Remarkable Deepavali in Puliyangudi


Great people light up many lives!
Even their verandas can light up villages!

This peculiar incident happened in our house 40 years ago. We had two open verandas next to the office room, and Panditji who did not have any appointment system met clients on a first come, first served basis. The consultations generally started at around 9.00 am and went up till 9.00 pm. People came from different places and the two verandas were always occupied. Whether he is a billionaire, Zamindar or Textile giant all had to wait for their turn.

One evening, at 7.00 pm, while a gentleman clad in white safari was waiting in the veranda to see Panditji, a villager named Mr. Subbiah Mudaliar came and sat next to him waiting to see Panditji. They exchanged pleasantries and the gentlemen clad in white enquired him about his whereabouts and welfare.

Mr. Subbiah Mudaliar said that he came from a village called Puliyangudi and that their native occupation was agriculture. He added that their village and neighboring villages were not electrified yet and they were facing many hardships because of this. Surprised, the gentleman asked how it is possible that his village had not been electrified even after thirty years of independence. He noted the name of village and the person. Soon, he saw Pandit ji, discussed something for a few minutes and left. Mr. Subbiah Mudaliar met Pandit ji after that.

Back in Puliyangudi, the next morning, top executives of Tamilnadu Electricity Board from Tirunelveli District arrived in jeeps and knocked the door of Mr. Subbiah Mudaliar. Mrs. Mudaliar was perplexed. They enquired about Mr. Mudaliar and told his wife that her husband was giving too much pressure from Chief Minister’s Office. They explained that electrifying a village in a week was not an easy task and requested that he grant them at least two weeks time to electrify Puliyangudi. Upon seeing the jeeps, the curious villagers had gathered to see what was going on. They were delighted to know that their village was going to be electrified, and sang Mr. Mudaliar’s praises.

The next day, a confused Subbiah Mudaliar was received with great pomp by the villagers. When his wife narrated everything that had happened, he was surprised that the officials had mentioned his name. Hearing about Mr. Mudaliar’s arrival, the local Panchayat President came and garlanded him saying, that he had accomplished what he could not do as a president. Soon, the electricity board executives arrived to explain the technical difficulties in erecting more than hundred poles within a week’s time and pleaded for two weeks time.

Mr. Mudaliar could not understand why these top executives were pleading with him. He could only remember that he had spoken about the electricity problem with a short gentleman in Pandit Sethuraman’s veranda. Curious, he started the very same night to Madras to meet Panditji. He narrated all these developments and asked about the gentlemen to whom he had spoken.

Panditji laughed and said that he had shared his grievances with none other than the Chairman of Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, Mr. C.G Rangabashyam saying that some I.A.S Officers like him are always service minded and on duty anytime, anywhere.

Puliyangudi was electrified in two weeks and subsequently the nearby villages also got electricity. Due to excitement, all the houses were lit in the villages for a whole night and that was the real deepavali for the village of Puliyangudi

You can imagine the magnitude of the positive vibration the two must have felt. Something was at play there. Something that made Mr. Mudaliar share his problem to an unknown person leading to it getting solved miraculously.

Listen to your inner light, it will guide you. You may think that your light is small, but it can make a huge difference in other people’s life. This deepavali, find what sparks a light in you so that you, in your own way can illuminate the world.

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