1. Have an Interesting Snippet to Share : Click Here
    Dismiss Notice
  2. What can you teach someone online? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice
  3. If someone taught you via skype, what would you want to learn? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice

Ekalaiva The Errand Boy

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Thyagarajan, Dec 29, 2018.

  1. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    5,095
    Likes Received:
    5,507
    Trophy Points:
    445
    Gender:
    Male
    :hello: EKALAIVA THE ERRAND BOY :hello:
    ENTREPRENEUR MADE IN INDIA
    Born to an indigent illiterate parents, circumstances drove him away from his parched native village in South India when he was nearing twelve in search of his bread and butter. He was determined under no circumstance would beg, borrow, or steal. He managed to travel by rail to unknown destination. He swept floor of rail compartment and out of compassion some travelers gave him few coins with which he bought food.

    He arrived in erstwhile Bombay where he could find job as a cleaner in a south Indian hotel. Though he could not utter a word in Hindi, with his amiable nature and pleasing manners, quickly befriended many customers in the hotel at Matunga - a suburb of Erstwhile Bombay now Mumbai.

    Befriending and enlarging friends circle is an important trait for any successful upcoming entrepreneur.
    One of the hotel customers took kindly to him and put him as an errand boy in his lodge at Chembur. Despite his being ignorant of three R’s, he won the hearts of many lodgers by lending a helping hand in good time. He could speak only his mother-tongue Tamil. While rendering service to many, he was trying to by-heart their instructions uttered in a language other than Tamil. As inmate, I wrote on his behalf post cards to his parents conveying his well being. He started remittingmoney by money order to his parents.

    I taught him to write in Tamil and also few words in spoken English and Hindi as well; and from other lodgers, he imbibed words of other languages.

    His flair and keenness for quick learning turned out to be another virtue for his future entrepreneurship.
    I had cleared his perpetual grand confusion between Hindi words day-idd (on and half) and ada-ee (2 and 1/2); made him learn Hindi numerals instead serially in ascending order, I taught him numerals 11, 21, 31, 41, and then 22, 32, 42, 52, and so on.

    He observed that many lodgers for their morning tea, go to a tea-shop nearby or order him to fetch it.He decided that he himself should be able to make and provide tea/coffee to the lodgers.
    He thought of it as an
    opportunity and discussed with me, other lodgers and the manager. Obviously everyone encouraged. In few days from then, he organized a nice pantry in the landing of the staircase in third floor, surprised lodgers serving tea/Nescafe in their room.
    Sensing a business idea as an opportunity is fundamentally an important quality for an entrepreneur.

    Besides running errand for the lodgers, he did the laundering of clothes for the lodgers. He engaged another boy on part time to fetch/deliver orders from lodgers to ensure lodgers get their beverage & ironed clothes in good time.

    Sharing and delegating responsibilities and team work are necessary for any entrepreneurial venture to blossom.

    When most of the lodgers had left their room for their business/office, his routine of sweeping, mopping and changing bedcover in the rooms would commence. During one such activity, he found Kalpatri – my room-mate was lying on his back on the cot with half opened mouth, staring at the roof with his neck and body remaining stiff. Thanks to his efforts along with me that saved scientist KALPATHRI from sure death.
    He earned approbation and accolades from family of kalpathri. When the latter offered money, he politely declined. But for
    his timely observation and enabling action, that particular lodger would not be in later years working with NASA (USA).
    Thoughtfulness, presence of mind, timely action and self-respect are all ingredients in the making of an entrepreneur.

    One day he felt the need to have his savings in a bank. I helped with my banker to open savings account for him and soon he learnt to deposit and with-draw and mail transfer from his account.
    He collected old newspapers/magazines from lodgers and sold it. Later he contemplated that in spare time he should be able to collect old newspaper and magazines from nearby residences and supplement his income. With the money he saved in the bank, he could by an old bicycle and accommodated this work as and when he could.

    An entrepreneur must be able to develop new ideas, work on that quickly and market strategically the invention/product, sell well, minimize expenses and save for future development.

    A Telugu speaking lodger used to have oil bath on Sundays and would occupy bathroom for a long time and would leave the bathroom floor oily and slippery. He used to curse that man but would happily wash the floor himself clean of oil. One day he found a golden ring and chain left on the window sill of the bath room. As the owner totally forgotten and gone he came to me with found items and requested me to safe keeping the item till the owner/lodger returns to his room.
    I suggested him it is better to handover jewels to the manager and let him do the rest. He told that manager is on leave and would not come for another two days. Then I told him better go to Chembur police station with the owner of the lodge and deposit with police-station authorities.

    The lodger who had left it in the bath room had returned to the lodge only after a week from his native place. He started enquiring about his missing ring and chain to fellow lodgers and as others were not aware of the true picture, had suggested to him to lodge complaint with the police. I was on official duty at Devlali.
    In his written complaint to the police, the lodger named “
    this boy” as one of his suspects. When owner of the lodge came to know of this, he rushed to the police station along with the boy and receipt he had obtained at the time of depositing the golden items to the police station. He produced the receipt to the station in-charge and got the never -stolen - golden - ring -and - chain to the owner. The lodger was very happy and here too he was rewarded monetarily but he politely declined the offer.
    Upon my promotion and transfer to New Delhi, I reluctantly bade good-bye to him.

    Seventeen years later, I saw a bespectacled stocky man with his family being escorted by the air-hostess to their seat. The gentleman passed by aisle, glancing at me. He settled with family in their seat. The flight took off. During flight, he from rear spoke to the airhostess in a hush, handing over something that he found in cloak.

    The air hostess stood with the mike in front of the passengers announcing over that if someone had left any valuable in the cloak, could collect it after giving identification. Oh-
    Then I remembered my topaz studded golden-ring missing from my left “ring” finger and that I had left it in the cloak…. I identified and collected my ring from airhostess, thanked her profusely & the gentleman who had discovered it.

    After some time, Airhostess announced that passengers should fasten up their seat belt as aircraft would, in a short while would touch down to land at Meenambakkam airport.
    While walking in the drizzle on the tarmac, the stocky gentleman rushed to me with his family members, saying in polite Tamil “
    Namaste sir, you remember me of Chembur lodge and often you used to call me Ekaliva….because you noticed I was learning life only the hard way - by observation….…..”I’m what I’m” because of your constant motivation and encouragement…this is my card. Let us meet sir.” He uttered these words looking at me through his moist eyes and introduced his English speaking daughters.

    I was all in awe at his unction, diction, and status. He told he was running businessespaapad distribution/export and real estate providing jobs to over 200 predominantly differently abled persons. In three tier city he resides - he is revered and respected now for his philanthropy.
     
    jskls, shyamala1234, Gauri03 and 7 others like this.
    Loading...

  2. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    4,650
    Likes Received:
    9,357
    Trophy Points:
    408
    Gender:
    Female
    Thank you Thyagarajan Sir for introducing this Ekalaiva.
    We have, though not similar, such a boy in the slum nearby.He was the son of our servant maid. He was just 2 years when we entered our new house in 1970. His mother was forsaken by her husband.The boy was not brilliant acdemically, but very sincere. He completed 8th Std after failing twice and started painting.He was much interested in plumbing job. He got trained by our plumber.Learnt some carpentry and neat painting and sundry electrical jobs.

    The principal of a nearby Higher Secondary School was a close friend of mine. Seeing him do a neat job she offered to appoint him as an errand boy in the school for a salary of Rs 150/- He did all sundry jobs in the school, repairing desks and tables, fixing tube lights, attending to plumbing work in the school toilets.He was a multi talented boy, doing each work systematically.

    Then he started supplying milk at 5 A. M. in the early morning.
    We got him a small flat of 300 s.ft for Rs1. 5 L near our house.
    He helps the principal in taking CBSE Circulars from the office in Anna Nagar.He used to get question papers stencilled earlier, now getting them thro pen drive and taking xerox copies,arranging them class wise,section wise.

    He is in charge of getting sealed question pps for the public exam and arranging them in Canara bank racks systematically with the nearest exam at the top.
    The Principal is relaxed once she sees this boy.He needs no supervision.Perfection is in his blood.
    Now he is nearing 50.He is already married.He got free education for his son and daughter in the same popular school-that cannot be even dreamt.The school authorities were prepared to bear the college expenses too. .His son and daughter , mediocre students got admission in a good city college with the influence of the principal.

    With his simplicity, obedience and integrity and his understanding of computers he is an adept in issuing small circulars. He is entrusted with depositing of school fees and Exam fees in Andhra bank nearby.

    Roof is leaking;There is drainage block;Water has to be procured during draught;School has to be painted- call Devendran.

    He takes care of our house while we were away in US seven or eight times. We used to keep our hall open and also a bath room with TV and phone for his use.

    Now he has purchased another flat near Tamabaram.

    There are so many Ekalaivas that amaze us in their own way
    notwithstanding their family back ground and lower academic achievements.
    Integrity pays.
    jayasala 42
     
    Gauri03, joylokhi, kkrish and 2 others like this.
  3. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    3,922
    Likes Received:
    9,169
    Trophy Points:
    460
    Gender:
    Female
    Thyagarajan likes this.
  4. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    5,095
    Likes Received:
    5,507
    Trophy Points:
    445
    Gender:
    Male
    :hello:@jayasala42
    Very encouraging as always been.
    2. I have stray remembrance of incidents in your FB HAVING BEEN MENTIONED in another pertinent thread about a year ago that dealt with treating as a family member &
    according respect to the domestic helps.
    3. I remembered tamil adage or proverb - விளையும் பயிர் முளையிலே - & the sequel is the boy Muthu - the Ekalaiva.
    Thanks for your appreciation and a befitting parallel in your FB.
    Regards.
    God bless all those indefatigables with quest for learning afresh or anything new.
    :hello:@GeetaKashyap
    Thanks for appreciation and sound comments as has always been.
    Regards. God bless.
     
  5. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    17,490
    Likes Received:
    25,324
    Trophy Points:
    590
    Gender:
    Female
    It gives so much happiness and satisfaction to see or to know of some individual who has fought all odds and made it to the top. Such stories are like a whiff of fresh air. May there be many more such persons in this world.
     
    Thyagarajan likes this.
  6. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    5,095
    Likes Received:
    5,507
    Trophy Points:
    445
    Gender:
    Male
    :hello:Thank you.
    Happy New year. :hello:
     
    satchitananda likes this.
  7. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    17,490
    Likes Received:
    25,324
    Trophy Points:
    590
    Gender:
    Female
  8. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    11,129
    Likes Received:
    19,795
    Trophy Points:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    Dear Thyagarajan Sir:

    Excellent depiction of ascension of a poor man to become an entrepreneur. When I read your thread carefully, I noticed three qualities in him that were demonstrated by him. They are determination, effort and righteousness. He was able to break all other obstacles with these three great qualities. Thank you for sharing this inspiring real life incident and needless to say, your constant motivation to a young man aspiring to come up in life, is a take away lesson also from this thread.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
    Gauri03 and Thyagarajan like this.
  9. kkrish

    kkrish Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    5,599
    Likes Received:
    9,969
    Trophy Points:
    438
    Gender:
    Female
    A very inspirational thread @Thyagarajan sir.
    It has restored faith in humanity.

    We too knew a young man in Bangalore who was similar to this Ekalaiva. Today his sons are all engineers and one is going to do PhD at IIT Delhi.

    There are many more such young men and women who stick to strong values.
     
    jskls, Gauri03 and Thyagarajan like this.
  10. joylokhi

    joylokhi Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,377
    Likes Received:
    1,957
    Trophy Points:
    285
    Gender:
    Female
    So nice to read and hear of such stories of people who have come up purely on the basis of their hardwork and intergrity! May their tribe increase.
     
    Srama likes this.

Share This Page