When the partners sparkled at the Dubai Institute

A clap for Jayanthi: Sharmishtha Desai applauds Jayanthi Raja Seenivasan for her quiet support.
A clap for Jayanthi: Sharmishtha Desai applauds Jayanthi Raja Seenivasan for her quiet support.

If you could see the beaming spouses of the DGEs and DGNs at the Dazzling Dubai Zone Institute, with their husbands making a special effort to put them in front, it was mainly due to two doses of pep talk given by RI President John Germ and RI Director Manoj Desai’s spouse Sharmishtha Desai at the GETS Convocation.

Addressing the graduating class of DGEs, Germ said, “As I look around the room, I see all the partners dressed up; I want you to think of how important they are in your life. And also how important they are going to be for your success. Because if they are not happy, you are not going to be happy, and if you’re not happy, your club members won’t be happy.”

Senior Rotary leaders with the partners of incoming DGs.
Senior Rotary leaders with the partners of incoming DGs.

Only if their spouses were happy would the DGs be able to give the extra time that would be required of them in the coming year to their districts and members. “Think about it, and act accordingly,” he said.

Picking up the cue, while delivering the vote of thanks at the Convocation, Sharmishtha recalled how when the RI President had addressed the DGEs’ partners separately, he had placed importance on this point. Urging the incoming Governors to be sensitive to this issue, she added, “When you conduct your seminars and other District events, don’t forget to introduce your partners. In our Indian culture, partners are taken for granted. But think about the partner’s feelings; they are bound to feel and wonder why am I sitting here if nobody is going to recognise me. Or knows who I am. This is my only request; our President says without your partners’ cooperation, you won’t be happy and I would like to emphasise that.”

Magic effect

The ripple down effect of this message was magical. During the Convocation and later the Awards ceremony at the Jumeira Beach, GETS Chair Ravi Vadlamani was always careful to put his spouse and Sergeant-at-Arms at the Institute, PDG Rajyalakshmi, before him. And in typical Vadlamani style, he announced it too every time!

(From L) Vicky Beaubien, Judy Germ, Sharmishtha Desai and Malathi Basker.
(From L) Vicky Beaubien, Judy Germ, Sharmishtha Desai and Malathi Basker.

At the concluding session, Institute Chairman Raja Seenivasan showed both gratitude and humility when he admitted that he wouldn’t have been able to pull off such a spectacular Institute, and that too overseas, without the total and unstinted support and cooperation of his wife Jayanthi. If he had managed to barely sleep during the previous few nights, “I can tell you that Jayanthi didn’t sleep at all last night.”

He thanked her for being a pillar of support for him as he had run helter and skelter for a year and more putting the Institute’s various facets together. “She would get up at 2.30 am and send out mails for me. However many secretaries you might have, can you get such support,” asked Seenivasan, triggering mellow looks on many a face in the audience.

EMGA Ravi Vadlamani and spouse PDG Rajyalakshmi.
EMGA Ravi Vadlamani and spouse PDG Rajyalakshmi.

As for the RID himself, he wasn’t letting out any secrets when he acknowledged Sharmishtha’s constant…“silent and smiling support”, as he called it. And this was evident for all to see; the ever smiling and cheerful lady’s silent but strong support has been only too evident during his directorship. Rain or shine, day or night, she has been there, sometimes beside him, sometimes in the background, and without any fuss or fluster.

It was good to see none less than the RI President himself leading the band to acknowledge the immense contribution of these women in the success of their husbands.

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