News appeared in The Hindu on 05th Nov’13: http://www.thehindu.com/obituary/05th-november-2013/article5317088.ece
So many people die every day. Why am I writing about this man’s passing away? Because I knew him, I met him, I interacted with him and I had discussions with him; but he is no more there for any of those. This is why I am writing this!
When we started ichiban (my entrepreneurial venture) I met a lot of people, but no one was willing to give me a chance to kick-start my work. Mr Venkat did, not easily, but he did. He was professionally demanding, but when we crossed over his high bar, we saw his kind personal side. We worked with him and his team for years. We learnt a lot from him. We had a common interest as well – philosophy! I met him at Swami Parthasarathy’s Chennai lectures about 18 months ago. His sense of humour is not common. He pulled my leg and we had a good laugh outside the Music Academy hall during the lecture days. We parted that evening hoping to catch up soon, which we did. We met up with some new business proposals once, and then decided to follow up on them, which was never to be. I heard he had taken ill and was not to return to serious work again. He was fighting a tough phase of his life. I left my thoughts about taking on the new opportunity that we had discussed and prayed for his early recovery.
Man proposes, God disposes – isn’t it so true? Heard a few days back that this man who got me started, inspired me by his approach to business was no more! It was a kind of shock even though I had kept myself abreast about his deteriorating health. May his soul rest in peace!
Earlier, when we had started ‘ichiban Academy’ and started running courses for aspiring entrepreneurs, I made it a point to get inspirational speakers into the classroom. In one of our early batches, I invited Mr Venkat to speak. The little classroom was filled to the brim, some even standing on the edges to catch a little glimpse of the talk. He spoke about ‘The Secret’ and how he had applied the law of attraction and positive affirmations in his life to recover from a serious health challenge. His story was moving, inspiring, meaningful, and motivating for the young minds who had gathered to listen. Here was a man who changed the lives of a few that evening! But today he is no more and I wish to share this with all those who listened to him that evening, so that they can say a little prayer for his soul.
Life gives us opportunities to learn. The divine uses every opportunity to send lessons to us. The vehicle chosen can be anything or anyone – people, objects, experiences, sounds, illusions, visions, etc but the message is delivered. Sadly we have in the course of our busy lives forgotten the way to listen. We ignore these messages of truth, hoping that all that happens around us is not something that will happen to us. This is one of the fundamental errors, all of us commit. This does not mean we become pessimistic with life, but we must take efforts to lead it with greater meaning. Even finding meaning in life does not happen these days! On this occasion, I did not want to miss sharing this message. I am sure a person who used to attend Gita lectures (Mr Venkat) and one who inspired us that evening with his heart warming personal story, would have happily shared this.
Thanks Venkat for inspiring us! We will always remember you and your wishes. I am sure all the students who you inspired will remember you and your message always as well. May your soul rest in peace!