Dr. Varghese Mampilly and his wife Rani make a spirited couple. He overcame physical disability to succeed, while his wife is a confident entrepreneur. PREMA MANMADHANgets to know them better

She fashions clothes and he sees that people have healthy skin. So what makes this couple, a fashion designer and a doctor special?

Dr. Varghese Mampilly was affected by polio as a child, but that did not deter him from doing his MBBS and later his PG in dermatology, to become a skin specialist. Rani Mampilly, on the other hand, was always good with her hands. She learnt fashion designing and then started out as an entrepreneur, and passed her M.Com too, privately. “When this marriage proposal came, my parents said ‘no’, but I told them I wanted to marry him. I was touched by his conviction and attitude,” says Rani, who always has a happy disposition. “She has a very positive attitude, which has made our lives pleasant,” compliments her husband. Today, after more than two decades, the couple has two children and are as positive about life as they were then. He works at the ESI hospital at Eloor and Rani’s soft cotton embroidered saris and material that come from looms specially designed, are a hit with women.

“I was always determined to study. My father was my inspiration for he never gave up on me. When I was small, he would carry me to school at Kuzhippally, Njarackal. Wearing callipers helped so that later I learnt to walk to school on crutches though both my legs were affected. It was an ordeal but I stuck on,” Dr. Mampilly reminisced as Rani narrates how her father-in-law, now no more, insisted on different kinds of treatments, always hopeful about making his son better. “But I was never made to feel that I was ill, and except for five or six times in my entire life, I have never felt sorry for myself,” opens up the man. A very good student, he graduated in Zoology. Though he got a job with the Reserve Bank, he opted to do medicine to make other people’s lives better.

“If not for his encouragement I would never have been able to do this. He is not demanding and manages even if I am not at home,” says Rani who is busy, for she has about 80 women working under her at different units around the city suburbs. On the first floor of their house at Edappally, is an open area next to the bedrooms where long frames to do embroidery have been set up. “I train women from the lower strata of society so that it empowers them economically,” Rani reveals. The exclusive soft cotton saris and material in pastel shades are made on looms that Rani helped set up. “This material does not need starching and falls well. Though local orders are for saris, foreign clients love them as table cloth,” she says. The embellishments on saris and table cloth, like crochet work, petit point embroidery, shadow and cutwork, which few learn to do in a professional way, are in demand for that exclusive look, Rani says. She makes fancy baskets and trays to hold food, kids’ clothes and embroidered bed sheets and bed covers too.

“My M.Com degree does help me in my work, for keeping the accounts and managing the business is more than a full time job. What I love most are exhibitions in which I take part regularly. You meet so many people and get to know the different tastes so that you can work accordingly,” Rani says.

Seeing to each other’s needs and getting along life as it comes has been the success of this couple who does not crib about many things, a quality that couples with not this many problems can learn, but contentment is something that comes along naturally but rarely. They can be contacted at queenzxquisite@gmail.com