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.
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