GOVERNMENT VICTORIA COLLEGE, PALGHAT
Government Victoria College, Palakkad is the oldest institution of higher learning in the Malabar region of Kerala. In January 1888 it was raised to the rank of a second grade college and was affiliated to the University of Madras. The institution was taken over by the Government of Madras Presidency in 1919.The teaching of Geography as an optional subject for ‘Intermediate’ students commenced in 1945. Before the creation of linguistic provinces in 1956, Palghat was part of Madras State after India’s independence in 1947.The Motto of the College is the Latin slogan ‘ Labunter et imputatur ‘. Indeed it is true that life’s moments slip away and fortunately they are laid to your account. Because of Victoria College, I am able to recall some of those moments that slipped away from my life about 55 years ago. I am speaking of the times when Palghat was a part of Madras State and when Victoria College was affiliated to the Madras University. In 1952, I was a four-year old kid and my father was employed in the Madras State Educational Service. He had obtained his M.A degree in Indian History from Madras University and had worked in the Madras Presidency College, Madras which is now known as Chennai city. My father had also a Diploma in Geography and he was transferred to Government Victoria College, Palghat to teach Geography. In his long career in the Educational Service, my father taught mostly Indian History, and at Victoria College, he taught Geography and was assigned to the Department of Geography.
We lived in a rented house in Palghat. The house is on a dead-end street and it is the last house on the street and it abuts the college compound wall.The house faces the college cricket stadium/sports grounds.There is a canteen of the college right in front of the house.The stadium has a nice pavilion for the spectators to sit and watch the games. Our landlord had two sons who were then students at the college. Apart from my parents, I lived with my two elder brothers. For the first time in my life, I was introduced to the game of Cricket in this house while we lived in Palghat. In the front courtyard of the house, we had a large tree which served as the stumps for our game. Very often, myself and my brothers would watch the Cricket matches and I have seen for the first time the official score keeping sheets they fill up during the game. Cricket has been popular with Indians for a long time. It was not Mylapore , Madras and it was not my native place Rajahmundry where I took my first lesson to play this game. I remember Palghat as the place where my love for the game of Cricket began.
When I opened my ‘ PALGHAT ACCOUNT ‘, my landlord’s two sons still look young and fresh like any other college students and I still have the visual image of myself and my brothers, all kids, playing cricket in front of the house. This is life. It is full of ” moments ” that quietly slip away and if you are lucky, the ” account ” that you have created is still there and you have the chance to recapture the ” moment ” and you can actually relive in that ” moment ” and the freshness of it is carefully preserved and it tastes as good as it was on the first occasion. Thanks to Victoria College, Palghat and I still have an account with credit balance.
ESSENCE AND EXISTENCE :
What is man’s nature and how to describe man’s essence? The essence is supported by existence. The existence is in the moments that slip away on which man has no control. Man exists as he helplessly watches the moment called future is churned into past, and present is only an instant in this future-past continuum. Fortunately, man can recall and revisit the moments that have slipped away and bring past into the present moment.
M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.