Melbourne, Mar. 27 (ANI): Indian couple Pooja and Ashok Balasubramanian were one the verge of coming back to India when their friends in Australia refused to help them settle down there, but that was before their angel-in-guise appeared.
Now, the Balasubramanians are owners of three Melbourne restaurants - Cafe Indi (Hawthorn), Papline (Chapel Street) and Basso (Elizabeth Street) - and planning to buy a fourth, The Age reports.
But that was not before their fair share of distress and disappointments.
The arrived in Melbourne with only 3000 dollars. They had moved into a share house with three other families and were being charged 1500 dollars a month for a single bedroom.
With no jobs, no tenancy references and no real friends, it was impossible for the couple to find alternative accommodation or support.
"Finally, we said 'We have to go back to our country, we cannot struggle here," Pooja recounts.
In one last attempt to make Melbourne their home, the couple responded to Liz Shellard's advertisement for a three-bedroom apartment in Malvern and the connection was instant.
"They were such a beautiful couple, obviously madly in love. I was showing them around the place and they commented on such little things, like how beautiful the jasmine smelled in the garden, and I just knew I wanted to help them," Shellard said.
Shellard immediately moved the couple in, gave them a bed and a fully furnished kitchen, and helped them search for work.
Two years down the track, Ashok and Pooja's gratitude is as evident as their success.
The Balasubramanians have offered Mrs Shellard a partnership in their latest restaurant and Shellard's daughter, Sarah, has been given a part-time traineeship working with Balasubramanian as a graphic designer.
"I'm absolutely flabbergasted. Sarah's classmates won't learn animation until the end of the year, but Pooja is teaching her that already," Shellard said. (ANI)