IN THE 1970s, IE embarked on an expansion of its printing facilities. I opted to import a linotype machine from Russia and a polygraph printing machine from Germany. We recruited a few young hands to manage the business. One of these was young S Nithya Kalyani (SNK) to assist in secretarial work. She was a greenhorn, but quickly picked up the requirements and gained proficiency in broad areas from secretarial to the purchase of paper to accounting.
On experiencing delays in importing the linotype machine, we acquired an old machine. The latter gave endless troubles with the fuses bursting now and then. Apart from other work, SNK learned to get the fuses re-done by an electrician in Triplicane and often worked late hours to restart and helped meet deadlines. Sweet and suave, she was liked by all and used this effectively to get things done.
After her marriage to a Harikatha exponent, Muthuraman, she left IE and teamed up with her husband to do accounting work on contract. The enterprising woman took an interest in real estate as well. In quick time, she gained expertise in locating land and converting it to housing plots and marketing these to good profit. She and Muthuraman emerged successful entrepreneurs. She maintained her sweet disposition, reared her son and daughter with good education and appeared to be on top of the world.
A week earlier she called me up at Delhi and broke the pleasant news of her son’s wedding on the 20th. I had helped organise her wedding decades ago and I promised to attend.
Sadly, cancer took hold of her and she breathed her last on the 18th. IE shares the grief of Muthu and his family and records its appreciation for the diligence and dedication of this enterprising and spirited colleague.