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Saturday, 9 November 2019

NaBloPoMo 2019: Day 9: Thinking Ahead

In yesterday’s post, I narrated the incident about Amma’s ability to anticipate probable situations, and take uncomfortable decisions. 

My sister Vatsala narrates another situation where Amma showed similar wisdom. 

Around 1971, Appa was working in the mines at a place called Redi (a small village in the Konkan area) which was almost primitive in terms of lifestyle. One Iyengar person Y. N. Gopalakrishna used to come to Redi for mines inspection. He was impressed with Appa’s abilities. When this person was later posted to Goa, he sent word through somebody to Appa, saying that he had discussed with one Mr. Natarajan who was Superintendent of mines, who had agreed to arrange a job for Appa in Goa with a big mining company called Salgaocar. The pay would be lesser than it was in Redi.

Appa now had to decide between no education for his girls in Redi with higher salary and better facilities and education for his girls in Goa, with lesser salary. I asked Appa if he told Amma that salary would be less.

Yes, he had told her.

And her response?

“So what? Let’s go! It’s a bigger company; definitely, it will be good for our future!”

And so, as usual, putting their faith in God, our parents decided to shift base to Goa. See Amma’s wisdom even at that time!

The rest, as they say, is history….

Appa took up work with the V. M. Salgaocar Group of companies. His first posting was at Pali, and the new house was spacious, brightly lit, and for the first time in their lives, there was a toilet inside the house! (I say ‘their’ lives because I hadn’t put in an appearance yet.)
The company that sustained our family in Goa!

My sister Maithili shares some memories of that move from Redi to Pali.

We kids were in our native village at Ramanathpura for the holidays. Appa and Amma fixed up the new house in Pali with basic things for the kitchen and beds for sleeping. Our uncle Keshava brought us from Ramanathpura to Pali and the new place was a pleasant surprise for us. Then Appa and Amma went back to Redi to pack and shift other belongings, leaving me, the eldest, in charge of taking care of the younger 3 girls. The youngest, Bharagavi, was only two and half years old, and kept roaming throughout the house searching for Amma. I cooked rice, rasam and beans vegetable on the mud stove the first day. Amma had kept chapaatis ready but they got over, so I made upma. Bhargavi didn’t want to eat upma, she only wanted chapaatis – somehow I made her eat rice with chutney podi and curds.

Guess how old the girls were? 

Maithili was a mere 10 years! Vijaya was 9, Vatsala was 7 and Bhargavi was two-and-half! Which speaks volumes about certain things.

First, Maithili’s ability and willingness to shoulder that responsibility at such a young age.

Second, the courage the girls had to stay alone without both parents at that age.

Third, the training Amma had given the kids that helped them to manage on their own.

Fourth, the willingness of Appa and Amma to take tough decisions without being blinded by anxiety.

Fifth, and perhaps most important, the fact that Appa and Amma always did their best, and to God, they surrendered the rest! 



  1. So inspiring. The best life lessons learned are with practical experience

  2. Awesome lesson for all the parents especially those who have daughters in their life 👍😊🌈💐

    1. Yes! Some more lessons to follow in the coming posts...keep reading!


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