Sunday, August 21, 2011
Narsamma was our cook and domestic help at our Hyderabad house for nearly 2 years. In many ways she was an all-rounder, since she was so well multi skilled that she could start her day right at 4.00 am in the morning and go strong till well past midnight completing household chores. Among many skills that she possessed, one thing that was admirable was her mental strength, which is so typical of Indian Women, who are known to shoulder the burden of their family in the most adverse situations. Her husband was down with cerebral stroke and she was the sole bread winner for her family. From paying the education expenses of her children, health expenses of her better half and living expenses of her family, she had this admirable ability to manage her resources so well, that I sometimes felt she would have made a great management guru, given the right environment. Nevertheless one quality that was venerable was that she could still manage a smile on her face, while at work. I am not sure she had attended any crash courses on stress management elsewhere! We have seen her most happy the day when her son could manage to get through his exams in Computer Engineering, at a local government engineering college with flying colours.We were more amused to hear her saying that, she was confident that shortly her son would manage to get a job in any one of those IT major companies in the city. She suddenly mentioned that she had read in a local regional newspaper about a company called Infosys and that the founder of that company started it with a initial capital of Rs 4000/- only and today it was a million dollar company. So she was buoyant about the fact that if one man called Narayanamurthy was capable of doing wonder with Rs 4000/- and generate jobs for a workforce of 1.5 lac, if every single individual would possess that spirit, why would it be impossible?? Believe me….that’s a million dollar question and absolutely thought provoking. This had happened around 6 yrs ago and today as I am scripting down my thoughts, I am sure Narsamma’s son had made it big in life without qualm. I read recently in media about Mr N R Narayanmurthy, stepping down as the chairman of Infosys and now planning to don the role of Chairman Emeritus. There were lots of comments and discussion in the media about this. In my opinion the greatest accomplishment for Mr Murthy is not just having created a million dollar company, but having inspired every single citizen in this country to dream big, set high goals and approach life with a sense of optimism. So when next time someone would ask, “Which is your most favorite gift? “ I would say, “LIFE”.
Monday, August 15, 2011
I was told by my botany teacher in my school days, that the banyan tree has these huge branches that hang down which over a period of time becomes a trunk by itself and in years to go, it becomes an independent tree by itself without depending on the mother tree. Might be that’s true for a banyan tree. In life on many instances we move from our actual place of birth to many other places in search of multiple things amongst which work holds primary importance. Over a period of time we start feeling that now we are away from our roots and might be the place of existence is the reality, but one would be surprised to realize that though we start feeling detached from our roots, the roots never disown us. It rather gets itself attached in many amusing ways, for instance in the last 8 yrs in Kolkata, I had always relied on internet downloads for mantras and rituals and YouTube videos for having a live relay of the steps involved in various rituals, particularly the Avani Avittam, that coincides with Raksha Bandhan, a day on which we change our sacred thread, amidst chanting of mantras. All that changed in the last 2 yrs, it’s by chance that I met Mr Vaidyaraman, now I call him Vaithi Anna.He had come along with his family for an eye examination and I was surprised to know he had been staying in kolkata for the past 40 yrs.Along with him I had visited this Shri Thygaraja Hall,behind the Lake Kali bhari,in south Calcutta. This year I had my sacred thread changed at the traditional Thygaraja Hall, which is a close to 80 yr old mandap, which had hosted the likes of Maharajapuram Santhanam, Sudha Raghunathan and Sanjay Subramanian. I was accompanied by a 60 odd kolkata based South Indian crowd and following the Sacred Thread change, the event came to an end with the traditional Ganapathy Homam and the chanting of Rig Veda & Yajur Veda by the Veda Brahman. I should say it was the most fulfilling day for me, that moment I realized a universal truth,” Where there is a Will, there is a Way.” So next time if someone says, I am alienated from my roots, it’s just that he/she had not took the initiative to stay in deep touch with ones own roots. As I am penning this down, suddenly I remembered a dialogue from the recent block buster, Hollywood science fiction; AVATAR….Dr Grace a scientist in this movie tells her corporate boss who is on a mission to eliminate the Eutaya Tree, the Tree of God….. “Wealth is not outside in an another World…..it’s here, just here next to us” Ironically we need a James Cameron to say this in a movie when it had been said long ago…so long ago by some great thinkers in our soil.