Meet Mr And Mrs Gopalan – The Enthusiastic Elderly Couple

Originally published in Star of Mysore.

He is the body and she is the soul. That’s how the couple Prof. M. N. Gopalan and Yadugiri Gopalan live together. Suffering from paralysis from past fifteen years, Gopalan who is a Ph.D holder is presently trying his hands at his D.Litt Degree. Prof. Gopalan has seen a tremendous cure, yet he barely steps out of his home. If so he does, his wife Yadugiri has to be with him holding his hand. Mrs. Yadugiri Gopalan looks after her husband day and night, yet finds time to practice, portray and involve herself in numerous creative and art competitions in and around the city. The couple are supporting each other to fulfill their desires and ambitions. He is 80 and she is 70 now. 

Unfortunately, the couple have no children. Yet they say, “We both ourselves are children for each other”. Prof. Gopalan added, “I am her son and she’s my daughter”. Enthusiasm has not faded away from the couple. They both in-spite of their current circumstances, still want to achieve something more. While talking about the sources of their wide interests, Prof. Gopalan said, “We both have an in-born desire to engage ourselves in our fields of interest and work hard. I am interested in academics and Yadu (in short for Yadugiri) in arts. We both have the ambition to live, survive and come up in life.”

Prof. Gopalan was associated with IIT Bombay for thirty five years from 1960 to 1995, before which he completed his B.Sc Honors in statistics from Maharaja College and M.Sc in Statistics from the University of Mysore. After the completion of his studies, he joined the Bureau of Economics and Statistics in 1958 and later stepped into IIT Bombay. While talking about his tenure at IIT Bombay, Prof. Gopalan recalled, “I had joined IIT Bombay as a technical assistant in 1960 and after consistent promotions I was landed with the post of a lecturer. I was then granted a paid leave for two years to pursue my Ph.D at IIT Madras where I coached M.Tech students part time. Later I was appointed at IIT Bombay as an assistant professor and then, I retired in 1995 as the HOD for Interdisciplinary Program in Reliability Engineering which is a part of Total Quality Management”.

Mr and Mrs Gopalan came into each other’s life through arranged marriage. When they got married in 1965, Gopalan was a lecturer at IIT Bombay. When Gopalan shifted to IIT Madras to pursue his Ph.D in Reliability Analysis of Systems, Yadugiri Gopalan came back to Mysore to pursue her PUC in Fine Arts at Lalitha Kala Academy. She has practised Carnatic Music and Light Music under the able professor Gauri Kuppaswami, Vidushi H. N. Manjula and H. R. Leelavathi. She is also specialized in Embroidery and Rangoli. Her attractive rangoli designs can be found in their home on the floor and also on walls!

It can surely be mentioned that If you come across any fancy dress competition, rangoli competition or any other cultural programmes in the city, you are sure to find Mrs. Yadugiri Gopalan there with her own unique dress. “My husband feels very happy when I return home bagging a prize. Yet, he has always motivated me to participate in such competitions, not just to win. But I have won more than 200 prizes till now”, said Yadugiri Gopalan and giggled with a wink. With no waste of time, Prof. Gopalan commented, “I am her personal assistant you see! I follow up all her competition and program dates”, with a million dollar smile. 

Yadugiri said, “He cannot come and watch my stage performances live due to health issues. But he does enjoy it when we receive the photographs. That’s my husband!”, with a proud smile.

Both Mr and Mrs Gopalan are known in their own fields of interest. Prof. Gopalan has been a respectable fellow member of various professional bodies like “The Institution of Engineers”, “Operational Research Society of India”, “Systems Society of India”, “United Writer’s Association of India” and many honors have been bestowed upon him by various organizations for his contributions in the field of education and literature. A few such honors are “Sir M. Vishvesvaraya Award”, “Sahithya Sindhu”, “Sadbhavana Award”, etc. He is also the recipient of “Life-time Achievement Award” offered by the Operational Research Society of India at Delhi in 2007. He also served as an Emeritus Fellow of the All India Council for Technical Education and University Grants Commission. 

Apart from this, he is into writing too and several articles by him have been published in various newspapers, magazines and journals. He, even today, upon special requests visit many schools with his wife to address the students about various educational facilities and ward off the societal problems and eradicate social evils. His D.Litt degree application is currently in process and the topic is Interdisciplinary Program Connecting Management Science and Philosophy . 

Yadugiri is no less than her husband. She has so far won a number of awards from various organizations in the city for her unique talent and enthusiasm. “Karakushala Praveene”, “Sthree Kala Prapoorne”, “Kala Tapaswini”, “Kala Saraswathi”, “Kalaratna Prashasthi” are a few among many. She portrays many historical and societal personalities to spread and mold the younger generation and love for the nation.

When a person visits their residence at Saraswathipuram, he is surely going to come out with an increase in his knowledge and a whole lot of freshness. Such humble and society oriented couple are surely worth giving a hand and applaud them and say proudly, these are our Mysoreans!

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