If anything can go wrong it will!
I cursed the Murphy's that testified my worst fear of reaching late. After all, the train was 'Madras Mail' and mails are bound to be late. It was already 10 O'clock in the morning and I had an interview for a job abroad scheduled at 9 O'clock. I pondered a minute ' should I attend the interview now? Yes, I should. The proverb says ' 'Better late than never'. I caught a taxi and ordered the driver to race against time to reach my destination ' that is Hotel Connimara. It was rush hour and that is when the traffic is almost standstill. The driver somehow managed to take me through the thick and thin of the traffic. As soon as I reached the hotel, I rushed to the room where the interview should have been going on. Surprisingly, I saw the agent sitting there alone. I straightaway asked him to lead me to the interview room. 'Mr. Nair', he said, ' your interview was scheduled at 9 O' Clock. Now it is 10:30'.
'Yes, I know, my train was late', I quipped.
'That is not a good excuse'.
'Okay, then tell me better one', I retorted fast.
He stared at me with a wry smile. 'Mr. Nair, our client needed only two engineers and only two people turned up for the interview and both of them got selected. Don't you know the proverb ' 'Early bird gets the worm'.
Well, 'Experience is the mother of wisdom'. I returned wise after that encounter. After all, 'Time and tide waits for none'. Anyhow, 'There is always next time'.
A month later I was back to the same venue to attend the interview for SAFCO in Saudi Arabia. The interview was scheduled at 2 O'clock and I was there by 1 O' clock. At 3 O' clock the same agent came to us and apologized that the team of interviewers missed their scheduled flight and they had only just arrived and were expected at the venue at 4 o'clock. I said to him ' 'Better late than never'.
Luckily I got selected in the interview for SAFCO. I told this breaking news first to my ambitious and think ahead-ache minded father-in-law. He immediately responded with the saying 'Opportunity seldom knocks twice' and asked me whether my flight ticket was confirmed. I then went to my more patient father and he advised me not to hurry and countered with the saying ' 'Everything comes to him who waits'. I was in a fix. So to get the opinion of the third umpire, I went to my uncle, who had a steady career in his life and he said ' 'Look my son, changing career frequently is not good. Stick to one job. Don't you know ' 'A rolling stone gathers no moss'? My mind started rolling again on hearing this and I thought, 'Why don't I consult my friends and colleagues before firming up my fickle mind'. Above all ' 'A friend in need is a friend indeed'. So I first approached my trusted friend. He motivated me by saying that 'Nothing ventured, nothing gained' and added 'Look PGR, this is the time to seek greener pastures. 'Make hay while the sun shines'. A less ambitious friend tried to dissuade me, 'PGR, you have a fine job and good security in FEDO and don't you think 'A bird in hand is worth two in the bush'. Moreover,' he continued, 'Gulf is not that attractive nowadays, - 'All that glitters is not gold'. I then bumped into another colleague of me whom I had not met for sometime. He had got married to a wonderful girl and then divorced a month later. Knowing that 'There is no smoke without fire', I enquired him out of curiosity as to what had happened during that one month. His reply was, 'A wonder lasts but nine days'. I advised him that 'For a happy marriage the husband should be deaf and the wife should be blind'. When asked about any plan for remarriage, his comment was 'A scalded cat fears cold water'. Regarding my idea to go abroad, being more cautious now, his advise was ' 'Look before you leap'.
'He who hesitates is lost' and I finally took the decision to quit my job in FEDO and join SAFCO. I was nearing forty and I didn't want to fulfill the prophecy that 'A fool at forty is fool indeed'. Instead, I took shelter under another saying ' 'Life begins at forty'.??
Relaxed a fortnight later, I was roaming in the town with my wife for the mega shopping before any foreign trip. My wife being a firm believer in the motto 'Buy in bargain and sell in season', we went to a big trade fair that was going on at that time. Every trade counter displayed the flycatcher, 'Discount from 40 to 80%. No wonder, my beaming wife went on a shopping spree amassing all the things at amazing discount rates. At last when we got out of the fair with a thin wallet, I remarked to my wife 'Good bargains always empty our pockets'.
People say, 'Travel broadens the mind'. A week later I flew to Saudi Arabia and six months later my family joined me. A week after their arrival, we celebrated our elder son's birthday with a party. A few families from our building were invited. My wife being new to the place, some gentle ladies came to help her in cooking. I welcomed them saying ' 'Many hands makes work lighter' and murmured to my wife ' 'Too many cooks spoils the broth'. During the party my boys made a good display of their mischief. A friend of me commented, 'Children are poor man's riches'. A man in his mid fifties immediately supplemented 'Little children little joys, bigger children bigger sorrows'. A moment later my younger son cut his hand with a knife he was playing with. The wound was big and luckily there was a doctor in the party who came to our rescue. When we thanked him, he said 'A stitch in time saves nine' .We all laughed and he appreciated that 'Laughter is the best medicine'. My wife then asked him 'Doctor, Doctor, give us some tips for bringing up our children'. He replied, 'Prevention is better than cure'.
Well, all parties break when the first good night is sounded. So did this party too. All wished us good luck and good stay in Saudi. 'All is well that ends well'.