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Manohar Parrikar: generous friend, smart student

There was a spark in the young Manohar Parrikar. He was not only an intelligent student who was double promoted, but also a creative and mischievous one. While his teacher thought he would become a scientist, back then he wanted to become a merchant. NT BUZZ goes back in time and speaks to his teacher and friends who recall fond memories with Parrikar

Arpita Srivastava | NT

A teacher’s star pupil

Calling Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar as a creative, self-confident and brilliant student, Suresh Amonkar who was his English and geography teacher says: “Parrikar was a very smart boy who participated in a lot of activities.”

Being a brilliant student, Parrikar was in good books with his teachers who were always impressed with his creative streak. Despite sitting in the middle row he was very focused and attentive in the classroom.

Parrikar studied in New Goa High School for three years, from standard 9 to 11 and then went ahead to study in St Xavier’s College.

Recollecting one of the incidents, Suresh Amonkar says Parrikar’s mathematics teacher who was also from Parra had expressed surprise over the student’s intelligence. “He (the math teacher) had never seen any student like him. During class whenever the teacher taught any math problems, Parrikar would stand and claim to solve the same problem in a different method and prove it, which was very impressive,” Amonkar says.

He also says: “During his early days, I thought he would grow up to be a scientist because of his creativity but then he went on to join politics because of his organisation’s demands and even there he used his creativity to solve problems.”

Childhood dreams and memories

While few of Manohar Parrikar’s friends called him ‘Robin Hood’, some called him ‘Mama’s boy’ who was gifted with a high intelligence quotient, loved to travel, and watch movies.

Sanjay Walawalkar and Manohar Parrikar were family friends who shared 55 years of their lives with each other right from playing in early childhood days to schooling and later college.

“I was his shadow and without his existence I feel lost. We used to go out together. In fact permission was given by parents on condition that we were together. It was only for a period of four to five years when Manohar had gone to Powai to study IIT that we were apart,” says Walawalkar.

Walawalkar further says that “during his school days, Manohar was a very mischievous boy, intelligent and cunning. Even in his mischief, his intelligent was reflected.”

He was very good in studies and debates. While he played sports, he wasn’t very good. Even when he grew up, he was always Mama’s boy and was very fond of his mother, he says.

“Manohar never studied in his life, I have never seen him in a library. Still he was always first in studies which showed his natural intelligence. While most students did not like and were afraid of math and physics in the classroom, he loved it,” adds Walawalkar.

Parrikar studied at Saraswat Vidyalaya, Mapusa till fifth standard and then went to Mapusa High School till seventh standard. In eighth standard he was shifted to Loyala High School, Margao because he was mischievous.

“His parents could not control him as he was too mischievous, so he was sent to his uncle’s house to study. But within one year, his uncle surrendered and sent him back to his parents,” remembers Walawalkar.

He also adds: “After school, Manohar used to love to go to the shop and said that he wanted to be a merchant. He loved trading and spending time at the shop.”

Commenting on Parrikar’s ambitions, He says: “Since childhood, Manohar had big dreams and ambitions and wanted to do something big.”

When asked about their sources of entertainment, he says: “Every Saturday, we used to cycle to Panaji to watch every movie at National. We have even travelled to Mumbai on his SD bike which he had purchased with his scholarship money which he bought from Mumbai in 1982. Even after marriage, we used to travel to various places.”

Walawalkar says that handwriting was a matter of pride for Manohar and he was fond of the fountain pen. “If anyone wanted to impress Manohar, one had to write a letter in his or her own hand writing which had be good, neat, and with a margin. No over writing. Only then would he like it. If he didn’t like the handwriting then he would not read those letters,” he adds.

“Babush, Manohar and I were bench mates and I have been left behind. I don’t know what will happen. I have got two shocks in a month’s time and it is terrible,” he further adds.

Calling him ‘Robin Hood’, Surrendra Shetye says that Manohar was a very good and generous friend who would take his friends out for movies on Saturdays and also to hotels to eat.

“We knew all the hotels because of him (Parrikar). I have learnt to eat masala dosa without fork and spoon because of him,” says Shetye.

He also adds that since his early days, Manohar was very law abiding even in terms of following traffic rules. “When we used to go for movies, he used to get annoyed over the selling of black tickets at theatres and once even started fighting,” he says.

One of his junior college mates Anil Samant says: “Parrikar was very popular especially in class for his clean and thorough notes which were used by everybody for reference. He was also very good in playing Kabaddi. I have seen him playing at Khorlim for RSS team.”

Another classmate Gurudas Natekar says: “Manohar in the class room was much focused and used to listen to teachers. He was a very helpful friend.”

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