Nothing is Impossible

1977 Confectionary

She glanced at the fund transfer for one hundred thousand rupees about to be handed over to College Administration. It was not a huge amount when converted to dollars, but a princely sum in the local economy. She was overjoyed to have facilitated this donation, and her mind went back to the event which made this possible.

The college President had one day called her into his office and outlined his dream of a confectionary industry. This would make it possible for poor students to earn a living while they were at college, and perhaps earn enough to make a contribution to the college as well. She was officially appointed to be in charge.

“But I have no background in running an industry!” she protested.

The Indian President looked surprised. Foreign wives were supposed to be able to do anything, and if not, why did the recruitment office send them overseas?

She could see it was no use arguing. “What about the money to start this dream going?”

“Talk with the finance people, they will arrange for finance,” said the President with a smile.” He was smiling because her husband handled the finances of the college.

So with a plea to the heavens above she commenced operations in her kitchen, borrowing three thousand rupees from family savings to get things going. There was no money in the college bank accounts that could be spared for a new and untried industry.

Students took the kitchen produced food products on the back of their bicycles and sold them to shopkeepers around the city on commission. To her surprise orders poured in and soon the college had to assign a room, and later a building to care for confectionary orders. A small army of students with bicycles materialized to service orders pouring in for the new college products. Many of them would earn their college fees from this daily activity. The President’s goal to have an industry which benefited poor students had been reached in a surprisingly short time.

Now at the end of the first year of operation she was going to fulfil the President’s second goal with a substantial donation to College operations. The loaned personal funds had been retrieved too, much to the relief of her husband.

Efforts put out to develop a purchasing and marketing strategy had paid off. Hours in searching for scrapped industrial ovens and other discarded foods equipment had been well spent. Her bone tiredness due to dawn starts and late night closing had not been in vain. She’d proved foreign wives lived up to their reputation. Well, almost!

Those discarded equipments from the rubbish heap had been made to work under protest, a home kitchen had started what was to become a major industry for the College, and a humble foreign woman who didn’t know her real potential had been the facilitator of it all. The plea to heaven to fulfil the dream of the President had worked.

So if you are ever tempted to doubt you too can achieve great things give it a try just as this brave woman did as she responded to the challenge of her College President. Her experience confirms all things are possible and no challenge is too big to handle.

“© Copyright Ian Grice 2014, all rights reserved”

22 Comments Add yours

  1. Wonderful story, Ian, and very inspirational…your message at the bottom was great for anyone at any age! Thanks for sharing! Lauren 🙂

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    1. Thank you for visiting. I must check out your page.

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  2. borika45 says:

    Hi Ian I woke again at 4 am so read this piece below. I recognised it as my sister Georgine! I stared at it for a long time, drinking in the details. reading this article also will act as a catalyst for me. I have had so many requests this week to write down Barney and my’s story by cex clients who knew us and friends…I just didn’t think any more about it, but having read what my beautiful sis could do when she thought she couldn’t has inspired me to try..once the fogginess is cleared up a bit in the old brain. thanks so much for sharing that part of your history Ian. love to you both.

    Barb. 0438191843

    Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2014 00:19:24 +0000 To: bo_rika@hotmail.com

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    1. You have a real talent for writing Barb and I look forward to reading your stories. We are so sorry for your sad loss.

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  3. Madhu says:

    You are married to a worker of miracles!! Wow! 🙂 Thank you for sharing that inspiring story Ian.

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    1. Thank you Madhu. Both of us thoroughly enjoyed our 20 years in India and established lasting friendships during those years. I know that when you deal with the nitty gritty of life there are things to annoy, but the larger picture for us is the tremendous progress we saw over those years and since which most living there would probably not notice as it is incremental.

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  4. jstansfeld says:

    I enjoyed this succinct story. For some reason I immediately guessed who this enterprising lady is which made the story even more enjoyable. You conclude with a good moral. I hope that the youth of the USA, in a society in which all are given accolades, could understand the message. I hope so!

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    1. Well in favour of the youth of the US, or anywhere for that matter, I went over fools hill in my teens and early 20s and eventually woke up to the need to face up to the realities and responsibilities of life. Some are late bloomers and I was one of them. So I have confidence the majority will similarly wake up to their responsibilities as they grow older and have to deal with those realities. I add my hope so to yours.

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  5. Esther Norton says:

    Brave woman

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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    1. I think you two are both brave and incredibly talented. Sorry you are having unpleasant issues to deal with now.

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    1. Thanks for visiting and have a super day.

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  6. Edith Willis says:

    We were always impressed by what you and Georgine accomplished at Spicer, and that industry, that became a store in the upscale arcade carried on the good work into the next century.

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    1. Well I guess we can’t take the credit for talents which are gifted to us can we Edith. We always stood in awe of your huge talents along with your very clever husband.

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  7. I had guessed in very short order this was not a fictional story, then I read the exchange between you and Eric. I like Eric as drawn by the same two lines, how funny. I thought the wives were somewhat of a package deal, came with the husbands as it were.

    Good for both of you really, but truly good for you wife for diving in. What a story and what a wonderful outcome for everyone.

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    1. And all this time I thought husbands came with the package! lol. I have a very talented wife.

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      1. You are most fortunate. 😉

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  8. Eric Alagan says:

    These two lines brought a smile to me and some memories > “Foreign wives were supposed to be able to do anything, and if not, why did the recruitment office send them overseas?” and further down > “The loaned personal funds had been retrieved too, much to the relief of her husband.”

    LOL! Yes, I’m sure he was relieved 🙂

    Interestingly, we had some Royal Navy wives teach us English and we children assumed they could work miracles – and all with a never ending smile. We used to test their patience with our antics, I’m sure – but to their credit, not once and not one them lost their cool.

    They probably took it out on their husbands. Poor fellas – they did look pleased when their ships went out to sea 🙂

    It’s interesting how the lady in this story (and I guess I know who she is) plunged in and surprised herself as much as she did (i’m sure) her husband. But their Indian friends knew better.

    Thank you for sharing this inspiring story, Ian.

    I thoroughly enjoyed it,
    Eric

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    1. Thanks Eric, my cover is blown! lol. Indeed it was my smart wife. She worked with Price Waterhouse to help produce our investment manual in Singapore and kept track of our investments hedged around the world. It was a very big portfolio. She is computer savvy too.

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  9. cardamone5 says:

    This is a wonderful story, Ian. Is it fiction or non-fiction (the picture makes it seem real, but you are so talented in both genres, I wasn’t sure?) It is very inspiring. I needed to hear this message as I have been doubting my writing. As usual, the universe obliged in the form of your story. Sending warmest regards.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

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    1. This is a real story. My wife was the one who built that industry into a substantial contributor to the livelihood of students who were prepared to go out and sell, and out of profits to the College. She has always been successful in whatever was handed to her to do. Keep up the writing. Nothing can prevent your success, only your choice not to try.

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      1. Joseph Manuel says:

        I was there when the whole thing happened. “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing in value….” Proverbs 31: 10-31.
        Joseph Manuel

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