WHY DO I WRITE?
It is never a wrong thing to think about creating something that can make you a millionaire overnight and help you come out of a depressing financial situation. I did talk about my job being secure and all but the true reality about me is something that a lot of strugglers can relate to.
I was born and raised in Chennai; my father was a businessman while my mother was a teacher (currently an academic coordinator in a reputed NGO). I was introduced to my father’s business when I was around 12 years old. He ran a billiards parlour in a huge mall which was unlike anything I had seen before and mind you, this is 1998 I am talking about (ah, the 90s… wish I had a time machine to go back and fix everything. If not fix, at least enjoy those Moments again.).
The parlour was always flooded with people who belonged to the elite class who did not think twice about throwing cash at the cash window and play extra hours… one of the reasons why my Dad always came home late. Money was never a problem as I remember now (it is still not a problem, however, the life I led was different from what I lead now… if you know what I mean) and I always use to see my father bringing in huge amounts of cash in his pocket. However, this is where I start to marvel at how my parents brought me up… or maybe, what was to come in my life?
I was never made to realize that I was a rich kid, I hardly remember going in my car to my school and had the school van coming to pick me up. I was of course studying in a premier school of the south – CHETTINAD VIDHYASHRAM (CV), I was called a lucky guy for even studying there regardless of the grades or marks I was getting. My Mom was of course not happy with the way things were going and therefore, got my school changed. She worked in SIR SIVASAMI KALALAYA (SSK) and had me transferred there too.
If I have to give a character sketch about myself, I am a silent guy who loves to be himself but I do love to party and have a drink or two. I love to stay at home more instead of going outside if I am on leaves… unless and until someone invites me to freak out to the extent that all hell will break loose. I do feel sorry for my Mom who constantly has to push me to go buy the daily groceries. It is like… she tells me at 11 am to go outside and I take all the courage to get up, and go to the market at 11:45 am.
So, what changed when I left that school? While I was just a speck of dust in CV, I suddenly became a centre of attraction in SSK (probably because I was the ‘good looking’ son of a badass teacher). My classmates, teachers… everyone wanted to know about me but I hated being the centre of attraction, a feeling that I still have considering there is a difference between being loved and being a hero. Do I regret not being a hero? I always wanted my work to be the reason for my success and never relied upon marketing myself as a ‘HERO’.
Being a part of the corporate world is the reason why I keep listening to the big guns talking about the art of marketing yourself and making tall claims to get the best opportunities. I do see people following that and actually receiving credits for it, however, whenever I look at them, I am reminded of that young blood of mine that also craved for the greener pasture and doing so, failed to notice the shortcomings that it had. The reason why I should have acted maturely while publishing my first book.
My life was still the same in SSK but not before disaster struck and that is when I realized the power of the almighty. God is always there watching over you, protecting you but KARMA, I am not sure what I did wrong, what anyone did wrong… but KARMA exists. My father was at that time running an ice cream parlour and one day, it suffered a heavy loss. The details are a bit sketchy but all I got to know was that my father was falsely charged with using unregistered food colors.
Slowly, things were becoming clear. My Dad went into a partnership, money was needed to start the shop so our house was mortgaged and now, with the shop closed…. no inflow of money, the house was not ours… we were bankrupt. Why me? What have we done wrong? It is natural for all of us to ask those questions but when reality kicks in, the answers to those questions… will have to be either be solved or left unanswered.
My Dad got a heart attack, was hospitalized, we received all help from our friends and relatives but that was temporary and I knew it. I was still happy and still have the utmost gratitude towards them for supporting us during times of need but we were a family that was never in an asking position. Hell, if it is, that is how I was raised. Even today, I never ask and always see to it that I pay back whatever I have taken for the lessons that I learnt during those times are still etched in my mind. If God wills that I have a family one day, I will pass on this education to my kids. If not, well, there are kids out there who need to know the art of keeping your head held high even when everything is going against you.
My Dad never went into depression like me (not to my knowledge for he always found a way to have a good laugh when I was around) but he did start doing odd jobs till finally ‘ending up’ as a travel agent for a meagre salary that was enough to feed all of us. It was saddening to see him toil like this but there was nothing I could do. I was still studying. My Mom, however, took up the challenge to see to it that we never went hungry (we never actually did even after going bankrupt for a while. Call it a blessing.) She got a job abroad twice and thanks to that we were back on track. My Mom’s experience has a teacher includes 6 years of experience as a teacher in Qatar and Oman.
I was 19 when my Dad passed away. That is not the sad part actually. The sad part is that during his final moments, Mom, my grandparents and I were in Kolkata enjoying our summer vacations. We were having a get together along with my cousins and relatives when my Mom called up Dad. My Dad did not pick up the phone, it was a doctor… who spilled the beans (God forbid, this doesn’t happen to anyone but what is inevitable is inevitable… so care to notice the professional manner a doctor actually stated what happened) that my father was no more, he had a another heart attack and was brought dead to the hospital.
This happened at a moment when we as a family were slowly coming back to our old ways and trying to forgot all the bad things that happened with us. However, life goes on and we had to come to terms with the loss. My Mom had to go back to Oman to complete her contract while I had to finish my studies. None of us faltered with our work but this is where my new struggle began in a new environment.
My Mom wanted to come back to India for good and for that I had to find a job as soon as possible. I was pursuing a multimedia course but for some reason I wasn’t sailing well on that course. I couldn’t see any end to it and there was no way I could persuade my Mom to extend her contract so as to complete my course. I had to discontinue it to use the time to find a good job so that my Mom could come back. My grandparents were living with us and for one person to feed 3 people in a family… like seriously? No way.
I had completed my semester regarding Web Designing and after 8 months of sitting at home after my collegiate education, found a job. My Mom had come back by that time and had already got a job through a contact of hers. 2 people earning a few percentages more than what my Mom was earning, that was indeed a miracle and I could only say I was proud of myself. Personally, my life in the corporate world (BPO, to be precise) had begun… and this is where the short story about my young blood also begins.
Talk about turn of events, we found our house was an illegal construction (and the joke of the century, it is still standing there after 15 years) so we had to sell it… yeah, more like let go of it to avoid any fuss over a bulldozer coming and bringing it down to render us homeless. My journey in living in rented houses began (and something tells me that I might have entered the guinness book of world records for the same) and in a country like India where you are judged for having a palace, 25 cars and 1000 servants… I had to pull up my socks to set things right.