Asma, Salesgirl, laptop in bed

Asma Mahfouz

A 26-year-old woman, Asma Mahfouz, worried about the state of her country wrote on Facebook: ”People, I am going to Tahrir Square”. The message was soon to snowball into a movement to oust Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and put an end to his unbridled 30-year rule

Kalaivani-A Sales Girl in a Chennai Store, Giri Trading

(A forward from MRK)

After the Temple Darshan at the Kapaleeswarar Koil at Mylapore we entered the “Giri Trading” stores and started searching for this Book on “Thatva Bodha”

There was this Girl, standing next to the Cashier,  watching all our movements – I ignored her and started searching for “Thathva Bodha”

“Sir, may I help you?” (in Tamil)

“Yes. I am looking for ‘Thatva Bodha’ ”
“Sanskrit Text or English/Sanskrit?”

“Sanskrit & English”
“Do you like to have the Publication from Chinmaya Mission or Indu Publications or by Ramakrishna Mutt?”
“I dont know..I just want to only Learn you see..I dont really know indeed”
“Do you read Tamil Sir?”
“Yes I am a Tamilian ”

“Then Sir, you can take this”..she ran to the shelf where I had searched for 30 minutes, removed the books in the front and came out with a Book in Tamil.
“This one in Tamil by N.Sivaraman by Indu Publications in fact is simple and wonderful. 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  dark complexioned, gullible girl, who would have come for this job out of absolute poverty, wouldn’t have any idea of “Thatva Bodha”

I  realized that I am an absolute ‘Idiot’ at this moment in front of this wonderful girl and submitted myself in all humility.

“Madam, I really did not 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 favourite 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.”

“Sir, according to me if you read this it gives the entire Vedanthic Saramsam and to say it in-one-word you 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 talented, intelligent girl, so 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 her. So 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?”

My wife’s admiration for her devotion to duty and her total involvement in her work, made her go directly 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.”
The 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 sometime with you. Can you?”
“Sir, there are so many customers waiting for some guidance. it is  rush time. If they can come again tomorrow.”
“OK. I can come again tomorrow.”
We went the next day, in the morning, leaving behind all my appointments with ‘Times of India’ just to see this girl.

Kalaivani is from a nearby village near Arcot. She has 5 sisters and is the eldest. Her father was a drunkard who died a few years ago. Her mother, a helper in Masonry passed away two years ago, leaving all the 6 on the streets.

This girl after her 9th std found a job with ‘Giri Trading’ on a meagre salary. All the 5 sisters are going to a nearby Chennai 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 10,000 for meeting all your expenses, would that suffice?”
“It is indeed too much, but that also I would accept only through my Boss.”

We took her to the Boss and told him that we would like to send Rs.10,000 every month so that all her sisters’ education would be completed.
The 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 account in her name and start transferring to the account.”

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.”

If we go into the interiors of India, how many more ‘Jewels’ like Kalaivani can be found!!

Don’t leave laptop  on  in Bed

(A warning from a friend)

A well known family in Mequon lost their 25 year old son (Arun Gopal Ratnam) in a fire at home June 4th.
This is what happened..

He decided to take a nap while waiting for his mom to come home from work. Neighbors called 911 when they saw black smoke coming out of the house. Their 25 year old son Arun died in the three year old house. It took several days of investigation to find out the cause of the fire.

It was determined that the fire was caused by lap top in the bed.

When the lap top is on the bed cooling fan does not get air to cool the computer and that is what caused the fire.

Uneven surface of the bedsheet has blocked the air intake vent below the cpu fan. When the laptop is placed on a flat surface i.e. on desk/table, there is a gap between the desk surface and the base of the casing to allow air to flow/suck in through the air intake vent by the cpu fan to cool the cpu.

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Grateful for the love and respect received so far. Inspire, motivate and enable anybody to achieve their limitless limits-that is my goal for the rest of my life. Worked in MECON, Mphasis, Cofounder KelpHR,

Categories Uncategorized9 Comments

9 thoughts on “Asma, Salesgirl, laptop in bed”

  1. The article “Kalaivani – Jewel in Chennai” is very touching. I was reading the article without my knowledge my eye was filled with water and throat got completely dried.

  2. indeed good article about tamil girl, no doubt if u see ,indian children , they r super cumputers, provided given good education

    1. Thanks Veena ji for raising this question. The answer is in the write up . His name is Viswanath, being introduced by the wife. We at that time was focused on kalaivani. But the moment I read your question, I tried to trace the source of the mail and raised the same question. This inspirational story has been forwarded by a wing commander.The language did not fit a journalist from Washington post. But since it was a narration by some body else, I passed the language.
      And further I googled ‘viswanath senior journalist washington post’ and came across a few mentions

      Thanks, once again, though it is a good story, it may not be real.
      Another post of mine on (lem on chen off)lemon for cancer was trashed.

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