Wednesday, February 17, 2010

முயற்சி உடையார் - தன்னம்பிக்கை கட்டுரை

மின்னஞ்சலில் எனக்கு வந்த கட்டுரையை உங்களுடன் பகிர்ந்து கொள்வதில் மகிழ்ச்சி அடைகிறேன்.
மொழி பெயர்க்க நேரமின்மையால் அப்படியே வெளியிடுகிறேன்.

A GEM OF AN
ARTICLE... DO READ EACH WORDS OF IT!!!




Have Passion!


It was probably the April of
1974. Bangalore was getting warm and gulmohars were blooming
at the IISc campus. I was the only girl in my postgraduate
department and was staying at the ladies' hostel. Other
girls were pursuing research in different departments of
Science.

I was looking forward to going
abroad to complete a doctorate in computer science. I had
been offered scholarships from Universities in the US. I had
not thought of taking up a job in India.

One day, while on the way to
my hostel from our lecture-hall complex, I saw an
advertisement on the notice board. It was a standard
job-requirement notice from the famous automobile company
Telco (now Tata
Motors). It stated that the company required young,
bright engineers, hardworking and with an excellent academic
background, etc.

At the bottom was a small
line: "Lady candidates need not apply."

I read it and was very upset.
For the first time in my life I was up against gender
discrimination.

Though I was not keen on
taking up the job, I saw it as a challenge. I had done
extremely well in academics, better than most of my male
peers. Little did I know then that in real life academic
excellence is not enough to be successful.

After reading the notice I
went fuming to my room. I decided to inform the topmost
person in Telco's management about the injustice the
company was perpetrating. I got a postcard and started to
write, but there was a problem: I did not know who headed
Telco.

I thought it must be one of
the Tatas. I knew JRD Tata was the
head of the Tata
Group; I had seen his pictures in newspapers
(actually, Sumant Moolgaokar was the company's chairman
then). I took the card, addressed it to JRD and started
writing. To this day I remember clearly what I wrote.


"The great Tatas have
always been pioneers. They are the people who started the
basic infrastructure industries in India, such as iron and
steel, chemicals, textiles and locomotives. They have cared
for higher education in India since 1900 and they were
responsible for the establishment of the Indian
Institute of Science. Fortunately, I study there. But
I am surprised how a company such as Telco is discriminating
on the basis of gender."

I posted the letter and forgot
about it. Less than 10 days later, I received a telegram
stating that I had to appear for an interview at Telco's
Pune facility at the company's expense. I was taken
aback by the telegram. My hostel mate told me I should use
the opportunity to go to Pune free of cost and buy them the
famous Pune saris for cheap! I collected Rs 30 each from
everyone who wanted a sari. When I look back, I feel like
laughing at the reasons for my going, but back then they
seemed good enough to make the trip.

It was my first visit to Pune
and I immediately fell in love with the city.

To this day it remains dear to
me. I feel as much at home in Pune as I do in Hubli, my
hometown. The place changed my life in so many ways. As
directed, I went to Telco's Pimpri office for the
interview.

There were six people on the
panel and I realised then that this was serious business.


"This is the girl who
wrote to JRD," I heard somebody whisper as soon as I
entered the room. By then I knew for sure that I would not
get the job. The realisation abolished all fear from my
mind, so I was rather cool while the interview was being
conducted.

Even before the interview
started, I reckoned the panel was biased, so I told them,
rather impolitely, "I hope this is only a technical
interview."

They were taken aback by my
rudeness, and even today I am ashamed about my attitude. The
panel asked me technical questions and I answered all of
them.

Then an elderly gentleman with
an affectionate voice told me, "Do you know why we said
lady candidates need not apply? The reason is that we have
never employed any ladies on the shop floor. This is not a
co-ed college; this is a factory. When it comes to
academics, you are a first ranker throughout. We appreciate
that, but people like you should work in research
laboratories."

I was a young girl from
small-town Hubli. My world had been a limited place.


I did not know the ways of
large corporate houses and their difficulties, so I
answered, "But you must start somewhere, otherwise no
woman will ever be able to work in your factories."


Finally, after a long
interview, I was told I had been successful. So this was
what the future had in store for me. Never had I thought I
would take up a job in Pune. I met a shy young man from
Karnataka there, we became good friends and we got married..


It was only after joining
Telco that I realized who JRD was: the uncrowned king of
Indian
industry. Now I was scared, but I did not get to meet
him till I was transferred to Bombay. One day I had to show
some reports to Mr Moolgaokar, our chairman, who we all knew
as SM. I was in his office on the first floor of Bombay House
(the Tata headquarters) when, suddenly JRD walked in. That
was the first time I saw "appro JRD". Appro means
"our" in Gujarati. This was the affectionate term
by which people at Bombay House called him.

I was feeling very nervous,
remembering my postcard episode. SM introduced me nicely,
"Jeh (that's what his close associates called him),
this young woman is an engineer and that too a postgraduate.


She is the first woman to work
on the Telco shop floor." JRD looked at me. I was
praying he would not ask me any questions about my interview
(or the postcard that preceded it).

Thankfully, he didn't.
Instead, he remarked. "It is nice that girls are
getting into engineering in our country. By the way, what is
your name?"

"When I joined Telco I
was Sudha Kulkarni, Sir," I replied. "Now I am
Sudha
Murthy." He smiled and kindly smile and started
a discussion with SM. As for me, I almost ran out of the
room.

After that I used to see JRD
on and off. He was the Tata Group chairman and I was
merely an engineer.. There was nothing that we had in
common. I was in awe of him.

One day I was waiting for
Murthy, my husband, to pick me up after office hours. To my
surprise I saw JRD standing next to me. I did not know how
to react. Yet again I started worrying about that postcard.
Looking back, I realise JRD had forgotten about it. It must
have been a small incident for him, but not so for me.


"Young lady, why are you
here?" he asked. "Office time is over." I
said, "Sir, I'm waiting for my husband to come and
pick me up." JRD said, "It is getting dark and
there's no one in the corridor.

I'll wait with you till
your husband comes."

I was quite used to waiting
for Murthy, but having JRD waiting alongside made me
extremely uncomfortable.

I was nervous. Out of the
corner of my eye I looked at him. He wore a simple white
pant and shirt. He was old, yet his face was glowing. There
wasn't any air of superiority about him. I was thinking,
"Look at this person. He is a chairman, a
well-respected man in our country and he is waiting for the
sake of an ordinary employee."

Then I saw Murthy and I rushed
out. JRD called and said, "Young lady, tell your
husband never to make his wife wait again." In 1982 I
had to resign from my job at Telco. I was reluctant to go,
but I really did not have a choice. I was coming down the
steps of Bombay House after wrapping up my final settlement
when I saw JRD coming up. He was absorbed in thought. I
wanted to say goodbye to him, so I stopped. He saw me and
paused.

Gently, he said, "So what
are you doing, Mrs Kulkarni?" (That was the way he
always addressed me.) "Sir, I am leaving Telco."


"Where are you
going?" he asked. "Pune, Sir. My husband is
starting a company called Infosys and I'm shifting to
Pune."

"Oh! And what will you do
when you are successful."

"Sir, I don't know
whether we will be successful." "Never start with
diffidence," he advised me. "Always start with
confidence. When you are successful you must give back to
society. Society gives us so much; we must reciprocate. I
wish you all the best."

Then JRD continued walking up
the stairs. I stood there for what seemed like a millennium.
That was the last time I saw him alive. Many years later I
met Ratan
Tata in the same Bombay House, occupying the chair
JRD once did. I told him of my many sweet memories of
working with Telco. Later, he wrote to me, "It was nice
hearing about Jeh from you. The sad part is that he's
not alive to see you today."

I consider JRD a great man
because, despite being an extremely busy person, he valued
one postcard written by a young girl seeking justice. He
must have received thousands of letters everyday. He could
have thrown mine away, but he didn't do that. He
respected the intentions of that unknown girl, who had
neither influence nor money, and gave her an opportunity in
his company. He did not merely give her a job; he changed
her life and mindset forever.

Close to 50 per cent of the
students in today's engineering colleges are girls. And there are
women on the shop floor in many industry segments. I see
these changes and I think of JRD. If at all time stops and
asks me what I want from life, I would say I wish JRD were
alive today to see how the company we started has grown. He
would have enjoyed it wholeheartedly.

My love and respect for the
House of Tata remains undiminished by the passage of time. I
always looked up to JRD. I saw him as a role model for his
simplicity, his generosity, his kindness and the care he
took of his employees. Those blue eyes always reminded me of
the sky; they had the same vastness and magnificence.


(Sudha Murthy is a widely
published writer and chairperson of the Infosys Foundation
involved in a number of social development initiatives.
Infosys
chairman Narayana Murthy is her husband.)


Article sourced from: Lasting
Legacies (Tata Review- Special Commemorative Issue 2004),
brought out by the house of Tatas to commemorate the 100th
birth anniversary of JRD Tata on July 29,
2004.

Regards,




"Adversity
always presents opportunities for
introspection"

- Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

6 comments:

Chitra said...

He
respected the intentions of that unknown girl, who had
neither influence nor money, and gave her an opportunity in
his company. He did not merely give her a job; he changed
her life and mindset forever.


.......... :-)

வானம்பாடிகள் said...

great. really a must read. thank you.

குப்பன்.யாஹூ said...

Thanks for sharing with us.

Bogy.in said...

புத்தம் புதிய தமிழ் திரட்டி bogy.in,
உங்கள் வலைப்பூவை இதிலும் இணைத்து கொள்ளுங்கள்.
ஓட்டுபட்டை வசதியும் உள்ளது.

தமிழ் சமூகத்திற்கு தேவையான பயனுள்ள தகவல்களையும், செய்திகளையும் திரட்டி அவற்றை தமிழ் சமூகத்திற்கு சென்றடைய எங்களின் முயற்ச்சிக்கு உங்கள் ஆதரவை தருமாறு வேண்டுகிறோம்….

இவன்
http://www.bogy.in

www.bogy.in said...

தமிழர்கள் அனைவருக்கும் தமிழ் புத்தாண்டு வாழ்த்துக்கள்

இந்த ஆண்டு உங்கள் வாழ்வில் எல்லையில்லா மகிழ்ச்சியும், நோயற்ற வாழ்வும், குறைவற்ற செல்வமும், நீண்ட ஆயுளும் மற்றும் அனைத்து நலங்களும், வளங்களும் பெற்று வாழ வாழ்த்துகிறோம்.

அன்புடன்
www.bogy.in

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