There are plenty of Jewels in the mud

In recent days, a story has been circulating on the internet as bellow.

Quote begins.


Jewels in the mud

A Really Moving incident!!

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 or Indu Publications or by Ramakrishna Mutt?”
“I don’t know.. I just want to only Learn you see..I don’t really know indeed”
“Do you read Tamil Sir?”
“Yes I am a Tamilian ”
(thinking to myself how most of my life 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, 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 in fact is simple and wonder full You have the Sanskrit Text too inside..”

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,
wouldn’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 humility..
“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 in Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan?”
“Oh God..How did you know?”

“He regularly takes classes on such subjects.. in fact 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 favorite 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 that 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 and one would become a bit more humble in life..
leaving Ahamkaram once for all..”
“Is it a fact that reading this simple book one would get so humble..
“Of course, 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 she told me “Why don’t you interview her for Washington Post..why at all you should think of Paris Hilton?”

I also felt that I owe something to 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 would 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 would like to spend some time 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 came next day morning leaving all my appointments 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 he died a few years ago caring for none of them.. Her mother used to work as a helper in Masonry and passed away two years back.. 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.. all the 5 sisters are going to a nearby corporation school..

“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 would get easily employments is it not?”
“If I give monthly Rs 10000 for meeting all your expenses..would that suffice..?”
“It is indeed too much but that also I would accept only thro’ my Boss..”

We took her to the Boss and told him that we would like to send Rs 10000 every month so that all her sisters’ education would 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 wonder struck…. If we go into the interiors of Bihar and Barrackpur.. how many more Jewels can be found..

I really became humbled.

Quote ends.  =====

To me it looks like a story. Someone just tried to make it more believable by writing as an actual incident. However, I think that is what did the trick. Many people are reading it. I sow this in different locations and internet group. Some say there is no such reporter works for Washington post. If we need, we can verify it. Nevertheless, why should we? It is not that important if it is true or false. What is important is we should help the “Kalaivanis” of the society.

Whoever wrote it wanted people read it and start to help the poor smart kids. We know the first part is happening, people are reading it. Let people write more “Actual” “Stories” like this. I hope it will lead to the next step, the helping part.

There are many ‘Kalaivanis’ out there. Some of them I know only in proxy, some of them I know in person. I met some of them. It is a great satisfying feeling to meet them and give them little hand in support.

NArAyaNa nAma japam is not good enough. We need to do NArAyaNa seva. “NArAyaNa Seva is Nara Seva.”

3 thoughts on “There are plenty of Jewels in the mud

  1. NB Nair September 26, 2012 / 10:57 pm

    Thank you Panickarji for this excellent story. I had got it through mass mails even earlier, still I read it in full and my eyes got again moist a couple of times. We don’t have to bother about the accuracy of the incident; instead be aware while dealing with others that perhaps you may be encountering another JEM covered with mud.
    At least I know Giri Traders, Matunga, Mumbai. Had no difficulty in accepting “the boss” there is actually a character like the one depicted in this story.
    It was our Dr TVR ( another member of JG) who introduced me to this Giri Trading. They are doing a very GREAT SERVICE to our culture. I am sure they are helping many Kalaivanies – just visit their shop, go through their stock, interact with their sales girls/ women (you will feel that you are meeting your dear and near ones that you had left behind at home while leaving for Mumbai), and also their customers. You will definitely have a GREAT impression about the people behind this “business house”.
    Thanking you Panickarji once again for re-creating this wonderful feeling in me again.
    Affectionately, nb nair.

  2. K.s.v.Nambi September 26, 2012 / 11:52 pm

    I have also read this before. I would like to visit this store and meet Kalaivani. Thank you Panickarji; and for one more reason:now I know you from your photograph!

    • Udayabhanu Panickar November 10, 2012 / 3:53 pm

      It is photograph from my younger years Nambi Sir. I look a lot different now.

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