– Praveen J, II B.Com A
Whether good or bad, life is filled with memories. Some memories die over time while others will strike you harder and that’s a part of the journey.
Whether good or bad, life is filled with memories. Some memories die over time while others will strike you harder and that’s a part of the journey. I would say that if you don’t face problems, how will you grow up? Knowing what is right and wrong, good and bad, is possible only when you face problems and challenges in life. Overcoming them is what makes your life more meaningful. Learning things at a very young age is important and that helps you carry all the knowledge of life in a right way. Memories build the bridge between where we are and what we’ve been through. It is the master of our emotions and I’m sharing one such memorable or rather powerful one of mine that has never happened to me again.
Guys lose interest half way and girls are forced to lose theirs. But I had the dream of achieving something for my family and tried to overcome this restriction.
School! Lovely days! I spent those days happily but unfortunately in a small world. I never tried to look out of this box nor did my school show me the way. What would a guy from a middle class family, joining a small school, think of the outside world? I never learnt the practical aspect of any concept, never was good at anything. Life was in a small dark world. I never had good friends during my school days. Everyone around me felt that I’m weird. I still don’t know the reason for this. On the first day of every exam I used to stand near the school gate since I was not allowed to write exams without paying the school fee. My mother used to stand near the office room, trying to plead for extending the date for paying the fee. With the smile on my face and the dedication for my studies I was somehow allowed by the Principal to write the exam. My principal had got used to this and every time he used to permit me because I was studying very well. Teachers who guided me always encouraged me to study well so that I would be able to join a good reputed college but at the same time they scared me saying that I would be the first one to fly out of the cage to reach the destiny. Students from this school have hardly crossed PUC. Guys lose interest half way and girls are forced to lose theirs. But I had the dream of achieving something for my family and tried to overcome this restriction.
For the first time I saw the posh roads with so many lights, vehicles and thousands of people moving around so fast. I felt very small that day. ‘How will I even enter this world of competition? Am I capable of doing something?’
It was the day of my results. Colors changed, there was happiness around me. I made my school proud, teachers happy and my parents were speechless. What more can you ask in your life than their happiness. I promise nothing else can be equal to this. I sat on the cycle the next day, entered a new world. Like the clouds chasing the ocean, I started chasing my dreams. For the first time I saw the posh roads with so many lights, vehicles and thousands of people moving around so fast. I felt very small that day. ‘How will I even enter this world of competition? Am I capable of doing something?’ ‘No. Definitely not’ was the loudest voice in my mind. With dreams in my eyes I stepped forward. I was not scared, rather was excited and curious to learn new things. I stepped into Joseph’s, the place where I was told it would not be that easy. But I always have been stubborn for certain things and I wanted to join Joseph’s, my dream college.
I went back home and troubled the poor woman who had no support from any source to manage the family. Yes, my Mother. She had neither degree in hand nor any knowledge of the outside world so that she could give good education to both me and my sister. All that she had was the dream that we would be happy someday. How many husbands have left their wives to manage things all by themselves and ran away from everything? How many fathers have left their children without supporting them and without providing anything, for them to survive? Both these situation in my family made us worry about the money that I have to pay for joining Joseph’s.
Mothers never leave their children helpless, for she will do something, at least by which they survive till the stage where they can take care of themselves someday. She started working at few houses as maid since I wasn’t willing to compromise on my dream for Joseph’s. Was I a bad son? Even today I ask that to myself, but somewhere I feel that I have my answer. I believe that only we are responsible for what we become. I do not want anyone to be blamed in future for not becoming what I wanted to. My mother never complained nor stopped me from my dreams. Instead she said, ‘somehow we will manage it, not to worry’ and that’s the kind loving heart she had for me.
My relatives were neither rich nor kind-hearted to help us. Even my grandparents sometimes asked us to stop coming to them asking for food. There were hungry sleepless nights with just a glass of water. After this I started to search for some work so that I could try to manage a meal for a day for my family. Who will give a job to an SSLC passed guy, not even 18 years of age, doesn’t know to talk better English nor knew anything in computers? One of my friends helped me to get a job in a welding shop. Rs.100 per day is what I got including one time meal for lunch, which made me smile and work all day from morning to night, carrying huge steel rods without any experience it could cut your fingers sometimes. Two weeks passed away. Days from a glass of water to one time meal was better. But my mother asked me to stop this as day-by-day, I started getting cuts in my hands and it hurt everywhere. I left that work and started to distribute newspapers in the morning, after which I also started with pamphlets for some time. Somehow I managed to earn around Rs.80 per day and this small amount of money helped us survive.
At the end of the day, we were not able to arrange money for college. Both my mother and I sat worried, thinking what to do and fortunately, with the help of my tuition teacher, who taught me free without charge, we were able to find few people in the locality who could help us with something. I would never forget that day, when my mother and I stepped many houses asking people to help us. We found some help and also pledged all the jewels of my sister’s and my mother’s to the pawn broker and paid my college fees. Though there was happiness in us, we were worried about the future. My mother started working in many houses and I tried looking for any kind of work that was possible till my college started. On the way where I used to put pamphlets, I found a computer center where it was written that they would conduct an entrance exam for students and whosoever gets good percentage would be given some discount to join for the computer course. It starts from the basics and ends with Tally which was considered big those days. Again a selfish heart which has never seen how a computer works went to write the entrance exam and ended up scoring the highest.
Despite the discount amount, the fee for the course came up to Rs. 3000 and I felt I will never be able to pay that. For a guy who is struggling for a day meal, this amount was never possible for him to pay. But the computer center wanted a guy to work for them, distributing pamphlets and cleaning the center at evening time once everyone leaves the place. They said they would pay me Rs. 50 apart from the course amount for working there from morning till night around 9. My mother was worried that with just Rs. 50 how we would manage every night for three people. But she never said anything, rather happily asked me to join there and learn. With a slight hesitation I started working there, but as the time passed I realized that I never got a chance to learn anything. Every day they gave some reason and made me work but when I asked them to teach, they told me to wait for some more time. I used to wait hours together for my turn to sit on the seat and learn something but that never happened. Fifteen Days passed by and I knew only one thing and that was just to switch on the computer.
That night taught me many things. It becomes very important to build yourself for people to respect you and also to know the world, how they are and how things actually work out there. Only the sky above us is common for everyone.
A day before my college started, I told them that I will not be able to work from now on because I have to attend college. They did not agree for letting me go just like that and started to shout at me that for fifteen days of teaching they charge around Rs. 1300 and I did not work for more than Rs. 600 till that day. I knew that I worked for more than that but was not capable to argue with them. These numbers can never be forgotten in my life, can they? Never till my heart stops beating.
They asked me to pay the rest of the money or otherwise work for the whole day for next one week. I had nothing to say. They spoke only in English and before I could tell something in my level of English, they used to tell something else. I had no option but to start begging them to let me go or tell me some other way by which they would allow me to go from there. Finally they came with something which was never expected. They had one huge sump and two tanks which were never cleaned for 4-5 years and they wanted me to clean all of that by that night. I had to agree with no excuses. I cleaned them and went back home late in the night.
That night taught me many things. It becomes very important to build yourself for people to respect you and also to know the world, how they are and how things actually work out there. Only the sky above us is common for everyone. This one small incident is just one experience of my life. Today I’m in St. Joseph’s College of Commerce studying B.Com and also doing my Article-ship for my CA career. Always fight fiercely for the things that make you feel alive. What is life without memories? It’s like the sky without stars. Willingness to learn, confidence and a kind heart will never let you down. Someday all the pieces will fall into place. Wait and wait, your turn will definitely come to prove yourself.