My family came from a small village called Rajam, 100km from Vishakapatnam (Vizag). We were in a trading family buying jute and grain from the farmers and selling it to the mills.
We are four brothers and three sisters and nobody was really educated. I was the third son. I had failed in my SSLC (secondary school leaving certificate) exam. I used to roam around with my friends, sometimes cycling 50km to the nearest town called Vizianagaram to see movies.
Nobody really bothered about what we did, unlike today, where my daughters-in-law are completely focused on their children’s activities. Anyway, I wanted to reappear for my SSLC but there wasn’t much encouragement.
The examination fee used to be Rs50. It was only after much persuasion that I could appear again.
From that day, my life took a turn. I began to study and, eventually, stood first in the school.