Prem Diwakar

For most of my scholastic career I was a mediocre student. When I completed my schooling, I wanted to take up commerce. However my father, who worked in a company, surrounded by engineers, had a wish to see me as engineer. The engineering days witnessed some changes in me. I used to be a shy, introvert guy. I was not even the five per cent of what I am today. For me the first year was like an ice-breaker.

The third semester was like a turning point for me. When our college was gearing up for tech fest, I was roped in as a part of organizing team. I had become famous with my photography skills. By the next tech fest, I was known among all the faculties. I had built a special bond with one of the faculties and he supported me till the end of engineering.

I had become a known face in photography. I was getting nominated in various competitions. Whenever I was getting accolades, I shared those moments with sir. He always encouraged me. He kept saying that it’s not important if you are only doing well in studies, it is rather fruitful if you are having something extra. By the time I was in the middle of my engineering, I had started paying the fees myself. Because I had started earning! I earned from photo shoots. Sometimes I got chance to do wedding shoots in Bhubaneswar.

There was one time when I was falling short of money to buy lenses. One of my friends had informed sir about it. He helped me with the finances. Well, he had shown a little disappointment. He had said I could have informed him directly. For there on, my shoots went on normally.

When the engineering days were ending, it was time for reality check. When my mates were attending campus placements, I was sitting back at hostel. This is because my academic scores were not meeting the requirements. I was utterly depressed. Sir had explained that college placements were not everything; they was just like a breakthrough but not the end of the world. But I was in such a state of mind that I felt those words were fake.

In the end of engineering, I had an offer letter in my hand. But due to some complications I lost the job offer. I moved to Bangalore and stayed with my cousin and sister-in-law. My father and I wanted only Bangalore as work location. Any other location was not acceptable.

As luck finally smiled at me, I joined the PSU on 1st January, 2016. The situation was different from usual scenario. I was a trainee, but I was expected to work from day 1 without any training. I was asked to check the server lines, apply the commands, grant access and write the code. This went on for five to six months. Even though it was frustrating, in a way, it was learning for me.

The things started to take turn after a year. For a year, I worked for a salary that was Rs. 8000. “What will I do with this meagre amount?” – this had kept coming to my mind.

Due to my hard work and references from cousin and my father, I got promoted to become a permanent employee in the second year. My salary had jumped to five figures. I spent the money on the fly. I always had a chance to travel with my friends, go on long rides on my bike or photo sessions. For leaves, I never had to ask.

In 2018, I started feeling that I was not fit where I was. Everything was more than good, yet, I was not satisfied. When I discussed with my old pals, working in other companies, I felt I was still lacking the knowledge. It was as if I saw the grass greener on the other side. So after that I switched to a start-up company, my current company.

If I speak about my current life, I am focusing less on my photography. Even I would say, I have cut on my travelling. I am focusing on my next ten years. Now I am more concerned of my job. I am focusing on my work. I always stay on-schedule. If it takes hours to finish a job, when I need to sit before system non-stop, I leave no stone unturned. Everyone in office knows… Prem is always available. Well, there are a couple of reasons behind this.

I remember an incident that had happened during the five months after my engineering. One day, I had accompanied my cousin and sister-in-law for shopping. He was buying jeans that had a price of Rs. 6000. Just next to it, a pair of jeans had attracted my attention. It was around 7200 rupees! I questioned myself – ‘Will I be able to buy it with my money?’ Even buying a pair of jeans costing 2000 rupees was like a dream for me. My cousin had noticed my liking for those jeans. He offered to buy them for me. But I declined.

In another incident, when I was walking to Forum Mall, I saw a person offering puja to his new bike. It was Pulsar 150. It is not expensive! But it was then for me. For some time, I kept thinking – if I would be able to afford at least Pulsar 150. These small incidents had a big impact on me.

There were other factors also, which kept pushing me. There were some relatives who lacked words of encouragement. When I had no job, some of them said to my father that he had spoiled me by giving me love and some degree freedom, some said he was wasting money on me! But my father stood by me. The moment of pride came for me when I order Bajaj Dominar when I got a permanent post in PSU.

Today, my photography is not seeing much light. There was a time when I invited to sessions when the organisers wanted me deliver some tips on photography. It was like a treat for me then.

I have plans for the next ten years. After that, I will be wearing travelling boots more frequently. With the capacity I have developed, I believe I have aptly taken up some responsibilities of my family after father’s retirement. Even I was able to look after his operation that happened last year.

I have developed an attitude to be calm. I am leading a humble life style. I behave with my well-wishers and haters alike. Because I know what struggles I have gone through to reach here today and any of their opinions is not going to disturb.

Total Work Experience : 4 years (Healofy, Mecon)

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