Saturday, November 21, 2015

With a spring in her feet , a smile on her face she is - #madeofgreat

I have encountered so many people who have left a lasting impression in my life, there are many from my family, my friends circle, from public life, my acquaintance, bloggers, online many….. I was finding it difficult to narrow down on one person and was thinking whom to write about…. Just then my house door opened and in walked my house help Lakshmi. As she walked to the utility area, it struck me that I should write about Vasanta.

Vasanta was my ex- house help some 7 years back. Before that, I had known her ever since this housing society came into being  9 years ago. She was then my neighbours help. We would use the services of each other’s maid when one of them was on leave. But Vasanta was the one who would often be on leave and my neighbor would ask my maid to pitch in those days. This was very frequent. And Vasanta had a reason for this.

Vasanta’s story was not a common “maid story”. She was not married to  a husband who invested time in drinking or other wayward activities. Although from a lower economic background, he was a hardworking man , the  difference was he was fighting terminal TB and she would often take him to the Government hospital for treatment and attending to him, that was the reason for her taking leave. Her family of her parents and in-laws were living in a remote village in Orissa and  near Vijayawada respectively. With two Kids aged 3 and 1, she would tend to her husband, work in our society and look after her kids all single handedly and all this with an eversmiling face. I have never seen her rant, curse her fate or indulge in self-pity even once.

Very soon, her husband succumbed to the disease. She borrowed money from us and took her husband in an ambulance to Vijayawada. After a month, she came back with a smiling face. Out of wonder, I asked did she never cry? She said she cried and relieved her traumatic days and it was done with. She had to move on...... I and my neighbour advised, she should go back to the security of her in-laws or parents. But she said, that there was no work in village and she would not be a burden to the family where she had young siblings. She herself was around 19 at that time.

She rejoined work with us, She admitted her son in a  boarding school for under privileged boys and would bring her little daughter to work who was two years then and had a walking disability. The daughter would lie in the balcony. Her love as a mom would ooze out when every now and then between her work she would go to the lying daughter ,cuddle her and massage her leg diligently.

She also ensured her employer had a clean home and she was also trust worthy. Atleast, I never entrusted my house keys with her, but my neighbor would entrust an open house with keys to her. That was the trust she had gained. That is another secret of her success. She does not work looking for money alone, but works from her heart and there were times she would do the necessary work without even we telling her .There was no shirking of responsibilities or half-hearted measures. Money is an automatic by product for the good services she rendered.

Life went on for her. After some two years, She  decided to put her daughter  in a girls boarding school. She moved to stay with her and work with in the boarding school which offered her shelter too. She was gone  for two years.

Again one fine day, she landed at my place with the same smiling face. She said, Now, that her daughter is big, she quit the hostel and has started working in one of the pent house which offers a one room home for her and works as a cook. In her free time, she brings work  from a garment company on a weekly basis and does tailoring work. In the evening, she seeks permission from her employer and makes bondas, samosas and earns selling them to the nearby construction workers. Tailoring and cooking  dishes, she said she learnt while at the hostel. Although, her children study in a funded school, she has to spend an yearly amount. Many of us help her. She saved amount to conduct her sister’s marriage. She also helps her in-laws financially. I was amazed at her learning and entrepreneurial skills. She even picked/picks  up few phrases of english and tries to communicate with us. When I and my neighbor meet we don’t stop admiring her courage, determination, learning and entrepreneurial skills and think  this maid of ours  is a perfect example of #madeofgreat and  empowerment.

Where did she learn all this? Which university did she go to? Did she attend any self-development program or read personality development book  on how to live life and apply them practically? I think she is a classic example of what happens to us may not be in our control, but what we do with what happens to us is completely in our control.

Married at around 14( she can’t say this correctly, she says "maybe 13 or 14") widowed at 19 with two small kids and she is now an empowered strong entrepreneurial woman at 28 and a dedicated and loving mom, she corrected her daughter’s defective leg with medical advice and her persistent efforts of massage has put her daughter back on strong foot. Last summer vacation, It was a pleasure to see her daughter walking perfectly, she brought her son and daughter to show me and my neighbor.

Vasanta,true to her name renews herself, has a spring in her step and sports an ever smiling face-  she, to me is an achiever and #madeofgreat in her own way, and these are the kind of people)  we should learn about in schools to create confident gennext!

This post written exclusively for tatamotors #madeofgreat
The #madeofgreat campaign is the first time Tata Motors is undertaking an overall brand association campaign with a brand ambassador. It rides on a strong consumer motivation of ‘Seeking Excellence’ and ‘Self Belief’ which is showcased by the confluence of two global brands-Tata Motors and Lionel Messi. The campaign builds upon Tata Motors’ DNA of trust, authenticity, reliability, simplicity, as well as its commitment to innovation.

The best comment on this blog post which answers the question  "What do you think of Tata Motors' association with Lionel Messi?", will receive an amazon voucher worth rs 750. ( this is for the readers here)


  1. Vasantha is a great human being.

  2. Asha, this is such an inspiring post. Such women, who keep their morals high even in adversity are very rare. Hats off to her,

  3. Amazing story. Without a doubt, she is a great achiever. Way beyond anything which most of us have done. A true heroine.

    The less said about Tata Motors and Messi, the better.

  4. That was an inspiring and motivating story.

  5. Asha, this is a very nice article. Vasanta is indeed #madeofgreat. Most of the maids face lots of difficulties throughout their lives (low salaries, drunkard and violent husbands, poor living and working conditions etc). Yet, they work really hard throughout their lives so that they can provide basic facilities and requirements to their children and family members. Salute to people like Vasanta!

    Coming to the association of Messi with Tata Motors, it’s really going to help Tata Motors in a big way. Messi is someone who has fan following of millions of people across the globe. Messi is a youth icon and source of inspiration to his fans and followers. The association will definitely take the already established and popular “Tata Motors” brand to new greater heights.

  6. Indeed a nicely written post. I wish you good luck for the contest
    Here is my answer
    The association of Tata Motors with Lionel Messi is that of two greats. Lionel Messi has been exceptionally talented who with his hard work, determination and sacrifices has got better and tougher in his chosen sport so is the Image, reputation and quality of TATA Motors that have transformed brilliant ideas into masterpieces of engineering and created a brand and products that we are so proud of as Indians. Lionel Messi has transformed his body and the mind body co-ordination into a masterpiece of precision and excellence it would not be wrong to say that Lionel Messi is the TATA Motors of sports where as TATA Motors is the Lionel Messi of vehicles both giants in their own spheres driven by the drive to excel and lead by example. So Lionel Messi is the best choice for becoming the brand Ambassador for TATA Motors

  7. The story of a Legend in herself – that’s how I will describe it in a short sentence. Very well written with words which enhance the simplicity yet greatness of the person. Salutations and very happy for you to have got inspired and bringing out your best in life.

    My answer: Tata is a name which any and every person can rely on for its honesty, commitment and perseverance. Lionel Messi is a legend who has carved his name in history books with total dedication to the game, simple living and improvisation which is seen with each game he plays. The association of Tata Motors and Lionel Messi as their Brand Ambassador will definitely give an edge to the Tata group over its competitors solely because the brand Ambassador also holds the same reputation of not letting his fans down ever, like Tata Motors who have given the best to the world over the decades. Its an exemplary association par excellence.

    You can choose my answer as the Voucher winning comment if you feel I described it all well.. :) Please remember to post it on the Indiblogger contest page today.

  8. Your post defines #madeofgreat to the hilt. Goodluck for the contest
    My answer is:
    Authenticity, reliability, simplicity, as well as its commitment to innovation are the pillars of strength on which TATA have built a brand that has put India on the global map. It is a brand that has stood the test of time just like Lionel Messi who tackles opposition on the field with his skill,agility,strategy,brilliance and raw power to reach and score a goal so has been the track record of TATA motors who has become a brand leader and a global giant. These qualities make TATA Motors and Lionel Messi perfect partners who stand for the same set of values thus Lionel Messi is the perfect brand ambassador to represent TATA Motors.
    Hope my best to be a winner here; do contact me for the prize at
    fingers crossed

  9. Your post defines #madeofgreat to the hilt.Very well written and interesting post indeed.
    My Answer
    Tata Motors is a brand that makes durable vehicles, with its MADE IN INDIA mark makes every Indian proud. It is a brand seen globally as Trusted, Reliable, Innovative and at the forefront of technology. In its journey since inception it has overcome all odds, competition, and adversities with grit and determination. These same qualities are associated with Lionel Messi who was very talented and hardworking from a very early age. With each game that he played he kept improving his skills and built a career to become one of the best player of professional football. There qualities make both TATA Motors and Lionel Messi giants who perfectly compliment each other and Lionel Messi the right and perfect Ambassador who stands for the same values that TATA Motors does.

  10. Your post describes #madeofgreat so well that it has winner written all over it. Good luck for your entry.
    Here is my answer.
    Like minds think and act alike looking at the track record of TATA Motors it has stood the test of time and built a business that was built using bricks of hard work on a foundation of trust. Authenticity, reliability, simplicity, as well as its commitment to innovation are the trademarks of brand TATA Motors. These same qualities are present in Lionel Messi who with his immense talent has made a mark for himself on the international football field .Facing all hardships he has worked hard toiling on the fields and in training sessions facing injuries and pressure to come out trumps and be a winner. Thus these two greats Lionel Messi and TATA Motors are made for each other .There association is a bond of two legends
    In case you pick me a winner my email id is :
    Fingers crossed :)

  11. Tata Motors' association with Lionel Messi spells a significantly notable alliance that will steer the company towards favourable benefits. I always acknowledge Tata Motors as a distinctive name in Auto industry, which will not let the success 'larger-than life' elude from its fate now with a timeless guild with iconic figure Messi. I don't see this union of Tata Motors as an aspirational effort for garnering some quick publicity and evoke specific reaction from myriad crowd with Celeb branding, but is rightly an embellished handshake for keeping up the pace to get to the pinnacle of success graph. To sum things up, I am joyous to see the brand and the star uniting for 'One in a Million' #madeofgreat power-packed drive ahead :)

    Shilpa Bindlish

  12. Vasantha is truly a woman of steel and #madeofgreat! Thanks for sharing her inspiring story, Asha. Good luck for the contest :)

  13. Yours is a very well written post your .Its is a very nice description of #madeofgreat
    TATA Motors is a brand associated with performance, endurance and excellence. These words are also synonymous with Lionel Messi who plays as a forward and weaves his magic on the football field.Just as Lionel Messi is considered the best footballer in the world ,TATA motors which is Indias premier automotive manufacturer gives wheels to the people of India with its wide range of vehicles. Both believe in excelling in whatever they do and set examples for others to follow. They compliment each other as both are reliable trustworthy and leaders thus Lionel Messi is the natural choice as the brand ambassador of TATA Motors

  14. A lovely story about a beautiful soul, thanks for sharing :)

    hope you like my thoughts!


    These are not mere words but a part of our soul. Not just the ones that we carry around in our individual bodies but that supreme soul that binds us all together in this universe. That is why we teach our children values and morals so that these little pockets of our souls do not die away. But when we look around at our modern day lifestyle and society,it leaves a lot to be desired, right? Wrong :) I would say,as long as we have even 1 shred of humanity left,there is a ray of sunshine and that is what we see here.

    I am inspired by your story just as I am inspired by the stories of Tata Motors and Lionel Messi. As I said above about humanity and ray of sunshine, it is very few icons left in this world who make me feel that way. Both Tata and Messi definitely make it to this short list.

    When we talk about Tata Motors,we talk about the pride that every Indian feels because this is our truly global brand, a brand with a soul, with every product made to help us fly. This is a corporate behemoth that has not amassed its fortunes at the cost of the little man but by being a part of the very grassroots. The legacy of excellence and giving back to the society selflessly is so ingrained in Tata DNA that it has become part of folklore. Even today,in any Indian home, the moment a son/daughter gains employment in a Tata company, nobody talks about salary or CTC, they just thank their lucky stars that they are a part of Tata family. The very soul of India resides in Tata. Tata Motors has taken these very same values global, making Indians proud of what they represent. 'Look,we represent excellence, with a dollop of old world values, with love and respect' !

    When we look at Messi, we see a boy with dreams in his eyes and a man who has put everything he had in making them come true, and he did! With singleminded focus,dedication and hardwork, he has managed to outdo every obstacle he faced since his birth personally, healthwise and family financial situation wise. Every obstacle became just another step for him to grow and reach up the sky. And still, every time he walks out on the field, he plays with the same agility, alarcity and a a hunger to prove himself as if it is his first game! He hasn't achieved his demi-God status without superhuman efforts.

    When these two demi-Gods of their respective fields come together, there are bound to be fireworks and that is exactly what it is! Purely from a corporate point of view, there are rare instances when we see such a perfect fit form. It can be called a divine sign that a symbol of vibrancy and dynamism like no other has taken shape with the partnership of Tata Motors and Lionel Messi. More than a mere advertising gambit,it is an amalgamation of those perhaps 'lost' values that the world needs more of,now more than ever. Maybe the Gods are finally happy!

    Prajakta Sinha

  15. Beautiful post! When it comes to impact and impacting millions of lives, Yes, we can see both Tata Motors and Lionel Messi being the pioneers here. While the very name Tata is enough to make us go back to all our history books where we have seen there hardly is a comparable name that has contributed so much to the society in such an ethical manner, the very name Messi conjures up images of a boy-man who has turned the world upside down with his talent, determination, discipline and never-give-up spirit. The compatibility between the values they both share is intense and that is the reason this partnership works perfectly.

    With a concern for the society at large,everything that Tata has done has inspired us to dream big, conquer the world and pour all our energy back into the society to do good and inspire good. By facing his demons, Messi has done the same. He enjoys a God-like status in the world today because he dared to dream, achieved the sky and still hasn't lost his humanity a bit. He is still a child at heart and he gives back with his multiple philanthropic activities just like Tata does!

    Talk to any person in India, ask them about the companies they admire the most. Tata is right there at the top. This name is beyond bottomline, spreadsheets, return on investment and share price. It is equivalent to soul of India-soft, kind, diverse, dynamic, eternal. Just like that Messi has emerged as not just another football player but someone whose very life is an inspiration, whose personal struggles are a template for others to emulate and who has morphed into an eternal legend.

    While it would take eons to write about what makes Tata Motors and Messi great, as their list of achievements is too long for us to even skim over, suffice to say that this partnership is for the ages. As they say, some things are made in heaven :)

    Thank you for this opportunity.
    -Richa Shailendra,