1976 – as a young trainee at Godrej & Boyce – Mumbai, Raj was eager to learn the intricacies of engineering. Why and how things happen? His mind in quest as he spent his working hours with the machines.
Given to talking extempore on matters of head and heart, the Plant Manager noticed whenever he arrived at the breakfast table Seniors would gather to hear him speak.
One morning the Plant Manager called him to his cabin and wanted to know a little more of him. Raj spoke. Finally the Plant Manager exclaimed in a loud voice, as though it was his Eureka moment, “I have found my candidate.”
Young man tomorrow you are reporting at the Head office. On inquiring further, Raj learnt he was being transferred to Sales. Raj would have none of it, and told the Manager so. The Manager thundered, “This is my order.” Raj retorted that he never took Orders, and would never get into an assignment for which he had no interest.
Later that evening he got a Memo with Orders to report to HO the next morning.
Raj simultaneously handed the Manager a page. The Manager was dumbfounded on reading it. ‘Do you know Raj what you are doing? You were selected from a few hundred candidates. This is a Permanent Job. And you decide to resign! Do you understand what this means?’ Raj kept silent.
A moment later he said, ‘When my life is Temporary, how can my job which is a part of my lifetime be Permanent?’
The Manager never knew what struck him. Never heard such words from another till date.
2006 – Modena Industries Dubai. He walked to the reception and informed he was there for a meeting with Mr Abdulla the CMD. As he entered the cabin, Mr Abdulla was confused. The resume he held was impressive, Not the man in front of him.
He wondered if he was the same Raj mentioned in the resume. As the interview progressed, Mr Abdulla called up Mr. Yasin the GM of a company that contracted Raj 12 years earlier. Yasin remembered Raj, and told Mr Abdulla not to hesitate in contracting him.
Not convinced if it was right to engage Raj, Mr Abdulla said he would contract him through a Visit Visa, and understand his usefulness to the Project. Raj agreed. Mr Abdulla said he meant it would be two visit visas by which time he would be able to evaluate him.
Raj agreed to two visit visas, and replied, ‘No one is permanent anywhere. We are all on a Visit to Planet Earth. You are visiting Dubai and I Mumbai. If you abide by the terms of engagement I continue. Else Breakfast with you, Lunch with my wife.’
It was the first time Mr Abdulla heard anyone speak like this. Raj told him, Life is given to us, moment by moment in a string of moments, strung together with our life force. Let’s concentrate our thoughts on this present moment, and let existence guide us into the next, coming to us as nothing but another present moment.