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Is an Ounce of Luck Worth a Ton of Effort?
By Jimmy Noronha
Jimmy Noronha originally from Belloor, Bantwal has extensively travelled abroad and is now settled in Lucknow. In this article he narrates his two personal experiences which he feels has more than mere human touch.

May 7, 2012

Yes, without an iota of doubt, an ounce of luck can work wonders and far outweighs tons of effort; as it happened in my case. Way back in 1974, just as I took a lift from an obscure taxi driver from the then Santa Cruz Airport to Kalina where my sister lived, this strange event took place.

I was alone, returning from Muscat on leave. I got into the waiting taxi that was at the helm of a huge serpentine cue, to pick a fare. He was a Sardar, and no sooner did I get into the taxi than I began to settle the luggage. Then I told him to proceed to Kalina.

Trouble began to brew at once. The Sardar started to demand that having waited in the cue for long, I must pay the fare that amounts to the equivalent of the distance to Taj Hotel. But I would have nothing of it and would part with only what his meter asked. The Sardar, would also not budge. Either pay the full fare to the Taj Hotel or face the consequences. I preferred the latter. I felt I was right and the Sardar thought that he was, for he had waited for so long to pick his fare only to end up with picking a fare that would amount to a measly sum of even less than Rs 10!!.

He dropped me at my sister’s place and I looked into the meter and paid him what the meter directed. On offering the fare, the Sardar would have nothing of it, he threatened, “Either pay the fare that amounts to the distance to the Taj or he would barge into my sister’s house and get ‘his due’!.

Now I found myself in a piquant situation. Seeing me in my own territory, I began to display some false pretence of machismo. I raised myself to the higher pedestal of an NRI and let my brother in law do the talking. And mind you, all this bravado is only over a measly sum of less than Rs 10!! My brother in law threatened the Sardar to go by the meter or get off.

I paid him his fare, nothing more, though, heart of heart I felt, he deserved a little consideration but my brother in law prevailed upon me over any act of consideration. The Sardar took the fare, gave me a nasty look, hurled at me those choice Bombay brewed mouthing and zipped off.

Next morning to my horror of horrors, I found I had everything in place except for the handbag that contained my passport, return air ticket, and some other documents. It so happened that the previous night in the melee of fare fixing, I forgot to pick my handbag that I laid by my side in the seat in the taxi.

I could visualize the delight in my inner eye the Sardar was in for. Anyway, as I revealed this fiasco to my brother in law the first question that was put to me was if I had any money in the bag and I said “none”, only the passport, air ticket and some documents. “Go to Kennedybridge and ask for taxi union office”, said my brother in law and I did likewise.

As I was entering the Taxi Union Office at Kennedybridge, the petite receptionist gave me a glance and then crooned over to me the most delightful query that was much more than music to my ear that could have even overshadowed ‘Kolavari Di’. She said, “Are you Mr. Noronha?”

I was in the seventh heaven, no doubt about that. How unlucky I was I thought that if only she were my wife or even a girl friend I would have carried her on my shoulders miles and miles on with joy???

“Yes, I am Noronha.” said I and she crooned again that a Sardar (or was he an angel?) had just come from Ville Parle that early morning and directed that the passport with all the contents intact should be handed over to me after I paid his taxi fare, amounting only to Rs 17 which I paid most willingly and as a matter of fact I would have paid many times over. The very man whom I termed a devil the day before when he demanded fare to the Taj, is now an angel to me. What an irony, what a surprise!!!

“This is the heavenly angel.” I thought and was full of remorse for being what I was to him the previous night. I had fought with him on a silly matter, he could have taken revenge for that, but no, he drove all the way early morning from home the next day, and took only what is most reasonable, no reward, no demand, nothing. If this is not luck what else is?? I yearned to meet him, but I had no way to find him for he left neither address nor telephone number, and those were the days when mobile was still in the limbo.

Now, isn’t it that by sheer luck that I landed none but only this angel of a man of all the other drivers? Could it be that most of the other drivers have done what this good man of God had done after facing such a face-off? Hasn’t he spared me tons and more tons of labor, ordeal and what’s more, anguish? For all that; he perhaps had even saved me of my job in the Gulf.?

Yes, it is “luck”, and not “effort” that is worth hundred-fold over.

On another occasion, when I returned to India in 1987 for good, I had still miles to go before I settled my family, with my eldest son being hardly 14 years old and then other two younger children with years off their teens. It was the peak of my family expenses and here I was with little or no income. I had only enough money for a moderate house with no job. I was bent upon giving the best education to my children and simultaneously determined to have a roof of my own over my head. I was all out to have that proverbial desire, “have the cake and eat it as well” but how?

Anyway my wife got a good job in a convent school and I had all these ambitions but had no job. I went on scanning through all the English dailies and I discovered that one particular advertisement was repeatedly lurking every Sunday, that suited me the best.

However, the employer was very clever to shield his identity and I wondered if I was going on a wild goose chase by applying and approaching for the job. Anyway, I reached the place, and to my dismay I discovered that it was a government office and at the age of 45, a government job, that too in a judiciary, was wide off any short cuts.
I was crestfallen to see the job that suited me the most to slip off my hand. I began to make my way out of the main gate. As I was retreating from the place, the Security Officer asked me why I was returning. I had to tell him that I am 45 and it is not possible to
get into government department.
Capt Chander Singh, the Security Officer who later I came to know rarely ever stands at the main gate but was there that day by a sheer quirk of destiny. What he said then, keeps ringing in my ears even to this day. He is no longer alive but he changed my life for the better, forever: the late Capt. Chander Singh. You know what he told me, “Now that you have come all the way to this place, why don’t you meet the Director and then go!.” Who would ever have said that? I did exactly what the Capt. Chander Singh said, and met the Director, the Retd. Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, and he told me after a brief talk, that I should see him on the 3rd of August,- just three days later - as it is an auspicious day according to him.

I did exactly as he directed and there were over 40 candidates for the post when I appeared on the appointed day, but as luck would have it, I was among the three selected for the post and that helped me to realize all my dreams of life.

Yes, it was luck that turned the table for the better for me. It was my luck that of all the days that Capt Chander Singh happened to stand at the gate on that delightful day. But let me add if luck is combined with effort one is sure to counter any hurdles in life and lead a life that might as well be the envy of many.

However in this connection, I must add, that if one loves one’s neighbor as one loves oneself, and keeps ones head down and work hard to achieve one’s goal, nothing can deter one. We may say it is luck, but I strongly believe, when we say luck, it is nothing but the invisible hand of God that plays the vital role in our lives. Please permit me to record a brief example in this instance that I read recently?

“There was a flood in a small town and everyone was running for safety. A holy man, however, stayed behind saying, “Lord is my shepherd. He will save me.” As the water level rose, a jeep came to rescue him. The man refused repeating, “God will save me.” When the water kept rising the man climbed up to the terrace. A helicopter came to rescue him but he said, “God will save me.” Suddenly lightning struck the man; and he dropped dead. When he reached his Lord in heaven, he said, “My God, I had trust in you. Why didn’t you save me?

The Lord replied, “Didn’t save you! Who do you think sent you the jeep, the boat, and the helicopter?” Yes, faith is the key to counter all overpowering hurdles in life. God guides us in various ways and faith in Him is the ultimate solution. And excuse me if I say, that this Sardar, and Capt. Chander Singh are nothing but only the representatives of God above who played a vital role in my life – the invisible hands.


Jimmy Noronha - Archives:


Comments on this article
Zeena, Saturday, May 25, 2013

Success = Efforts God's Blessings.
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Jagdish Rao, MangaloreThursday, June 21, 2012
Very true
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philomin, dubaiMonday, May 14, 2012
This is what really happens with us.but v dont realise.this article every one should read.may be some of can read n just ignore.4 me this was amazing story.thank u 4 sharing with us.i hope every one read this.n i wish u all the very best in the life.thank u.
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Frederick Pinto, Mangalore/QatarMonday, May 14, 2012
Well Jimmy,you always inspire a lot of of people with your writing & as I firmly believe in luck & in winning a huge amount of money through a lottery one day,I agree wholeheartedly with what you have said in your article.
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Sonia, BhopalSaturday, May 12, 2012
I have no words Mr.Noronha,not only do you write so splendidly but your articles touch the innermost core of one's heart.Very rarely do we come across people like the two mentioned by you in today's world.The modern world is selfish and materialistic,we hardly get to see a good Samaritan.Do unto others as you would like others to do unto you.Coming across people like these two implies that you too must have done some good in your life.All the best to you and your family.May you have abundant happiness and joy always.Do continue to pen your inspiring thoughts!
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Charles D'Mello, PangalaSaturday, May 12, 2012
Keep writing Mr. Jimmy Noronha. Really touching real life incidences.
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geoffrey, hat hillFriday, May 11, 2012
It's equally true that 'luck often favors the brave'.
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Alwyn D'souza, Niddodi/MangaloreThursday, May 10, 2012
Very good article.
Success = Effort Luck.

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Tony Crasta, Mangalore/SydneyWednesday, May 09, 2012
Nice write up and narration of stories by the writer. Demanding extra amounts by the taxi/rickshaw drivers at the airport - it happens to me all the time, and I always land up paying additional Rs. 50 or 100 over and above the meter tariff. Normally, before I hire the taxi or the rickshaw I ask the driver as to how long he had to wait for his turn and accordingly negotiate for one or two hours of waiting charges. That way, he is happy (they have to make a living as well), and I also do not mind paying some extra amount - after all, I am keen to reach my destination safe and well. By the way, my experience has been that all Sikh and Bhayya (UP) drivers are good, friendly and helpful, whereas some that I came across from Bihar are rough and rude.
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mukesh, mangaloreTuesday, May 08, 2012
Superb article.God is Great always
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Paresh Mehta, Mulki/A'mbadTuesday, May 08, 2012
Angry people always carry good heart.
Whenever people comes from abroad - people expect something as a gift because everybody has not given opportunity to travel distance place by God. As a goodwill we should handover some extra bucks to taxi-drivers to re-start our innings at our homeland. Nicely written.
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Sushma, ChennaiTuesday, May 08, 2012
Destiny determines so much in our lives. A great article of God's hand in shaping our destiny!!

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Agnello, Mangalore/MuscatTuesday, May 08, 2012
Its always luck..
The more effort,
the more the tries
the better your chances, at luck.
Best of luck Jimmy
And all the best to the rest.
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Molly Munro, DubaiMonday, May 07, 2012
Thanks Mr. Jimmy for this wonderful article, it is far superior and has a deep meaning I should say, you have a gifted talent to write and pass the message to mankind the love and care that God showers on us in miraculous ways though we may say how lucky we were. Naah it is the presence of God in our lives…

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A. S. Mathew, U.S.A.Monday, May 07, 2012
Great story of inspiration. While catching a taxi in Delhi with my friend, he was very picky and got into an old taxi driven by a person of SIKH faith. He told me, uncle when you are in India, try to get a taxi driven by a SIKH
driver. Some of them may charge you some extra, but all of them will protect you even by giving their life.
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Shelly, BangaloreMonday, May 07, 2012
Luck is another way to say "What goes around comes around", so I would say that in both cases your own goodness to others resulted in others being good to you. Well done! Good article and a very good read.
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Suneer , LondonMonday, May 07, 2012
Good article, yes, kindness and compassion from fellow living beings is indeed a divine quality.
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