pachai maamalai pol mene

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

A real story ' Kalaivani' , a gem!!.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Srinivasan Ravi

Subject: FW: A real story ' Kalaivani' , a gem!!. but have patience to go through!

In college days you must have  read a poem of Thomas Gray. Compared to Milton Shakespeare, Browning. Keats, Shelly etc ,whole of his writings will not exceed 30 pages but some of his words were immortal. One particular passage
"Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air
Here is one incident reflecting the sentiments echoing the above passage (but not going to waste)  hitherto unknown to outsiders and discovered accidentally by a casual visitor. 
This is a mail of different kind. Roll the mouse over the words pressing the left mouse button to see the words, if you do not see them
( It is not the Kalavati about whom Rahul Gandhi spoke in the Parliament)

 ' Kalaivani.'

   a  REAL story from Viswanath of  'Washington Post'..

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 a  few minutes with this wonderful girl..

Sept 2008, Padma and I, decided to spend as much time at our own Mylapore..
after all we don't have to again explore the Coral Reefs of Australia or the Kind 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 to Swami VIvekananda..

One day, I came across a lecture at 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
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?"

God..she knows..
"Sanskrit& English"

"Do you like to have the Publication from Chinmaya Mission 
Indu Publications 
 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 other places
that I am not)

"Then Sir,you can take this"..

she ran to the Shelf where I had searched
 for 30 minutes or so,
 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 wonderful

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,I really 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 at 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 the 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 
( essence) and one would become a bit more humble in life..
leaving Ahamkaram ( ego) once for all.."

"Is it a fact that reading this simple book one would get so humble..

"Ofcourse one should 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 went  next  morning leaving 
 my appointment 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 
 died a few years earlier  caring
 for none of them..

Her mother used to work as a helper in Masonry and had also  passed away
 couple of years  earlier ..
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.

"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?"

"Rs 2500..Sir"

"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 10,000 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 remote interiors of places
 like Bihar , Barrackpur, etc ..
how many more Jewels ,
 like Kalaivani
can be found.
I really became humbled..

Beauty is His footprint showing us where He has passed - Aurobindo

S Ravi

1 comment:

  1. Things are beautiful if you love them.