Honour For Selfless Service
I was on the staff of a well known Television channel. My Programmer Director had allotted duties for our unit. We had to go and interview some one for "The Man of the Week", programme. Our unit comprising of a camera woman and her assistant and myself with my recording assistant left for the village to record the interview of the school master who had been honoured with the "Best Teacher" award by the Madras State Government .
We reached the remote village after a tedious journey by train and car. It was not difficult for us to find the school as it was on the main road. It was difficult to find the headmaster of Elementary School, Thuduppathy. Whe we enter the school we were told that the headmaster was attending the morning assembly and after a while we were asked to wait in the visitor's room as the headmaster has gone round to the class rooms. We were asked to go to the Headmaster's room. At last the headmaster came in. I was surprised to see him. He was none but my classmate in Madras Christian College. We did recognize each other at first sight. Ram and I were close friends.
Ram and I were in the same class and in the same room in St Thomas hall. In those days Ram used to be a hero. He was a well-dressed young man and had many girl friends around him. He was keeping a Royal Enfield Motor Cycle where as others kept bicycle to go out. He used to wear modern dress and was behaving like a prince. It was since fifteen years we had left the college and I thought he had gone to England for Higher Studies. I struggled here and there and found a job in the newly started TV channel.
Interview started. Usual questions and answers were over. My Assistants were busy backing their equipments. Ram and I went into the adjoining room to talk our personal matters. I asked Ram how he came and settled in this remote village? He told me that after leaving the college had some problem as his father died of cancer. He did not have a job. Some distant relative suggested this school. In those days it was a private school and over the years the Govt had taken over. Ram became the head of this school. He was conducting Night classes for the villagers who were illiterate and helped them in getting bank loan for Agriculture development and house building. He told me that he had helped an unemployed graduate in setting up a poultry farm.. The Govt recognized all the volunteer services he did for the people therefore honoured him.
0n our way back I told my camera woman, "Where ever we are and what ever be our position we must have the heart to help others then and then only honours will come to us". She made a smile in approval of it.