Story 4 Panneer Selvam Concludes.

The prequel to this story can be read here.

I invited Selvam to come and stay with me at Bombay in 1996 to see if I can fix him up with some counseling and to put him back on rails. He was most reluctant to undergo that but requested me to get him a job based in Jabalpur so that he could change his life completely. I was able to do that using my network of marketing people and Selvam became a Sales Executive for a Pharmaceutical company selling veterinary products.

With Head Quarters at Jabalpur, Selvam would travel quite a wide area on business and from all accounts did very well in his new career. He got promoted twice in quick succession and became the Branch Manager at Indore, which is the commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh.

Adventure beckoned our hero again and on being persuaded to become a businessman, he quit his job and took up a distributorship for his specialty, veterinary medicines, in partnership with another Indore based businessman. He shifted back to Jabalpur and it took him all of three years to discover that he did not have a head for business. This wisdom however came at a heavy cost and I suspect that his partner had a hand in wiping out Selvam’s capital in short order. Selvam, the ever gracious gentleman has never spoken to me about what happened but I have my reasons for the doubt.

A wealthy Jain of Jabalpur, Premchand was running a Goshala at a village near Narsimhapur a small town colse to Jabalpur. Selvam had been visiting the Goshala to sell his medicines and had known Premchand reasonably well. On the advise of some other well wishers, Selvam became the manager for the Goshala in 1995. Thanks to a very generous endowment, that Goshala has grown quite large. With the official banning of cow slaughter, Selvam expects that his bovine population will increase manifold and is quite happy with the prospect. He is happy among the animals and leads a simple rustic life in a small cottage built for him next to the Goshala by Premchand. He also gives free verterinary consultation to the farmers from near by villages.

He is now affectionately known as Goswami. While the original meaning of the word is completely different, the locals call him that to identify his occupation, which is to be a Swami to cows. He is content and at peace with himself.

Selvam end

गो धन, गज धन, काज धन, सबे रतन धन ख़ान|
जब आवे संतोष धन, ये सब धुरी समान||

Go dhan, gaj dhan, kaaj dhan sabe ratan dhan khan
Jab aave santosh dhan ye sab dhuri saman.

Meaning:

It is true that owning cattle, jewels or kingdoms is a vault of wealth
But when you get the wealth of contentment those vaults of wealth become worthless.

Thanks Pravin.

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