My first job- some memoirs
It was way back in 1963,I had completed eight years of college education .By that time whatever little savings were there was exhausted .We were literally fighting a battle of life .It was at this time (I had just completed 23 years of age) I got an offer of appointment as a Gazetted officer (at that time equivalent to an IAS officer ) in The arecanut research station at Vittal , a small village near Mangalore. Since this was considered extremely lucky, I decided to go and Join the Institute. I could not afford a new shirt or new Chappals . So I , who was next in senior to the Director of that small Institute arrived there on 19th December 1963. The Institute had send several staff members to the bus stand to receive me . None of them recognized me due to my dress as well as my boyish look .At last when night fell one peon recognized that I was the only one waiting for the bus stand. He approached me and asked me whether I am so and so. As soon as I affirmed I was almost taken in a procession to the Government guest house , where a party was going on in honour of Dr.Pandalai , the Director of Central coconut Research Station , Kasargode . I was introduced him as the senior most officer of the Institute . There was awe and surprise in the faces of all the guests. Next day Dr.Mohan Rao who was the Director of the institute took me to a dilapidated dark building near the temple which was the temporary office .DR,Mohan Rao called the Steno and instructed the steno to take me to the local temple and do pooja for my sake on his behalf. Then he instructed the Steno to bring his private paper and his private fountain pen , so that I can sign the joining report. I was surprised . The first lesson that I learnt from him was that in all personal letters including leave letter I have to write in my personal paper. Then my work started . That evening Dr.Mohan Rao asked me to vacate the guest house and move with him as he was living alone . On 25th when I was sleeping , he woke me up and told that he normally went to the church on Christmas .I was terribly surprised . He then showed me his Pooja room where along with Hindu gods he had kept a picture of Christ . Next evening at home he asked me whether I can afford a not torn slippers and a shirt which is not torn. I was mere boy at that time and tears welled from my Eyes. On first January I got my first salary and he sent me to Mangalore to buy a slipper and shirt . Though I knew my father would be waiting for money , I had to obey his wishes. After about a year , Dr.Mohan Rao retired and Dr.Bavappa who was elder to me became the Director of The Institute . He was my very close friend and as the senior most officer I learnt lot of administration from him. WE shifted to the new lab after three years. . The work done me and Dr.Bavappa has stood the test of time .Many of what we have done together are practiced by the arecanut farmers. I left Vittal in 1967 to Coimbatore to join IARI regional station there. What a great Man was my first Director Mohan Rao and what a great life I had at Vittal.