This is the second guest post on my blog. There could have been no better gift to celebrate the3rd birthday of the Chronicles. Written by none other than my father - P. Sundararajan !!! I am honored!
It is said that ‘foresight’ is necessary for success in life. Though this trait of ‘foresight’ varies from person to person, many times (for people past sixty), ‘hindsight’ gives many times a satisfaction that you have reached a stage in life which would have been worse off, otherwise.
But ‘hindsight’ is not productive for the future of any individual, it is definitely a source of satisfaction for people who have a positive approach to life and incidentally may be of help to others.
In my life, such incidents have happened (without myself realizing), that certain actions as a young man and certain decisions I had taken had done well to improve my life, personality and that of my family. I will explain in more detail.
When I entered college (intermediate class of those days), I was put into a Catholic mission college (Loyola at Madras), since my father had a great regard for these institutions, which he hoped would shape his son’s future properly. So I spent my two years of intermediate at Loyola Madras, and after that, as is the case of every young man, there comes a turning point to proceed with the road ahead.
|My illustrious Alma mater|
Two options were open. My cousin had taken engineering and naturally, with my good marks in science subjects at the intermediate level, my father wished that I join Engineering college – which were only four or five in my state of Tamil Nadu – all government colleges.
Since the process of admission to Engineering college takes at least 2 months, from June to July, all youngsters, as an alternative, would also try and join a degree course (mostly science / maths) with plans to leave once the engineering admission is secured.
As in the case of everybody, I tried admission for science/honours course in Chemistry, which was the subject of my liking. As per my father’s wish, I applied to the same Loyola College for B.Sc. (Hons) Chemistry, since all the connected subjects (maths/physics), I had very good marks.
My father accompanied me for meeting the principal of Loyola College and seeing my marks in Maths – where I had got cent percent – he immediately offered me (or ordered me!) to join an honours course in Maths. My hopes of joining a Chemistry (Hons) course were shattered. My father was jubilant that his son is going to read higher maths, as was the case of one my distant relatives, who incidentally is the first graduate from our family.
In those days, sons didn’t have much choice of the subject they studied. Many times parents decided and so it was with me. I joined the Maths (Hons) class which, though not tough, was for me literally boring especially when I thought of the principal who denied me admission in Chemistry (Hons)!
The only alternative left to me was to hope for admission in Engineering which eventually I got in the College of Engineering, Guindy, and I came out as a Civil Engineer.
|My extended family|
When I look back (hindsight), I feel God had some plans for me which I didn’t realize at that time. If I had continued in science, I would have landed as an academic or clerk with the govt (and in due course rise to junior officer level). Because God pushed me into Engineering, I could join the Indian Railways, go to various places and states across the country which widened my horizons, knowledge and also that of my children.