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Close Encounter with the Metro Man - Mr. E. Sreedharan

Language textbooks, in the pursuit of teaching us the language,  tell us a lot about people,customs,traditions of lands both far and near. Even then, often what the books say, remain just the way they are --inert, dormant and lost within the reams of musty paper. So when the Malayalam teacher decided to bring alive the language to her Grade 6 students, she asked them to meet up and interview an eminent personality as part of the project. Young Smina Ealoo Davis, decided that she would interview none other than the great Metro Man -Mr E . Sreedharan ! 

"Metro Man" and retired Indian Engineering Service (IES) officer, E. Sreedharan

What unfolds below are excerpts from the interview between a chirpy 11 year old Smina and the sprightly 85 year old Mr Sreedharan. 

On Oct. 8th Smina Dennis of Grade 6D interacted with Mr. E Sreedharan a.k.a Metro man; as part of her Malayalam Project - 'Interview an Eminent Personality'.

Mr. Sreedharan, despite his tight schedule was kind enough to spare time for our little GPSite and answer all her questions. Below is the translation to the conversation.

Sir, where do you come from?
My hometown is Thirumattakodu in Patambi District. But, I currently reside at Kuttikaad in Ponnani.

How did you enter into the Metro-rail profession?
The Govt. was looking for a person to head the Delhi Metro Rail Project. I had completed my tenure with Konkan railway and was offered to run this project. I accepted it immediately.

Do you enjoy your line of work?
Yes; Very much.

What is the estimated time of completion for the Kochi Metro Rail Project?
The Kochi Metro Rail Project is from Aluva - Pettah (Thripunithura). The first stretch of 18kms; i.e. from Aluva to Maharajas College will be completed by June 2016. The estimate date for the stretch from Maharajas College to Pettah cannot be determined yet as there are issues regarding the land allocation for KMRL.

Could you tell me about your family?
We are a family of five; my wife, 3 daughters and 1 son.

What is the secret behind your perfect health even at this age?
Controlled food, controlled exercise, Yoga & 7 hours of sleep is the key to my good life.

How have you been so successful in life?
I believe that having self-confidence, being honest and having good knowledge about my work-field has helped me become successful.

What are the obstacles you faced in this line of work and how did you overcome them?
If you perform your duties happily and whole-heartedly then no obstacle will stand in your way.

Could you give me a brief idea about your daily routine?
I make sure that i am awake by 4 am so that i have time to conduct my important morning activities which include performing Yoga, Pranayam, keep track of the latest news, and follow the astrologer in Asianet. Between 9am and 5pm, i make sure that all of my time is devoted to official duties only. At around 5:30, i take a walk with my wife for nearly 45 minutes. After returning home, I bathe and conduct evening puja that lasts an hour, and also read the Bhagavath Gita. Following the news is very important to me, I ensure that I don't miss the headlines on most news channels at 8pm. I eat my dinner after catching up with the news and move on to reading holy books, books about life etc. for nearly 45 minutes and then go to bed.

Sir, could you tell about your educational qualifications?
I studied in the Govt. Lower Primary School in my hometown till Grade 4. Grade 5 & upwards was a Ping-Pong between Koyilandy & Palakkad to complete my schooling. I pursued my Bachelor of Engineering from Kakkinad Engineering College, Andhra Pradesh. I graduated in all levels of my educational years with very high marks.

If I asked you to point out one important instance in your life, what would that be?
Receiving the Padma Bhushan award from the Central Government would be my most important moment in life.

What do you do during your free-time?
I like to spend time with my wife and children whenever i have free-time.

What would you like to tell us; the present generation?
I always like to spread the message that being truthful, responsible and public service are the most important aspects in life.

Which is your favourite sport?
Football; I was the football captain when I was in college.

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