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Mangalore to Bombay...
by Jimmy Noronha - Lucknow
(Jimmy Noronha originally from Belloor, Bantwal has extensively travelled abroad and is now settled at Lucknow. Here he tries to explain his ordeal while trying to break free from his addiction to smoking)

Oct 9, 2009

Self confidence and determination in life helps one to achieve success in life.

I was the eldest child in a family of eleven children when my father had a small and successful business as far back in the mid sixties. He knew a smattering of English and some government official used to make our home their convenient abode when they toured our remote village Belloor, which was devoid of proper transport facilities, etc.

My father being a large hearted man was very happy to provide shelter to those guests as well as entertain them.

Soon bad times fell on my father’s business and he began to fall into debts and the family began to face poverty. Things came to such a pass that I was forced seek employment and I went to Virajpet for that purpose so that I could supplement the family income to some extent. Moreover, my father was in heavy debt as my sister got married a little earlier which only compounded the already dire situation.

Since there was hardly any future prospects in Virajpet, I decided to better my prospects elsewhere and found Bombay a suitable for me to seek my future.

At the end of April in 1968, when I got my salary I sent virtually all of it to my mother, and an amount of about Rs.250/- which I had saved , I took with me and carried a small sachet and then proceeded straight to Hassan on my way to Bombay. Of course, my employer was against such an adventure as he was very close to me.

Before venturing to Bombay, I had written to the only friend of mine there if I could get some place to stay and he wrote back to say that he would provide some accommodation for me in Colaba where one could get a bed at night to sleep for Rs.3/- and that suited me well, as during the day I would be away searching for a job. But this friend disappeared from the scene when the time came for me to proceed to Bombay and then I was on my own!

At Bombay, I had no friends, nor addresses of any of my acquaintances or relatives, and what was worse I had absolutely no knowledge about Bombay or for that matter I could not even utter a word in Hindi and yet I was venturing into the unknown territory with a measly sum of about Rs.250/-.

As the train from Hassan where I boarded it, picked up speed and was gradually closing in on Bombay, I started getting cold feet. I started to wonder what was I doing with little or nothing on me, and to make matters worse I had no one in Bombay, what if I were to fall ill, and what if I had to lose the little money I so carefully guarded and what if I do not get a job. All possible questions were lurking in my mind.

Lacking in courage I turned to God, as I was feeling terribly low and felt as if the whole world had deserted me, and then I started to hum to myself, “Oh Lord, my God, how great thou art, how great thou art”, take me home (Bombay) what joy shall fill my heart!! I know the Lord above was guiding me and once I land in Bombay, He would take care of me, never mind if there was none to stand by me, and such was my faith in Him.

I landed in Byculla at about 8 p.m. and not having any traffic sense, walked across the street only to have a very narrow shave, as a sardar in a taxi was coming straight at me with a full throttle, and I stood still like a frightened mouse and he roared at me like a lion.

I do not know what he said but he pulled his vacant taxi by the road side and said something to me in Hindi and I answered him in English and then he took me straight to a hotel at Dhobi Talao, at a very reasonable charge, which was on the 3rd floor and I had only to pay Rs.8/- per day.

Now that I was in Bombay, I was certain that I would be guided by the Lord. I awoke the next morning, walked out of the hotel, had some breakfast and surprisingly I found Bombay had amenities to cater to all tastes and I felt so far so good and then walked on and realized that I was at Churchgate.

I was tired and then I saw the sea and I felt as if something was pulling me towards the blue sea. I was tired and decided to have some rest on the protecting wall against the sea. Hardly had I sat down when I saw something that was to transform my life for the better to the rest of my life.

As I was sitting my eyes fell on the board, “Fernandes Laundry”, behind the hotel, The Talk of the Town, and on approaching the laundry, the owner, a tall, handsome man immediately recognized me.

I had absolutely no indication that I would meet a man from my village, who has known me, and was doing well in Bombay. He immediately took me in hand, reprimanded me for undertaking such a foolish venture and asked me if I had informed my people in Bombay of my arrival. Then he took me to the hotel, to pick my small sachet and he pulled me into the waiting taxi, reached me to my brother-in-law’s house who was very generous to accommodate me at his place, and this good samaritan left saying I should meet him the next day.

The next day I was sent by my brother in law to an office at Fort Market and there I was interviewed and my work started the very day.

Well I was employed in a firm owned by a Gujarati, apparently doing extremely well, but I did not see much future there, and then on things started for me as if the house on fire.

In no time, I hopped over to Philips India, and then stepped over to Tatas and the rest is history. After changing jobs as I wished for a certain period, I finally got a fine platform at Shell in Muscat.

Jimmy Noronha - Archives:

Comments on this article
Ronny Saldanha, Ferrar/MumbaiWednesday, February 20, 2013
Just happened to read this article. Quite an impressive story. You mention that you worked in Philips India. Just curious to know where, as I worked in Philips India from 1980 to 2011
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Samvid Sharma, Lucknow,U.P,IndiaThursday, January 05, 2012
I was quite shocked by listening your lifetime achievement tale and all the hardwork you have done to earn something from God.I appreciate you for your hardwork.
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Ravi Lobo, Kinnigoli/WisconsinSunday, October 11, 2009
Thank you, Mr. Noronha for sharing your experiences. It’s a very inspiring article. The narration is very good. I hope you will find success in breaking your smoking habit by writing inspiring articles.
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Sanjay Noronha, Cape TownSunday, October 11, 2009
A very relevant article. Getting out of one's comfort zone is always a difficult thing. Sometimes necessity forces you to. Sometimes the want of a more successful life. But once the initial hurdles are overcome, more often than not, there is the sweet sound and smell of well deserved success.
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Hilda Monteiro, Mangalore / KatipallaSunday, October 11, 2009
It is said hardwork & sincerity spells in the long run. Believe, "Though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great (job:8:7)". This is the promise of God!
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Fahim Mugdi, Shirur / JeddajSaturday, October 10, 2009
WHAT YOU GET IS WHAT YOU DESERVE well and inspiring exprience shared by Mr Jimmy Noronhaby which we juniours can built up in our future life As of now the generation wants things to flow in minites but when its comes to performing it will not be the same as we thought so some goes into depration Untill and unless we have some desire to do we wount be successful We dont see things as they are ,we see things as we are... So we must become the change we want to see
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John B. Monteiro, Bondel, MangaloreSaturday, October 10, 2009

Jimmy Noronha's difficult jorney to his present comfortable status is instructive and interesting. I had known his father - God's good man - as i was going to chiurch and school in Belloor. Jimmy mentions his initial benefactor in Bombay as Fernandes Laundry owner on Marine Drive without naming him. He is john Fernande who had been a sort of godfather and Santa Claus for me and many of my freinds from St. Alosius, Mangalore who went to Bombay in search of jobs.

He would be generous with his money to us ever-broke juniors.The name of the laundry was Marina Cleaners and it was our favourite meeting point. He has now sold his laundry and has retired but is busy in active social service. May his tribe increase!

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ASHOK, Udupi/DubaiSaturday, October 10, 2009
Nice Article. Please change the Heading Mangalore to Mumbai instead Mangalore to Bombay.
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Adeeb, mangalore/KsaSaturday, October 10, 2009
Well said A.S.Mathew, it's a really inspiring personal experience.In a way I can say im going through the same bad period in a place were I dont know anybody.His article really gave me some strength.keep writing
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Molly Munro, Mangalore/DubaiSaturday, October 10, 2009
A well narrated article from his life’s experience, more than anything else his trust in  God showing us that God is ever present in the world, though ways of experiencing God in our lives are different, it is so amazing that Gods help arrived in time for Jimmy to show him the way. We all have struggles in our lives, and we all need encouragement - thanks Jimmy for bringing so much encouragement and showing God’s presence in our lives - Wish you all the best.
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A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.Saturday, October 10, 2009

It is a very inspiring story. In life, we will be forced walking to strange and dangerious places. When we look back, we may wonder, why did we do that foolishness! You called on God in time of desperation and despondency, and the unseen hand of God lead you through troubled waters. I had been to some of the most dangerous places without knowing about the danger.

Without knowing anybody personally, starting a life in a totally alien land of different culture, climate and food was a journey of faith, but God's voice gave me strength, and His hands lead me through the mud and fire of life. Keep on writing: you don't know, how many people are being blessed and inspired with such stories like your personal experience, all over the world. In these economically depressed time, your story can give an added boost to look for another day with hope.

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Lancelot N Tauro, Manglore - Doha qatarFriday, October 09, 2009
It was rightly said Bombay was SWARG, Heaven to many. Bombaicha Sargar Paulair puro, Ushar Jathalo kaselo bero beautiful lirics by Dr. Wilfy Remimbus.
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