Monday, June 23, 2008


Indian news papers have publicized the dwelling house that Mr. Mukesh Ambani is building in Mumbai. When completed it will be the most expensive house in the world. Mr. Ambani is one of the top five richest men in the world and very successful businessman and industrialist. The house is meant for his small family of four or [is it five?]. We Indians have a tradition for ostentatious splurging and Mr. Ambani is no exception [he may not think so]. Going by the prevailing parameters Mr. Mukesh Ambani is a very big success.

I came to know Mr. Chinnappa when he was a teenager, 30 years ago. Then he was trying to get through his school final. He lived with his sister and she fed and clothed him. His own father was too poor to look after this boy. The sister’s family had just enough to manage and one additional mouth to feed was gracefully accepted.

Chinnappa got a small job as an operator in a cinema hall and also started working for me part time, to supplement his income. His duties then and now involve cleaning up my clinic and house, doing odd jobs, shopping and paying my bills. When the cinema hall became a multiplex he lost that job. He had become quite popular amongst my friends and began visiting a friend and patient of mine who has become demented, twice a week so that his [patients] wife could get a few hours of relief. He goes every other day to another elderly couple’s house to help them with their shopping and gardening. He thus makes more or less the same kind of money that he used to make when he was a screen operator. More than the money part of it, he has become extremely useful to all of us. Not very intelligent, but very honest, punctual and trust worthy, Mr. Chinnappa has not once complained about life and his lot.

I am not comparing but success is relative and doesn’t necessarily mean financial. There are many kinds of successes and my friend Chinnappa’ s is one such.

No comments: