LEKHANAGALLU

Tidbits of Damu and Bhagiyam


It was blistering hot. Damu and Bhagiyam had just returned from a pilgrimage to Kumbakonam. They had been to a number of temples. The trip was refreshing. The couple had tanned a bit. Damu began to attend to his work. He was in for surprises. One of the key management people had left the job. The guy had been impatient for some time. Damu and his associate Ganesh had been somehow managing the affairs with this short-tempered guy. The business never sent people out. They had a policy which ensured that people stay back for good. In fact, one Srinivasan had spent more than 60 years with Damu's ancestral business. He had sought the blessings from Damu's grandfather on completing 60 years of service.

Damu was quite busy for the first few days. Bhagiyam was unable to see him often. She understood the situation and was observant. Bhagiyam had tried to talk to the person and put some sense into him. She had treated him well and had served home cooked food to him on numerous occasions. The guy had left without informing her. The dispatches connected with the business were put back in order and Damu was back to square one. Ganesh had done his bit well. The disruption had made the organization sturdier.

Bhagiyam was happy to see Damu coming back home on time for lunch. " Wow, back as usual. Glad that Ganesh and yourself could handle things well. I was trying to see if Chandran would report back. He was like a family member. Anyway, things are back on the rails. Nice, " smiled Bhagiyam while placing the freshly cut plantain leaf on the ground. Damu sprinkled a few drops of water in order to clean up the leaf. Bhagiyam served some salt, pickle and papad before serving the rest of the food. The lunch for the day was interesting. It consisted of rasam, ladies finger sambar, sundakkai karakozhambhu, stuffed bitter gourd poriyal and double beans sundal.

Damu was happy to begin his lunch. He offered his prayers to Madapalli Nachiyar Vakulamalika Devi and began to eat. "You see, Bhagiyam, Chandran had joined us for economic reasons. He could not find a job during the lockdown. I was aware of that. His family situation was such. He was clear about his interests. His parents need his help. It is time to repay him. Chandran is keen to be in HR (Human Resources) and definitely not in business development. He wants to be the boss and has a high opinion about himself. Such an attitude will definitely make one move from one organization to another. It's alright. God has been kind to us. It is better not to have expectations. Let us try to practice the teachings found in the Bhagavad Gita. It was difficult for Ganesh to see the happenings after this guy quit. I told Ganesh that it is part of the game called life, " stated Damu while eating the stuffed bitter gourd along with rice and ghee.

"Ya I heard that this guy had just told people that he was no longer available with us and had also left some things unfinished, "enquired Bhagiyam. she appeared concerned.

" Bhagiyam, Ganesh had worked in an agency for some years. I am sure that you are aware of it. He continues to redirect the calls or mail to his former bosses even after four years. Plus, he had acknowledged each and every mail that was received by him during his days at the agency. But our Chandran had simply missed out on things every day and it had become a task to set things right every day. He would often work from home, but things started getting elastic. Lots of work was left incomplete, and he had not even checked his inbox properly before responding to Ganesh. I was not surprised. These things had been happening for sometime now. Things had got misplaced. Desires replaced goals and wishes had replaced ambitions. What to do? Let us wish him well," added Damu.

" I thought that taking the Bhagavad Gita by heart would do miracles, " stated Bhagiyam while displaying an interrogative look.

Damu replied, "You are absolutely right. People undergoing scriptural studies are supposed to be better. But we must go back to the associated stories. Verses help but puranas and epics give us a lot of sense. Poor Chandran had learnt a lot but stories from the epics and puranas were not part of his experience. I think that had caused him to become a bit tough. All of us have learnt from life and from the stories connected with our culture, but Chandran drank knowledge from the scriptures directly. It was like eating vitamins and minerals directly. Whereas we were consuming it with the food that we ate. Anyway, this was an experience for us. I think the Indian storytelling tradition should accompany scriptural learning. It is better that way. Otherwise, it will make life dreary. Even the great Viswamithra had to undergo experiences in order to get chiseled. There is nothing greater than self learning. It should consist of exposure backed by experience. No point in being clever. We have to get wise. I get reminded of Ganesh's statement on wisdom at such moments."

" Oh yes, KNOWING THAT THE TOMATO IS A FRUIT IS BEING CLEVER BUT NOT USING IT IN A FRUIT SALAD IS BEING WISE, right?", queried Bhagiyam. Damu shook his head affirmatively and began to read the book Kathasaritsagara.

Bhagiyam was aware that Damu had grown up amidst stories. She was keen to listen to one more story from him at bedtime. Both Damu and Bhagiyam were keen to document experiences through stories and fables. Damu had stated that the essence of the scriptures is best assimilated through stories. He continued to assert that stories led the way. According to Damu, right mentoring was important and understood that one had to be lucky to have the right mentor.

" Bhagiyam, the book RISE OF DHARMA by Semanti Chakraborty is a fine read. It is easier to follow Raja Dharma through this novel based on the Mahabharata. I understood Dharma better throughout the life of Yudhishthira. You should read it and talk about the same in your next kitty meeting. I used to be interested in the stories connected with Krishna, Rama, Prahlada, Dhruva, Arjuna and Bhima. But this book by Semanti has changed my view and I am grateful to her for the same. The life of the noble Yudhishthira will make one understand and follow Dharma for eternity", smiled Damu before hopping into his BMW and proceeding to his office.

Mr. Rajesh Govindarajulu is one of the founding members of the Verandah Club Pvt. Ltd. He is a leading columnist, historian, jeweler, entrepreneur, and a heritage enthusiast who is earnestly working to revive the past in the light of the present. Experiential learning about the history of Coimbatore is his main course of interest and he is also a panel member of many colleges in the city.



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