Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I passed my 10th standard from Lowry Memorial School but my grades were not good enough basically to study science at some so called premier institutes for pre-university studies. The premier institutes were national college -Basavanagudi and the st. Josephs college. I applied to all these colleges and my father used to accompany me for this purpose. 

The sathya sai college at Whitefeild Bangalore was an option for me for various reasons. It was relatively close to my house, many of my seniors at school studied there, but I was apprehensive if I wold be offered a seat. however I made an application. I had gone to another college christ college (now called Christ University) for admission and as I returned home I found a post card asking me to appear for an interview at Sathya sai arts science and commerce college - as Sathya Sai college was known. 

Mr. Narendra was the principal who along with Mr. Nanjundiah and Mr.Kulkarni were present during the interviewing process. However I was offered a seat to study science and did two years of pre-university education. Divine Sathya Sai Baba used to give his discourses occasionally and his darshan used to happen every day when he was in station. I remember being with him one afternoon with few others when he was leaving for puttaparthy in his Benz

Divine grace Sai Baba made a lasting impression on my life which I realized only decades after i left this place. i liked the bhajans we used to sing every day  in the morning

Mr. Alvin Drucker used to teach us and handle lecture seminars sometimes. I remember he spoke about homeopathy in one of these sessions. 

It is important for me to say that I did have some miraculous experiences from Baba thereafter and hence i have started looking at him as god. 

We were a bunch of around 25 students from Doorvaninagar who used to travel to Whitefield who were students at sathya sai college. During the first year namely 1981 we used to go and return by train ; during the second year we used the ITI bus ( college bus provided by the Indian Telephone Industries)

I fondly remember Mr. H K Nagaraj; Shri Chandrashekar; Shri H N Mahendraraja Urs; Shri Hegde and Shri H R Ravi who used to teach at this college.

Jai Sai Ram


As I mentioned somewhere my father worked for nearly 40 years at the Indian Telephone Industries also called ITI. After independence the Govt of India put up many public sector units in India and ITI is one of them. It is a large Industrial township with many houses built for staff. To some extent it can be said that National Highway 4 runs through the ITI territory.

What a great place it is. During the heydays in the 1970's and early 1980's ITI must have had 25000 employees nearly 200 buses and made telephones and exchanges largely strowger and crossbar exchanges. In the 1990's with privatization the role of ITI began to dwindle with voluntary retirement given to employees and production almost coming to a halt, In 1986 I spent a month inside ITI as a trainee during my stint at engineering college.

ITI used to hold an annual sports meet every year in the summer with games like basketball, volleyball and kabaddi being played. Teams used to come from all over India for the event. I remember I K Gupta,C S S Rao, Swaminathan, K P P Nambiar were all Managing Directors of ITI. ITI has a park in which carnivals were conducted once in a while. ITI hospital is also an enterprise worth mentioning.

But ITI is in a sorry state after 1995 with large scale reduction of employees and not much production. The buses were sold off and the entire township wore a dejected look. Government policies and telecom revolution can be attributed to the decay of ITI.

It would also be worthy to mention about the ITI auditorium or theater where cinema used to be shown every day in the evening and three shows on a sunday. I have seen many block busters in this theater like "Sholay", "Amar Akbar Anthony" in the 1970's

Ramamurthy nagar, Vijanapura and Krishnarajapura are all adjoining areas of ITI; Can ITI be revived is a very vital question and discussed in many quarters. Some years back another public sector in Bangalore HAL was in the doldrums but miraculously revived as a result of globalization. ITI seems to be caught in crossfires and whirlwinds of many kinds. But I still beleive ITI can be revived and the re-birth will result in a transformed ITI. How could ITI be revived...? Please study the following points;

  • ITI must be renamed as INDIAN TELECOM INDUSTRIES as against the present name of INDIAN TELEPHONE INDUSTRIES.
  • Alongside making exchanges the company must make wire less equipments too of various kinds for the global market.
  • There must be increased synergy between ITI and other public sectors like BEL and ISRO.
  • An INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TELECOM must be established inside the premises.
  • Finally the Government must ensure that the CMD of ITI is a telecom graduate and has vast experience in wired and wireless telecom along with managerial degree or expertise.

Monday, June 22, 2009


The Lowry Memorial School
 was a key school in the area of Dooravaninagar. It had an area of around sixty acres of land with many western style buildings in the school. When I joined school in 1969 I think Mr. Easterbrook was the principal. We used to have a week of prayer conducted in the school once every six months.

Mr J DAVID joined as a teacher of the school in 1975 and his sons ravi and steevi joined my class at 5th standard. I remember Jeffry Wilson who used to teach us english with distinction. Benedict wilson and fredrick wilson were students at the school anbd i think nephews of Jeffry. There used to be lot of fun and frolic in the school with a good number of dedicated teachers like Mrs. Starry, Deborah Vasantha , Mr. Sujjan john etc. There used to be a west indian lady by the name of Dollence Trot who used to teach moral education at this school I think in 1977-78 and she used to do a good job at it. I fondly remember Mrs. Balentine who used to teach mathematics at elementary school in the year 1974.

The administration of the school slowly passed into the hands of Indian principals . The basket ball court was introduced into the school in 1974. I came out of the school in 1980 after completing my 10th standard. Slowly the school went into becoming a college. Corn used to be grown in the farm along with vegetables.

I remember some good teachers' in the school; Mr. Paulraj used to teach Kannada (he used to stay near tin factory) , Another Mr. Paulraj used to teach us English (he later married the daughter of one of the earlier principals Mr. David; Livingstone used to teach maths etc. There used to be one Mr. K C Nagaraj from kengeri who used to teach Kannada. Miss Starry used to teach Science.


My father P K Damodaran worked for nearly 40 years at the INDIAN TELEPHONE INDUSTRIES in Bangalore and I have stayed here for most of my life barring a period of 04 years when I relocated to Calicut (1982 to 1986) to study electrical engineering at rec calicut.

It is important for people to write at lenghth what they see during their life times so that posterity could get a picture of what transpired.

My earliest memories of this city was going to the Lowry Memorial school in dooravaninagar where i did my schooling from 1969 to 1980 and from our home we (along with my brother ) used to cross the k r puram railway station to reach the school. There used to be a train to madras passing by this railway station at 9 am with a steam engine.

The K R Puram station during that time was a small station with a single platform and the old madras road runs above the station through a narrow bridge built in the late 1800's. However a new cable bridge came up there in 2003 making the bridge wider with free flow of traffic.