Friday, May 4, 2012

A book release and reunion of four friends


Autobiography of
Dr. J. Hareendran Nair
(Malayalam)
On 3 May, 2012,  I attended a book release, definitely, it was not like other book releases I have attended so far. The book was the autobiography of an intimate friend, published by the publishing firm of another intimate friend's family and the book was introduced in the function by yet another intimate friend. The second importance of the function was that it brought together these friends after a lapse of more than 15 years. The list of importance not ends here. The third importance was that the released book depicted the important creative moments that these friends shared together almost two decades ago.


The book was written by Dr. J. Hareendarn Nair ( Padmashree laureate 2012), published by Read India Publishers,  a firm run by the family of Muhammed Salim and the book was introduced in the release function by Anil Dev.


Muhammed Salim, Anil Dev and I were schoolmates  and intimate friends from Upper Primary School days onward. Our family members, other schoolmates and acquaintances were used to call it a three-friends-guild. Dr. Hareendran Nair became an integral part of our three-friends-guild during our high school days and made it a four-friends-guild. When we met Dr. Hareendran Nair for the first time, he was a newly course completed Ayurvedic Doctor. He opened a dispensary which was by the side of the three kilometer road to our school that we used to cover on foot every day. It was during these walks we met him for the first time and soon became an intimate friend owing to his caring and always pleasant character.

We met in his dispensary on most evenings. During such meetings he always triggered discussions on topics which were relevant to our studies as well as socially and politically important matters. We were also used to play some general knowledge based games. Later during our graduation days, we established a charity with the name 'Home of Peace-India' for the welfare and skill development of school children. Doctor was the President and I was the Secretary. We operated it out of Doctor's contributions and our pocket money. I also worked as a teacher in a primary school of another charity and worked part-time in tuition  centers and used the small income from these places fully for the functioning of our charity. By that time Doctor had started to produce Ayurvedic Medicine. He shared his experiences with us and we witnessed his struggles in setting up an organization which upholds the ethics of Ayurveda as well as social service. Even forgetting his own financial crisis, he offered free treatment and medicine to the poor and found out time to visit bedridden patients at their home by taking away time from his busy business schedules. Later when it became inevitable for the doctor to find out more time for research and business, and we opted different career paths and moved to different places, our four-friends-guild slowly dissolved.

The President of India awards Padmashree
to Dr. Hareendran Nair
Dr. Hareendran Nair is now the Managing Director of his renowned Ayurvedic  Healthcare company called Pankajakasthuri Herbals India Ltd that has presence in many countries - which was his dream. His company also runs an Ayurvedic Medical College, an Engineering College and Ayurvedic Hospitals. For his invaluable contributions in Ayurvedic field, Government of India honoured him by awarding Padmashree on 22 March, 2012. Padmashree is the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India, after the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan. Before that he got many awards from National as well as State Governments for his distinguished services in the field of Ayurvedic Medicine. Now through publishing the autobiography that provides a picturesque narration of his hard work in building a successful organization, adversities faced for that and victories made in it, he made his life an 'open book' to help others who aspire to serve the society, set up enterprises and become successful individuals.

Now about the other two friends - Muhammed Salim is a law graduate and qualified journalist, but by profession now he is an Auditor and his family runs a publishing company named Read India Publications - which was his dream.  During school and college days he showed interest in politics. He had also tried a little bit student politics.

Anil Dev, a qualified mechanical engineer and lawyer, tried many fields like government service, legal profession as a lawyer, then real-estate business and now arrived in Malyalam and Tamil Film Industry as a Producer, which was his all time dream. I remember those days when we used to sit under the shade of trees in the backyard of my home discussing interesting themes for movies and trying to write screen plays based on such themes. Even we contacted some Film Directors to join them as Associates to learn film making - but those attempts never succeeded then. But he nurtured that spark in his mind for more than two decades and at last realized his dream in 2009 by producing a Malayalam film. Now he is busy with the planning phase of his fourth film.

At times we realize the real value of some moments in our life only very late . When Doctor, after attaining a victorious position as a health care industry leader, wrote in his book  that his association with us gave him his first insights and confidence to lead organizations, we, other three persons, realized the real value of our friendship after more than two decades. We got the opportunity to know it only because the doctor was truthful in his writing. He also briefly narrates in his book a failed business attempt by three of us during our early twenties - a restaurant, which was opened and closed down in lightning  speed. While saying vote-of-thanks in the function he told with humour that it was also a lesson for him on how a business should not be conducted :) On the other side, we were also learning from Doctor, how steady progress can be achieved in life through truthfulness, determination, dedicated research,  hard work, vision for a people centric entrepreneurship  and most importantly a mind that is uncompromising to adversities.

In the autobiography, Doctor wrote that the delight he enjoyed during our evening gatherings was as sweet as   the light of full-moon. Thus the book release has become an unusual moment of introspection and ideal occasion for the reunion of four friends.     

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