“I grew up in a small town, Saidraja in UP, where there were no 10th std schools. Back then, it wasn’t even a problem because studies weren’t of that great importance. I had seen my father working on our farm, so presumably, it could have been my future too. Despite my farming background, I desired a professional career for myself. There was little information concerning the courses, so the selection of subjects depended on whether they were available at the Govt. Schools in the town.
The options weren’t great as I wanted to take the science stream, and the only way to pursue it was to move to Chandauli. It wasn’t far from my place, but 20 years back, transportation was not as good as now. To attend the college, I had to walk 5 km to reach the bus stop and then take the bus for the next 10 km. The struggles didn’t even matter to me because of the dreams I wished to fulfill. To what to pursue in the future was a bit hazy, and then it was the first time I heard the name of IIT. Little did I know it was going to change everything around me. I started preparing for the competitions, and very soon, I realized that I was far behind other students of cities who were groomed for competitions right from the start. I couldn’t pay for coaching classes or buy expensive study materials, so I had no choice but to rely on what was being taught in school. Things weren’t great back home either. My father wanted me to come back and lend a hand in household chores, but there was no way out now. I used to study with my friend as we both were sailing in the same boat. I worked on subjects I was weak in, and little by little, I improved. Exams got over, and the results came. I had secured an MCA seat at MMMEC Gorakhpur. I was satisfied with the results and hence got enrolled in the MCA program.
The new life at college began. What I had hoped would be the best moments of my life weren’t that good after all. Back in those days, ragging was common. There were no regulations, and the complaints, simply put, were ignored. After a point of time, I got so frustrated that I decided to quit college. Everyone, my parents, teachers, and friends, opposed the decision for different reasons, but I was adamant. When I returned, my father was in absolute rage. Like every parent, my father hoped for me to settle for a good job, but the dream felt distant now. The financial burden was weighing over him, and I could understand his point of view. I told him that I was ready to bear the consequences of my decision, even if it’s against him. I promised to never come back to my home until I achieve something worthful.
So, there I left on my own for Varanasi with a fire in my heart to do something great. Everything was uncertain, where I would stay, where and how I would study. I learned that things get managed eventually as the day comes, or I was lucky it did for me. I resumed my studies, this time with more enthusiasm. There were fallbacks in between where I couldn’t concentrate on my studies much and would hang out with the only friend Chandan. The memories of those days make me smile even now. We were fond of music, but it wasn’t much accessible as it is now. You google the song, and there it is. But then we had to buy the cassettes, and with no pocket money, it was tough to manage. Once the cassette was on, we would get lost in the world where Rafi, Mukesh, Lata were legends. We would sit along the ghats of Varanasi for hours. It was always full of people but yet so divine and mystic. Such was the beauty of the city.
Studies moved along, and after the exams, the most awaited results of my life came out. I had got a seat in IIT Roorkee. I was on cloud nine to see how my struggles finally paid off. The only problem was I had to reach Roorkee to confirm the seat, and the money I had was just enough for a one-way bus ticket. Mind you, it was 40 rupees back and forth, and I just had 25 something. Anyway, I was not going to blow this chance off, so I thought I would figure out how to travel back. I went to Roorkee, booked my seat, and started returning on foot. On the way, I got a lift from an auto driver and reached back home. IIT Roorkee’s tuition fee was very high, so I dropped IIT and took admission in JNU, MCA instead, as the tuition fee was meager.
Life went ahead. I joined university, got my first job in Kanbay/Capgemini. Later, I got my first on-site opportunity in Mexico. My parents were proud of me. I was proud of how far I have come. One thing I am sure of is with sheer hard work and dedication, anything is possible. I started traveling, sometimes for work, sometimes for myself, and have been to UK, France, Spain, Belgium, Bahamas, Netherlands. I got to see the most amazing places in the world.
Along with traveling, I got interested in photography. So, I have started my stint on social media. I feel blessed to be with my lovely wife Neha and four and a half-year-old son Shivaay. From time to time, I pause from my busy life here to reflect on the journey that took me this far. I feel overwhelmed by the struggles that made me who I am and what I have achieved. Until now, the journey has been incredible, but life, as you know, never ceases to amaze us, and I am excited, for it will be beautiful.
Total Work Experience : 15 Years (Kanbay, Capgemini,Infosys)