Retd DRDO officer from Chennai is multi-faceted

Chennai: Balasubramanian, who lives at Vijayalakshmipuram in Ambattur, retired as the Senior Private Secretary (class one gazetted officer) from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), having worked there for nearly four decades.

One may think what was special about that, well, Balasubramanian tells the tale himself. “I was born in Srivanjiam in 1945. I qualified in Railways Competitive Exam for Assistant Station Master and subsequently the UPSC Exam for IFS Cadre.”

However, he did not take up those jobs and worked in various organisations, including at the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), Geological Survey of India to name a few. He realised that he had to be there with his mother who was alone in his native place.

“Having decided to move to Chennai, I joined DRDO and by 1970, I was in Chennai, stationed at Avadi. From there on, I have worked under seven directors until my retirement in 2005,” said Balasubramanian.

Out of the directors, he worked with A P J Abdul Kalam for nearly eight years. Asked how Kalam was before he became President of the nation, Balasubramanian said, “He was a very straightforward person. He always pushed for making things in India. He preferred indigenous production and wanted India to be self-reliant.”

The former DRDO officer was very measured with what he said with regard to the government agency for national security would be at stake if he gave out secrets. Instead, he was asked to speak about what he has been up to for the past 14 years since his retirement.

“My wife started a shorthand centre in our house in 1988. Earlier, when I was in Pune, I used to teach shorthand in my leisure hours. I also used to help her out whenever I could. After retirement, I got into it full-time,” he said.

Service has been his motto ever since and having taught more than a 1,000 students until now, Balasubramanian is in no mood to stop. “I wanted to help the student community to get jobs. I enjoyed my employment and if people learn to do that, their lives will be bright too.”

One more thing: Balasubramanian having served humans, has not cast aside God either. He is also an archagar (priest) now, having decided it is time to bow down to the Almighty he most reveres.

Balasubramanian can be contacted at 9444930132 or at 044 26573830.

Praveen Kumar S