Birthdays and Beginnings

Birthdays and Beginnings

Birthdays and Beginnings

Posted by: Aarthi Comments: 54 0


August 14: It is my birthday today and I make a new beginning with my blog, Saptha Beej. As with birthdays and beginnings, fantasies, friends and fond memories rule the day and my routine.

Here I am deeply reminded of the 90s, my beginning years in professional calligraphy. I also had some amazing birthday celebrations – especially between the years 1992-2000 – that truly felt like living a fairytale!

The Birthdays & Beginnings:

Invariably I celebrated my birthdays during those eight years at The Oberoi hotel in Bangalore with the staff, enjoying their great hospitality.

I first stepped in there on work after one Ms Anita Kuruvilla (then PR head at The Oberoi), called to help them out with handwriting the invites, sit-down dinner cards and the table seating plans for the grand opening of The Oberoi. Here I met Emmanuel David, the first HR person I worked with.

He was the HR head at The Oberoi with an MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur. I soon found him to be a fit model for the HR role with a fine balance of professional purpose and personal touch. He also set an example of how to treat an artist.

Emmanuel David 2

Right from the beginning, Emmanuel was caring. He put me into one of their finest guest rooms for the three-day work, and thus I became their first unofficial guest even before they launched. We haven’t seen each other face-to-face for eight years now, but we have remained well connected, at least on birthdays and special occasions, despite the twists and turns in our individual lives. Special Thanks also to Facebook.

A brief context here to my calligraphy work for The Oberoi which also marked my beginning into the HR world:

August 15 was their annual day function, a regular event at The Oberoi that celebrated the birthday of their founder M S Oberoi in grandeur. At every annual day event of theirs from 1992 until 2000, they promptly called me in to write out their sports day certificates and for long-term service awards among other staff recognition presented by the Management as part of their celebrations.

Certificate for The Oberoi

These were the years I also penned the special birthday message for Mr M S Oberoi on a huge card from the staff on which all the employees signed. Many requests from the staff followed this to have me write their names in different styles.

Soon, the entire staff knew me and almost all had their name handwritten by me. That joy on their faces when they had their name handwritten by me still gives me a lot of happiness.

The Oberoi had kind of become my second home. Those memories of birthdays and a new beginning at work humble me even today. On one of my birthdays, I was also asked to bring my family along for the celebration.

Frankly, I couldn’t have afforded a lunch or dinner at The Oberoi then. In those days of landlines and rotary phones, my mother called me on David’s office landline while I was at the hotel on work. That’s how Emmanuel and I also got closer as a family.

When we met outside work, that day was closed for just about anything else! We engaged deep discussing HR to networking, relationships to ethics and social issues.

Calligraphy Services 16.11.18 smaller size.005 1

This gave me a new beginning in handwriting to explore in the HR world. I also got a new name as his friend – Jack. As the HR head, he would receive many anonymous letters from staff, mostly staging character assassination cases of some women co-workers. These letters gave me an interesting opportunity to get deeper into the forensic world of handwriting analysis.

Emmanuel also gave me the next enormous opportunity later at the Volvo when they were recruiting. He had just recently joined them. My job was to provide the management with inputs on the personality traits of the candidates based on their handwritten description of themselves and check if the traits matched the job description or role in the company. Thus, I was also part of the HR screening and interview process when Volvo launched operations in the city.

Letter from Volvo

In due course of time I got very close to his father with whom I shared an interesting Telugu connection. He used to call me `son’. There was no professional relationship with his father of course. On July 4, 2001 – I lost my father within 15 days of my return from the cultural ambassador program to the UK under the Rotary International Scholarship. Emmanuel was right there by my side during the funeral, offering shoulder and emotional comfort like a brother, when not many friends or even family members could make it to the funeral.

From 2002, I got into other areas like global cross-cultural training yet we continued to keep in touch. Distance has never come in our way of friendship. Emmanuel left the city in 2003 but his father stayed back and we remained in regular touch. He was an amazing counsel. Even after he moved out of Bangalore to stay with Emmanuel in his old age, we kept in touch until he passed away. Going forward, Emmanuel and I didn’t have to see each other much professionally but we have remained in touch – through the age of the good old landlines to the present Facebook and LinkedIn.

Emmanuel David 1

Emmanuel is presently based in Pune working with the TATA Management Training Centre. Apart from the regular work, he is also now busy coordinating and teaching for an online HR course with the University of Michigan.

Even five years back, he wrote me a detailed testimonial on LinkedIn as The Director HR, TMTC as under:

“I have known Janardhan for over two decades and our relationship has only matured over time. He is gifted with a flair for exquisite handwriting which he deeply enjoys. A man who sticks to his commitments. I remember even in our first meeting he completed his assignment though it was past midnight. It was his birthday. He reaches out to several people and is keen on creating value through work or relationships. His outgoing nature and desire to make a positive impact have enabled him to explore uncharted territory, so I can confidently say the best is yet to come.”
– Emmanuel David, Director (HR), Tata Management Training Centre, Pune – 2015

Writing this opening blog for Saptha Beej got us in touch with each other once again, reminiscing about those wonderful birthdays and beginnings while also sharing our plans.

Says Emmanuel: I am so glad I wrote those testimonials promptly. Reading them again has rekindled some fond memories with Jack 19 years ago! Our first discussion at The Oberoi was commercial where he went on quoting ‘so much for so much’. I recall how I thought over why to pay ‘so much’ for handwriting work on placards and certificates…

As a default, we always negotiate. I think then at some point he just wrote my name in different styles as a sample and… It blew me over! The next I remember is that we were talking till late evening on our very first day – August 14, 1992, also his birthday. He never told me about it, but I somehow found out through records… You already know what happened next.

Emmanuel David 3

Emmanuel David on the Birthdays & Beginnings:

The Bond with ‘Jack’: His excellence, humility and dedication endeared me. His expertise in handwriting analysis helped me to decipher in my HR work – both with the anonymous letter episode and while hiring for the Volvo.

He is congenial, knows his job well and also delivers promptly on time, absorbing a lot of hard work going through all the details. I recollect this from so many memories – from our Oberoi times to the Volvo times. At the Volvo, I was new in the company, barely a few days old when he came in on assignment. I didn’t have a hold on the budget. We started modestly. Suddenly he had to do a lot of work and he took it quietly. At least at The Oberoi, we had the luxury in hospitality like room and beverage. Late-night he would return home on a two-wheeler from Hoskote and had an early morning deliverable, which he promptly kept up with. He is very congenial.

Is Jack and his handwriting medium still relevant in this online age triggered by the COVID 19:

The present times heavily depend on the online modes of communication and demands standardization, but the yearning for things that are unique persists. In this context, I strongly feel that Jack’s talent and expertise in handwriting are still very relevant. Handwriting is more a conduit than a viable career option. It should be part of any personality profile.

I have experienced many unique moments when I hand-wrote letters to express myself. Even before I met Jack, I was into writing letters, I still use only fountain pens and somehow have been using only the turquoise blue ink to sign any letters of appointment or recommendation. I handwrote even my condolence messages. People wrote back thank you emails saying the fact that I ‘wrote touched them’ also observing the turquoise blue ink that I had written in!

Seed Gyan

As an HR person, where do you see Jack fit in professionally, apart from the roles that he is currently into?

I think he fits in as a good business development person, doing more of a marketing role than sales where you understand the wants and needs of all parties involved in developing a particular product or company. Troubleshooting aspect and making an influence are his high points

The Sign-Off

On a deeper note, our present-day conversation touched chords on some troubling recent studies on removing handwriting from schools and how a generation of students has lost out on the cognitive skills and memory and vocabulary. More on the study and other interesting facts on Handwriting in our upcoming seeds on Saptha Beej.


J’s Quill Productions also wishes fellow Indians a very happy Independence Day. Let the lion-hearted spirit of independence remain undeterred. Salute to the Nation and to each and every one of her soldiers guarding the borders.

Jai Hind

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Comments (54)

  • Swaroop Raj

    Good beginnings Sir, awaiting for the other topics from you. Good Team

    August 15, 2020 at 5:51 AM
    • The Maestro

      Thank you Swaroop. You can look forward to various topics under our “Saptha Beej” week after week, our team has been working on it. Please let your like minded friends know about our blog. Suggestions are welcome as we are looking forward to make improvements wherever necessary within the limitations of the digital platform. Your appreciations to our team is very encouraging!

      August 18, 2020 at 6:19 AM
  • Shruthi

    Very well narrated sir

    August 15, 2020 at 6:15 AM
    • The Maestro

      Thank You Shruthi for your kind words.

      August 18, 2020 at 6:20 AM
  • Mathew Abraham

    Good inspiration

    August 15, 2020 at 7:46 AM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Mathew,

      Your response reinforces our mission!

      Thank You

      August 18, 2020 at 6:21 AM
  • Y D Pitkar

    Hello KCJ,
    Very well written, full of fond memories and great experiences, enjoyed reading it to the fullest,
    Hoping to see you soon at your little cute museum,
    With warm regards,

    August 15, 2020 at 8:48 AM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Pitkar ji,
      Our earnest effort is also to get back the reading habit among the younger generation. We hope to lead them from surface scratching to deeper understandings. It is Aarthi’s articulations that lends the flavour to the writing.
      Looking forward to your next visit to our museum in the post pandemic era.
      With warm regards,

      August 18, 2020 at 6:24 AM
  • Vinay N

    Very well written. The blog takes one back on time when the personal touch was everything.

    August 15, 2020 at 8:51 AM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Vinay,
      You said it right! It’s nostalgic. The very objective of this section of the blog is to celebrate beautiful long lasting friendships with a personal touch. We hope the younger generation experiences such friendships and savours them! I thank Aarthi for presenting it interestingly!

      August 18, 2020 at 6:38 AM
  • Raja R

    The handwriting is better than the printed one. It requires lot of patience and passion to write like this. Mr. Janardhan is a king of handwriting.

    August 15, 2020 at 10:26 AM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Raja,
      Thank you for your kind words. You have summed it up well about patience and passion, we hope more and more people find them and follow them to enjoy their lives.

      August 18, 2020 at 6:40 AM
  • K Ravi Shanker

    Excellent writeup!

    August 15, 2020 at 4:11 PM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Ravi Shanker (Mama),
      Thank you for all the encouragement and support you have given me in the last 23 plus years. Excellence in writing the blog goes to Aarthi.

      August 18, 2020 at 6:44 AM
  • Ashok Thirumalai

    Scripted well….

    August 16, 2020 at 8:52 PM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Ashok,
      Thank you for the kind words, The credit of scripting goes to Aarthi Nandakishore!

      August 18, 2020 at 6:46 AM
  • Brijesh Sundaresh

    It was good to read your interaction with Mr Emmanuel and to see your writings. The impression on the receiver with a meticulously hand written note cannot match a printed note. Well narrated Sir.

    August 16, 2020 at 9:50 PM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Brijesh,
      I can see your excitement about the handwritten note! Thank you for your kind words of encouragement.

      August 18, 2020 at 6:53 AM
  • Giridhar

    Very nice blog. Keep this coming. Like many others I too have been privileged to have benefited from your outstanding calligraphy. Right in the living room is a framed picture of my mother’s rangoli captioned beautifully by you. Cheers!

    August 17, 2020 at 12:02 PM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Giri,
      Thank you, the credit goes to my whole team to have made this blog, we will keep coming every Friday of the week. It is very nice of you to acknowledge the caption I wrote many years ago.

      August 18, 2020 at 6:56 AM
  • Dr B M Sundaram

    Very good .This is the result and yield towards the concentrated dedicated Hard work by great friend KC JANARDHAN. MY BEST WISHES FOR ACHEIVEMENTS further More.

    August 17, 2020 at 1:08 PM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Dr.Sundaram,
      You being the man who ignited the gun powder in me, has seen it from the scratch! Thank you for all the encouragement over the years!

      August 18, 2020 at 6:59 AM
  • Rakkeesh

    Awesome… Awesome. Awesome..

    August 17, 2020 at 1:18 PM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Rakkeesh,

      Thank you for all the Superlatives, it is a great encouragement to each member of our “Saptha Beej” team!

      August 18, 2020 at 7:06 AM
  • Saha

    Great to read your conversation. Your write ups are always a learning experience for readers. Great work!!

    August 17, 2020 at 3:20 PM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Saha,
      I am happy that you find the conversation interesting. We hope to reach more readers to provide the learning experience as a take away from the blog. Great work goes to our Team!

      August 18, 2020 at 7:10 AM
  • Aashish

    Congratulations and would like to congratulate you on the awesome work which you have done

    August 17, 2020 at 3:32 PM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Aashish,
      Thank you for the encouragement and support from your family over the years.

      August 18, 2020 at 7:29 AM
  • S Raman Iyer

    Very nice work. Keep going on. Best wishes.

    August 17, 2020 at 3:50 PM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Raman,
      Thank You. We will keep it going on week after week, you can expect us every Friday with a new story.

      August 18, 2020 at 7:30 AM
  • Aneeketh

    Dear Sir,
    The magic that you perform with your handwriting is second to none. I am glad to have worked with you and it has been a great learning experience. Thank you. Keep Inspiring!

    August 17, 2020 at 4:16 PM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Aneeketh,
      Thank you for your kind words. I enjoyed your company and the support during the Handwriting Masterclass sessions. Looking forward to continue our association after the pandemic.

      August 18, 2020 at 7:35 AM
  • Josekuttty PD

    Excellent. Belated Happy Birthday

    August 17, 2020 at 5:52 PM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Fr. Jose Kutty,
      Thank you for the kind wishes. I cannot forget the opportunities you provided me to train the brothers at the seminary in Christ, Dharmaram Institutions in Bangalore during the early 90’s.

      August 18, 2020 at 7:39 AM
  • Sridhar Hiremath

    Real emotional experience. Your thoughts are merged with the reality of life. Good job done. Staff of Oberai are fortunate. A good attachment with the like minded friends.
    Hats off to your experience. I also had lots of interaction with you. I also remembered to give you some advice. I have seen you raising from the dust. May God bless you.
    A small thought. Students in Government school should get an opportunity to learn from you.
    Sridhar Hiremath

    August 17, 2020 at 7:11 PM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Mr.Hiremath,
      Thank you for all the superlative statements of encouragement. You make me feel like the Phoenix!
      Your advice and suggestions are always welcome and pushes our team to reach greater heights.

      August 18, 2020 at 7:43 AM
  • Kevin kolankanny

    Such a treat reading your blog. Ever thought of writing your memoirs ? Your hand writing is exquisite and you express yourself so eloquently.!!

    August 17, 2020 at 9:48 PM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Kevin,
      Thank you Kevin for all the appreciations. I am writing my memoirs with the help of Aarthi. We are planning to release it next year.

      August 18, 2020 at 7:49 AM
  • Dr. Syed Azhar Ahmed

    Truly amazing, fantastic, artistic, superb, God’s gift and talent expressed through pen. You are such an encouragement to the younger generation, let the good talent flourish. Highly Appreciate It!

    August 18, 2020 at 6:07 PM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Dr.Syed,
      Thank you for all the superlative and descriptive words of appreciation and your wishes. I am humbled by your expression ” You are such an encouragement to the younger generation” My team will be excited as we set out to achieve the goals of letting good talent flourish!

      August 19, 2020 at 8:20 AM
  • Dr.M.V.Ravikumar

    Dear KC,
    At the outset my belated b’day wishes. May you have a long, healthy, happy and peaceful life!!
    As I was discussing with you over phone couple of days back, the philosophy of life that you are professing should be told in story format to young ones ( 6-14 years) as that is the age where a person moulds their personality. Also translating your philosophy into local language (Kannada in our State) will help in reaching more children.
    It was nice talking you for a long time!

    August 19, 2020 at 4:37 PM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Dr. Ravikumar,
      Thank you for your kind wishes. Your suggestions are interesting. We will discuss with our team about how to incorporate them. Cheers!

      August 20, 2020 at 10:20 AM
  • Jawahar

    Great article. I’m sure it is encouraging for anyone who is willing to make a mark in any field. This can only be achieved by Perseverance and resilience. You are living example of possession of these 2 traits. Thanks for sharing this and looking forward for more insights.

    August 20, 2020 at 8:18 PM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Jawahar,
      Thank you for your all those lovely expressions after reading the blog. You can expect more and more insights week after week under our repeating 7 week cycle.

      September 5, 2020 at 8:35 AM
  • Vasanth Chandra

    Moral is , persisting with contacts , even when they move on , pays .

    August 22, 2020 at 10:07 PM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Mr.Chandra,
      Well said! “Out of sight is out of mind”, visibility leads to profitability in form of rich and relishing relationships!

      September 5, 2020 at 8:38 AM
  • Kate Gladstone

    You are to be congratulated on your every achievement! May you continue in a long and flourishing career!

    August 24, 2020 at 8:24 AM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Kate,
      Thank you for all those kind words, I am reinventing myself in the COVID 19 times to remain worthy of your expressions!

      September 5, 2020 at 8:41 AM
  • Rangarajan T

    Hi, Apologies for the delayed response. Was busy with a few online lectures on Creativity for MBA and BBA new entrants to IMS Unison University, Dehradun. Having known you for a couple of decades now, your progress has been nothing but a phenomenon! I need to learn a lot from your steadfastness and diligence and determination! Kudos to you and hearty Congratulations on your attempt to build an online memoirs. We are looking forward to the rest of the chapters, eagerly. Good day!

    August 27, 2020 at 6:06 PM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Ranga,
      You are a Doctorate in Creativity Management from IIM – A. Words from you…have always been a strong reinforcement against a sea of barriers in my life and has empowered me to go over them successfully. You have been one of my strong pillars of support which has catapulted me to what I am today. Many thanks to you.

      September 5, 2020 at 8:52 AM
  • Krushna Das

    One can clearly see through your journey, the Love, Passion and Dedication that you have towards your work. You have been a great inspiration to many. Thank you for sharing your beautiful journey with all.

    September 4, 2020 at 2:12 PM
    • The Maestro

      Dear Krushna Das,
      Thank you for endorsing my journey guided by the purpose of my life. It is my duty to inspire the younger generation to excel in their lives and do better than me in their own fields.

      September 5, 2020 at 8:55 AM
  • Sagar Nanotkar

    It was simply a fluke when I called you one evening to talk to you Janardhan Sir. It was certainly a big day for me as well. It was your Birthday that I didn’t know actually and the day of first blog release, got chance to wish you over the call. I was very glad.
    We,your students and fans all over the world wish for your long and healthy life with full of enthusiasm. Lots of Love and Respect!

    September 4, 2020 at 6:01 PM
  • The Maestro

    Dear Sagar,
    It is students, clients and my fans like you whose love and respect keeps me in good stead for a long journey ahead. Thank you for all the good wishes as I have miles to go before I sleep!

    September 5, 2020 at 9:02 AM

Comments are closed.