- Never got angry
- Never shouted at anyone
- Never let anything perturb her
- Never felt depressed
- Never worried
- Never was and never looked or acted greedy
- Never felt jealous of anyone
- Never cried
- Never was over-sensitive or
- Never was overtly emotional......
I have known and have been interacting with this lady - my MIL Smt.Narmada Bai, wife of late N.Ananthachar - for more than a quarter of a century now and I am not exaggerating, but I have never seen her expressing any of the above mentioned emotions. If we all consider Late sri N.Ananthachar as a Daivamsha Sambhuta for his immense strength and achievements during his lifetime, an equal , if not more credit should be given to his wife and life partner for standing by him in his struggles and for her splendid and enviable personality.
As we are about to celebrate my MIL's 100 th birthday this Sunday, I have been thinking about her and her life. The more I think, the more and more I am marveling at the wonderful lady. Thinking that I might have overlooked or not witnessed something, I discussed with my husband whether anytime he has seen any of the above emotions in his mother. He tried to recall, recollect but ended up grinning and admiring his mother all the more.
And it makes all the more exemplary, if I narrate what she has been through and how her life had been one of innumerable struggles,sacrifices and ultimately achievements and triumphs. Many don't know much about her as she has always led low profile life and never aspired to hog the limelight. Although I may not be the right and competent person to tell about her, I feel that at this moment of celebration, we all family and friends should share, celebrate and try to imbibe at least some of her finest qualities.
Having been born in a rich family of an Amaldar from Arsikere, she has always been well read, well informed and extremely well behaved. In fact she can give a tip or two in management, handling the pressure, financial management and delegation of work. With hardly one or two children, with so much of awareness and amenities, we struggle to create, build and maintain that perfect rapport in the family. But she is a mother of twelve, MIL of twelve and without ever raising her voice one decibel or without twitching a single muscle on her face or without ever losing her composure, she has brought up her children and has seen to it that her family has always stood for principles, human values and has always remained bonded together.
But then was she very strict? No. Was she very lenient and indulgent? Never! In fact she saw to it that the principles laid out by her and her husband were always respected and followed by all the family members. I think she has that management skill and the art of delegation and she has such a beautiful art of communication, that even without uttering many words and without talking much, she lets it be known that she is the authority, and she has been showing and following the right path and without slightest hesitation and resistance everybody in the family would willingly toe her lines.
Did she imbibe these qualities from her parents or did her association with Sri.Ananthachar instilled such confidence in her? She must have been barely 14 when she got married and moved to her husband's place at Mysore. Did her in-laws influenced her or was it her husband's character rubbing on her? Whatever it was, she stood shoulder to shoulder with her husband in both his social life, his building of the educational institutions or looking after her family.
Late Sri. N.Ananthachar moved to Bangalore from Mysore after marriage with her in search of job. Sri Ananthachar's father was a teacher and financially was not very well off. On arriving at Bangalore,Sri Ananthachar did some odd jobs at Government offices, taught at some private schools, and gave tuition to children before losing hope of finding a suitable teaching job. However he didn't lose his spirit and started selling vegetables which needed very little capital, at a shop by the side of the present day Vidyarthi Bhavan in Gandhi Bazaar. But even in this work his systematic approach and sincerity were evident. Even today one hardly sees a board at a vegetable shop, whereas he had put up a board as shown below outside his shop even at that time – may be in 1932-33!
ACHARYA & CO
Prop. N.Ananthachar M.A.
And in all these endeavors smt. Narmada Bai stood by him, accepting the life as it came. But as destiny would have it, Sri. N.Ananthachar had some distinguishing customers at his vegetable shop. Prominent among them being Divan Madhava Rao, Sir.M.Vishweshwaraiah, Sri.Garudachar, Sri.P.Kodanda Rao, Sri.N.S.Subbarao , Sri.B.P.Wadia, Sri.Thathachar and Sri.Navarathna Ramarao. They were all immensely impressed by the literary knowledge, intelligence, diligence and sincerity of Sri.N.Ananthachar.
Though they respected his approach towards his work, they always felt that he should use his knowledge in a better way like teaching children. Even Ananthachar and his father had always dreamt of him being a professor, getting a government job and imparting knowledge to children.
Sri. N.S.Subbarao and Sri.Navarathna Ramarao, impressed by Sri.Ananthachar, introduced him to Sri.M.N.Krishnarao who, equally impressed, offered a gift of Rs.100 to upgrade his vegetable market.
|APS School first batch ....www.chitrannaa.blogspot.in|
Sri.Narasinga Rao once offered 5000 sft of land at Jayanagar, ( present Nanda theatre ) at just Rs. 1 per sft and Sri.Ananthachar was aghast at the very thought of making property for himself. Had he wished, he could have made a fortune for himself and his family with his hard earned money. But every penny he had was utilised for the noble cause of giving education to more and more children. And here Smt. Narmada Bai stands apart from the ordinary mortals because unlike a normal woman, she never craved for riches or property but worked shoulder to shoulder in building these mammoth educational institutions.
I would be happy if you share this with your friends and family as it can be a great motivation to the youngsters, who can see that if one has the determination, sincerity and the will power nothing can stop him and it is high time we told the society how these two selfless individuals strived to educate more and more children, sacrificing their personal pleasure and lived for the society.