WHAT I HAVE LEARNT FROM VGS AND WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM ME (Post No.10,433)

WITH MY COLLEAGUES IN NEWHAM UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL
WITH MY COMMITTEE AT SOUTH INDIAN SOCIETY; MAYOR OF HARROW AND UK MINISTER WERE INVITED AS CHIEF GUESTS. YEAR 2003

WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN
Post No. 10,433
Date uploaded in London – – 11 DECEMBER 2021

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com
Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge.
this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures.
tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

(Part of Who is London Swaminathan? series)

MY JOURNALISM STUDENTS AT MADURAI UNIVERSITY IN 1980S


I had a teacher by name V G Srinivasan in Madurai Sethupathi High School where I studied up to school final (SSLC). His life mission was to establish Bharatiyar statue in the school, where the poet worked for over six months. VGS life breadth was Bharati. He can’t speak without quoting Bharati at anytime.
Bharati (1882-1921) was the greatest Tamil poet of modern era. VGS was successful in erecting the statue in the school. He used to tell us that if we worship Bharati we can get good marks in the exams. We used to laugh at that time. Now we realise what he meant by that ; one would get self confidence and positive thoughts when one reads Bharati poems. Bharati ould inspire any one. After reading the Rig Veda and Atharvana Veda, I came to know that all the positive things said in the Vedas are used by Bharati. So VGS was right when he made the statement.

He taught one or two extra things in the class. He used to tell us that if you see a fake coin or outdated coin (not valid tender anymore) never ever recirculate it. If it is fake, cut it into two so that no one could use it again.
As a school boy I also had the thrill of passing fake coins to some gullible person. Our usual victims were road side old aged vendors. In the semi dark condition they would take the invaild tender. Then we would have had the greatest satisfaction of achieving something great! Now I realise how foolish we were at the young age. By hook or crook we want to do something exciting. But after listening to my teacher VGS, I always dispose off the invalid tender or fake currencies so that they wouldn’t be reused.

Another thing I followed is to deposit the money that is found on the roads and other places, in the temple money box. What is not yours should go to the general public.
VGS was not rich. But yet he used to send First Day Covers to my eldest brother whenever new stamps were released by the government. He gave us the stamps released by Netaji Subash Chandra Bose before his death. He used to bring all the visiting Tamil scholars to my house to introduce them to my father. Because of him I have been collecting stamps for over 60 years!
Till Chinese Virus outbreak two years ago, there used to be two big stamp exhibitions in Febraury and September in London (Stampex). I never missed them for 30 years. I would always return with an empty vallet. Stamps are so tempting!

In Tamil you cant write a sentence without dotted consonants. When two words belonging to the same ‘varga’/class comes, we use the dotted letter ( and in the middle of certain words also they occur). Most of us will put only a ‘tiny viny’ dot. VGS used to tell us why are you so miserly? Draw a big round (Pujya) in stead of a tiny dot. I followed his advise from that day. Very small thing indeed! But when you follow it your hand writing looks more beautiful. He always throws upon you positive ideas/thoughts. Probably he got them from the great poet Bharatiyar.
xxx

My failed Interviews!
I have always worked in the filed of Tamil. For 43 yearsI I got jobs only related to Tamil language. Whenever I applied for jobs where Tamil language skill is required I was selected to that job just like that. Whenever I applied for other jobs, I failed. But there are some tips which may be useful to you.
A great Siddha and Tamil saint Tirumular said ‘I came into this world by the grace of God, just to produce something good in Tamil’. Those words came into my mind whenever i got a job in the field of Tamil !
xxx
Failure 1
I applied for some Administrative Officer job in London. In the interview they asked me how I would run the department with limited money available. I went on the topic for 15 to 20 minutes. They gave me some prompts and yet I couldn’t give them a satisfactory answer and so i didnt get the job.

In Western countries, you can always ask for feedbacks when you did not succeed in the interview. I asked for the feed back. They told me we expected the word BUDGET from you. But you told us how you would spend the money scrupulously. But you never mentioned the word budget or balancing the account sheet etc.

It is very true. If I had the experience of running a department with limited funding, then the budget, deficit, surplus would have figured in my answers. So I was a weak candidate. I tried to bite off more than what I could chew.
xxx
Failure 2
I applied for another PRO post in one Arts orgaisation. When i recounted my experience, i told the panel, I was a BBC broadaster in Bush House in London. My next floor colleague was a Hindi broadcaster whose wife was a prominet person in that field. When they asked me whether i know that lady , I told them yes I know SOMEBODY by name Mrs xyz . The panelists winked at each other to show their displeasure. Probably that lady was also in the panel!!!
I should have told them politely, Yes I have heard about that eminent person. I know her name Mrs XYZ, but I have not come across her. I would use every oportunity to meet her.

So this is a lesson. Dont show disrespect to one who is respected by the people in the field.
Needless to say I didnt get the job.
xxx
Failure No.3
I atteded an interview for a job as Spy in the most famous MI 6 (Military Intelligence 6 for spying foreigners and MI 5 for spying locals inside Britain). They asked me to deposit even my mobile phone, bags etc at the reception. But I was allowed to take my office bag with all the necessary passport and other documents required for the post. They asked whether three geneartions of our family were British. I said No. They indicated that i would stand as No.2 in the Q. Then they asked me, occasionallyi would be asked to listen to telephone conversations of XYZ people. When I told them I may not understand their accent, they told me they would train me on the job. I showed my disagreement. Then they allowed me to ask questions. ‘You told me occasionally I would be asked to give evidence in the court against the spies. What is the gurantee you give me for peaceful living?’ I asked. They told me that they wouldnt give me life time guarantee . Then I showed my disagreement saying ‘Oh No, No’
I didnt get through to the second level of interview! When i came out and put my hand in the bag to take a pen I saw a small scissor, razor blade, glue stick etc! I was laughing at my self.
After depositing all security risky things at the counter, and passing through the electronic gate they still couldnt find my blade and scissor!! These things I always keep in my office bag to give tailored lessons to my Tamil sudents at SOAS, University of London. I have to quickly make new lessons by taking some cuttings from here and there and pasting them and photocopyng them!


xxx
Swamiji Krishna’s advise
Swamiji Krishna ,our Guru, used to say If you go to someone’s house, you eat something you dont like, dont say ‘it is not good or i dont like it’. Say ‘butter milk is very tasty! I liked it very much’.

One should not take it literally. One must read between the lines. The message is ‘Dont say anything negative; say something positive’.
WHY I DONT EAT IN PUBLIC EVENTS?

I stopped eating in public functions in London for two reasons. I ran four organisations at the same time for 18 years and severd dinner right on at 8-30 pm to the satisfaction of everyone or at least most of them. I always chose four or five items and give them even pack lunch with the left over food.
Once I attended an event and a teenager was adamant to take the serving task. His father warned him not to do it because he was not expeirenced. My turn to get the food came and this teenager asked me ‘Do you want this?’ and he head two laddles. Ponited out to another item, ‘do you want this?’ I said ‘of course I want both the items’. Her served half laddle of each. I wanted to slap him or throw the food on his face. But because it was run by a committe full of my friends, I controlled my anger.

And another abomiable thing was in most of their functions everybody got all the 15 times in two plates and threw most of them into dust bins. These two things made to make a vow not to eat in such places and unnecessarily curse them. They charged 20 pounds per head. So people thought that getting full plate and throwing them into dusbin is just.
Till this date I eat only in AGMs where only twenty people only attend. You serve your self like buffet.
MY MOTHER’S LESSON
I also tried to serve food to the visiting relatives at my home. I was asking them, ‘Is it enough?’ after serving some dishes. My mother saw this and she called me into kitchen and told me, ‘Never ask any guest, Is it enough?’ Ask them, ‘Sir, Madam, Can I serve you more? It is very tasty; you would love to have it second time!
You must make them eat more.
So people who serve food also need proper training at home or in public.


xxx
to be continued………………

TAGS- WHO IS, LONDON SWAMINATHAN, INTERVIEWS, FAILURES, VGS, SERVING FOOD

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