Blog / Profile of a village lad
Sunday, 6 December 2009 at 03:04
V.N.Gopalakrishnan- A profile of struggles and tribulations
I am born in a middle class family in a little known village named Kallissery in the Alleppey district of Kerala on August 4, 1948. My parents christened me as Gopalakrishnan as advised by my maternal grand father Velu Pillai. Father Narayana Panicker and Mother Lakshmikutty Amma belong the Nair community but my caste name was intentionally dropped while admitting me into the school.
I had my primary education from St. Mary’s L.P.G. School and secondary and higher secondary education from the Govt. U.P.School and the High School from the same locality. I had my collegiate education from Christian College, Chengannur and N.S.S. Hindu College, Changanachery both of them were affiliated to the University of Kerala.
After teaching in some tutorial colleges in Kerala, I left my village in 1971 and landed in Mumbai in search of a livelihood. A relative helped me in getting the job of a Proof Reader in Free Press Journal, Mumbai drawing a monthly salary of Rs.196. A course in Journalism from the Rajendra Prasad Institute of Mass Communications, Mumbai and a recommendation from my relative helped me in getting a promotion as Sub-Editor of Free Press Journal with a starting monthly salary of Rs. 360
Constant lock-outs in the press and the financial commitments towards my parents back home prompted me to search for another job. as Editorial Assistant in the Silk & Artsilk Mills’ Research Association (SASMIRA), Worli, a national laboratory under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in January 1975 with a monthly salary of Rs. 680. I had to edit its monthly journal, Man-made Textiles in India besides assisting in media relations. A diploma course in Textile Management from Sasmira’s Institute of Man-made Textiles helped me editing a technical journal as well as the newsletter of the Association.
A part-time job with Grant Advertising supplemented my income, which prompted me to take up a course in Law. Accordingly, I joined the New Law College, Matunga. Failure to clear two subjects in the second year and a change of job prevented me from pursuing the law course further.
I joined the Indian Merchants’ Chamber at Churchgate in July 1983 as Assistant Editor of the IMC Journal. Besides editing the journal, I was also in charge of the Diamond and Platinum Jubilee Awards.
A job offer from a well-wisher prompted me to take up ajob in Bahrain in August 1988. I assisted the Managing Editor in compiling materials for the various directories published by the company including Made in the Arab World, Arab Agriculture, Arab Banking & Finance Handbook and Arab World Agribusiness. My dream of making a fortune in the Gulf was shattered when the company was closed on the eve of the Gulf War in November 1990 and I had to return to Mumbai in December that year.
Soon after returning to Mumbai, I joined Value Added News Service (VANS), Mumbai in April 1991 and worked till September that year.
Meanwhile, the proprietor of Falcon Publishing, Bahrain offered me a job as Editor of Arab Banking & Finance, an annual directory published by Telegulf Directory Publications LLC, Bahrain. Accordingly, I joined the company in September 1991. I worked there till June 2000 and returned to India on account of my family commitments.
I joined few trade and industry associations as well as some publications to engage myself after returning to Mumbai. But the job offer from Priyadarshni Academy was to my liking and I joined as Senior Executive Officer in June 2005. I left Priyadarshni Academy in february and joined Powai Plaza as its Manager. This helps me contributing articles in selected journals on Indian spirituality and culture besides avoiding the hassle of rail journey.
103/2 B, Powai Vihar Complex, Powai, Mumbai 400 076