Guest Post – Count Your Blessings

This is a guest-post by Ganapathy Subramanian.

My dad Mr.Sundaram turns 75 this month and what a glorious life it was. If there is one quote that comes to my mind when I think of his life, it is – Count your blessings.

My dad was born in a small village in south India. He was a well built charming young man and could swim across the Tamaraparni river when in full flow. His family migrated to Chennai when he was in high school when his dad died suddenly. His elder brothers had finished education and his younger brothers were later educated with family support. My dad had to go to a job and miss the ‘school bus’ to support the family. But he never complained and in fact counts it as a blessing. He not even realizes how intelligent he is. Only we feel that if he had had formal higher education he would have gone places. But going places was never his idea of a good life. He instead found company of vedic pundits in Chennai and learnt Yajur veda (veda is the religious lore on Hindus).

He took a government job and very sincerely discharged his duties. Indian government has a reservation policy where promotions are based on caste system. My father retired as a head clerk after 35 years of service. But he counted that also as a blessing. He found more time with family. Within his meager savings he has taken us (We are 4 children, 2 brothers and 2 sisters) on tours and pilgrimages all around India. He cared about our education. He spent his spare time in religious activities with like-minded friends. He cared about our education. Because he was an inspiration for me, today I have founded Management Scholars Academy to provide mentoring for budding project managers.

He never earned a lot of money. He retired with a salary of something less than 100$ a month. But it was again a blessing for him. He lived a Spartan life. He kept only a few sets of veshti (long towel worn around the waists) and uthariiyam (towel worn around the shoulders). He used a bicycle to go to work. He lived in rented houses. He never spent money or time on entertainment or restaurants. He instead would spend the time in helping relatives with organizing marriages in their household, attending funerals and consoling the bereaved family etc. Because he is my role-model, when things suddenly changed for me in the career front last year, after the company I worked for 11 years was taken over by an MNC, I was not perturbed. I changed gears and accelerated my journey from good to great, even if it means a financial setback in short term.

His real blessing to keep up his cheer and chin up during the whole journey was my mom Mrs.Meenakshi. I cannot write about her in one post. I will have to write a whole book.

Ganapathy Subramanian keeps a blog at where he shares useful articles on management and leadership.

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    • ramachandran
    • March 10, 2010

    ‘Count your blessings’ is true at my end too. At times use to wonder how my father had managed the family supporting a big family. I just simply look upto him. Deserves a Real salute. Great thought Ganapathy.

    1. Reply

      I know what you mean. My mom put up with a lot of trouble from me and my 5 brothers! Thanks Ramachandran.

    • Ganapathy
    • March 10, 2010

    Thanks Ramachandran. I also look up to my dad and that has helped me every time.
    .-= Ganapathy´s last blog ..Good to great by Jim Collins =-.

    • Suba Sriram
    • March 11, 2010

    I know what Ganapathy means, because, I am his sister 🙂 3 cheers ganesh. I love the post

    • Mythili
    • March 12, 2010

    Sincere Salute to him! Its a kind of Yoga they observed and still observing! Unimaginable for us! They are ” Mahans” meaning not ordinary humans in this materialistic world, but True role models for us! And for the next generation too! Ay article on ‘parents’ kindles our thought,Thanks Ganesh to share with us.

    • Krishnamurthy
    • March 13, 2010

    That was really wonderful. For I can share a similar background with our family too. You’ll agree, since both the families grew up in a similar way.
    Where, earning money or creating wealth was not a priority, but religious activity and helping the society was of prime concern.

    We really gained moral strength, which is of great help for us today.

    As you’ve rightly mentioned we can write a book (why one, probably volumes!)
    They never complained, took everything on their stride!.
    We look up to them always!
    Great feeling that we are born to them.

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