Lakshmi Kalyana Vaiboghame!

Weddingphoto

I want share some happy memories of my wedding on my wedding anniversary 🙂 My husband came to see me on May 20th (1984). Their family agreed to the marriage on May 21st at 9pm. The next day was Tuesday, and therefore not an auspicious day to start any work on wedding preparations. So my mother tied money in a yellow cloth for Srinvasa Perumal at 10pm on Monday night, and technically started the wedding process on Monday itself :-))

Ten days later, we were married!

As soon as my wedding was fixed my maternal uncles were informed. Two of them went to interview my husband in his home immediately. Both of my uncles had lived abroad for several years, and my husband was a student at The University Of Texas at Arlington, doing his masters degree in mechanical engineering. Luckily for him (and for me) my husband passed the test conducted by my uncles with flying colours! I was a lecturer in Meenakshi college at the time of my marriage. The photo of me that was given to my husband’s family was actually a group photo. There I was, along with my colleagues from college. My husband happened to know one of them  since her brother was his former colleague. He mentioned this to us when he came to our house to see me. So we got a lead to make enquiries about him through him itself. 🙂 We also found out soon enough that his family was very well known to one of our relatives. Our marriage was definitely based on blind faith!  The marriage preparations were vigorously going on even as the enquiries on my husband were being made. Logically the enquiries should have preceded the preparations. 🙂  

One request from my husband’s side was to conduct the wedding at the earliest, since he had to return to the US very soon. So right earnestly on Tuesday morning the astrologer was visited and the muhurtham was fixed for June 1st. Realising that Wedding Chathirams will not be available at such short notice we decided to conduct the wedding in a hotel. This was a controversial thing at that time! In our community many in the older generation would not eat in hotels. 🙂 So a separate cooking arrangement was made for a few of my husband’s relatives. Home-cooked food along with paayasam and other sweets were brought from home and served to them for every meal during the function.

The owner of Kanchi Hotel had taken tuition lessons from my father-in-law. That proved to be an advantage to us. There was less resistance from my in-laws to conduct the wedding in a hotel, due to this connection! Thank god that man was poor in studies. :-))

The wedding hall was actually only available for the previous evening’s Nichayathartham. So for the Muhurtham and Reception a shamiana pandhal was installed on the lawn and our wedding was conducted there. When Crazy Mohan, Balaji and their family arrived for the function, my relatives were thrilled. They asked us how and why these celebrities were attending the function. We then came to know that they were my husband’s first cousins. Such was our hurried wedding that we did not have time to enquire about the extended family.

Printing invitations, sending them by the Indian postal service and actually seeing all relatives and friends at the venue on our wedding day was nothing short of a “medical miracle”! All my sarees were purchased in Nalli within a matter of two hours! Come to think of it, it is still unbelievable that we managed to get Pattappa, The Cook, not only to cater our wedding but to make the bakshanams at home. To top it all, Sudha Raghunathan performed at our reception in the evening. It was her first concert after the birth of her first child. She was a close friend of one of our relatives and that is how the concert was arranged. Later in the day we came to know that she was also related to my husband! 

I am ever so grateful to my parents and to the helpful hands of my brother for conducting my marriage in style, at such short notice, arranging for the finances and other things with such precision. I guess it was meant to be!

RTI (Return To India)

Nri-children

My marriage took place in June of 1984. My husband was a student at the University of Texas at Arlington doing his Masters in mechanical engineering. As it was easier for the spouse to join the husband when he was still in a student visa he came to India to get married in his last semester. Ours was an arranged marriage. Already a week of his vacation had elapsed when their family came to see me . We met and spoke for an hour. We spoke about just the important issues. The one thing that we both strongly agreed on was, our wish to return to India after living there for some years. We decided to get married on May 22nd and got married on June1st! I don’t know if marriages do happen like this any more 🙂

We lived in a studio apartment with a very meagre income. It was very difficult for my husband to get an opening in Texas and so we decided to move to San Jose, California, in search of better opportunities. We travelled in a very old car for two days non-stop and reached San Jose with just $400 in our pocket. A distant relative had agreed to put us up and we stayed with them. My husband landed a job when our savings on hand was down to $20. We stayed with them for one more month, waited for his first pay check, to pay the advance for a rented apartment and then moved out. We are ever so grateful to that relative for the timely help they provided us. When we lived with them, their friends became our friends too. They were all older to us by at least fifteen years. So we could see how their kids were behaving. More over I started teaching those kids spoken Tamil and also to read and write. So I got to move with them closely. One thing I observed was that they were all coconuts, brown on the outside and white on the inside! They may look like Indians but certainly behaved like Americans. Our resolve to go back to India only deepened after seeing those kids. We knew that if we decided to stay in the US we had to change our line of thinking . The children born there will not.

I was a lecturer in a college for a year before I got married. In the US I was on a dependent visa and hence could not work. I could not pursue higher studies immediately as the non-resident fees was quite high. So I was able to go back to school only after both my kids were born. My husband and myself graduated from the same university with the same degree (MBA) and on the same convocation was a very happy coincidence 🙂 

USA teaches us a lot of things. It makes one independent. It is definitely a land of opportunities and once you land a job it is heaven, and of course only until you lose it. My college days in the US were one of my best. The curriculum and the method of instruction were so much different from that of India. It gave importance to practical knowledge and team work.

Some have quite a few relatives in the town they live in or in the neighbouring city. In that case they do not miss India. For some even if they do not have any relatives, the comforts that the country offers is more than enough to compensate their home sickness.The greatest plus point about living in the US is the abundance of freedom one gets while living there. No one interferes in the day today life. No parental control/advice! Pollution free atmosphere, importance given to cleanliness, respect given to knowledge at the work place, corruption free lifestyle, idyllic locations, the ability to own a nice car and a house within a short time of moving to that country – a combination of all these wonderful things makes one wonder about the logic behind moving back to India!

In most families both husband and wife go to work. Hence their kids are left in day care. The children soak in the atmosphere in which they grow. They are comfortable with the American food and their methods of disciplining. They eat a little of the Indian food and listen to a little of their mother tongue at home. The parents are also influenced by the culture they live in due to their proximity to their colleagues at work and soon adopt their methods of raising kids. This is because conforming to an existing pattern is easier to follow and allows you to become part of the mainstream. After all being a Roman in Rome makes it much easier!

Every thing is hunky dory as long as you are healthy! Once you fall really sick all hell breaks lose. For being such an advanced nation and everything, their method of dealing with the sick is not so great. Yes, they do follow a system here as well. First of all to get an appointment with the doctor it takes a week and then he will ask you to do all the required and not so required tests as every thing there is ruled by the fear of lawsuits. Then patiently wait for your test results. If they find something a little alarming, they go into extraordinary detail to fill you in about the worst case scenario of that disease. Then they would tell you about how it can be fixed, give you a prescription, again narrating the full side effects of the drugs that you would be taking. Yes, you will miss your home then 🙂

In India doctors with their vast experience, diagnose the disease with the symptoms and medicate you to bring the problem under control. Simultaneously they order a battery of the required tests to be done on you. Ninety percent of the doctors here say encouraging words to the patient and make you feel better just by their demeanour!

Even a cup of coffee or just hot water would not make by itself and requires your effort. That is when one misses the family very dearly. But friends are a real substitute for family in a foreign land. But again it all depends on one’s luck to get good friends.

I had taken full time employment before I had my kids and again worked full time when either my parents or in-laws were with us. But other times I have worked only part-time since I did not want to leave the kids with a baby sitter or in a day care. That was of course my personal decision. I worked as a lecturer in an evening college and taught classes in week ends as well. My children did no know to speak in English until they started pre-school. We only spoke Tamil at home. When they started going to school both had difficulty adjusting due to the language problem. But both picked up English within a week. To prevent the children from being stamped as different most parents send American food only as lunches to school. Macaroni and cheese, sandwiches and burgers are the most favoured type of foods by the Indian kids who grow there. So our food like idli, thosai and tomato rice become alien to them, as a result of which they do not relish them even after they grow up.

Some times Indian kids get to have Indian kids as their friends in school. But this is not common. Most of the time Indian kids tend to make friends with American kids. When they go on a play date to their houses they observe the behaviour of the family there and consider it as de facto family behaviour. The customs and behavioural pattern in Indian households are certainly different. For example we do not wear shoes inside the house, light a lamp in a Puja room and follow certain other rituals. All this seems unnecessary or unacceptable to them. The kids born to Indian parents ask a lot of questions. If we do not give them satisfactory answers they begin to think that we are not conforming to their standards. Then during the teenage years they have huge arguments with the parents regarding dating. You may ask if parents in India do not face such problems. No, parents here do not face problems created by cultural differences, of course they do face problems which arise due to generation gap which has to be faced by them in any country.

My husband worked in various good organizations in the US. But there was this glass ceiling which prevented my husband to go higher than a certain level. There was always a subtle racial discrimination at work. May be it has changed now. Though he was very good at what he did his inability to climb the ladder was causing him mental agony. He also lost his job in a reorganisation at his work place. The fact that he lost his job though he was a high performer, came as big shock to us. We had bought a big house with a big mortgage payment. We had two cars and two car payments as well. For nearly five months he was without a job. That was when we seriously thought about going back to India. It was 1993. At that time there were not many openings in his field of work for him in India. So we decided to move to Singapore. As luck would have it he got a very good job offer in Sun Soft, Singapore. But as if to test our resolve about leaving the US, he also got another offer from a very good company in Mountain View in the Bay Area. But we decided to take up the Sun Soft offer and move to Singapore. The main reason behind that decision was our children’s ages. Our daughter was six and son four. If we waited for another opportunity to move out of the US, the children would have grown that much older and established their roots that much stronger. It would have been harder for us to uproot them.

But our decision was not welcomed with cheer in our friends’ circle. Anyone would give their right hand to move to the US and you guys are going back was their snide comment. A few even said that it was foolish of us to do what we were doing and made of list of the negatives in going back to India.

After my husband left for Singapore I stayed back in the US for nearly five months for my children’s and my school year to end. We had also put up our house on the market for sale but we could not sell because of the economic down turn in the US then. We decided to rent the house and were able to sell it only after two years.

On the day when we were leaving the country, my friend had arrived to give us a ride to the airport and I was about to lock the house. My daughter relinquishing my hold on her ran to kitchen and hugging the oven started crying loudly,”This is my home, my country. Don’t take me away from here.” Even at that age the bonding to that land was so much. Just imagine how hard it would have been for us to make the move if we had decided to do it after a few more years.

We lived in Singapore for three years and then moved to India. Our stay in Singapore also has quite a lot of stuff to be retold but in another post and for another day 🙂 One of the main reasons which hastened our move to India from Singapore was our daughter’s bold decision to move to India on her own, as she was unhappy with the discrimination showed to Indians by the Chinese. At the age of eight she decided to live with her grandparents and go to school in Chennai.

I stayed with the kids in Chennai and my husband in Mumbai for about three years, only after which he was able to find a good job for himself in Chennai. Our children adjusted very well in India. Every day, after returning from school my son will go out to play in the streets only to be back after it was dark. That joy alone was enough for us to validate our decision about moving to India. Our in-laws stayed with us. In the US Indian kids attended Bala VIhar or Bala Vikas on Sundays and what they absorbed there was only a mere introduction to the Indian culture. But in India no effort on our part is required to imbibe the cultural values to the kids. It just grows on them. Normally in the US we buy so many toys and other stuff that the children ask for. But in India even losing a cricket ball is made a big deal and children learn responsibility, ownership and the quality of sharing at a very early age. They also realise how fortunate they are by looking around and seeing the less fortunate kids here. These thing cannot be taught in a class but only be learnt through observation. Festivals like Deepavali, Pongal, Vinayaka Chathurthi and Navarathiri are still celebrated with pomp and religious fervour in India. It is also a time to rejoice. In the US it is just another day. If any of these festivals falls on a week day friends get together on the week end and have a grand meal. The significance of the festival is totally lost there.

My children now live in the US. I do not know if they will come back to settle down in India. There are many reasons to come back as there are many reasons to stay in the US itself. It all depends on our priorities. Surely we can say that we have brought up our kids well in the Indian soil. They are close to their aunts, uncles and especially the cousins. Soon after we came back to India, many of our friends who were visiting here for their vacation would ask us,”Tell us, honestly are you guys happy here? With all these mosquitoes, horrible roads, water clogged roads during monsoons, how can you really be happy here?” Yes, whatever they said was true about India. When we came back it was so difficult to get a telephone connection, a ration card and a cooking gas connection. Another hardship that we faced was trying to get admission in a good school. You cannot expect America in India. Only if you are mentally prepared to accept life here as it is can you make your return here a success. Our country lacks nothing now. Everything is available in the retail market. When we returned to India in the mid nineties even Kellogg’s corn flakes was not available and my husband would buy them for our kids and bring them back when ever he travelled to US officially 🙂

When children come from there for their vacation it is like visiting a foreign land for them. There is no attachment to this country. Sometimes a lot of enticing gifts and other forms of bribery by the parents only make them come to India and tolerate their stay here. Once they become much older, that is in their late twenties or thirties they see no reason to come to India at all. They get married to somebody living in the US and the first generation parents are only too elated to get a son-in-law or a daughter-in-law of Indian origin. Even otherwise they learn to accept a person from another race into their family. Once the older generation are mentally prepared for such a life then they are happy in that lifestyle, no issues.

After going there we begin to appreciate the work culture that prevails there, the wonderful opportunities, the generous nature and the welcoming attitude of the Americans. We will then wonder why those things are lacking in our country. All I can say is that those who have lived there and returned can try and share that experience with our brethren here. That is a start! 

Sri Venmani K.Kumar

Guru

My guru is Sri Venmani K.Kumar, lovingly called guruji and more often just Ji! His life so far has been an amazing journey which I would like to share with you.

 

He was born as a fifth child to his parents among their twelve children. His father was uneducated and through some chance found employment with the then Madras Telephones and brought up his kids with considerable difficulty. His mother for her part worked as a construction worker to supplement her husband’s income. His father was a strict disciplinarian and a God fearing man. He wanted his son to get good education since he did not have one. But my guruji was very averse to studying. He was an atheist as well. Being a very argumentative person as a teenager, quarrelled with his father and left home. He took up all kinds of odd jobs to survive. He had a flare for writing plays. Even as a young lad he had written and staged a play in school. So he took refuge in Kodambakkam. He was an errand boy, a courier, a copy writer, an assistant director, struggling to make a mark in life. He had an opportunity to go to Union Motors on some errand and applied for a job there. As luck would have it he did get a job with their sister concern Hydraulics Limited. This was a turning point in his life. His status immediately improved as he had a permanent posting. His father waiting for such an opportunity immediately found him a bride and got him married.

 

Finding just the right life partner is a great blessing. His wife Kalaivani was exactly who he needed to steer his life in the right direction. He lives in Nungambakkam in the same place where his father lived. He reconstructed his father’s humble abode into a concrete construction for which he had to take a big loan at that time. His wife ably managed the household expenses with the meagre amount he gave her after his repayment of the debt every month.

 

He successfully staged a single act comedy play during an office cultural event and earned the praise of his colleagues and superiors. This boosted his self confidence. He was fearless, frank and always spoke the truth without ever mincing words. He grew up in a poor neighbourhood where people did not realise the value of education, were addicted to bad habits and were petty and quarrelsome. But he owes his good character to the strict upbringing by his father. He is ever so grateful to his father for having raised him in such a fashion. To bring up some one with clean habits may not be a difficult task for a parent who belongs to a middle or upper class but it is a monumental feat for some one who lives in the poorer sections of the society.

 

In Hydraulics Limited he found a mentor by name Sri Mannu Perumal. He considers him to be his first guru. Sri Perumal used to arrange group trips to Tirupathi. Sri Perumal made sure that my guru did not fall into bad company and made him interested in spirituality. My guru has mentioned that in a fraction of a second he became a believer from a non believer. I do not know what exactly brought about this transformation but he transformed. One who was engaged in spreading the teachings of Periyaar by speeches on stage, found true solace in Lord Krishna. He started his spiritual search and this quest took him to established institutions like Chinmaya Mission, Ramakrishna Mission and Iskcon. When he did not find the right answers there he also went in search of individual gurus and sidhars in forests and hill tops to get their advice. His love for Kannan is akin to the love displayed by the Azhwars.

 

His motive was social service but it started as a religious service. He lives near the pottery sale section on Kodambakkam High Road. His first priority was the upliftment of the kids in his neighbourhood. Due to his great passion for the language Thamizh and his unadulterated love for Krishna he learnt Thiruppavai and then Naalaayira Divyaprabantham. He then taught this to the kids in a way that they would understand. He would offer snacks to the kids to entice them to attend his class. Yet it was difficult to retain them. But through hard work, perseverance and helping those around him he earned the goodwill of his community. His work started reaching those whom he intended should benefit.

Guruji with his guruji

Sri Easwaran, a devout Saivaite is another guru who taught him several scriptures and is till today instrumental in encouraging him to do the social work that he is doing. He is responsible for unearthing the hidden talents in my guru. I have met him. He is a personification of simplicity and compassion. Though my guru’s heart and soul was filled with Lord Krishna he learnt the Saivaite philosophy and various religious teachings under his tutelage. At that time he wanted to give his teacher guru dhakshana and was wondering how he was going to do that. He happened to mention to his guru that there was a Ganesha temple near his house which was totally dis-functional and in a state of disrepair. His guru immediately told him that he should take up the responsibility of running the temple as a form of guru dhakshana to him. My guru could not but obey his orders. So in addition to his regular work, he took on the responsibility of maintaining and running the temple as well.

 

The temple was in a really bad shape. The idol of Ganesha was covered with bugs and insects. The temple’s ceiling and walls were also covered with crawling creatures. With great difficulty he cleaned the temple premises and also got rid of those who were using the place as a gambling den. But it was putting a financial pressure on him as the upkeep of the temple was eating into his income. But good work never goes unrewarded. Mr.MGR’s brother-in-law (Mrs Janaki Ammal’s brother) who used to pass by that temple everyday saw the transformation done to the temple by my guruji and made a monthly contribution of Rs.200 towards temple expenses. This was very helpful to my guru. As devotees started patronising the temple and a small collection started trickling into the Hundi, it also attracted the bad elements in that place. They wanted to take away the contributions received by the temple. But my guru is a very strong personality and will never bow down to unjust pressures. He made them leave the money alone and used it for temple expenses. Sri MGR being the chief minister at that time also helped my guru to keep them at bay.

 

He started learning Bhagavad Gita from Parameshwara Prabhu of Iskcon. He then went on to his next guru Sri Ramakrishnan. Sri Ramakrishnan was professionally in a very good position when he tragically lost his only son. He and his wife were so heart broken that they locked themselves inside their home in grief. A Swamiji from Sri Ramakrishna Mission took the initiative to give them counselling and made them come out of their shell and start doing service to the society. My guru along with a few others started learning Gita from him. Initially it was quite difficult for him to follow Sanskrit and many times Sri Ramakrishnan would offer explanations in English which was also hard for him to follow. But my guru is endowed with amazing perseverance and through the grace of the Lord and his guru mastered the essence of Bhagavd Gita. This is not very surprising as it was the wish of the Lord that my guru become the teacher for many others.

Ganesha

Looking at him singing Bhajans on Krishna and chanting stanzas from Prabandham in front of Ganesha, a devotee one day took him to Mahabalipuram to one of the sculpting places. He made him choose a Krishna statue among the many there and bought it and brought it back to the temple. All this happened in a matter of few hours. My guru then found another sponsor to construct a small sanctum sanctorium inside the temple. Within a matter of ten days Lord Krishna was duly installed and consecrated. The priests from The Parthasarathy Temple in Triplicane volunteered to do the idol installation in the manner that is to be done as per the Hindu temple tradition. My guru did not have enough financial resources to do any of this and yet everything happened with perfect precision. This is not only a miracle but a show of love and acknowledgement on the part of Lord Krishna towards his ardent devotee, my guru.

Krishna

Even as a child he could never see others suffer and go his way. He always helped others in whatever way he could. He would share his food with the neighbouring kids who did not have any. While working as an assistant director he would share his food with two others like himself. But some how tragedy strikes people who are already going through a difficult life. There was a lock out in his company and the management retrenched hundreds of employees. He was one of those who lost their job. He was only forty two years old then. At the same time his wife was diagnosed as having a severe heart ailment. Her valves were not functioning properly. It was a big blow to the family. He has two daughters and one son. Understanding the gravity of the situation he quickly conducted the marriage of his eldest daughter to his wife’s brother’s son. His second daughter is the one who is taking care of his wife round the clock till today.His wife has been admitted in the ICU several times in the past ten years in very critical conditions, yet came back home recovered. This is nothing short of miracle through the grace of Lord Krishna. But she has to be on oxygen 24/7. So other complications ensue. She has been bedridden for the past ten years. This has not deterred mu guruji from his service to the society. In fact it has only increased during this period.

 

He has been conducting sloka classes, bhajan classes and moral value educational classes for children for the past ten years. He goes to various places and conducts classes to groups of children. He has created a trust called Sri Gokula Bhatha Bhajana Sabha. He conducts yearly competitions in Thirupavai, Prabantham, story telling and fancy dress among children. This competition attracts more than hundred and fifty participants every year. He has also instituted a rolling shield to be given to a child who is an all rounder. He conducts BalaVihar classes in Bala Mandir on Sundays, a home started by Sri Kamarajar for children who have lost their parents. He will provide them with new clothes and good lunches when ever possible. He is a strict disciplinarian but while teaching to kids he will play with them, bring himself to their level, and make them learn with ease. The children there just love him. He has truly dedicated his life to the upliftment of children.

At the fancy dress competition

He has gone by foot to Tiruppathi fourteen times. Every month he visits Ahobilam in Andhra Pradesh on Lord Lakshmi Narasimha’s star Swathi. He does not go alone but takes with him a group of people who are interested in going to such temples. Of the 108 Vaishnavaite Divya Desams he is yet to visit only three more temples. I pray to the almighty to bless him to complete it. He has done all this, while taking care of his invalid wife. He is not affluent. After he lost his job in Hydraulics Ltd he has immersed himself in service to God and children and not taken up any other job. His son now works for a multinational bank in a very good capacity. He is to be married soon. His other daughter is yet to be married.

 

He has not passed SSLC. But he has widened his knowledge by reading the books of great writers in Tamil. He is a great admirer of Kalaingar Karunanidhi for his prowess in Tamil literature.He will quote from memory excerpts from various writings. Such is his passion for the language. He learnt all the songs in Nalayira Divya Prabantham by his own effort. His love for the language and Lord Krishna made him master the Azhwar’s pasurams sung in chaste Tamil. When he starts explaining he can speak about a single word or a single line from the poems for more than an hour uninterrupted. Such is his knowledge and talent. He is a little different from the other spiritual speakers in that he does not give word meanings to spiritual verses but relates the present day life style to what is stated in Gita which Krishna spoke in Dwapara Yuga and azhwar pasurams which was created several hundred years ago. He lives among the poor and down trodden and works for them. So he expresses himself in simple ways so that people around him feel free to seek his help and benefit from his knowledge. He can assess one’s spiritual level just by seeing or speaking to them. He avoids unnecessary confrontations with other factions which shows his spiritual maturity. He has a captivating voice which will awaken any soul which is drowning in a quagmire of worldly desires. It is always interesting to listen to him as he will narrate events of our every day life as a part of his lecture. This capacity to lecture is a boon given to him by Krishna. Rain or shine he will be present to conduct classes. This brings pleasure to him as he sees Lord Krishna in this service.

 

When he talks about Saradha Devi and Andal his eyes will well up with tears. He has such compassion. So many spiritual leaders, knowledgeable teachers have graced our land. How many have taken it upon themselves to walk through the poorer sections to help the down trodden and enlighten them? My mother and myself belong to the Brahmin community. We first learnt Prabantham from him and now we are learning Gita. We are his devoted students. He does not belong to the so called upper class but the knowledge and integrity he possesses makes him a cut above all. I am mentioning this just to make a point that caste does not make a man superior or inferior. It is only the character which makes a man gain respect in a society. He would mention about how Sri Ramanujar stood on top of the temple wall and announced the Thirumanthiram Aum Namo Narayana to the world, regardless of the fact that he could go to hell for doing so. He would add that if Sri Ramanujar had not done that for the benefit of people like him, how would he have known the value of the divine mantra and the benefits of following Vaishnavism. Sometimes such candid remarks by him drives a point deep into your heart to really understand the caste system. I join my guru in singing Pallaandu to Sri Ramanujar.

 

He always says that Veda is nothing but our life’s experience. According to him Dharma is doing one’s stipulated duty. This simply leads to salvation. He will answer with absolute ease any difficult question posed to him. Most importantly he will make us think. His advice to his students is to be always independent. As per his guru’s instruction, if a student does not attend his class he takes the iniative to go and find out the reason for his absence and also find a solution to the problem which prevents the child from attending. Teaching is not just a job for him but his life’s mission.

 

His temple is in Kakkan Colony in Kodambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam. Though a small temple it will always be spotless. Krishna and Ganesha will always be beautifully decorated and Puja done regularly. All festivals pertaining to Krishna and Ganesha will be celebrated with love and sincerity. He always gives importance to Annadhanam in all festivals. Food is the only God to a hungry person. Purattasi Saturdays, everyday in the month of Margazhi, during Navaraththiri  and even during the hot summer afternoons he provides food and buttermilk to people in his neighbourhood as Prasadham. He is around fifty six years old now. Many of his students are in good position now and help him during festivals. You see young girls and boys surrounding him during such times calling him anna and doing all the work for him. It is nothing but the return of pure love.

 

He is very adept in bringing out the talents in his students. He follows the path of truth. He loves his wife very dearly. She is the source of strength for him. Even though he has studied the Gita and is teaching the same, he is saddened to see his wife go through so much suffering. Those who know him will agree with me one hundred percent regarding what I have written about him.

 

I want every one to know about him. Even in this Kali Yuga we are lucky to have people like him around us. My mother and I are so blessed to have him as our guru. I only pray to Lord Krishna to bless him, his family, his community where he does service, his students and all those with whom he comes into contact with. In fact it is Lord Krishna’s duty to do so.

 

Aum Sri Gurubyo Namaha!

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