Natarajans in state of disbelief that Modi spoke to daughter

The Natarajans in Namakkal are still in a state of disbelief even as they are accepting the greetings and wishes of their relatives, friends and even strangers.

The reason for their state of disbelief is that Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday as part of his Mann Ki Baat radio programme spoke to the youngest family member N.Kaniga who had scored 490 marks out of 500 in the plus two exams.

“The feeling is still nice. A call from the Prime Minister of the country to my younger daughter was something unexpected,” S.K. Natarajan, the father of Kaniga, told IANS over phone.

According to the 52-year-old Natarajan, officials had earlier told him that there was a possibility of a central minister speaking to Kaniga but they didn’t expect Modi to call and speak to the girl.

When Kaniga told Modi that her elder sister N. Shivani was studying for a medical degree and their father was a truck driver Modi said: “That’s great! So first of all I will do Pranaam to your father who is taking lot of care of your sister and yourself. It’s great service he is doing.”

Born in a poor family Natarajan, who had scored 330/500 in his X standard in 1984 – a very good score in those days – had to discontinue his studies due to the family’s financial situation.

Laughing he said: “In those days teachers were very tight-fisted with marks. Scoring 80 marks was considered a great achievement.”

Natarajan’s wife Jothi had studied till the ninth standard.

However, he does not agree that his daughters inherited his academic brilliance and said they worked hard to score good marks.

“After working in a general provision store I became a truck cleaner and then a driver. Then I bought a truck partnering with another person who had invested the money in the truck,” Natarajan said.

“I paid him back and then took a loan and bought another truck. Earlier I used to ply for Indian Oil Corporation transporting their cooking gas cylinders and now I ply for Hindustan Petroleum,” Natarajan said.

On the languages he knew Natarajan said he can speak and read Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, Marathi and English.

“This is nothing compared to what the great Tamil poet Subramania Bharathi or Bharathiyar learnt. For me it was a professional compulsion to learn the languages. But for Bharathiyar there was no such compulsion but he was proficient in 14 languages,” Natarajan said.

Speaking about his daughters Natarajan said Shivani is doing MBBS and Kaniga too wants to become a doctor like her sister.