I Fought…and I Achieved Happiness

Year 2002, in Guwahati – I was about to complete my Bachelors degree in a year’s time. I was very happy, not because I could now go out of town for my higher studies, but because I could now “earn”, not for myself alone, but for my family, comprising my mother and sisters. I couldn’t wait. I started my job hunt.

What was my career choice? Did I have a choice anyway?

I asked my friend, Shekhar, to make a Bio-data for me (this is how we referred to a resume’ that time). It was a “bio-data” without any work experience. The only thing that I had highlighted was my pride of being a BA final year student of Cotton College – the Oxford of the North-East India. I was sure that employers would hire me seeing this.

I clearly remember going to a Jet Airways ticketing agency and giving my resume. That time, I had no idea how and where a resume should be forwarded. I was not aware of the concept of HR. The lady in uniform, who received my resume with utter confusion and irritation on her face, told me: Thank you for this. I shall give it to my supervisor. She took the piece of paper from my hand and dumped it on a table that lay beside her. I still thought: I may get a ground job with Jet Airways. I knew English; I shall graduate soon! Then, why not!

Days passed by, then months, but I never got any interview call.

A year later, I started tuition classes and earned money for our daily bread.

It was time to pick a regular source of income. Tuitions were erratic. I HAD to choose a career, which in India is the last choice of every individual who can’t afford to study in a B-school, an engineering or medical college for that matter. I chose teaching. In February 2003, I got my first job in a public school, as a Kindergarten teacher. I was appointed on the condition that I shall be confirmed only if I could show my degree.

Then the great day was here. It was the BA finals result day. The graduation result sheet was in my hand; I had topped in my class and stood seventh in the entire university. It was a day of great happiness. I knew, my life would settle down soon.

I hated to teach ABC to the kindergarten kids; Very often, I lost patience. Mom said: Endure!! Dream big. I took her words very seriously, and started dreaming of being an IAS officer – started preparing for the Prelims. Despite a year’s tough hard work, I failed. For the first time, I lost hope – I gave up. I cried bitterly. I thought: What could I do to do something BIG in life? I got no answer.

I made my heart believe: Teaching is your career. Mom said: Do best and be your best “wherever” you are, and “whatever” you do. Those words remained stamped on my mind. I started afresh! Taught with all my heart – got a promotion to the high school and started teaching my favorite subject – Geography to the tenth standard.

I loved every day in school – teaching, playing, laughing, dancing, and singing with grown up children. Many times, I became their problem solver – a teenage guide – a psychologist – and at times a friend and a parent. I enjoyed these multiple roles. Teaching was now in my blood.

In the year 2007, destiny brought me to Delhi. I came here with the aspiration to become a teacher in a reputed public school. But an unplanned meeting with my mentor, who was then heading the online team of a newly launched English news channel, turned my destiny forever. He offered me a job in the online team. I was scared, nervous, and unsure. I didn’t know how I fitted into that role. But, I accepted the offer. In other words, I plunged into a career that I never knew or even dreamt I could earn.

Each day was a hard learning. I rose in my career ladder not step-by-step, but inch-by-inch, slow as a snail. I learnt from people who were younger in age and career. I learnt whatever they taught – I was growing.

After that, there was no turning back. I kept forging ahead. I believed in one thumb rule: Learn each day – apply your learning in your work and DREAM BIG.

In the year 2011, I earned a job with the world’s most prestigious consulting firm – Deloitte. When I look back, I realize how tough it was to get here, for a small-town school teacher, with no degrees in Business. No doubt, it was a journey worth cherishing.

In August 2012, I won an intra-firm blogging contest and earned the prestige of representing the firm as a Brand Ambassador at the London Games 2012. When I took a seat in a Jet Airways flight that would take me to Heathrow (London), I closed my eyes for a while.

I recalled that day, ten years ago, when I went desperately looking for a job at a Jet Airways ticketing counter. I smiled in my heart. I took a deep breath and thanked my destiny or God, whatever it is, for being so kind to me.

Tomorrow, February 17, 2013, I shall complete 10 years of an enriching journey in career. I feel I have achieved, unknowingly, so much. I have learnt so much – i have tasted failure and success, both.

Ten years hence, I may or may not be the CEO of a firm. But, I can say one thing for sure that I will be a more experienced human being who will proudly tell her children that giving up is the end of life. One, who forges forward with sincerity and focus, never loses any battle. Even if he loses for the world, he will be able to say with pride, and with no pain in heart: At least I fought! At least I tried! And, so I am happy and content. This will make a human being a true winner.

Hungry Desires

Those pregnant desires… Those eyes full of dreams… I saw them getting burnt, With the falling autum leaves. A fist full of hungry fulfilment Painted in the color green, I found them wrapped and shelved In the folds of an incomplete dream Woke up from the grave of breathless fear To find myself dead again. Oh why did you wake me dear? To get lashed by the forces of Sun and rain. I am good in this lull of an eternal sleep When my soul searches nobody In this heartless jungle so lonely and deep.

Mumblings of a Restless Soul

Today is one of those days when I am having a desperate urge to go back in time – be a child again; spend a beautiful childhood; have the protection of a caring father and the shelter of a loving mother. Play for hours in the fields, chasing dragon flies – playing doll house.

I wish to spend lazy moments of my youth, listening to Jagjit Singh’s ghazals in the dimly lit one-room house of my youtful days. Lying on that old wooden cot, with my face turned toward the door, opening into a large puddle, strewn with fallen red hibiscus from the tree that stood silently by the side. I saw the rain drops settled on the hibiscus leaves, left behind by a recent summer shower, hanging and eager to jump into the puddle, like a naughty child naked and eager to take a dip into a pond.

I want to have my dreams back – the dreams that made me smile; the dreams that remained forgotten and forlorn in the mad rush of time. I am looking for them in old diaries; in dried flowers lost in the pages of my college textbooks, and in some old memoirs that I have treasured crazily over the years.

Promise of a Broken Heart

(Dedicated to all single women, who dared to live without a man)

A bit of you and a bit of me made ‘us’.

Together we sang the song of love, from morn to dusk.

Lost a bit of ‘you’ and us became ‘me’.

What a game is love, you see!

… a win for you and a loss for me.

Alliance of souls it is, they say,

… a union of hearts and a hope of life in a ray.

What I see in you now is not what I knew…

Neither sunshine nor soothing winter dew.

Half a me has set out for a journey so lonely and long.

Another is left with me humming a fighter’s song.

It sings aloud strong and right,

‘I promise I shall endure and sail on…

Till I drop dead and forever gone’.