Pablo Picasso is one of the best known and widely appreciated artists of the 20th century. He is called an epoch-making artist of his time. The Spanish born artist spent most of his productive years in France. I have been privileged to visit his paintings in well known museums like Louvre at Paris, Prato at Madrid, National Museum at Barcelona, Offici at Florence. My eyes have also feasted on Picasso’s art works in museums at cities like London, New York, Chicago, Washington and San Francisco.

April 23, 2017 issue of a Malayalam daily published an article on Pablo Picasso by my friend and writer Fr. Jose Panthamplathotiyil. In it the author has narrated the story of woman encountering Pablo Picasso.

One day Picasso was taking a walk. A woman met him and recognizing him as a well known painter. “Sir, I am your fan. I love your art pictures and adore them. I like your pictures very much,” the woman said.

Thanking the woman for her words of admiration and appreciation Picasso continued walking. “Sir, in memory that I met you, please draw something as a souvenir for me”, the woman pleaded with Picasso.

“What can I draw on this road? I do not have paper, brush and colours with me to draw something for you!” Picasso said.

But the woman was not one to take a ‘no’ easily. So she entreated him insistently: “Sir, Please draw a few lines on a piece of paper as a souvenir for me.” The woman persisted.

Appreciating the woman’s enthusiasm and eagerness for a souvenir, Picasso took out a piece of paper and a pencil and drew a small picture for her. He gave it to the woman saying, “Take this picture. It is worth ten million dollars!”

Picasso did not even take 10 second to draw the picture. So the woman could not believe that, that picture would be worth ten million dollars! Still the woman profusely thanked the Picasso and went her way.

After sometime the woman took the small picture to an art connoisseur to know the real price of the picture. The connoisseur recognizing Picasso’s art picture and said to the woman: “The cost of this art work of Picasso would be more than ten million dollars!”

Sometimes later after hearing from the art-expert the woman met Picasso and told him, “Sir, I have come to know that the picture which you drew for me really costs 10 million dollars! Now I would like to be your disciple to learn to draw pictures of great value in a very short time.

“The picture which I drew in a very short time costs ten million dollar. But bringing value to my pictures I have worked 30 long years and gained invaluable experiences. Are you ready to work long years and gain valuable experiences like me?”

The woman was silent to answer Picasso’s question!

Picasso’s father was an artist and professor. Picasso was not born as an artist. But from early childhood years he got training and practiced as an artist. And he became a world renowned artist with long years of valuable training and invaluable experiences.

Here I would like to share with you the long years of hard work and invaluable experiences of a person who has become a model for achievement for our times.

There is a famous military engineering college at Pune. A young man reached there to give interview for admission in the post graduate in electronic engineering. Hundreds of young people from all over India came to give interview. The interview time was given at 8 AM. The gate of the military engineering college opened exactly at 8 AM and admitted for the interview all those who were at the gate. Those who came even a few minutes’ late for interview got eliminated at the gate for turning up late!

One question in the interview was who was his/her ideal person? As one young man told me many youngsters gave the names of well known personalities in political and cine world or others who have made a name in their chosen field.

The young man’s turn came and he was asked who his ideal person was?

“My Papa is my ideal,” the young man replied.

“Why your Papa is your ideal?” asked the interviewer again.

My Papa served in the Air Force for 15 years and then took voluntary retirement so that he can take care of his ageing parents. Then, as an occupation he started an automobile garage with the name ‘Jawan’. He started Jawan with 4 motor mechanics and today my Papa employs 44 motor mechanics and others with good pay and incentives. My Papa with hard work and experience learned a lot and helped his employees to grow and live happily. Consequently he became the leader in his field. Behind his achievement I find his commitment to the profession and hard work.

I do not need to say that, the young man got selected in the interview. He did M.Tech. for two years and then in campus selection he got a prestigious job at Mumbai.

The owner of Jawan Automobiles Vincent Paul is my younger brother and his son, the young man who gave the interview Sunny Vincent is my nephew. As a Managing Director Vincent has been doing excellently well especially committing himself not only to the steady development of Jawan Automobiles but also for the caring for Jawan’s mechanical workers and clerical staff personnel working with him.

With steady hard work and gaining valuable experiences of years people like artist Pablo Picasso and Vincent Paul are outstanding examples of great achievers in our midst. Their life and achievements are inspiration and encouragement for people who cares for values like love and service to humanity. They are ambassadors of true development and achievements.

There is a saying in English and I agree 100% with it that great achievements are 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. The Bible tells us, “You will have to work hard and sweat to make the soil produce anything until you go back to the soil from which years were formed. You were made from the soil, and you will become soil again.” (Gen. 3: 19)

Finally let us remember the words of American President Lindon Johnson (1908-73). “What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.”