Monday, May 31, 2010

Give Respect for Work

interview with sunny kulathakal

[Born in 1944. Native of Marammon. After completing journalistic training in Malayala Manorama, became a dynamic activist in YMCA. Travelled widely in India and abroad, he had served as Development Director of Bangalore U T College for eight years. Settled in Bahrain at present, he is running an own publication house named Sunlis Publications. He has made commendable marks in the fields of public relations, media consultancy and advertising. He is Managing Editor of Gulf “Who’s Who directory and Gulf Asian Magazine. He had served as feature editor of the Anglo-Arab Magazine named “Nazreth Al Khaleej” and worked as correspondent in different newspapers being published from Dubai. His books: “Story of a martyr”, “The world of Drugs” and “The World of prostitutes.
Wife S K Elizabeth is Project Manager, “Gulf Who’s Who”directory.]

Shailesh Thrikkalathur

What is your notion about labour?

You should be ready to do any work. False ego is not good at all. The important thing is our capability and sincerity. What is important is how we perform.
In Kerala, there is a tradition of farmers dating back to ancient times. Malayalees who go abroad will not mind farming jobs even in the worst of the conditions. They will not do it Kerala. This attitude has to change.

What is the lesson you have learnt as a non resident Keralite?

In fact I lived a non resident life with my mind rooted in my homesoil. I had never remained without contact with my native land for a long time. I have never lived in air conditioned atmosphere only. There are people who imposed a particular diet and culture on their children without giving them the freedom of choice. I have seen people who lived a life of luxury here. There is no use in living without coming into terms with the realities. There are people who try to command respect which they never used to get in Gulf when they come home. This is enough to tempt others to migrate to Gulf. I have seen people who build houses worth 1.5 crore and struggle when they lose job. This is nothing but thoughlessless.

What happens when one comes back?

You should realize that you will not get any thing exclusively for yourself. You should understand that others also have a claim for whatever you earn. It we have such a perception of things life will be easy.

Only if you have this kind of an attitude you will be able to behave normally without any head weight when you meet your old friends on coming back.

What about personal friendships?

I forget everything, put myself in others position and do a lot. I always think what it would have been had I been in their position.

I have an experience related to M M Jacob who was the Governor of Meghalaya. He once landed at the Railway station in Bangalore. Congressmen have already reached there to receive him. He asked me how I came. I said that I came in my scooter. He opted to travel on the pillion of my scooter. He also stayed at my home. The same love is still there.

Of the people you got acquainted who gave you the best message?

When A C George visit Bangalore, I used to provide him with a collection of Malayalam Newspapers. Once he came as the Union minister to inaugurate the tiles factory of his sister’s son at a place called Hoondskar. I too went there. When he went back, I bought some chilled water and food from a nearby restaurant and gave to him in the train. When I told him that I have brought food he hugged and kissed me. He said that he would have starved if I had not brought the food. He used to help me a lot without asking. I also remember A M Thomas.

Any memorable incident while staying in a foreign city?

I remember one youth named Lawrence. He started a printing press in Bahrain. A Policeman who was his sponsor tried to take him to police station by framing him in a false case. Coming to know about this I called him to the the Indian Embassy. Got in touch with the police station. Fixed a time for talks with him at the embassy. The youth who arrived at the embassy premises was hijacked to the police station by the policeman who came without uniform. I complained to the embassy. It was due to the intervention of the ambassador, he was released from the police station. I was the one who took initiative for the same.

Please tell something about your world of writing

The feature series I wrote in the Illustrated weekly about the world of drugs in 1978 was discussed a lot. I had come to know that Mrs Gnadhi had made a reference about this article to A C George. I had written that if a job is assured in Dubai, the Malayalees would not mind reaching there by swimming across the sea and they could even bag an Olympics gold medal in swimming. I was the first to write in the media about the Indians in Gulf. I had written it on the request from the then editor, Kushawant Singh.

What about yours in interest in literature?

It was not selective reading that I had. I used to read anything that I could get hold of. I had read the books of E M Kovoor and Parappurathu at a very young age itself. Parapuurathu’s “Aranazhikaneram” was a favourite of mine. I used to read again and again the books of MT and Uroob. I also used to visit Thakazhichettan at his house. I have visited his house with family and taken photos of the visit.

Your trips?

I have visited all the European countries and traveled widely in the US. While meeting more and more people I used to think that I should have known their languages too. Their language is needed for them to understand us. What I am referring here is the situations wherein English is not enough.

What helped me was my adherence to the concept of “World as my home’. The people are the same everywhere and they are different only in their outside appearance.

I had the occasion to acquaint with Edamaruku since my early days of youth. This helped to have a change in my attitudes. My stint as Balajanasakhyam president I had the opportunity to closely mingle with a lot of people. This helped me to develop a world outlook.

How was your entry into the publishing?

It was in the 80s that the English magazine “Gulf Asian” started publication with Dubai as its base. The publication of Gulf Directory in 1978 proved to be of immense help to this venture. I had a somewhat good idea about the Malayalees with my first visit itself to the Gulf. It was through the discussions with D C Kizhakkemuri, I developed the idea of the Gulf Directory. It was at the Oriental Rissing press that the Directory was first printed. KC Varghese was the founder of that press. T K A Nair who is presently the principal secretary of the Prime Minister had extended his help from Punjab for bringing out the Asian Magazine.

Which is the best population in the world?
There is good and bad everywhere. What I liked most in the US was the absence of walls between houses. Since we had grown by seeing houses with compound walls, the absence of the same in the US are certain to amuse us. This indicates mutual confidence and love.

Any new projects?
I have plans to set up a village for the aged. Most probably it will be in Bangalore. India is the best place to take care of the aged persons. The quality of care is the best in India. One also can be assured of quality healthcare in Bangalore.

Tell me about your philosophy of life?

My family has a priestly tradition. My father was the 44th priest in our family. My father never compelled me to become a priest. What he did was to make me more independent. While going through the books authored by Rev Martin Luther King, I was convinced about the impossibility of me becoming a priest. The husbands of both my daughters are not Christians. If Christians only could go to heaven, then my relatives could not be there. I don’t want a heaven where they don’t have a place. Each one thinks that only his religion is great. This thinking should be broadened somewhat more. You should be able to imbibe the virtues of all religion. God is there in everyone and everything. I am always guided by the philosophy that everything is one and the same.

I recall the statement of Dr Kaj Bonda that the religions and religious concepts that we see today were never been there even in the dreams of Jesus. When I wrote this in one of my books, the members of my church disagreed with me. I believe that there is a beam of light in my mind. This very beam of light is leading me through my difficulties. The great thing is that this light will never burn off. In the marriage of my children what I considered important was the mental parity. I allowed this because I have witnessed the marriage between individuals belonging to the same religion ending in a wreck. I have always taken care to point out wrong things whenever I find them.

It is always good to do your job without caring for the reward. Reward will never fail to come through some other way.

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