Thursday, 5th April. 2018
God guides, God helps, God listens, God speaks, God leads, –Can we just give Him a chance to lead us? He said “I am The Good Shepard”..My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” Jn 10: 14,27
That morning while I was signing in the staff attendance register, one senior Lecturer, Miss M ( another one who did not marry because of her adoration to certain god, just as Miss L . We used to call them as Meerabhai and Radhabhai respectively. But we found later that both were not in good terms with each other, by reason unknown to us.
So as usual when i saw her at the Register in the office where we sign our signatures, I wished her as ‘ Good Morning Miss” as she was much senior to me, and I respect all my seniors. But suddenly her reaction was beyond my expectation, that morning. She shouted at me in shriek and loud voice, and still raising it further, she shouted at me .
” What Good morning, you are telling me? Are you a beggar? Tell me if you are a beggar all of us share the money you owe to us to spend in Hyderabad office. We will give our money for your work to be done. Tell me Are you a beggar?”—-
I was shocked, this is a very unexpected thing that happened, as she was looking at me straight away demanding the answer from me; in that corner of the office room, it look like she would devour me with my breath. I had to answer her;
‘No Mam, I am not a beggar, I do not ask you to pay for me even, please do not send my papers to AG office, I will take care of those papers by myself.”
And she was shouting very loudly in the corridor, all the non teaching staff came out from their rooms and looking bewildered at us perplexed.
” When they come to devour me,…when my foes attack me…they will stumble and fall.Psalm 27;2 All were looking at me as though I was a prey to be devoured, both teaching and non-teaching staff. I bent down to the floor, could not lift my face, I was in tears. I was sure I could not face all of them like this. Yes, in their view I was adamant and proud, useless, haughty beggar. I had no other word to describe myself too. But what shall I do? I just could not give BRIBE , and grieve my Lord. I am nothing in comparison to the good lecturers in our college. But this act I just could not do.. Money is the cause of all evil, here I had a test, either I should lean on money and favours of our staff? or just face this humiliation and shame and anger of our staff, because I could not give bribe? I told myself ” If I try to please people I am not the servant of Jesus Christ. For now am I trying the approval human beings , or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I am trying to please people I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
My husband was waiting for me at the gate on some errand, so immediately I ran to him and told him what has had happened and how I was called by names as a beggar.
He looked into my eyes and told me,
“ Do not get angry , I will go home and pray.”
I said,, ‘No hubby I am not angry, I just want to tell you this.’
He told me later, straight away he went home knelt down and prayed for me. And I went back to take some answer sheets from our Vice principal and Controller of Examinations
Sr. Marietta P. She said,’ Miss, if you want to sit in my room and correct the papers You can sit here” I was utterly shaken in my heart by the way I was shouted at, literally my hands were trembling while taking the answer sheets from her. So her offer was a shield to me to protect me from other insults. It was so kind of her to offer me a table and chair to correct the papers in her room, away from the piercing looks of others.
The next day I finished the valuation of the examination papers, and went to receive the remuneration at the Controller room, where the Sr.M was giving money to the staff.When I went there she asked me to sit in front of her , there was a table between her and me, and she said to me,
“ Miss, You cannot get any remuneration this time”
I was a bit perplexed and said,” How come sister ? I did my duty and finished my work. sister!?”
“The staff insisted that your remuneration money should be given to them to use it as your share of the bribe they have to give in AG office, Hyderabad “
I was looking at her with disbelief, but I spoke slowly and steadily, after taking a deep breath, now I know I was taken into a corner very unexpectedly ; but I said;
“Sister How can you give my money? I have to sign on the receipt, is it not?”
“Sorry Miss, to say like this, You remember that you already signed the receipt papers before, and Sr. Principal also told me to give your remuneration money to the staff.” Then I remembered that the other day , one attender Laxmi came to give me some papers to sign, I asked her what were those papers, she told me, ” Miss all lecturers signed these papers, I was searching for you, I did not know you are here, ” I signed the papers as those were the receipts of the amount of money we would receive after we finished the valuation. She told me all other lecturers also signed already to save the time. The amount of money we would claim later from paper correction could be filled in the blank at the time of receiving the amount..
I was taken aback , my whole being was trembling with agony and shock, I said, my eyes fixed on her face.
” Sister.. I believe you just cannot give my remuneration to any one without my consent, You have given that bribe without my consent, I have no part in it.” The tears were rolling down on my cheeks..my voice was low and steady, I added my words, like this. “ Sister , you know that I resigned my job as Air hostess in Air India just because they asked me to put bottu( tikka) on my forehead, this …this is not greater than that. If needed I will take my own course to take a decision.. but I am really very sad..” I found myself shivering and tears were rolling down. I took leave from her and went into the hall where my friend Miss Swarnakamala was correcting her Zoology answer sheets. I went to her, and she asked me whether I got my remuneration. I said ,“No”, seeing my condition she made me to sit on a chair nearby her, and elicited the matter that happened in the Controller room, she said,” Leela you look devastated, please be steady , and have this hot cup of coffee, and she poured out from her flask and gave it to me. I was so hot and shivering,.. and trying to drink that coffee, at that moment, an attender came and told me,” Miss , Sister Principal asked you to meet her now”
I got up from the seat without finishing to drink the coffee and kept the cup on the floor, and went into the Principal room. There she was Sr. Winifred, with the remuneration receipts in her hand.
She said, “Miss. The staff asked me to take your remuneration and give it to them to meet the expenses in the office work.”
I said, calmly and quietly , I did not know what made me like that but I was not trembling any more, my voice was steady and firm as I told her, ‘ Sister , you have taken my remuneration without my consent, I have no part in this bribe.”I found my voice was shivering inwardly while I was saying so.
She was looking at me and said, ” See Miss, the staff is saying that “Where is your consciousness, when you happen to come to college a bit late or go from the college a bit earlier than the college hours? What answer you will give them?”
( All the staff, including me were not taken into task by our kind principal when we go to college a bit late, that is , college is 9:30am but if we do not have the first period class, the register was available to sign till 10am. And so is in the evening, if we do not had class in the last period, we can go home a half an hour before the college closes.. esp mothers like me with little children were not taken into task. It was a compassionate arrangement between the staff of the same department and also Sr Principal was not mindful of such arrangement at times. Its unwritten norm of the routine of the college, nobody was taken into task , especially during the regime of Sr. Winifred as she was concern of mothers like me with little children at home, where husbands were not available due to work hours. My husband was working in Vijayawada, and he was available only on week ends )
So this point of breach was taken into task to find fault with me to blame me, to find the flaw in me and to point out at me and to tell me that I am not good in keeping perfect disposition by my colleagues.
Though I never expected this sort of accusation on me, I could answer her,
” Yes sister, I am late to college and go from college a bit earlier. I accept it, but…… it is only a mistake, I can rectify it, but giving bribe is a crime. I cannot do it” (This answer was certainly from above , from my Lord, I did not contemplate, nor did I expected to find myself in that position , I felt the Spirit of God was with me, and guiding me beyond my comprehension.} —yes, when we were taken into the presence of the Authoritarians, ” But when they deliver you up take no thought how and what shall you speak but it shall be given in that same hour what ye shall speak”Matt 10: 19 –
God, only God had given those words to me then. Also I did something very strange which I never thought to do so, or pre-planned to do so.
She was looking straight into my face, and I looked into her eyes and said,
” Sister hereafter I give a word to you that I will come to college on time and leave the college on time. If you want I will write it on paper and sign it and give it to you.”
Saying thus immediately I took my journal which used to be all ways with me in my hand bag, opened it, and wrote like this,on a empty paper, I put a Heading like this–
“FOR THE NEXT ACADEMIC YEAR 1990–1991”
I, M. Leela vathi give you in word, that I will be in college by 9:30 am and leave the college by 4:30 pm.
I signed my name. I tore the paper then and there and gave it to her.
Even now I did not know who made me to do so, why and how I did like that in an instant, it was not contemplated thing, or premeditated thing to do. In an instant I did it, and it was it.
I do not know why my sweet Godly sister Principal smiled at me, taking that piece of paper from me , but said, ‘ But Miss they would say, that you are money minded.”
“They may say anything Sister, but you know what I am; and you know I all ways bring this meger amount also into Gross income and pay my taxes duly”
She took the money , my remuneration, from the table drawer and gave it to me.
I thanked her, and took the money and came out of her room; and walked fast to reach the staff room in the same corridor, but on my way I saw Miss M.( she called me beggar , the other day.) sitting on a cement plank all alone. I did not see her for the past 4 days in college campus, I approached and asked her if she was waiting for Riksha man to take her home. She said , Yes miss, I am waiting.” I said to her, “Mam , I will go out and see whether he came and waiting for you at the gate, and will tell him that you are waiting for him. If he is not available I will call another one to take you home ” –She stopped me and told me, ” Don’t worry Miss, he will come. Actually I am suffering from high temperature since that day, I shouted at you. I did not mean to insult you so. All other staff told me,as I am the senior most Lecturer, to insult you so that to retrieve money from you. Sorry miss.” Again it was my turn to be surprised, but told her, “NO mam, its nothing. do not worry, please.” And I helped her holding her books, and escorted her to the gate where her rickshaw man was already coming into the campus to take her home. Helped her to get into the Rickshaw , I went into the department to take my things, my books from my place, there I saw Suzan the same sweet girl , and Psychology Lecturer sitting and doing some work, as soon as she saw me she asked me, What happened Miss?” as I was about to tell her, she immediately got up and closed the doors, and told me to sit for awhile and take rest and I could go later.
While we both praised God and praying, Sister Principal peeped into the room through the slightly opened door and smilingly said, ” Miss, sorry I disturbed, I gave you those receipt papers by mistake along with the money, can you take those and give in the office please.?”
I briskly stood up and said, Yes sister”
She went away telling me that. Even I did not realized that those papers with me in the same cover she gave my remuneration money.
Susan said, “Miss I will take those papers and give in the office, you go home now.”
I wonder how beautifully God had arranged everything for me, Why Susan was there? I do not know. In the beginning When I came to work in this College I prayed for the management, in 1976; God has given me a beautiful verse about the management, and how much a blessing to me to work under them. the verse goes like this,“Blessed art thou, o land, when thy king is the son of nobles and your princes feast at proper time,,( not early in the morning,=in Telugu version) our sisters go for prayer early morning , not to breakfast table) for strength, not for drunkenness” Ecclesiastes 10:17
I went home as usual children were waiting for me on the last day of my paper correction, because every year I take them to a hotel to eat. Yes, I took them to Madhulatha hotel, on our way, due to terrible heat the tar road was burning with melted tar, and our rikshaw tire was bursted out . But still we had fun of enjoying the servings in the restaurant. we as parents all ways very careful not to give any anxiety to our children with our problems. They all ways had happy childhood.