Just get out of the house, and don’t show me your face ever, shouted my father at me. I just don’t want to comeback to this family again. I yelled back from the threshold, rushed out, fretting and fuming.
Enough is enough, I said to myself coming out on to the street. With nowhere to go, I started walking towards the canal. It was completely dry. Spanning my eyes, over the fields, I could not trace even a blade of grass. the fields are parched with no rainfall for two years. in this remote village life as a farm labour has been getting worse. With scanty resources and no support from any other agency. Life was hopeless. While my father hit toddy to overcome the pathos, my mother keeps helplessly gazing at the thatched ceiling, cursing the almighty for all our plights.
With nothing much to do, I aimlessly walked up to the village centre and lied down under the banyan tree. Leaving home was easy, but then making a living was not.
What next, I questioned.
No education to take up a job,
hardly any money to go the city.
Where do I go.
What do I do now?
How unworthy I am?
What a waste of life?
I think, I must commit suicide. No point leading such a life.
Tears started rolling down my cheeks, giving a salty taste
A gentle touch on my shoulder, brought me back from my deep thoughts.
Quickly wiping my face to hide my tears, I look over my shoulder. Its my brother-in-law from Hyderabad. When did you come? I mumbled. I could hardly with a choked throat.
I quickly sat up, hands around his waist, tucked my head into his pot-belly and started wailing like a child. He stood there still. Both his hands around my head and neck, solacing me. Few minutes later, I moved away feeling better and lighter. As I looked up into his eyes, he simply smiled and said, come let’s go to Hyderabad. I will help you find a job there. I sprang up on my feet, jerking off the dust on my butt and back, started walking with him. In an hour, we were in the bus to Hyderabad.
A week-long struggle, and no results. At long last, one gentlemen Mr Susheel agreed to hire me
Okay, I can give you a driver’s job.
Yes, I said, without losing a moment.
I will join, next week itself, I meekly added
Why, why not tomorrow? he asked in a stern voice.
Actually Bhayya, I need to learn driving. I answered in a trembling voice
He suddenly laughed and said, don’t worry we will teach you. Join us tomorrow he said, walking towards his chamber.
Had no clue, just wanted some money to survive.
Took up the driver job, not knowing how to drive.
My employer Mr Susheel was very smart, yet kind hearted.
In less than week, I picked up the driving skills and joined Susheel bhayya as a driver.
He seems very kind hearted and cool-headed person, giving me tips and quick driving lessons on the go.
Two days later, driving down to the office he asked me what do you want your life to be?
I just went blank. I was simply clueless.
Never thought about it in these many years, I answered.
I can understand, Susheel Bhayya said.
But I want you to think and answer it by tomorrow morning, he asserted, getting down from the car.
What a crazy guy, I said to myself, parked the car and went home and hit the bed.
Bhayya’s question was still hitting me hard. I tried to push it away and sleep. Could not
Kept staring the roof above cluelessly, tossed over onto my left, then onto my right. Uhum.
Pulled the blanket up, and tucked my head under the pillow. Nothing helped.
The question was burning in me, deep inside. The soul churning, did not allow me to sleep.
Wanting to get rid of, I pushed the pillow aside, kicked the blanket off me and sat on the bed, still pondering. Looked around for a piece of paper, grabbed an old envelope, turned it upside down, and started scribbling, scratching my head with the left hand.
what I wanted and it looked something like this
I want to be valued and respected
Lead a comfortable life
Move to an office/white collar job
Have enough money to buy things I wanted
Feeling a little light, I slept off.
Reading this short list aloud to myself, I sighed a relief. I grew a little hopeful and went back to sleep, smiling. I slept really well, after a long, long time
Next day, I got up with a pleasant feeling, jumped out of the bed, began getting ready, whistling my favourite Kishore Kumar song headed to pick Susheel Bhayya from his home.
Wow, you look very happy and chirpy today, greeted Susheel Bhayya
Yes, I said and like an obedient child, quickly shared my homework, before he could ask me.
Good, he said taking the paper into his hands, glanced quickly and said, it could be better
So how do you think, you will achieve all this. And how can I support you. He asked.
I simply avoided and answered I don’t know.
You know what business we are into asked Bhayya
Yes, insurance business, I promptly responded very confidently
No, he said, that’s just the product we deal with. We are in the business of serving people to lead a happy life, by helping them fulfil their dreams and achieve their goals.
So you keep your clients happy at all times, I said, confirming my understanding
No, its not just our clients, it is about people, every one around us, including you me, our family members and all those who matter to us. He said.
Oh, is it? I blurted, not understanding a word.
No issues, come up to the office, Bhayya said as he got down and shut the car door behind him.
Holding his bags and files, I tiptoed behind into the office. Please ask Prashanth to come up, Bhayya instructed to someone on the first floor, as brisked up to his chamber on the second floor.
In a minute, Prashanth was in the chamber.
Come in Prashanth . This is Bhanu, our new team member.
Bhanu, this is Prashanth and he will guide you in achieving in your goals.
I already started feeling anxious. I never imagined, Bhayya was so serious, when he asked me, what I want in my life.
Now I began to understand His topmost priority is to identify what each of his employees want to achieve in life and committedly fulfil it. What a man, I thought. And for a person like me, he is going beyond to guide me creating my identity. I can feel the lump in my throat, unable to express my gratitude.
Prashanth , started training me on various skills. Soon, the entire team was sharing knowledge and skills on various subjects, from insurance to living a great life. often, we have guests too, imparting techniques on various aspects of biz and life.
Somehow, I started enjoying working on settling claims. Quickly grasped the subject well. Thanks to Prashant, who at times spent hours training me about claims, leading to my promotion as a Claims and Reimbursement Exec.
Life at Ethika, for everyone and more so me, is not just about drawing salaries and working 9-5. It is about redefining every aspect of life. Its living a unique freedom and power—the freedom to be at ease and the power to be effective in the areas that matter most to me: the quality of my relationships, the confidence with which I live my life, my personal productivity, my experience of the difference I make, my enjoyment of life.
Why on earth, would I fall for all those lucrative looking job offers from the MNCs???
Gratitude Ethika, for Giving me a life.