After nearly 30 years, so many things refuse to come to my memory.
Exact date I don’t remember now, but could have been a Sunday to suit our requirement. Could be last week of July'78.
At this juncture, I must remember with gratitude and thank Mr Ramkumar, (brother of Sankar), who enthusiastically arranged for the trip to Madras and also accompanied us.
He contacted his friend Mr Balu (who was working in SBI at Chennai at that time), who inturn contacted IR's house with the phone number given by us, talked to the concerned there, arranged for the meeting on the specific date and time and finally informed us.
Our journey started from Arcot in the famous bus no. 102 (I hope this number is still maintained for Arcot-Chennai trip !!) in the morning and around noon we were at Chennai and received by Balu.
The timing given to us by IR was 4 O’Clock, evening at his residence at Santhome.
Chennai was new to me (though I had spent my early childhood there in late 1960s). Balu has made excellent arrangement starting from food to auto, bus etc etc. He was our escorter.
We, (ie myself, Sankar, Ram and Balu) started to Santhome. No need to tell, how much we are filled with blood, adrenaline, etc etc with a lot expectations brimming in our mind !
Around 3 pm, we were in Santhome and, started searching the address i.e. 32-KMN Lane !
(Present Chennai residents, who read this, may like to check with the present resident and neigbours of this address etc, and can find out more about IR! Just some curiousity!)
It was nearly 40 minutes and still we could not find the address!
Most of the people asked for the expansion of KMN Lane which we could not explain !
Tension built up like anything with the fear that IR may cancel the meeting and go elsewhere or so and we may lose the lifetime opportunity.
Finally, as a god-sent messenger, we met the postman of that area, who was on the evening distribution of letters to the houses in that locality.
We told about IR and asked the address. He enthusiastically helped us in locating the street and residence.
And exactly 5 minutes to spare to the appointed time, we were in front of his house, where a black (or blue-black ?) color ambassador was parked.
You may not believe me, it was such a simple house (a rented house, that also a portion of the house, I say), where this famous person was living at that time !
Initially we were enquired about by his car driver, who went inside the house with our details and after some time, we were let inside the house and were seated in a small hall. Cool drinks served to us!
Some ordinary sofa and chairs and a table containing a big size Tape recorder and speakers (music system !) were there!
Quite possibly, that hall might be his living room itelf; where he might have just left the hall and gone inside the adjacent room to just get ready himself!
Then HE came!