My Unexpected Well Wishers

Year 1962

I was studying in Bellary and secured 1st class in SSLC, which was an exceptional achievement during those days.  1st class passings were rare. My dad encouraged me to go for the best possible education for my bachelor course in commerce. I applied for admission to the best of the colleges in the state, St Joseph’s College at Bangalore.

I was called for an interview.  Father D’Souza, the principal of St Joseph’s College, didn’t take too long to approve my admission to the college.

The college had a large student hostel which was very difficult to get an admit to.  Normally the hostel authorities didn’t even entertain inquiries for hostel admission.  Exceptionally, of his own accord, Fr. D’Souza asked me if I’d like admission to the hostel.

Fr. D’Souza:  Do you need admission to the college’s student hostel?

Me:                 I don’t know, Father

Fr. D’Souza: Why? Oh, you have arrangements to live in Bangalore?

Me:                 No, father.  I don’t know where I’ll live.

Fr. D’Souza: In that case, take provisional admission to the hostel before it is full.

Me:                 I cannot afford it, Father.

Fr. D’Souza: Then, where will you stay?

Me:                  I don’t know.  But I know I cannot afford the hostel, Father.


Fr. D’Souza left to go to the next room.  I was worried; had my uncertain answer deprived me of an admission to the college too?  After about 5 minutes, he returned with Fr. Colaco, the college Vice Principal and Dean of the Hostel.

My head was low with slight fear as they both looked at me.

Fr. Colaco:  We don’t have any policy for free boarding seats in the Hostel

Fr. D’Souza: But we have a proposal for you.


Fr. Colaco:   The teaching faculty of the college gets free boarding at a hostel closeby.  However, they share the mess expenses.  As a very special case, I can allot you a room in that hostel.


Me:                 Thank you very much, I am obliged Father.  But, I may not be able to bear the cost of the mess expenses either.

Fr. D’Souza: Then, is there a way we can help you?

Me:                 Yes Father.  Please let me live there and waive me from having to join the hostel’s mess.


They looked at each other and maybe they signaled.

Fr. Colaco:    That is possible.  We can give you just a place to stay.

Fr. D’Souza: How will you manage food though?

Me:                I will manage with some economical arrangement outside.

Fr. Colaco:   But you will not get good food outside.

Me:               Father, my intention is to get the best of education here.  Food doesn’t matter much.

Fr. Colaco:  Ok. I will send a note to Victoria Hostel. God Bless You, my son.

Fr. D’Souza: God Bless You.

Me:              Thank you Father (D’Souza).  Thank you Father (Colaco)

When I came out of the Principal’s room, I had tears in my eyes reflecting my happiness.  Why they had tears, I do not fully know.

I carry those blessings to date.

I arranged for food on monthly coupon package system with an Udipi Restaurant, located between the College and the Hostel.

I was living in a hostel where I could associate and interact with some of not only well-known Commerce professors but also of other faculties. This I guess is what they call, a blessing in disguise.

Written by Badri Baldawa

Edited by: Meeta Kabra

This entry was posted in Biography, Morals, My First Lessons and tagged , , by badri. Bookmark the permalink.

About badri

As I approached 68 (2013), my son, Anand insisted that I had proven enough in my 45-year long career and it was time I took life a little easier; enjoy traveling (that I love) and social life. Yet, I somehow wanted to contribute positively and was exploring my options. My son-in-law, Navin suggested that I should write and share my experiences, “being a self-made man, you should tell the next generation how you overcame various obstacles to reach this position, in both, business and social circles.” He pointed out that while I was sharing my experiences with family and friends, as they approached me, a blog had the potential to take your voice to many, many more. He also insisted that I start mentoring youngsters who were new in their businesses. I was convinced. I offered my services pro bono, as part of a Guidance Program. Also, I started writing on this blog, bringing out figments from my memory as experiences that might be of value to the readers here. My daughter Meeta is sweet enough to spare her time to edit what I write. As a youngster, I thought one meal a day, one set of school uniform a year, a public place to study, lack of finance and basic shelter would keep me from achieving my dreams. To compensate, I started giving 110% of what was normally expected. Yes, 110% even in bad deeds! This worked. The very limitations started inspiring me in different phases of my life – meritorious results in studies; strength to shoulder family responsibilities; satisfied employers; establishing a successful business of my own; and in my adventure trips and other travel plans. Having done what I wanted to, I agreed it was time for me to expose myself! I felt, through this blog, I could and should share my expereinces. Hopefully, readers would find some bits useful and if not, they’d enjoy reading. Look forward to interact with you. Happy Reading, Badri Baldawa

13 thoughts on “My Unexpected Well Wishers

  1. You have really articulated this beautifully Anna…. As I read this, I have tears in my eyes – Neither do I fully know. There were well wishers, there are and they shall be…

  2. Thats what is burning desire to Learn. Really touching and heart melting experience Sir. #Respect

  3. Thank you Badri Ji. It is far too rare for people to remember & acknowledge those who have contributed to their life – in whichever way possible. I am not sure who is our common contact, but getting me connected to you is his/her contribution to my life. Thank you. Regards. Ashish Mantri

  4. Its indeed our pleasure to read your blogs. You
    inspire us by writing such blogs. Thanks a lot.

  5. Thats Gods way of helping through others
    Very touching incident which changed the life and feel the unexpected helping hearts

  6. amazed at the desire for education !!! and equally whole hearted faculty !!! to accomodate !!! rare to find in today ‘s system !!! u were blessed truely !!!

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