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Alma mater celebrates Adiga’s win

This year’s Man Booker winner, Aravind Adiga always clinched the top spots at competitions, say his teachers

By Deepthi Shridhar
Posted On Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Out Standing Out Standing Out Standing Out Standing Out Standing

Mangalore: At Aravind Adiga’s alma mater here at  St Aloysius High School, the mood is jubilant. The 33-year-old has claimed this year’s Man Booker Prize for his debut novel ‘The White Tiger.’

The school’s headmaster, Father Melwin Pinto SJ remembers the author as an extraordinary student. Aravind was ranked first in SSLC in 1990. He and his elder bother Anand were  well known in the school winning prizes at most competitive events. Aravind was particularly known for his debating skills and was fond of quizzing and elocution. He was also part of the school’s science club.

Friendly, though not sporty and, ironically, certainly not bookish. G K Bhat, who teaches biology and taught Aravind in class IX and X, termed him as ‘Mr Perfectionist’.

“Even if he had lost out by a mark or two in the examination, Aravind would get back to the teacher and ask him, what he needed to do so that he could earn full marks the next time,” he says.

That even as a student, Aravind had great resolve, was proved when despite losing his mother to an illness the year he took the SSLC examination, he topped it. He was also a state topper in the National Talent Search Contest and was placed in the top 10 at the national level. This made most of his teachers sure he would pursue a career as an engineer or a doctor like his father.

“The school has been following Aravind’s journey to win the Booker very closely. He was also discussed in classrooms just before we  closed for vacations. Aravind is an inspiration for the students to adopt the habit of reading which is a dying out. We hope our boys will read his book,” says Fr Pinto. His staff has been exchanging congratulatory messages through the day!

Both, Aravind and his brother Anand, who stood second in SSLC in 1985, have their names engraved on the school’s roll of honour.

Fr Denzil Lobo, who has been with the school the past 30 years, recollects Aravind’s piece in Time magazine  in 2006, My Lost World, where he spoke of the changes in the city and his school memories. “We have invited Aravind to be part of the alumni reunion function to be held in Bangalore on Saturday,” he adds. The school will felicitate Aravind at the Aloysian Conclave to be held on January 4, next year in Mangalore.



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