As you saw,so you reap
Hari was a youth of average intelligence,but of a very hardworking nature.He was liked by most of his teachers.After schooling he joined the predegree coursein the local college.After 2 years hejoined the BSc Chemistry course in the same college. The college was just 500 metres from his house.
The principal of the college was a priest who was very strict and gigantic in appearance.He was feared not only by the students but even by many teachers.But Hari’s father was a PWD surveyor who even from his forties was an intimate friend of the principal.The principal used to have his walk on all days in the evenings,and on many days he used to spend sometime to talk to Hari’s father about the construction activities in the college campus.Without expecting any remuneration he used to do the service to the college.Hari’s father ,Swami (he was known among the local public by this name )had a lodge in his compound which was let out to the students of the same college.The principal himself used to advise many students to live in Swami’s lodge as he knew that Swami was also a strict disciplinarian and used to monitor the activities of the residents.The students who also knew about the friendship between the principal (Achan )and the lodge owner did’nt dare to make much trouble.There was a talk among the students that if a student is expelled from Swami’s lodge he will be expelled from the college also.
Hari was a member of the college NCC throughout his 5 year career in the college.Though this was not liked by the Chemistry professor ,as Hari was a sincere student he did not raise strong objection.He felt that Chemistry students have laboratory work which may extend much beyond the regular college hours and enrolment in NCC will be hindrance to their study of the subject.However Hari continued with both ,and passed the BSc degree with a 1st class.
Swami had 11 children (6 sons and 5 daughters )and Hari was his 6th child.None of his elders could complete a degree course due to various reasons.Though Hari’s elder sisters were bright in studies they could not be sent to a womens college 20 miles away from their village.They got married and settled as housewives.
Swami was quite jubilant at the news of Hari’s getting a 1st class BSC degree.Many of his local friends who had no friendship with the principal could send their children to the same college and they all came out as graduates and post graduates.He,with all strong influence on the principal could not have that comfort.The result brought much relief to him.
Hari got several opportunities during the degree study itself for jobs which he could get on the basis of his SSLC and Predegree marks .He had written 2 or 3 tests also so as to secure his future.Hari was called for an interview in LIC at Coimbatore on the basis of one of the written tests .The interview was fixed for the last day of Hari’s BSc final examinations.The youth was in a dilemma.But Swami boldly told his son to complete the exams.and get a degree.He could try for jobs after a degree.This bold stand of his father was a turning point in his life.After the exams Hari went to Coimbatore and met the LIC board members but he was not given another chance for the interview.
Swami told Hari that he should try for MSc in any college where he could secure an admission.Though it was quite possible with a decent 1st class mark he had managed to get ,financial condition of the family was not that much sound as to meet the college and hostel expenses.He applied to several colleges and was selected in2 colleges.
One day the principal sent word to Hari’s father to urgently meet him in the college.Swami went to the college.Achan was having a slow walk around the college buildings.On seeing Swami he told that they may have a chance to rejoice.The University may sanction MSc chemistry course to Achan’scollege that year itself.He asked Swami to prepare the sketch for the classrooms ,laboratories,staffrooms etc forthwith.The same day evening Swami got these ready and gave it to Achan.Achan,meanwhile was a syndicate member also and commanded respects from all because of his special qualities.The report was submitted to the university and the PG course was sanctioned with immediate effect.Achan asked Swami to be present in the college on the visit of the sanctioning committee for any clarifications.
The head of the committee was an eminent Chemistry professor .During the visit itself Achan introduced Hari’s father to the professor as his BEST FRIEND.Achan also told him that one of the six seats is reserved for Hari.But he told Swami to keep this information a secret till the admissions are over.
The news about the new course led to several dramas.The management (Bishop )had a list of 6 aspirants with him.But the principal told him also that Swami has helped the college for several years without expecting any reward.So one seat should be given to Hari.This was approved.The other 5 were from the Bishop’s list.
Meanwhile the Chemistry professor of the college had his neighbour friend as the chief cashier in a reputed bank in the town.His son also was Hari’s classmate for BSc and was in the NCC also.The professor strongly pleaded for his admission .But the principal had some bad impression about him from the college hostel where the student lived for sometime.Achan said a firm NO to the professor’s candidate.
This led to an inherent antipathy towards Hari.He grilled Hari on several occasions during his PG studies, He even asked Hari to leave the PG course and go for some jobs as many of the local friends had done.He cited the example of FACT where many Chemistry graduates were appointed..But Hari politely told him that it was a long felt desire of his parents to have a PG degree by one of their children.This was not liked by the professor who had his own subtle reasons.But Hari was not involved in that.
Fortunately for Hari another professor was deputed to the college for the first 2 years to be in charge of the MSc classes.The new professor was quite impartial and affectionate to his students.After 2 years the results were declared and the batch performed well.There were 4 male students and 2 lady students.As it was the starting of the Predegree courses in colleges ( 1966 )many vacancies existed in all colleges.Both the lady members were asked to join the nearby women’s college.The professor asked the 3 male members to come to the college from June 1st itself.Hari also met the professor in his cabin,but was asked to find for a job in some other college or industries.
Meanwhile Achan had asked Hari’s father to ask his son to report for duty in the college from June 1st itself.Accordingly Hari joined the Dept on 1st of June 1966.The new PG professor had returned after his 2 year tenure.It was a testing period for the youngster.He used to work with dedication and even during holidays.But on many occasions the head used to torture Hari for flimsy reasons.Twice or thrice he submitted his resignation to the principal.But Achan patted the youth and assured him that he will take care of everything,As long as he was in the office Hari will have no threat to his job.The stuggle continued for 2 years.
In April 1968 there was some difference of opinion between the management and Achan.He was asked to retire by March end.He moved over to a n orphanage nearby and lived there for sometime.The new principal who took over was also a priest .But he was a close friend of the Chemistry professor.On April 14th 1968 (Vishu day ) Hari got his relieving order from the new principal.
Swami was very much upset over this .Hari was sad but not desperate .He just wanted to get another decent job.As courtsy demands Hari met the professor and enquired the reason.He was arrogant and even declined to give a conduct certificate .He asked Hari to get the certificates from those who are ready to help him.In fact Hari had outstanding conduct certificates both from Achan and the PG professor.
Soon Hari joined another college away from his homevillage.Whenever he visited the home town he used to see the professor along the road.Though Hari used to wish him (as his teacher )the professor would turn away his face and walk with a grim face.After some years his wife died and Hari phoned him up and consoled him.But he seemed to be indifferent.
After nearly 20 years Hari was at the Thrissur KSRTC stand.Surprisingly Hari saw the old professor ( 70 years then )carrying a big gunnybag with the help of another boy.He was on his way to his hometown from his daughter’s house in Thrissur.He was moving to the toilet in the bus station.Hari went to him and got his programme.Soon a FP bus destined to his home town reached the stand .It was heavily crowded,but fortunately for him one seat near the driver was vacant.Without a second thought Hari lifted the gunny bag on his shoulders and placed it on the vacant seat.He also requested a near sitter to reserve the seat for the professor.By that time the professor had returned .Hari told him about the seat and luggage.
I t was an unforgettable moment for Hari in his life .Tears came out of the professor’s eyes. He asked who lifted the luggage.Hari told that he did it with the help of his son.The professor placed both his palms over the son’s head and blessed him.He also told Hari that he never expected such a deed from Hari.Hari told him that he has no hatred but only respects for his teacher.
After that the professor was a close friend of Hari.On several occasions he visited his professor with his family members.The professor later made a visit to Hari’s house in his workplace.During this friendship Hari suggested to the professor about having a mobile set (by the professor ).he also listed it’s advantages.The professor readily agreed to by one and told that the first call from his new handset will be to Hari.He kept true to his promise and made the 1st call to Hari.Now he says that Hari is one of his dearest friends.
This is a real story.Hari is me ,Swami is my father,Achan is Late Monsgnr.Joseph Kureethadam,professor is Prof.PK Mani,College is St Thomas college,Pala,PG Professor is Prof K Velappan Nair (TVM ),my new workplacewas Sree Sankara College ,Kalady,my younger son Sriram was with me at Thrissur stand.I feel Prof . Mani 's blessings have helped me a lot.