Randor Guy, noted writer, and author of ‘Memoirs of a Mylapore Lawyer’, happened to meet the legal luminary S. Pichai on whose life the book is based on by ‘sheer accident’.
“I came to know Mr. Pichai thanks to Mr. C.V. Narasimhan,” he said, almost at the end of the nostalgic launch of his book on Thursday.
Beginning from Mr. Pichai’s days as a student at the Government Arts College in Kumbakonam, to the many landmark cases he fought, the launch — which saw participation from the likes of Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla, Judge, Supreme Court and Justice P.R. Gokulakrishnan, former chief justice, High Court, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat — was an opportunity to not just chronicle the life and times of S. Pichai. It also meandered to include recollections of the great advocates with whom he shared decades.
When Mr. Guy was working on the book, he met Mr. Pichai, almost everyday, at his home and at the chamber, having conversations over snacks and spending the rest of the time at the Madras High Court library going through legal reports.
While Mr. Kalifulla recalled the times when he had the opportunity to meet the earnest Mr. Pichai on a daily basis, Mr. Gokulakrishnan, a close associate of Mr. Pichai, said he was one of those rare persons who had no enemies.
Surgeon Mohan Kameswaran recalled how Mr. Pichai had bought a young boy in his 20s with advanced cancer of the throat to him, asking him to give the boy the best treatment, without worrying about the cost. “I was working in a corporate hospital then and the boy had to stay for a month after the surgery,” he said.
After much insistence and only after the boy was discharged did Mr. Pichai reveal that he had fought a case that got the boy’s father a death sentence, the doctor said, adding that Mr. Pichai would send patients with little notes, informing him that they could not afford the treatment.
“My only sad feeling is that the Madras Bar has produced great lawyers, but unfortunately nothing has been written about them,” said Mr. Guy
Ramya Subramaniam, Mr. Pichai’s granddaughter, Justice V. Ratnam, former Chief Justice, High Court, Himachal Pradesh, G. Narayanasamy, auditor, B.S. Gnanadesikan, MP, and senior advocate, advocate Malini Ganesh and other family members were among those who reminisced about their association with the Mylapore lawyer.