In 1994, I was working in Dhanam, a local vernacular publication, as assistant editor. During a press visit to Tuticorin I met KVV Charya (Who is currently working as Business Editor of The Hans India). Charya was working as Hyderabad correspondent of Mumbai-based Dalal Street Journal which was the largest circulated financial publication in India then. He told me that there could be an opening and advised me to send an application.
I didn’t have requisite qualification for a stock investment journal. Still I have sent an application for the post of special correspondent. I have discussed with one of my colleagues (he was with Times of India) He said:”Oh, Uday, I am sorry; I don’t think you will get the job. May be you can ask somebody to recommend you. Do you know somebody?”
I smiled and said: “Yes- I know somebody. Even if the entire world recommends me and this person doesn’t recommend, I won’t get any job. And if everybody in the world stands against me and this person recommends, I would get that job…”
“Oh! Who is such a powerful person?” he asked.
I just pointed my finger out to the temple opposite to us. It was a goddess Durga temple. He just laughed aloud and told me: “Joking? You are nuts”.
I have got an interview call from the South Indian head H Venkat Ram who was stationed in Bangalore. There were three other candidates apart from me. All of them were qualified than me, that too specific to this post- I am MA in literature, but they had MBA, Finance degrees as well as exposure to national business publications.
Venkat interviewed me. I lost all hopes. My answers to most of his questions were “no” and “I don’t know”. Then I left. Next day morning, my friend U.S.Kutty (head of Sobhagya Advertising) called me and said: “Venkat has enquired about few people including you…I told him that you are a honest and most dependable person that I know of. But he said you do not have required qualifications and eligibility…I supported you, Uday but…I am sorry…” I thanked him but I didn’t want anything without merit-base.
But I got a courier from Venkat on the third day itself – an appointment letter! He agreed to my salary requirements. That was a real pleasant surprise for me. I remembered the joke that I made about Durga as my supporter. Then I thought about the other candidates, who were better than me. I felt sad and down.
I explained to my mother about this incident. “I don’t deserve it Amma (mother). Wouldn’t it be unfair… For further reading please check the book : TIDBITS: From The Life of Pai
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