If you thought that MBA, MBBS, Law and Engineering are the only courses that can make you rich, then you are wrong. Untraditional courses and diplomas have the power to get you a stable income and even get you in the news. This was proven true yet again by a man in Kerala who cultivates pearls in buckets and sold them at a whopping 4.5 lakhs. For the last two decades, KJ Mathachan, 65, who received a diploma in cultivating pearls has been cultivating pearls using freshwater mussels. These pearls are then exported to Australia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Switzerland.
Mathachan who was a professor at King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia shifted to China for Arabic to English translator job opportunity for ARAMCO Oil Company. During his stay in China, he came across the art of pearl cultivation. Eager to learn more about the same, he quickly got a diploma in pearl cultivation and returned to Kerala to build an empire in his backyard. Initially he was criticised for his decision, but after the first 18 months with successful results and huge profit all of the comments vanished.
According to Mathachan; “There are three basic kinds of pearls — artificial, natural and cultured. The cultured pearl is what I’ve been cultivating for more than 21 years now and it is the easiest one to cultivate since freshwater mussels are readily available in India,”. The process of pearl cultivation followed by him was: First mussels are collected from rivers. Then they are delicately opened and a pearl nucleus is deposited inside it. After which the mussel is then immersed in water kept in a mesh container at a given temperature along with a bacteria.
“Over 18 months, the nucleus develops a pearl sac collecting calcium carbonate from the mussel shells. The nucleus forms up to 540 layers of coating over it, hence forming exquisite pearls.” Mathachan adds.
This out of the box idea has been making headlines, motivating people to chase their dreams, no matter how weird it may seem to everyone. Determination and passion when blended together can produce amazing results, and this was proved by Mathachan.