I was born and brought up in the Nilgiris in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. My father worked for the State Bank of India and my mother is a house wife. Both I and my brother G.R.Rajkumar (who is younger than me by two years) went to school at the Breeks School in Ooty. I joined this School in Kindergarten in the year 1973 which was the Centenary Year of this very old and reputed school (Established in 1874) and completed my class-X under the CBSE board in 1984.
I took up Science and Mathematics in my class XI and completed my class XII from the Breeks Memorial Anglo-Indian Hr. Sec. School in 1986. The School with its committed, caring and knowledgeable teachers as well as its iconic Head Teachers who led the school at that time was a great source of inspiration. Breeks at that time was a great place for me during my formative years.
I have very fond memories of my childhood and that of growing up in Ooty amidst a very friendly and helpful community. Also the place itself was un-polluted and a real paradise and I consider myself very lucky to have lived and spent my childhood in Ooty during that point in time. I remember going for movies every Saturday afternoon with my dad at the Assembly Rooms (which was a movie hall) which screened very good English movies at that time (there were new movies every week). I got so deeply entrenched and fascinated in those movies I saw that at one point I even considered a career in Film making.
While most of my friends went out of the Nilgiris to do their higher Education I refused to go out even though I had a place in one of the Engineering colleges in Coimbatore. I was so attached to the Nilgiris that I decided to study at the Government Arts College in Ooty. Inspired by my English teacher in School, Mr.Paul Xavier, I actually wanted to study English Literature. However, I was advised strongly to take up science subjects considering potential careers later. This did not matter much to me, I loved all the subjects I studied in my Class XII equally and I decided to take up an Undergraduate course with Chemistry as a Major Subject and Physics and Mathematics as ancillaries. I completed my B.Sc., in the year 1989. My love for Chemistry only increased and I decided to major in Chemistry in my Post-graduation.
I completed my M.Sc., in the year 1991. I decided to continue my research in Chemistry. I began work in alkaloid chemistry and aimed to extract a Natural product from a plant available in the Southern Penninsula. under the guidance of a renowned researcher.