True Story of A Pauper Billionaire

family2“Good morning Sir…My name is Ann Mary. I would like to get an appointment with you…”her voice was little shaky and sounded anxious. She said she was a journalist intern. This was her first project. Her professor was my classmate at school of journalism.

I welcomed her. Her project was to prepare a feature “how to be a billionaire” after interviewing a couple of rich men.

“But I am not a billionaire, not even rich…” I said.

“Sir, my professor told me that you are an editor for a UK-based firm so you must be immensely rich…”

“He is misleading you. I can’t help you…” I said.

“Sir, no other billionaires gave me appointment. I was pinning all my hopes on you Sir…Please help me…”

Her face fell. She became sad. I could feel her fight to stop tears rolling into her eyes. I suddenly recalled my days as a journalist trainee for one year in Janmabhumi, when I didn’t get a single paisa. The living was so tough then.

I smiled and said: “Yes – you can ask any questions. I am a billionaire, but in a different dimension. Shoot”

She kept her notepad and pen ready and asked seriously (trying to get the journalistic look): “Uday sir, when did you decide to make lot of money? How did the ambition of becoming a rich man sprout?”

“During my school days. I have decided to make money by hook or crook. Path was not important, making money was only motto. I decided to do anything to make money…” I said.

That was a statement of fact. I did schooling in a remote village. My parents were school teachers with very meager salary, struggling to make both ends meet. They did not even have any help from their parents too. They too were independent from very young age. As I was born in a Brahmin family there was no future – government was the only major employer then. All jobs will go by caste reservation and political recommendation. Even if I secure highest mark I won’t get admission for higher studies. Students from other castes/religions were getting cash scholarships, even if they were rich. I was angry. Very angry at the system. There is no value for merit and virtue in this world. So I should make money and become rich.

“Who gave you the first advice on how to make money?”

“My mother…”

During 10th standard I had only two shirts and two half-pants. No chapels (foot wear). One shirt was very old and the other one was torn and stitched. Half-pants didn’t have buttons, so I have to tie it with thick threads. When I see boys wearing new shirts I would feel jealous. I badly wanted a new shirt. I was very angry at my parents. I was developing inferiority complex. I did not even feel like facing any crowd because I was worried whether they would tease me in public and therefore my involvement in extracurricular activities reduced.

One day my mother gave me a small cloth pouch with lot of coins inside it (5 paisa to 50 paisa coins).
“Buy a new shirt for you…” she said. I counted the coins. Rs 24/-

Next day, her friend Hindi teacher told me that my mother was not having her evening tea (10 paisa) and vada (10 paisa) for more than six months. She was starving and saving that money for me! My mother also used to go to bed without a meal just to keep our stomachs…

For further reading please check the book : TIDBITS: From The Life of Pai
For all books:
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“To join Udaylal Pai’s WhatsApp Broadcast List – articles/ blogs/ answers: (1) Save/add the number “+91-94475-33409” in your phone by creating a new contact (2) Then just send ONLY your name through your WhatsApp to +91-94475-33409. The broadcast will happen ONLY IF the sender’s number is saved in the contact list of the receiver.) ”

Udaylal Pai
March 05, 2013
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31 Responses

  1. lalitha says:

    thank you sir for your experience shared to us

  2. Dr. K Mani Kandhan Nair says:

    Sir, A big salute to your Firm Determination and Karma based Income. Excellent Sir, The determination and inspiration itself is an advice for any one. A lot of eye opening, mind blogging and convincing Articles. Thank u Sir. Myself a Teacher in a University who has only student asset willing to meet you and ofcourse, if time permits a lecture to our university students when you are in India. Thank u sir.

  3. chandra says:

    Dear Udaylal ji Thank u so much for this heart touching posting.i am also a blessed person and thankful to the God.i am happy atleast now I saw ur writing.May God bless u.Vazgha valamudan

  4. Arcanjoe Almeida says:

    speechless again…..Udaylalji…

  5. narasimha says:

    No words to describe, whatever you have written strikes us right into the inner depth of our mind and heart, makes us feel how lucky we are. While reading your blog for first time, it just directly went inside my mind without any doubt whatsoever. Truly I am humbled and enlightened by the way you and your family have come up in life. All your articles are sure to give lots of hope and motivation to sincere people who love to come up in life without getting carried away by social hype. Thank you and lots of wishes to your family for infinite joy and happiness.

  6. Hansraj says:

    very inspiring sir. you are one of the best person who know the rules of karama. I love you sir

  7. pvbhat says:

    it just reminded me –own experience . single dress , no watch to see the time ( depends on the Temple’s bell ringings for time ) struggling to meet nth ends to complete the college and then interview campus. atended the interview with dhothi and without chappel, and interviewer asked why you you where dhoti for interviews. Then humbly informed him about family and economic condition . Ke kept mum, toled me wait out side. after three hours , he offered me traine job. a lot of struggles. But understand the valus of money and sharing. As you said, others like all materialistic things and money etc. but not sympatic and guiding force.
    the details explanation of in your storry, is really touching and guiding force for the present youth .

  8. hastimalbarola says:

    nice article

  9. E. A. Mukunda Pai says:

    Dear Paimam,

    Really heart touching story. One can take as a guide to their life. After reading I feel it is not just and fare if I am not writing anything. Experience is the only way for perfection. You can immagine the children whose father expired at the age of 11 and mother is not qualified and capable, and staying in
    just two rooms where there is no electricity in the entire village. For that rich and poor is same in 1950″s. I started earning though little at the age of even 9. Made my graduation by working after college hours, from 6.00 P. M to even 2. A M some days. normally 12 midnight. After graduation done some petty business and later on became member of Cochin Stock exchange, and even a part of management council at the time of great HarshatMehta scam in Capital market. I was associated with CSE from a small office at T.D. Road to the flourishing later on Opposite International Hotel. In Capital market financially I travelled in heaven and hell and came back to square one. earth. Still I was a gainer though lost almost 80% gained. Now retired and doing little trading and managing my investment.

    Your decision not to touch any money other than you earned and asked no money for marriage is definitely and some what followed by me. My view is that what right we got to spend money other than we earned honestly and truthfully. Money is Lakshmi and we should not chase her and catch. Do our Karma so that Lakshmi will worship. With out money we can not do anything. and With money we can not achieve everything. It is just like salt in a curry, less and more is not fit to taste. I am of the view that everybody should sleep 6 to 8 hours. life is to live not to make money only.

    For children if we transfer the experience they will become perfect. I used to share my experience with my only son and wife while discussing in our house. As you have written earlier I hope to meet u one day.

    With warm regards

  10. Prem chand Mallaya says:

    Sir, very nice

  11. tulsi ram verma says:

    Respected Udai sir,
    It gives me pleasure in requesting you to refer my blog on speaking tree “Money matters blend it with spirituality” since it was my little effort to express my views and for the person like you who is full of intellect it is nothing yet I NEED your comments to my feeling coincides with you.

  12. Chetan says:

    Dear Mr. Pai, you are just great to have achieved all of this. I am lucky to be reading your articles.

  13. Deepika says:

    Truly incredible i didnt realize i had tears rolling down my eyes .i am simply moved .awesome thoughts sir .
    Stay Blessed

  14. Raghavendra rao says:

    Dear Uday
    Really touched my heart …

  15. leelavathy.selvaraj says:

    how moved i am…u r so great sir….reading just 1 article of u i requested for ur friendship. i became a greaT ORDENT FAN OF U….EVERYONE SHOULD IMBIBE UR GREAT QUALITIES…no words to express my happiness after reading ur article…

  16. Wow!! this article should be read by each and every youths in the world. I am a multi billionaire too 😀
    Not sure how to stop this craze in the world to go and look for the money which is they cant even use or enjoy.

    You are a true inspiration Sir.

    Thank a ton.

  17. mane Abhijeet says:

    Society prompts us to live superficial…true it adds a lot of pressure to prove all societal dogmas and expectations leading to misery. Thanks for the article

  18. Chandra Kalpoe says:

    How great…..wonderful…if people think billionaire..they think
    money. Your perception depicts the RIGHT billionaire!!
    Thanks a lot for sharing this with us. God Bless!!

  19. deepthi says:

    awesome article sir,
    made me to remember my past days
    still im struggling to earn

    great fan of u 🙂

  20. Nagesh says:

    liked the post which brought back memories of my child hood

    Can I repost this on My FB page

  21. Gagan says:

    I just became your fan 🙂

  22. umesh pandit says:

    this incident is really heart moving and ideal in the present circumstances,where people run behind money and when the realissation dawns it will be very late to set it right as life is very short and there is no replay in life hats off!!

  23. Top 25 comments from Speaking Tree

    Arun Srivastava
    Mar 05, 2013 at 03:37 pm
    An eye-catching,sensitive story of a billionaire !

    I could feel the throat lumps,and surges of emotions at times,reading the struggle for existence,survival and success,it was too much,too endearing.

    It also brought in the scenes of poverty,hunger,misery and suffering,fleeting all vividly across my mind,and the stifled pangs of human malaise littered on the streets,hospitals,slums and desolate homes,once again was palpable to me.

    You have led a truly balanced philosophy of spirituality and creativity in your life,which has been blogged here in your own brilliantly articulate and communicative manner.

    It’s a real contentment of life to have the love of parents,society,and children,and to be able to give to the society, which cannot be compensated by earning billions.My best regards.

    Sumita Kataria
    Mar 05, 2013 at 01:36 pm
    A wonderful article
    I have no words but all I can say is that you are a strong man in true sense.
    “At the working man’s house hunger looks in but dares not enter”
    Benjamin Franklin

    An honest person’s struggle gives him happiness and not pain because he knows the importance and merits of being honest.
    Living life with true awareness may not make a person a billionaire but rich of heart.
    “Being rich of heart makes you wealthy beyond compare… “- Unknown.

    Ishwar Hamesha Saath Hai

    Sanjay Mansukhani
    Mar 08, 2013 at 04:04 pm
    Your article moved me to tears and tears of joy and bliss that this world has people like you around and there is still ample amount of hope for humanity. Many thanks and heart felt gratitude.

    Rati Hegde
    Mar 05, 2013 at 01:38 pm
    You have a way of communicating your thoughts beautifully. Yes, in that way, India has many many millionaires & we do have to thank our culture for helping us understand that money is only as good as it can be used to help others. thx for sharing this lovely blog 🙂

    B.k. Jagadish Replies to Dr Udaylal Pai
    Mar 06, 2013 at 11:59 am
    Sorry ! I read my own response once again and find the word ME missing !!….and you were kind enough to overlook it understood my actual message !!… Thank You !!…btw let me type correct version now :-

    It was an OVERWHELMING Experience for me, Doctor Ji !!…. My Pranams !!!.

    Neeru Malhotra
    Mar 05, 2013 at 02:30 pm
    Let it be a new beginning……

    Let everyone like Ann understand and know the real billionaires

    Salute to u……..

    Shrikrishna Saran
    Mar 05, 2013 at 02:45 pm
    You are a true Billionaire.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Gutta Vramayya
    Mar 05, 2013 at 02:51 pm
    “Never spend money for luxury – buy essential things only. Whenever you buy unessential things, remember you have millions of brothers and sisters who are crying for one square meal. When you share what you have earned with them, you would easily become a billionaire…DEAR UDAYJI EXCELLENT AND HEART MOVING ARTICLE -THANKING YOU

    Chaity Biswas
    Mar 05, 2013 at 03:23 pm
    The gift of this narration is supreme ….it touched many a heart including mine.

    Hoping many such words of wisdom will come by for us to soak in ….

    Kiran Arora
    Mar 05, 2013 at 03:53 pm
    Yes – I am very rich. My parents, wife, kids, relatives, friends and my love showered me with huge pile of treasure. I am sharing it with another billion – more than one billion. There are 1.2 billion Indians… I have the capacity to love all of them. May be more than that. This capacity makes me multi-billionaire…”

    wonderful lines and very beautifully expressed

    Sangeeta Rao
    Mar 05, 2013 at 04:13 pm
    Uday Maam Namaskar, Thank you…….such an inspirational example which gave me confidence that the life which we lead is on the righteous path. As sometimes looking at the outside world & current situation, we are so confused that, a question often arises ” Are we inculcating the right values in our son?” or “Are we not taking him against the crowd, by not buying for him the (unnecessary) luxurious of life like other children of his age group”.

    Once again thank you Sir…..

    Suman Bala
    Mar 05, 2013 at 04:46 pm
    Silver: 432
    The whole narration is like a conversation with Mr.Uday Lal Pai sitting right across my table. Intutions work !!! YES, THEY DO . They are the first thoughts that come to your mind , just pure without any relations to our past. It`s like God guiding us in a whisper.

    The precious pearls is:
    “Never spend money for luxury – buy essential things only. Whenever you buy unessential things, remember you have millions of brothers and sisters who are crying for one square meal. When you share what you have earned with them, you would easily become a billionaire…I know Ann, you will.”
    One is not rich by possessions but by sharing his possessions and caring for those who do not have the means and ability to possess.

    Thanks Mr. Pai for such a lovely sharing.

    God bless you.

    Manas Das
    Mar 05, 2013 at 06:02 pm
    Absorbing- compassionate and transparent.

    Intuition- honesty- righteousness are reflected.

    Thank you Sir

    Sheel Kapoor
    Mar 05, 2013 at 07:31 pm
    Family bondage , love n harmony are the precious assets which create faith , commitment n sincerity . And the one , who possesses all these what else he/she wants more ? THE REAL BILLIONAIRE

    Ranganathan Ganapathy
    Mar 05, 2013 at 07:48 pm
    Quite touching, very elaborate and nice expressions.

    We plant seeds that will flower as results in our lives, so best to remove the weeds of anger, avarice, envy, and doubt, that peace and abundance may manifest for all.

    Sahana Madhyastha
    Mar 05, 2013 at 07:52 pm
    You did it again and to the delight of the readers I hope you will do it again and again. My true wishes. 🙂

    Gopinath Kaushik
    Mar 05, 2013 at 08:08 pm
    A beautiful blog narrated in a beautiful way.As Rightly said,
    Money poisons you when you’ve got it, and starves you when you haven’t.. (D. H. LAWRENCE,)
    Thank You,Jai Sri Krishna.

    Shreya Mukherjee
    Mar 05, 2013 at 08:33 pm
    I am a billionaire 🙂 inspiring and touching perspective about being a billionaire … Thanks a ton for sharing 🙂

    Surinder Raina
    Mar 05, 2013 at 09:11 pm
    Very honest expression of living life with virtues. Your simplicity is indeed a treasure.
    Best possible inspiration of living life.
    God bless you such that you become a role model for every dwelling society.
    I will always be eager to read your articles / blogs.

    Niti Lora
    Mar 05, 2013 at 09:26 pm
    Touchy read.
    But I am not sure whether the content follows the title. How-to-be-billionaire titles are plenty in the market, and surely, this is not one among them. It is carefully woven with emotions, sentiments and stories…..

    Somewhere I feel there is a glorification of poverty in the name of values and sacrifice…:-)

    Your blogs are not abstract, not philosophical, and you are not at all argumentative – traits of a person who has grown from ground. I can see that. There is a connect for me with u because of your authenticity… u stand by what u are and do not crave for acceptance….

    There is one more thing which connects me – I too had my share of deprivation, physical and emotional, at some point in my life and I can vibe with u when u talk about poverty, and your punch line: there are only two things which would touch and transform you in life – hunger and love. I am fortunate that I had sufficient share of both!…

    Great interacting with you, though I have differences about many things discussed in the blog – but that doesn’t matter….

    My love…:-)

    Sathya Lakshman
    Mar 05, 2013 at 09:49 pm
    Uday ji, Indeed you are very rich and have enriched us by sharing this precious post! When some one helps you in times of utter need that help is the most valuable, more valuable than all the riches that we had, have or will have afterwards. Even those who have money can be poor if they are not enriched by gratitude. Those who do not have money can be rich if they count their blessings.

    Sunita Gupta
    Mar 06, 2013 at 09:49 am
    I have read ur complete blog . word by word .vn i started my career there was lot of money in MTPS. but i noticed that people were addicted to it like an druggist / alcoholic . second time i joined a nursing home just to sharpen my skills but again peace of mind in that family was miles away . this was enough of reasons not to make money this way . well as and vn needed got that much nd happy about it .
    my dad a best example of simplicity , hard work nd efficiency in his profession -has been a leading factor in life . — only those who come up with hard work have the courage and humility –wish u grt gud luck and happiness to all those you love .

    Gollakota Sn Murthy
    Mar 07, 2013 at 02:52 pm
    Very touching and impacting experience and multitude of thoughts, perceptions and values. Thanks for sharing.
    PS: Probably many of above have roots that sprouted.

    Karthi Keykarthi
    Mar 08, 2013 at 09:34 am
    “Never spend money for luxury – buy essential things only. Whenever you buy unessential things, remember you have millions of brothers and sisters who are crying for one square meal”…..Yes sir!
    100% agree.

    Changeman Citizen Mitter Vedu
    Mar 07, 2013 at 01:43 pm


  24. Sumit Chakraborty says:

    Just awesome. My father used to say…”You can get all the precious things of the world for free” and I believe him. You need not be a billionaire to the world…be it to your loved ones. I earn and live for my family…I will not do anything which will give me huge money but will keep me detached from my family. Thank you.

  25. jeevan John says:

    BEAUTIFUL, I love you soooooooomuch Uday

  26. Surabhi Mathur says:

    Greate post. Keep writing such kind of inspiring auto-biography info on your blog.
    Im really impressed by all your articles
    Just superb
    You break the concepts and perception about everything.
    I like “Are you Enlightened” and “Chat with film star” the most

  27. Malini Johar says:

    Thanks for your marvelous posting! I truly immersed in it while reading it, you’re a great author. I will remember to bookmark your blog and will come back later on.
    I want to encourage you continue your great job!

  28. Mathew Phillip says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts and
    I am waiting for your further write ups thank you once again.

  29. SAUMYA .S says:

    Dear Sir Uday,
    While reading this article of yours,i was yet another ‘Ann’…(eventhough not a journalist).. Infact its a great realisation for me about you – from ‘Udayamamu’ to the journalist ‘Udaylal Pai’ through “Lets Share n Care”…thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us.. and also for mentioning and setting an example of those lovely ladies in ur life – ammoomma, Shylu mayi,Sruthy n Adrika…”Behind every successful man,there is a woman”-i think its true in ur case also…as u r always been surrounded n supported by these efficient and lovely ladies…(but why dnt you mentioned anything about sweet Aishwarya…its not fair)…anywayz all my regards to you n ur sweet family…looking forward for more sharing n caring….n thanks to Shylu mayi for posting this on FB…
    Semiya….(remember u alwayz used to tease me calling this???).

  30. Prajwal says:

    You truly are an inspiration Uday sir.

  31. yogesh says:

    superb. nw am also in the same. no job ,no money. i dnt knw wat to do. where i am. but then am simply enjoying each and every moment.

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