வியாழன், 14 டிசம்பர், 2023

Its the most wonderful time of the year!


The most wonderful time of the year!


This time of the year holds a special place for countless reasons, the foremost being the profound love of God: He sent His only Son so that we might embrace eternal life. December 25th marks the day we commemorate the birth of Christ, and I can't express how delighted I am that Christmas is upon us!

It's a moment to ponder what might have been and what truly is.

It's a time to reconcile. If we struggle to love the people we see, how can we claim to love the God we cannot?

It's a time to rejoice. And rejoice we shall!

Rejoice for our Faith. Rejoice for our Families. Rejoice for our Friends. Rejoice for the Fellowship. Rejoice for the Food. Rejoice for everything.

Let's not take any of these for granted, as many among us yearn for just one of these blessings.

Spread the love!

Let's engage in random acts of kindness towards strangers.

Spread the spirit.

Let's cultivate positivity in our surroundings.

Spread the Gospel.

Share the incredible news of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, remembering that actions often speak louder than words.

And lastly,

Let's be Merry!

I recently had the extraordinary chance to be Santa Claus at our office Christmas party, and the laughter of my colleagues sent shivers down my spine.

Merry Christmas, everyone. It is, indeed, the most wonderful time of the year!

புதன், 30 ஆகஸ்ட், 2023

"Second Chances" A short Story!


"Second Chances" A short Story!

"Dad!!!!?" screamed the high school junior. "What's up?"

"Don't forget."

"Don't forget what!?"

"You volunteered to bring pizza to our classroom at noon."

"Oh, OK."

"And remember to drop off the donation check for the golf team, as you pledged."

"Oh, OK."

"One more thing, my teacher also asked me if you could chaperone us to our concert on Wednesday evening, and I told her you would be happy to."

"Wednesday evening, oh, OK. Please remind me on Wednesday morning."

The conversation didn't end there, and Mumma had to intervene.

"We have prior commitments for Wednesday evening. Why would you agree to drive them around that day!?"

"I didn't. Your daughter agreed."

"Why would you agree to something without asking him?"

"But, Mumma, I don't have to ask him for anything when it comes to volunteering or helping the school. He literally waits for the opportunity. My friends and I even make fun of how excited he is to be volunteering."

"He needs to grow up. He thinks he's still a high schooler and gets overly excited about little school things. Next time, you don't have to check with him; check with me to see if he's available to volunteer for anything," Mumma said, frustrated.

And she left for school, but the phone rang within minutes.


"What's up?"

"Are you still at home?"


"I left my piano bag on the piano. Can you bring it at 11 AM?"


Also, my friend says she has a severe headache. Can you get something for her from Starbucks and pick up my usual too?"


"This can't get worse. You need to learn to say no to her. She keeps forgetting things because she knows you're there to help her.” Mom was furious.


"She takes advantage of you, and you don't even realize it."


"Be a strong dad and be firm with her. Learn to say 'No,' and you don't have to volunteer for everything at her school."


Mumma left for work. He picked up the piano bag, ordered the pizza, and was on his way to Starbucks. Mumma's words were still echoing in his ears.

"Why can't you say no to her? You don't have to volunteer for everything at school!"

As he merged onto the freeway, memories of his school days flooded his mind.

"Students, I need help from parents for next week's school picnic. We need four parents to join us. Some parents need to cook, while others can donate money for the bus. If any parent can cover the gas cost, we'd appreciate it. Here's the volunteer list; please take one home if interested. Anyone?"

Everyone jumped in, saying "Me, me, me!" Except him.

Another day, the teacher said, "We're building a model of the Taj Mahal for an inter-school competition. Parents are welcome to assist. Can any parent help us with this?"

"Miss, my mom is an architect; she can design it!"

"Teacher, my dad is an engineer."

"Miss, my dad is a skilled potter."

"My parents are out of town, but they can help with buying materials."

Everyone competed to volunteer, except him. 

He took an exit to Starbucks, tears streaming down his face. "Why can't I say no to schools? Why can't I?"

The teacher remarked, "You or your parents never volunteer for school activities, and I wonder why?"

One of his classmates chimed in, "Oh, Miss, his father passed away when he was a baby, and his mom works in another town. He stays in the hostel and can't help anyone with anything!" Laughter erupted.

At day's end, the teacher approached him. "I'm sorry. Being your new teacher, I should have learned about your parents. I apologize for hurting your feelings."

"It's OK, Miss. It's not your fault, and I'm used to the laughs."

"Let me share something, son. Life presents challenges. Convert them into opportunities and use them wisely."

"I don't get it, Miss."

"Put simply, life will challenge us. Face it with a smile. A 'Second Chance' will come someday. Spot it and use it wisely."

The phone rang again.



"The golf team has their last match today, and the coach wonders if a parent could bring cupcakes."

"Me." That's all he could say.

வியாழன், 3 நவம்பர், 2022

Prof. Abraham Jayakumar - The Future

“Mr. Cornelius, welcome! Please wait here our President and a couple of officers would start the interview soon” It was 1991 and I am getting ready to be grilled by Copenhagen-based Danish Company for the position of Senior Accountant. I was in fact surprised to get an interview call as this was a well-reputed company and a very desirable position. There were a few other candidates on the other side of the offices who looked more experienced than me, and I had convinced myself that this is going to be a good interview experience for me and there was no way I stand a chance with all these chaps.

President walked in with few others and after exchanging artificial complements he asked, “Do you know why you are the shortlisted candidate even though you don't have any experience?”!! “Well, I was surprised myself, and want to hear from you” Someone else barged in,” We were going through your certificates and noticed that you have studied “Management Information Systems” as part of your Masters's Program”!!

Prof Balasundaram - The Tax Man

Prof. Balasundaram - The Tax Man

“Dear Students, this is your final year in college, and 'Income Tax Practicals' is one of the toughest subjects. If you fail this subject, not only will you not obtain your degree, but you also won't be able to file any income taxes for the rest of your lives, as you wouldn't be making any income.”

It was meant to be a joke, but Prof. Balasundaram meant it.

Income Tax Practical's was a tough nut to crack, and thanks to Prof. Balasundaram, I conquered it! What's amusing is that right before the exam, Prof. gave us a model exam, and I performed so poorly. He wouldn't return my answer sheet but told me that “it was really bad” and I had to work harder.

The results came in, and I scored 62%, which was unheard of in those days. Even the so-called “Genius Grads from Auxiliam College” had to settle for second place.

Yes, I am bragging, and why not! For God's sake, it's “Income Tax Practicals”!

Prof. Balasundaram always knew his priorities correctly, and one of them was “Seivana thiruntha sei.” He not only followed that principle but also expected all of his students to follow it. He never liked me, and I wouldn't blame him for that, as I knew I wasn't a likable guy.

He took the time to teach us the toughest subjects in a way that we could understand and pass our exams. He was also an early starter, as he had some tuition centers set up and would begin teaching in the early morning.

He was dreaded during the exam days when he became the invigilator, as he would walk throughout the three hours of exams, making sure no one cheated.

I still believe in his one-on-one tax lesson, “Don't break the tax laws, but stretch it if you can.”

Thank you, Prof. Balasundaram. You not only helped me pass my Tax exam, but you are also helping me save money, as I know what "Stretching" means! :)


After receiving the 62% result in the University exams, I went back to him to thank him, and he gave me the "Model exam" answer sheet, which had 68%. I asked him, "Sir, 68% isn't bad. Why did you say that I performed poorly?" and he replied, "Well, if I gave the paper back, you would have relaxed and taken it easy, and couldn't have scored well in this exam." I am sure I secured the first position in that subject that year and am still waiting for my award.

Well played, Prof. The point is well taken.

About me: My name is Visuvasam Titus Cornelius and I did BCom and Mcom in Voorhees (1983-1987 Batch). I now reside in California, USA, and work as a CPA.


Prof Anbazagan - Named Aptly!

“உங்களுக்கு  பேர் வைச்ச உங்க அப்பா அம்மா வாயில சக்கரை தான் போடனும்!“

Some of us are named well. Carrying the name “Visuvasam,” many times people have made fun of me, saying, “Who and why would someone give you that name? You don't have Visuvasam; you are full of Avisuvasam.”

Our Professor Anbazagan didn't belong to the wrongly named category! He was aptly named. He was a real Anbu + Alagan. He was a very good-looking man with an even better-looking heart.

He taught me only a couple of subjects, one of them being “Management Accounting” in our first year of Masters Classes. He taught us the subject so well that even after 30+ years, I could still use the tricks he showed us.

The CPA exams (In the USA, CA exams are called CPA) consist of four parts. Each of these exams has around 60 multiple-choice questions, and you need to write two essay-type questions. These essays are not required to be more than 150 words.

In other words, the CPA exams provide the answer, and you need to identify the correct one. For example, an audit-related question would be:

Which of the following characteristics would most likely heighten an auditor’s concern about the risk of material misstatements arising from fraudulent financial reporting?

  1. The entity’s industry is experiencing declining customer demand.
  2. Employees who handle cash receipts are not bonded.
  3. Bank reconciliations usually include in-transit deposits.
  4. Equipment is often sold at a loss before being fully depreciated.

One of these four is the correct answer, and we need to answer quickly and move on, requiring critical thinking. Prof. Anbazagan taught us critical thinking.

During our first days at the college, I thought he didn't care about any of us students' personal lives and mistakenly considered him to be self-centered. However, he was completely otherwise. Years after graduating, I had a chance to meet him and was surprised to know that he knew me more than I thought.

He always sported a pleasant smile, and if I'm not mistaken, he paid the fees for some deserving poor students. He also taught us “Financial Accounting” from the pillow-sized book written by Shukla. I missed out on his classes when he was teaching us “Corporate (Shares) Accounting,” and I could never master that process even after being in the accounting industry for many years.

Thank you, Prof. Anbazagan. Thank you for making our days much better!

About me: My name is Visuvasam Titus Cornelius and I did BCom and Mcom in Voorhees (1983-1987 Batch). I now reside in California, USA, and work as a CPA.


S Kumars’ the Fabric of Undivided Attention"

S Kumars’ the Fabric of India!

One couldn't escape these words if they had a TV in the early 80s in India. S Kumars was renowned for making fine suits, and its commercials were impeccably done with good models, catchphrases, and undeniably caught one's attention, and I was no exception.

Professor S. Kumar

When you think of Professor S. Kumar, the first thing that comes to mind is his meticulous punctuality and disciplined lifestyle. Professor Kumar was a man of few words, and the few words he spoke would unquestionably enhance one's wisdom.

I crossed paths with Professor Kumar during my third semester when he was our Professor for Business Statistics. I never had any regard, respect, or fondness for Statistics, strongly believing in the saying: "There are three types of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics." My thought process in those days was, why would anyone want to learn Statistics?

Professor Kumar, after introductions, said, “Well, if any of you are interested in pursuing CA after your BCom, you better do well in statistics." He continued, “You see, the other theory subjects wouldn't give you high marks, whereas in statistics, you can score high marks, which would positively impact your overall percentages, necessary for your eligibility for CA.”

Well, that caught some of our attention, and Professor Kumar taught well. He was amazed when he found out that I passed the statistics exam, but he couldn't believe it when he saw me in Master's classes. Unable to contain his curiosity, he said, "Siva poojaiyil karadikku enna velai?" and I replied, "Neenga yaen sir karadi pora idathula poojai panreenga?"

We exchanged pleasantries, and he once again insisted on me paying undivided attention.

He was our Professor for Business Statistics during our Master's, and I was fortunate. One valuable lesson I learned from Professor Kumar’s classes is that one doesn't have to keep studying for hours and hours. Just give your undivided attention in the classroom, and you don't have to worry about anything else.

During my college days, I don't think I ever skipped a class with Professor Kumar, as I knew that skipping his class once meant needing to work four times harder to learn and understand the same thing.

Professor Kumar was right. Business Statistics is one subject where one can score high marks, and I ended up getting more than expected.

He had a serious demeanor but concealed uncanny humor within him. When he was teaching Probabilities, his first quote was, “Does anyone know what probability is?” and he continued, “Well, probability is something like, what are the chances that something might or might not occur!”

When someone asked him to provide an example, he said, “The probability of Visu passing this subject is 0% if he doesn't change his attitude,” but if he changes his attitude and focuses, the probability would be close to 80%!

You could always walk into the Department office, meet Professor Kumar, and ask him any doubt, and he would be more than happy to oblige with a smiling face. He was as charming as the men in S Kumar's commercials.

Professor Kumar! You might not remember me, but trust me, you helped me a lot. When I cleared my CPA exams in the USA, someone asked me, “Dude, these are pretty tough exams, how did you do that?” My answer was, “Thanks to one of my Professors. He taught me the value of paying undivided attention”!

Thank you, Sir!


About me: My name is Visuvasam Titus Cornelius and I did BCom and Mcom in Voorhees (1983-1987 Batch). I now reside in California, USA, and work as a CPA.


Prof. John Gunaseelan " The Rekindler"

“தீயினார் சுட்டபுண் உள்ளாறும் ஆராதே

 நாவினால் சுட்ட வடு”

“Well, if it were anyone else, I would have sent them to the principal's office and asked them to bring their parents. But I wouldn't want to do that to you, not because I am a good guy, but because I don't want to make your mother sad!”

Professor John Gunaseelan was not angry but very sad when he said that to me. Let us not get into the "Gory Details" of what led to this conversation, which is irrelevant, but let's focus on the impact it had on me.

The professor continued, “Visu, not everyone is as blessed as you are! Use your blessings wisely. I truly believe you are smart enough to do much bigger things, and please don't let yourself, myself, and your mother down.”

And boy, did that hurt. That's when I realized the true meaning of the above-mentioned Tuhirukural.

I would say that little “chat” changed my perspective and my entire college life, in a good way.

During our “Business Communications” classes, Professor Gunaseelan once asked us to write a marketing newsletter for a product, and my product was “Razor Blades”! I don't exactly remember what I wrote, but he was pretty impressed and told me that I should seriously consider becoming a Business writer.

Well, even though I didn't become a business writer, his little nod gave me the motivation to “write”. Professor John Gunaseelan had the knack of finding wayward students and putting them back on track. He was very good at giving the right dose of “tough love”.

Twenty-Five years later, I had the pleasure of hosting a “Dinner” with friends and Professors at Vellore. As one by one walked into the hall, I could recognize each one of them. Prof. Gunaseelan walked in, and my good friend Sathyaprasath (now a professor at Voorhees) said, “Do you recognize this gentleman?”

Looking at him, I thought, "Oh my God, he looks very familiar," and I was trying to recollect which one of my classmates he was. I was really surprised when Sathyaprasath told me, “Visu, this is Prof. John Gunaseelan”. Prof. Gunaseelan looked much younger than most of his students.

After sharing compliments, the first thing Prof. Gunaseelan inquired about was the wellness of my mother. He also joked, “Visu, Isn't the American CPA exam tough?” And I blushed and told him, “could be” and “why do you say that”?

His reply was, “Well, you passed it, so I am wondering!”

My reply was, “Sir, I passed it easily because I had a strong accounting foundation. And I would be forever grateful to you for that.”

Prof. Gunaseelan was a good Christian man, and he loved the good Lord, living by the principles of Jesus Christ. Many of us were blessed by him.

Thank you, Prof. Gunaseelan. Thanks for shaping me!

About me: My name is Visuvasam Titus Cornelius and I did BCom and Mcom in Voorhees (1983-1987 Batch). I now reside in California, USA, and work as a CPA.


கடந்த சில பதிவுகள், உங்கள் கண்ணில் இருந்து தப்பி இருந்தால்...