I recently went to a neighbor’s house along with my mom and brother. They stay in the 5th floor of our old apartment . We used to stay in the 2nd floor. They became friends during morning walks. An old lady who is a sweet and impressive person, her sister whom she calls choti and her husband Mr. Patel used to come regularly for the walks. Choti and the elder lady are very lovable. Mr.Patel recently had a by-pass surgery done. We planned to visit him once he got discharged. They always say few good things which only experienced people can say and give good advice as well. It is never boring to listen to their unending conversation even if it is repetitive at times. They always narrate their anecdotes from yester-years when they were of my age and how Mr.Patel struggled to gain name and fame in his business. He wanted to be a successful entrepreneur. His head is still full of ideas at the age of 75 +. He started his career at a consultancy. He wanted to establish his own factory which sells spare parts of transformers and other electric appliances. My brother who did his MBA listens to him so keenly that he doesn’t pay attention to anything else. He sat beside him with sparkling eyes and a thoughtful face and we sat opposite to him listening to his past that particular day.
Mr.Patel started at some industry as a sales adviser. He was initially doing some sales and finance related work. I don’t exactly remember what his cadre was!On one fine morning neatly tucked in a white collared dress he went to give his interview in a famous firm in Gujarat. Being in Gujarat from 10-15 years he was habituated to the food, climate, people and everything there. After having some dhokla in breakfast he went at sharp 9 to the office for interview and was waiting for his number. He was called inside.Interviewer: “So your marks sheets seem impressive .Where do you stay?”Patel: “I am staying here in Ahmedabad from 10years. My native place is near Lucknow.”I: “Oh great! You have done school and graduation from Gujarat totally?” he said with a flashing bright smile.P: “Yes I am very much from here. My roots are in Uttar Pradesh but I am born and brought up in Gujarat!”I: “Yes your name says so. Glad to meet you Mr. Patel!”P: “Pardon!?”I: “Nothing. You can join from tomorrow if it works for you Mr. Patel .What pay are you expecting?”P: “Thanks a lot sir! I never thought this would be that easy!”I: “You have wonderful grades and good past experience. Why wouldn’t it be easy?”After some negotiations on salary he departed to fill some induction forms and to complete some formalities. After some 15 minutes interviewer who also will be his future boss called him hurriedly inside after checking all his documents!I: “Err! What’s your first name?!”I: “Oh! You are a Muslim!” He almost shouted with oh shit expression on his face.P: “Hmm. Yeah! Why .What happened”?
I: “No nothing! But you have Patel as surname and in your signature you wrote as Hasan S. Patel Does S mean Shaikh!? Your full name is Hasan Shaikh patel!???!?” the interviewer again questioned him with the same bewildered expression.P: “Yeah! Is there some problem?”I: “No. No problem at all. You can join from tomorrow like we decided. I was under the impression that you are a Gujarati.” he told with a tinge of disappointment in his voice.Hasan : “Well. No .I stay here since my birth. That is what I meant and I am a Muslim.”Mr. Patel or Hasan Patel joined office the very next day. Soon he became a very close friend to his boss Jignesh Patel. They used to go to each other’s homes and enjoy Lucknowi and Gujarati cuisines on weekends. Hasan was more like a brother to Jignesh . He gave suggestions when needed and many a times solved his personal problems. Jignesh always used to tell him that he can only say thanks to god for creating confusion on the day of the interview 🙂After few years Hasan left the company to pursue his dream. He materialized the plan he had from long. He wanted to have his own firm which makes the spare parts of transformers. His dream finally came true. Every thing was going well. Jignesh was still close to Hasan and his new factory by God’s grace was flourishing.When every thing was happening like he planned a dreadful day dawned on him in 1992 . The memories of the day send a shiver in his spine till date. During the Ayodhya- Babri religious conflicts his factory was destroyed. (after the Babri Mosque demolition on 6 December 1992.) His factory was totally burnt over night. He was not able to save even a single equipment by the time he reached the place. He felt ruined. He was absolutely depressed and shattered. He tried hard to not lose courage. Though he left the thought of starting a firm again as his financial condition was weak he was able to get a decent job and earn again. Jignesh used to tell always ,”How I wish those bloody riots got confused just like me that you are a Patel and not sheikh!”He financially supported Hasan and Hasan was succesful in his career. Due to horrible consequences of attacks and after becoming financially low he never was able to implement the idea of business again . His kids also warned him not to hastily take any adventurous step as the situation was sensitive! So it was one of the chapters of his life. A very important chapter where he was about to rise in his career! One more similar company rose in that time the name of which is EMCO Ltd which makes transformers! If Hasan’s finances cooperated with him he would have started all over again but his dream was destroyed by some one else. Hasan tried and failed as an entrepreneur but he succeeded in life and raised three wonderful kids and was able to stand back on his feet pretty faster. His wife was his back bone and his friends including Jignesh lent their perennial support to him!Jignesh and Hasan realised that “a name and religion lead to nothing but conflicts” and became close friends .I am not sure when the whole country would realize it .We have many such examples of people getting close keeping aside the good for nothing reasons like region , religion , state , caste, creed and so on. There are many factors in India based on which we can differentiate people! I read some where that GOD is very big so he is distributed among many religions and castes .It is not taught in any religion to fight against the other!Praying and hoping peace will replace the desire to cut off the other in to pieces I end this story!
Below is the image of a Muslim woman carrying his son dressed as “Lord Krishna” to a school function.