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This post notes a delightful new acquaintance I made, Pramod Talgeri of CIEFL in Hyderabad with whom I hoped for fruitful collaboration, which did not happen because of the change of government that happened later in the year. And then I mention Prof Arudpragasam, an old friend who was surprisingly hostile, I suspect because of bitterness at having been left behind by Tara’s innovations. The pictures are of them.

A new friend and an old foe

I took vivas that night and over the next two days too, the weekend, while marking projects, and then on the next two days I taught, getting to the university on the Tuesday night. I started work at the Dean’s office next morning but continued with my regular teaching, six classes that day, and also had meetings with the students, and also the Department Heads and Deans of the university. I had a full day of administration there next day but got to the cottage and then home that night, and wrote my articles. Next day I went to the Ministry and worked on what was now our component of the TETD project, and also had meetings at the Ministry of Higher Education, while discussing our production of books with the Educational Publications Department. I had a couple of media interviews after that about the project, had Peter home for dinner, saw Nirmali about her work on the project, and then left for the airport.

That was Friday 9th November, and after a break in Thailand and a CALD meeting in Manila I got back on the night on Monday the 19th. Next morning I went to the Ministry to see Mr Talgeri, the head of the Indian Central Institute for English and Foreign Languages, with whom Tara wanted me to collaborate, and I found him very helpful. But in the midst of all my work I had to deal with an inquiry instituted by Prof Arudpragasam, who had been together with Tara on the National Education Commission, but I think resented her increased influence and acted as spoiler now. He had received a petition about my work, I think my book production for university students, and though it was soon obvious that I myself had made no money on this, he continued to harass me with absurd questions. I suspect it was this that led me to decide soon afterwards that I would stop doing all this myself and hand it over to a commercial publisher – which meant of course that, without working at all, let alone at the pace at which I had been working, I received royalties which I had never thought about previously

That night I attended a farewell dinner for Peter at the Intercontinental, and went on to the residence with him for drinks afterwards, I think the last time I was to enjoy his verandah and the long stretch of lawn on which his dog would race. I then left for the university, via the cottage where late as it was I paid the builders.

Rajiva Wijesinha


September 2022
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