsome faces to the updates of Olympics Medals being garnered by Indian wrestlers to engaging in sms-es exchanging affection or invectives. Gnana was immune to such lapse of concentration in the classroom.

Soon, I would spot him at the Reading Room in ICAI- SIRC premises at Nungambakkam. The spacious room attracts a good number of CA students mostly serious and from various walks of life who cannot find peaceful surroundings in their residence. This boy- Gnana was all seriousness and had pretty much an organized mindset while approaching his studies. He kept only one or two books with him and was punctual to a timetable etched in his mind. I would keenly observe him but unfortunately did not inculcate the same. Time management was his forte and his bike (a dear friend of his) ably aided him as he would shuttle in no time from one place to another without spending much time waiting for MTC buses which have definitely lost a sense of care and punctuality much to the horror of students who cannot afford a two or four wheelers.

As months passed by, one could spot Gnana like most of us becoming pensive and wary of the huge course to be traversed. A CA final examination definitely adds a lot of wrinkles of worry on the most belligerent faces and Gnana was no oddity. He would no longer sport a clean shaven face like the days of our initial meetings. And the food sold (not served) in Triplicane with its uncontrolled northern price march was becoming tasteless and also affect our heart (if not health).

In the second week of September, Gnana announced on a way back to trip that he would be leaving for Coimbatore the next day as most of the subjects had been covered and he could not spend necessary time or give full attention to all the subjects as the above reasons were taking its toll on him. I was surprised at this piece of news as he had just recently said he would be leaving a week later. With a heavy heart, I asked him whether he would join me for Ice-cream in Sarvanna Bhavan. He readily obliged. The Tender Coconut and Butter Scotch Ice-cream did its part in cheering us up while we discussed about article-ship and various possibilities after examination. I asked him to remain in touch and consequently an hour later we became friends on Facebook J. Later when we were about to leave, I asked him to visit Kolkata and I would be an obliging host while he invited me to Coimbatore and he would do the same. And that was the last I saw of Gnana Sampath in Chennai.


It is absolutely necessary that one must not be as serious at all times as my friend Gnana and you must have blokes like Jairam AIR-10 in November 2012 CA Final examinations also. Bespectacled and oval faced Jairam was a geek from start to finish. His smile and voice had a contagious childlike feeling. These are also the kind of intelligent blokes one loves to have in a classroom. Mr. R. Sivakumar is a reputed CA and faculty and engages in teaching Advanced Management Accountancy in Prime Academy. Mr. Sivakumar’s classes starts with an average batch of 50 and ends with hardly 7-12 students till the last class. His speed is much talked and frowned about by students. However with age and keeping a high standard, Mr. Sivakumar often gets disillusioned by the half hearted attempts of the students and also falling standards of various faculties.

He is an excellent teacher and has an innovative approach towards each problem in Management Accountancy. This is seldom realized by the students of our generation and you have to strike an empathic note with him. You have to share the same if not, try to share a similar affection for Management Accountancy which is hailed as the toughest subject in Examination as most students are not exposed to such areas during audit chiefly.

Jairam and his friend Sashank both were from Delloite, Bangalore and had come for their classes in Prime Academy. Jairam had stayed in Chennai as a kid and was currently residing with his mother near AVM Kalyanmandapam off Cathedral road. He had this childlike approach akin to a 11th std. boy triumphing at joy while devouring the lessons of Calculus. I was taken back to my schooldays as I sat behind him and watched at amazement at both Sivakumar sir and Jairam in sync. The latter would break into triumph as the lessons or the application of Sivakumar’s theory would sleep in his head. I was familiar with Sivakumar Sir’s teaching and tipped about his style to our enthusiastic friend who would delightfully nod his head after the end of each class to me. He was keen to share his understanding to others and very forthright in approaching to anyone.  He showed no reluctance in asking a doubt and also would occasionally joke about Andhra Mess food besides other pre-occupations to his batch-mates who were also wonder-struck like me by his approach. One would thank Jairam and Sivakumar Sir for building a degree of confidence in approaching a so called/labeled difficult subject.

I would wish Gnana and Jairam all the success in their professional occupation and hope to inculcate their qualities while preparing for examination and occupation.

Published by

Arijit Ghose
(Article assistant)
Category Students   Report

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