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I was reading about the life history of K R Narayanan from different sources. What struck me apart from the prejudices and challenges he faced in his early life was the sacrifices made by his brother and elder sister. In one instance, the former president said his elder sister had to give up education to save resources for his education. As for his brother, he too helped by barrowing text books and copying them for his brother as they could not afford buying the textbooks.

Reading this, I recalled an incident that happenned last year when I was in Bangalore. I boarded a bus from the central station to Indian Statistical Institute (ISI). It was a long journey that would take atleast 50 minutes and I was sitting beside a man who was carrying some electrical farm equipments. This guy in hid mid-40's was very friendly, he introduced himself and talked about his life. He said he was working in HAL and took a voluntary retirement after he had put in sufficient years of service. He was looking healthy and I asked him why he took voluntary retirement. To which he replied that he have three younger sisters and he was the sole bread winner. They all got to be married and they had no resources. So, the solution was to retire early and use that amount (around Rs 4 or 5 lakhs- I don't remember correctly). He got married all his three younger sisters. Then, he got married and has a kid. So, to make a living, this well qualified technician now trades electrical farm instruments in villages. I was really moved when I heard this. I can't imagine how much more can this man could have sacrificed. It was certainly one the experience which touched and made me to reflect hard on my so-called sacrifices.


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