In 1954 I completed my graduation and I was keen to take up a job to support my family that was in dire straits because of limited family income from the sole earnings of my father a Christian priest. My father’s job was such that outside we were to keep a high profile with a low income that would just suffice to keep the wolf away from the door. He had to borrow heavily from others to pay for the educational expenses of his three sons and a daughter. I ran the errands for loans and I had to face very humiliating situations many a time. Schools and College Managements were not devilishly commercialised then. The High School fee was around Rs.50/- a year and the College fee was Rs.15/- or so per month. My mother showed her real mettle and she managed the situation brilliantly - from procuring firewood to extracting rice out of raw paddy to cooking food and serving to the satisfaction of all. After my graduation my parents had great expectations that I would contribute to the family well-being and I wanted to live up to it. My father being a tolerant Christian priest enjoyed great influence with parishioners and among our Hindu brethren in the locality. To procure a job, I pinpointed a particular person - a grand old man who was the family patriarch of a rich family. One of the members of the family - a humble God fearing graceful person - was running a small industry in Madras suburbs. I requested my father to go and meet the person and request a recommendation for a job in the Madras factory. I was qualified because during annual college holidays in previous years I had mastered typewriting and could use a typewriter very well and fast. The person agreed and accordingly wrote a letter to the owner of the Madras factory. Prompt came the reply. He would provide me with a job if I mastered in shorthand and typewriting. Shorthand was Greek to me and I requested the person to write to Madras to take me in and I would master shorthand soon while working. He refused. He curtly told me that he would not write as writing would mean hurting the business person if he could not oblige and can result in his closing on his occasional visits to him. He was right. But that was also closing a hope that was kindled in me. It was too much for me to bear and I remained silent for some time. Then I bade good-bye to the grand old man and came out. I went into brooding and with the limited knowledge on life I had at that age I saw everything dark around me. I did not talk to any one; replied to questions in fewer words and always retired to sit on a giant log kept at the Church premises. This continued for two days and my mother saw that something was amiss in me. Once sitting on the log she came to me and sat next to me and asked me in a soft voice what was wrong with me. I cried and told her what had happened in my search for employment. She held me close to her and kissed on my forehead and in a soft controlled voice she said; “Believe in God, He has some better plans reserved for you”. I was very affectionate to my mother and my brothers and sister used to call me ‘Mother’s Pet’. As she retreated I wiped off my tears and followed her. And that chapter was off my mind. But look, how my God had led me to my destination.
Later on my father’s recommendation I got a job in an Advertising Agency in Kottayam in Travancore, now a part of Kerala. By this time my elder brother migrated to Bombay. The Advertisement Agency closed for want of business and my brother called me to Bombay where I got a job as an Accounts Assistant in the Office of a large Pharmaceutical factory. In a short span through dedicated hard work, I jumped all the Seniors and Experienced to become the Office Supervisor of the establishment. I was aggressive. I wanted to reach higher with more income to look after my family. I succeeded. I joined the Sales Department of one of leading multinationals of the world. I wanted to reach higher. Collecting all the relevant details through directories and books, I prepared a ‘Market Survey Report’ for consumer products in Kerala. It was appreciated by the Management. When a vacancy arose in Madras covering all the Southern States, I was assigned to that job. In this position:
1. I had called on the Madras Company, holding a much respectable and responsible position, which by now had become a Corporate giant in their field,
2. I had interacted with most of its Directors in a group representing my company,
3. I rose to a very high position in my company in course of time which I could not have equalled had I received a job in 1954 in that company,
4. I secured enough financial stability to comfortably look after my parents and my siblings from 1956 onwards,
5. I earned more and more through hard work and His Grace, that enabled me to buy my own factory in Madras where my GOOD AND GRACEFUL TENANT is a family enterprise of the Madras Industrialist, a GRACEFUL PERSON who is no more. My tenant till this day does not know about the story. Unbelievable, you feel! But it happened. My mother prayed for me and God could not escape rewarding me with His blessings.
Between 1954 and 2004, I had faced crisis after crisis in my life. At the height of each crisis my mother’s advice reflects in my mind: I hear her soft, soothing voice of wisdom and I leave the crisis to take its course. Many a time I found it was disastrous to me, but what was disastrous to me then turned out to my good ultimately.
TO ME, A MOTHER IS THE HOLIEST AMONG ALL HOLY INSTITUTIONS, THE BEST FRIEND, GUIDE AND PHILOSOPHER IN OUR LIFE; MOST SUPPORTIVE AND UNDERSTANDING IN DIFFICULT TIMES; AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF GOD-GIFTED WISDOM, A PILLAR OF STRENGTH TO LEAN ON AND AN OCEAN FULL OF LOVE AND AFFECTION.
Unbelievable, you feel! But it happened. My mother prayed for me and God could not escape rewarding me with His blessings. BE GOOD, FOR GOD TO BE GOOD.