Sunday, February 19, 2012

How to Add Meaning to Your Life - An Inspirational Tale

Reading yesterday's 'Hindu' I found this inspiring story of 56 year old L. Kanaga Subramani, a bus conductor in Tamil Nadu's State Transport Corporation, who operates on the Mettupalayam - Udhagamandalam route. When the bus stops en route for a break Subramani wishes his passengers, takes a couple of minutes of their time and recites a Thirukkural couplet. He then proceeds to explain the meaning of the couplet, leaving the passengers something positive to chew upon. Road safety, cleanliness, tree plantation, blood donation and environment protection are some of the topics he speaks upon. And then he gifts a Thirrukkural to anyone celebrating a birthday (he has been giving away one Thirukkural everyday for the past 10 years). In the absence of someone with a birthday Subramani chooses to gift it to a teacher, a student or a police officer.

Motivated by a sarcastic passenger on his bus who saw a couplet and reacted - 'Do the driver and conductor know its meaning?' - Subramani decided to read and recite Thirukkural to his passengers everyday. He also organises literary and musical events for prisoners at the Coimbatore Central prison through his Trust Senthamizh Arakattalai, rehabilitated elderly prisoners, gives pep talks in the women's prison and sings old film songs for them.

It is heartwarming to see how much meaning we can add to our lives if we only wish and make a difference to all those around us. It is never about our education, our standing, our wealth - it is all about our will. For a bus conductor to have a Trust to take up these activities, to gift Thirukkurals everyday is no joke. But Subramani has connected to a higher purpose in his life, that of making a difference to people around, in his own small way. It is clear that life is all about what we make of it.

What I found most interesting is that Subramani attributes this streak to his teacher Arpudharaj who fed and clothed him during difficult times and told him to do something for society. No good deed goes waste and Arpudharaj sir must feel as proud of his ward who has made as much out of his life and more than a big businessman or a sportsman and more. It underlines the deep impact teachers have on us and how they can change our lives. To connect then to a higher purpose and take our life to another level is the lesson that Subramani taught me and I am grateful to him for that. Well done Subramani, and keep at it. Nice article by Akila Kannadasan. Now to read the Thirukkural.


Rajendra said...

Worthy of emulation in our own ways.

Harimohan said...

I agree Raja.