I have read this book. I have always wondered the kind of impact people leave in others life. Are people happy that you are dead or do they mourn for your death.
My dad was a lawyer who practiced till he was 79 and had to quit because of his knee pain and not because of he was ready to quit. The last two years he regretted not being able to work because of his knees and how he would rather be at court. How many people are fortunate to have a career like that. He completed 50 years of legal practice and had scores of clients. We never knew his life outside our house. He has never discussed with us his cases or whether he won a case or how his day at court went.
He worked in a leading law firm for 30 years before he started his own practice at home. The typist from that law firm came home to meet us. She was crying so much that we had to console her. The things she shared us made us realize the impact my dad had on her life and career. She was from a poor family of five girls. She had studied in tamil medium school and joined as a typist in this law firm. She had confided in my dad that she does not know English well and may make mistakes while typing. My dad, in his own signature way, had told her 'why are you worried. I will train you and take care of you.' She told us that he taught her how to type legal writ petitions, counter petitions, stay orders, and rambled off other numbers that we had no clue of. How he never dictated stuff but always wrote what needed to be typed. There was no need for rough draft. Everything was fair copy. That was how good he was with these documents. She said 'what I am today is only because of sir. Avar illana naan inniki onnume illa.' Even if he gave me 10Rs on Jan 1st, I got money for the rest of the year. He had asked her if she wanted sewing machine or table fan since Usha was one of his clients and he could get it for a cheaper rate for her.
She said how he was always punctual, coming to office, going to the court, or meeting clients. She said he had the most clients in the office. How he wished her every morning as soon as he entered the office. When her dad passed away, my dad had requested the law firm to pitch in to perform the last rites. He also gave money and she said that her dad's last rites would not have happened if not for my dad. We had no clue about this till she shared this with us. He lived by his motto 'what the right hand gives even the left hand should not know.'
He had recommended her to other lawyers in his firm and at the court so that she got more work. She recollected how well she was treated during sadhbhishekam and how my dad enquired personally on that day whether she had lunch. 'Antha mathiri oru manushana parkave mudiyathu. Sir than enakku deivam mathiri. Oru photo kudungo, I will keep it in my pooja room.'
Another typist from the court also had similar things to say about appa. How appa gave money when her son joined college and when his marriage got fixed. All these folks were invited for his sadhabhishekam and were given sarees.
It was so heartrending to hear all these anecdotes about appa. It is not enough to treat your clients well. It is important to treat your staff with respect and affection. We could see where these people held my dad in their heart. My brother and I had tears when she was recalling all these instances but at the same time felt so much pride too.
We knew our dad was generous to the fault. He raised us that way too. He would say 'the more you give, the more you get.' Never hold things for yourself if it can be of help to others. His teachings on generosity deserves a separate post.
Who will cry when I die...
3 weeks ago