This is a story I wrote in Sulekha in 2009 and this was circulated and recirculated by many groups .One day Visu in Jaya TV’s Arattai Arangam,Sunday Show was asking fervently
”I am looking forward to this Girl Kalaivani,whereever you are..I wish to help you..!”
A story I wrote is still believed to be a true story..and hence I am reproducing the same as I am trying to bring all of my important blogs under one Folder….
(Some one copied my story but recd many comments,including,one Sandeep writing on that post,this was my Story..Imp thing is it generated so many fav. Comments..pls see the link at the Bottom)
Tks for your patience..
4th October 2012
As a JOurnalist,from Washington Post I had the privilege of meeting and interviewing many Famous people from Paris Hilton to Oprah Winfrey and this experience of my Interviewing,Kalaivani,near the MYlapore Karpagambal Temple,is unique indeed.Come with me to share my few minutes with this wonderful girl..
Sept 2008,me and Padma,decided to spend as much time in our own MYlapore..after all we don’t have to again explore the Coral Reefs of Australia or the King Penguins in Antartica and hence we took an apartment near the temple and started building our roots in MYlapore..
One day,we decided to buy some Vedic Books and cassettes and thats how we met Kalaivani..
My knowledge of Vedas and Upanishads are as good as any one of the Ordinary Mortals in Mada street who chose to live in a Faith of their birth by refusing to indulge in the extravangance of exploring anything about Sankara or Swami VIvekananda..One day I came across a lecture in Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan,where Goda Venkatesa Sastri explained the beauty of “Thathva Bodha” which made my simple mind strain a bit to atleast go thro the text of this astonishing Adi Sankara’s works..After a simple Temple Darshan we entered “Giri Trading” and started searching for this Book on Thatva Bodha..
We found many people buying various Books and CDs and from their smart walks and accumulation of CDs from Bhajans to Bombay Jaishree,sent a nice feeling in us,that,we have come to the right place indeed…
I was looking for this Book while my wife started collecting Bharathiar’s songs and Ms’s Music..I searched everywhere for this Book..
There was this Girl Kalaivani,standing next to the Cashier,sincerely watching all our movements..a Black Girl,should be from a nearby Village,might be 17 or 18,should not have crossed 8th Std.,Might be out of POverty she is here..all my Journalist’s brain unnecessarily calculated about this Gullible Girl..and tho’ she was repeatedly watching me,I ignored her and started searching for”Thathva Bodha”
I saw many books from”Sandhya Vandanam” to Swami VIvekananda’s Chicago Speech” but having spent a good 40 minutes..I looked at her..she also looked at me curiously..
I asked her,knowing fully well that such a girl cannot have any idea of anything,leave alone Thathva Bodah..
“Sir,Shall I help you?”(in Tamil)
“Yes I am looking for Thatva Bodha?”
“Sanskrit Text or English /Sanskrit?”
“Do you like to have the PUblication from Chinmaya Mission or Indu Publications or by Ramakrishna Mutt?”
“I dont know..I just want to only Learn you see..I dont really know indeed”
“Do you read Tamil Sir?”
“Yes I am a Tamilian “
(thinking to myself how most of mylife time
I like to act in most otherplaces
that I am not)
“Then Sir,you can take this”..she ran to the Shelf where I had searched for 30 minutes,removed the books in the front side and came out with a Book in Tamil
“This one in Tamil by N.Sivaraman by Indu Publications infact is simple and wonderfullYou have the Sanskrit Text too inside..”
My God..Why did I under estimate such a Genius..Just because of my Arrogance that I am an NRI..
Or Just because I presumed such a Black,gullible girl,
who wd have come for this JOb out of absolute poverty,
wdn’t have any idea of”Thatva Bodha”
I decided to change my attitude and realise that I am absolutely an ‘Idiot’ at this moment in front of this wonderful girl and submitted myself in all humilty..
“Madam,Ireally don’t have any idea of even who wrote Thatva BOdha till Yesterday..I just attended a lecture on this subject and was fascinated by the lecture and hence”
“Did you attend Goda Venkateswara Sastri’s lecture in BHarathiya Vidya Bhavan?”
“Oh God..How did you know?”
“He regularly takes classes on such subjects..infact he is one of the best Sir,in the city on such subjects”
“You are interested in such subjects?”
“Yes Sir,I read a lot about Swami VIvekananda and Ramakrishna and Thathva Bodha incidentally is my favourite Subject”
“You mean to say you have read Thatva Bodha.?”
“I have read this one by Sivaraman and once you read it you won’t feel like keeping that book on the table at all..”
“Why what is so great about this Book?”
“Sir,you must be Joking that you don’t know about Thatva Bodha..”
“Really I accept my ignorance..”
my wife was watching from the corner,admiring all her Cd collections..
“Sir,according to me if you read this it gives the entire Vedanthic Saramsam and one wd become a bit more humble in life..
leaving Ahamkaram once for all..”
“Is it a fact that reading this simple book one wd get so humble..
“Ofcourse one shd be involved totally into the text..
Needs lot of conviction and devotion..”
My wife joined the conversation and she felt this girl is indeed a very very talented intelligent girl..so she told me
“Why don’t you interview her for Washington Post..why at all you shd think of Paris Hilton?”
I also felt that I owe something to her..so I asked her whether she can spare sometime for an interview..
She politely refused saying
“My boss is to give me permission..Besides many people are looking for guidance like you and hence I have to go..”
“What is your name anyway?”
My wife’s admiration for her devotion to duty and her total involvement in her work..made her go direct to the Boss..”Sir,that girl Kalaivani..”
“Yes very hard working Girl..”
“This is my husband Viswanath ..”
“Nice meeting you Sir”
“He is the Senior Journalist in Washington Post..”
Boss stood up..”Washington Post?”
“Yes Sir..I wd like to interview this girl..I am highly impressed..with her ethics..”
Boss called her..Time was 5:45 Pm…
“Kalaivani,they have come all the way from USA..they wd like to spend sometime with you..can you?”
“Sir,there are so many customers waiting for some guidance..
it is a rush time..if they can come again tomorrow..”
“OK OK I can come again tomorrow..”
I again came next day morning leaving all my appointments with Times of India just to see this girl..It was no rush hour..
My wife and myself found out….
Kalaivani is from a nearby village near Arcot..She has 5 sisters..She is the eldest one..Her father was a drunkard and he died a few years ago caring for none of them..Her mother used to work as a helper in Masonry and passed away two years back..leaving all the 6 on the streets..
This girl who had completed her 9th std decided to search for a job and Giri Trading came forward to help her out..She brought all her 5 sisters with her and with her meagre salary she is taking care of them..all the 5 sisters are going to a nearby corporation school..
“Kalaivani..but when did you get this enthusiasm to learn about Thatva Bodha?”
“Sir after joining here,I decided that the best way to be of help to the customers is to know the subject first..I took small Books on Swami VIvekananda and started reading..I found the subject so fascinating..I decided to read other books in Tamil like Bagavad Gita and Viveka Choodamani..Thats how..”
“What is your salary?”
“Are you able to manage all your expenses with the 5 sisters..?”
“Not at all Sir but the Boss helps me a lot..?”
“What is your aim in LIfe?”
“I want all my sisters to get education..
then they wd get easily employments is it not?”
“If I give monthly Rs 10000 for meeting all your expenses..wd that suffice..?”
“It is indeed too much but that also I wd accept only thro’ my Boss..”
We took her to the Boss and told him that we wd like to send Rs 10000 every month so that all her sisters’ education wd be completed..Boss said
“She deserves it Sir..You can trust me I will hand over the amount to her every month or alternately you can open an acct in her name and start transferring..”
My friend John Paul,
who is the Regional Manager of Times of India had also come with me..He said”You have done a good thing..”
My wife said”I pray that Karpagambal helps Kalaivani to become an expert in Vedantha and start giving lectures in USA..
We can arrange for her lectures..”
We left wonderstruck….If we go into the interiors of BIhar and Barrackpur..how many moreJewels can be found..
I really became humbled.
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