The coaching class was abuzz with activity, where hundreds of students sat watching the teacher solve numerical problems on projector. They had a single dream in their mind & soul i.e. to make through the most coveted institute in India –Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).
The three letter word had become a ritual, prayer and a mantra for them.All these students had come from far & wide across country with a single dream in their minds.
The countdown to IIT-pre exam had already started and all were working day & night to do their last minute preparations and revision. Meanwhile daily mock tests in the coaching institute were nightmare for some but confidence booster for few, as these tests reaffirmed their belief that they are getting closer to their destiny one step at a time.
As the teacher read out the results of top performers, Rahul sat in the corner of first row with a smile on his face and confidence in his eyes.
“So the top 5 performers are Amit, Ajay, Rahul, Suhail & Sumit“, the class bursts into applause.
The boys went on stage as their gurus handed them the answer sheet with blessings “Good job beta, keep up the hard work”.
It had become more of a ritual now for Rahul to get these accolades.IIT was only a step away from him now.
Next day was D-day of IIT-prelims exam and the teachers were giving tips to students how to eat, sleep, meditate & relax before the exams.
The teacher on stage was interrupted by the peon who handed him a note and whispered something in his ears.
“Rahul Gupta, please come on stage….. “Rahul felt something fishy as he reached on stage and saw tension on the face of his guru.
“Beta you need to rush home immediately, your father has met with an accident…”
Though a strong boy, but moments like these can make any person loose his senses. Rahul ran to his home, where crowd of people had already gathered.
He was praying silently in his mind to avert the worst, but as he entered house he saw his mother and other relatives weeping inconsolably. His fear of worse had really come true.
He was in a state of shock and didn’t know how to react. His dearest father was hit by truck on way to office. He was no more. A boy who had never worried about anything else except his scores and marks had to bear the news of his father’s sudden demise. He was speechless and had no idea whether to cry, shout or to console his mother.
Life is such a bitch and people worse than it. The ugly truth dawned to him sooner than he had anticipated. He had to run from pillar to post bribing & persuading people to get the dead body of his father from morgue.
Thanks to Hindu customs & rituals, he was occupied in the ceremonies next 13 days which were more of torture & agony for his family than anything else.
If one thinks worse was over then he has never seen the Indian social structure & bureaucracy. The relatives who boasted of helping in any need soon turned their backs on the grieving family.
The people who were always running after this father for getting favours declined to help as Rahul & family were of no use to him.
And yes are you wondering what happened to IIT-prelims exam? On the day of exam he was bribing govt. officials to hand over the dead body of his father.
Next one year was spent in running from pillar to post, from one office to another. Rahul had only heard what red tapism and corruption in India was but now he had to face it each and every day.
No file moved from one table to other without greasing palms. Even people from his father’s department didn’t help without taking bribe.
He would sit outside the offices whole day without food and water waiting for “Saheb” to arrive and sign on his file. Even when this didn’t work out he brought along his mother and they both sat together in police stations, pension office etc. to get things done.
It took 1 year when pension was started and the house could get some money for their daily expense. His father was an honest officer. He had spent the savings on education of his children and marriage of eldest daughter.
Instance like these in someone’s life either make or break him. An innocent schoolboy who had solved problems of physics, chemistry & maths was forced to solve the toughest problems of a subject called LIFE. The tears had dried long ago, innocence was lost. The boy had suddenly become MAN. He had to shoulder responsibility of mother, sister and also complete his studies.
With all these distractions and responsibilities he again resumed his studies. Meanwhile all his coaching friends were lucky to make a kill and had enrolled in various IITs,RECs,government colleges but he was 2 years behind them.
He toiled day and night but as destiny mocked him, he couldn’t make to IITs, though he got admission in a govt college( Unlike today there were only 6 IIT and handful of RECs and govt colleges that time).
He couldn’t afford to drop again, hence took admission; the zeal to make it large had grown over these years. The spark remained in him with a single regret -“I wish I had made it to IIT”.
Nevertheless the boy performed exceptionally well in studies and completed his engineering on scholarships and got placed in a leading IT giant. He worked sincerely & honestly all these years.
Every dark cloud has a silver lining and after dark there is sunrise; his time was about to come.
A mail arrives from a leading IT giant of USA – “We are impressed by framework you have developed and your ideas of integrating it with cloud.
We would be honoured to have you onboard in our R&D division …… ”
He couldn’t believe this, his dream was only a step away.
Rahul along with his team has been tirelessly working on their dream project. En route they have already got record number of patents registered.
On successful completion of his project, it may take world by storm.
Rahul and people like him are inspiration to those who give up after couple of attempts or once they are unsuccessful while chasing their dreams. He reminds us that hard work and perseverance finally pays off. It may be dark all around you but instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle.
Remember nothing is impossible to an indomitable will.
I was moved by Rahul’s words “Initially when I faced problems I said to myself “Why only me?” But after I came out of those setbacks, I had become so strong mentally that now no problem in this world appears too big that it cannot be solved .Also never boast about your status, wealth etc. because it takes only a fraction of time to get everything destroyed.”