Education and food were top priority for our parents. Hema was an MA Literature graduate from Miranda House Delhi. Very few women of that period would have such an education to boast off in India. I went on to graduate in B.E. Electronics and Communication from the College of Engineering,Guindy and then completed PGDM at the prestigious IIM Bangalore,an alumnus of the very first batch of this institute.All of us had decent education at top notch colleges and institutions of learning. Mom & Dad had to really struggle hard to do this for us. Borrowing money from family members and even from neighbours.Terrible as it seems, but they did it for us
.Dad’s financial woes started when he had to leave his job as Jt. Controller of Imports & Exports for reasons I was never privy too. Repaying the loans for the house, financing the families education, and Hema’s marriage all took a heavy tool on Dad’s savings .Our Fiat car,then the pride of the family,had to be sold to partially make ends meet. Eventually Venu, Ravi, Jaya, Gopi & I would start earning and sending back money home and the fortunes of the family revived.
My youth therefore was spent with little or no luxuries although all our needs,good food and reasonably good living were some how or the other managed by Dad & Mom. How they managed is still a huge mystery to me. How many members of the larger family lent a helping hand (or those who refused) I never came to know. I can only silently thank all who did help in those tough dark days.
Venu, Revi ad Jaya were the principle sources of financing for my PGDM. I chipped in as I received a stipend of Rs 500/- for three months during our project term and tossed in what meagre savings I had and a bit of the PF money I received from ITI and some God sent refund of Income Tax!!! .The cost of education was much more reasonable in those days than it is today. I may never have made it at today’s costs.
I sent home,a modest Rs 50/- per month out of the stipend of Rs 500/-pm I received while working at ITI B’lore, and subsequently increased it to Rs 75/- when my emoluments marginally increased.Dad & Mom passed away long before I could reach a reasonable position of stature in the Corporate world and in society and they never got to see the fruits of all the struggles they went through for all of us.
I have always regretted never being able to look after my parents and giving them a feeling of pride and happiness at my modest achievements in my career.