I never followed anyone, nor believed in success stories; I just believed in one, my Mother!
India is a land of dreamers, it has always been. More importantly, it is a land of opportunity for opportunists, a land with absolutely nothing for pessimists and a struggling economy for realists. Then there comes the fourth kind, doers who dream.
It is very difficult for students coming from middle class families to break the shackles of economic limitations and rise up in the society, breaking expectations of the society and creating growth and leaving an army of admirers and followers behind. The entire period of relentless efforts and repeated failures is marked by a sweet and a stunning victory, but the long phase will bleed you dry. You motivate yourself, you dream every night, sweating relentlessly even on winter nights, hoping tomorrow will clear the clouds of defeat and the period of disappointment will be over. Every day you dream, every day there is one new strategy flowing up in your mind, every day there is new plan roaming in your head and then you realise all it takes is a day to show up. Patience will beat you down, bring you to your knees and you will do anything for that one victory.
This is my journey from a young motivated student to youth representative of the UN.
There is only one instant that became a symbol of hope, a motivational voice and a pillar of confidence. Behind every man, there is a woman; well I was a boy and I had my mother. She gave me four of her years exclusively as I completed my engineering in her presence. Bhilai is a small town in Chhattisgarh with not so friendly people, especially students who viewed every one as an outsider. My mother became the shore in this storm I was in. “Don’t worry, one day they will see you with wide eyes open” she said. I never enjoyed my college days, never had any friends, my extracurricular activities were regarded as a joke, and then I had this powerful, strong willed lady who had pledged to make me someone I just dreamt of. “What are you good at?” She asked.
“I want to help the public. Nobody understands the Crimean issue or the war in the middle east; it’s always movies, malls, enjoyment, this class, tests, that student, what about those living as refugee’s”, I would respond.
“You have knowledge; read and write”, she encouraged, sparking a light which will later became my only hope.
Then came the moment which was so unexpected; even as I think today, it seems unbelievable. It was final semester and I was studying International Relations on the last bench of the class. My HOD, who was visiting every class on the floor, came to see us.
Amid silence, he spoke “What are you all doing with your life, what do you want to become?” Finding him agitated for the first time literally shook all of us. “Do you all think you are smart? You are not but fooling yourselves”, He said. “He is smarter than all of you”, He pointed fingers at me. “He is far ahead from you”.
For a minute or two, I couldn’t understand what had happened. The entire class was looking at me. This happened for the very first time, when an HOD who never knew my name, pointed me out in a class of 50 students. “Wow!!! I have to tell my mom”, was flowing all over my head.
After completing my term in the UN, I surprisingly got a call from the HOD of electrical department of my college. “Hi Sir, I would like to invite you as a speaker in our event; we will be honoured by your presence”, He said. The HOD, who was almost twice of my age, was calling me “sir”!! Happily accepting the invitation, I packed my bag for Chhattisgarh.
Three years after my graduation, I felt I was going back to pavilion. Waiting for the car to pick up that late in the night, I might add, the professor who taught me physics in the first year came to pick me up. Humbly apologising a couple of times for the delay, he asked how I was throughout the journey.
“I am glad to meet you Sir!! I have heard your name popping up in the media sometimes, it is simply an honour.” He said, adding “sir” to an entire conversation. After reaching venue, most of the teachers who never knew me in college but taught me, greeted, asked about the journey and kept calling “Sir”. It was a feeling that cannot be expressed in words. They didn’t give back my caution money, so I did increase their bill a little extra….
They wanted to hear my thoughts on Sustainable development and what the government is doing for students, how to avail the schemes for students especially engineering and other technical fields. And so interesting were the questions. Surprisingly the students didn’t believe an alumnus would go to the UN, so they repeatedly asked my batch and how did I make it there.
“Sir how is it possible”, one intrigued student asked.
An honest reply to an honest question, “All because of my mother”.