Updated: Jul 21
1993, an unknown city, relatively daunting, compared to any small towns I had been. The old name of the place was Madras, now known as Chennai. We, who entered the "College of Engineering, Guindy," were wearing the pride that we made it to the top engineering college of the state of Tamilnadu. At the same time, in many of us who came from the village side, there was a certain insecurity mingling with the city boys who were good at English, both spoken and written.
Just how my father accompanied me, Easwar's uncle did. I was comforted that we who are from the village side could be roommates, and we found the third one in Nantha, with a similar background.
I had an English medium education, unlike Easwar. He studied all subjects in Tamil until he entered college. To my surprise, I found Easwar not minding much about what he did not have. He had/has a brilliant smile, a childlike enthusiasm, and a very active lifestyle.
After college, we drifted our ways, choosing the job opportunities available then. Two years later, we happened to work in the same IT company, but in different divisions. We both traveled to the United States. Years after, I heard Easwar opened up his own company with a few partners. When I attempted to do the same and was in the beginning stages, I met him.
We met in New York. To my surprise, Easwar gifted me with a coveted headset. He informed me that a contact I introduced him led to an excellent client connection, and he enjoys the revenues as a result. More than that, our interactions and his openness won my heart. I was overjoyed by what kind of character my friend has built himself to.
Fast forward to 2019, I had an opportunity to represent his organization in different contexts, and my exposure to Easwar's unseen, untold character always lingered in my mind as a topic to write about. Vivekananda says it is in small things one can observe the nature of a great man, not in big planned things. I believe it is accurate and on seeing how Easwar approaches his fellow people, in seemingly small gestures, I see how his character shines through his decisions and consistency.
To quote a few,
His operational manager told me about how Easwar pays attention to employee welfare in a fiercely competitive Indian market where generally companies pinch pennies. In one of the instances, Easwar, in coming across a sensitive, heartfelt Facebook post about a problematic, almost suicidal condition from an ex-employee, made sure he and his ops manager reach out to see what they can do.
In situations where employees need to travel and work, Easwar made sure not just their essential needs are met but also an excellent stay, that supports their emotional wellbeing as well. I have experienced this personally with Easwar. This may sound a reasonable thing to do - but not really is a thing being taken care of by companies of his' size and with the kind of strict budgets with which they operate. But, the Easwar I have known is a hospitable man who extends what he has with others.
As an entrepreneur, Easwar also takes brave decisions to venture into new territories and does not hesitate to spend his hard-earned money. The uniqueness of such an act is that beyond a specific limit, he does not just use the company's resources, but his own, as a new venture. He understands and demonstrates integrity with his partners, most of them are investors. No wonder, his investors enjoy the quiet and comfort of knowing they let their best partner to be the CEO and one who runs the company.
One day Easwar informed me that he wants to make videos that are powerful enough to help people reduce accidents in Tamilnadu, particularly the city Erode, which is near the village he was born. Likewise, he has many ideas and visions to help where he came from.
Easwar has not spoken any of what he has done to draw attention. One time in the USA, while with Easwar, I noticed a man working at an open store in a shopping mall. He looked sad, and I wanted to converse with him to change his mood, bring some joy. He did seem happy at our conversation. When I was talking about it to Easwar, he quietly pointed out that it is an essential thing we humans do, which helped me remind myself to not make what is natural as an exception.
As a father, he guides his daughter with freedom and with an eagerness to expose the world. Behind every man's success, they say there is a wonderful woman. In my experience, it is true of Easwar's family. His partner supports his visionary activities, takes care of their kid's education superbly, takes an active part in critical business and personal decisions, and is a great host.
In the glamour of the projected heroes in celluloid, and in the anguish of missing some great leaders the world has seen, I might forget to see such acts of kindness and courage and the heroic character which is the foundation for them. This essay is a note to myself and to the world to feel inspired, not just a compliment to a man who does not seek any. Yes, I have also known many people who do quite a good number of things, but the hunger for advertising the same overrides the goodness with which they operate.
Easwaramoorthi Amarapathy who many of us fondly call us Easwar, is one of the real heroes I come across.