Sunday, June 17, 2012

& Found..

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

August 15th 2006. Some days in our lives remain etched in memories. This was one of those days. We had returned from a trip that signaled the end of our student lives (at least for most of us). I was with two of my closest friends when our final semester results got published. Both of them were celebrating the fact that the tip of the Engineering iceberg had been conquered. And one of them had just landed a job with Infosys. I stood in a corner, shrinking away from their limelight as reality served me a knock-out punch. While India celebrated it's 59th year of Independence, I was shackled by the chains of incompetence and misfortune.

"If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again."  ~Flavia Weedn

In the midst of my miseries, I interviewed for a BPO job. I cleared the first four rounds, but stumbled at the final block. It sunk me deeper into the black hole that existed, but also gave me a slight glimmer of hope. I wasn't capable of clearing my exams, but I could surely find myself a job. And that's where it all started. 

Someone once said, "when you reach the end of the rope, tie a knot and hang on to it till you find solid ground." I did just that; I hung in longer than I ever did before. A friend of mine planned to travel 150 kms to attend an interview, and wanted me to join him. I pondered over it for a couple of days before deciding to go ahead with it (thanks to my dad who convinced me it would work out). I remember entering the room for my first round of interviews (after clearing a written test). The gentleman posed a simple proposition. Three different puzzles; If I could clear them, I would be through to the next round. And the rest as they say is history. I cleared a dozen puzzles before being offered the job. Over the next year, I made my journey to clear my exams and finally graduate as an engineer.

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.  ~Edmund Hillary
Today life has come a full-circle. I finally stopped living in the halo of my abilities and slogged my back-side off for the last six years. I've understood and reiterated that there's no substitute for hard-work & perseverance. For an audience, pulling a rabbit out of a hat looks simple, but only the magician understands the practice to make it happen. Our abilities get us to certain places, but to sustain we need to take our chances and break-our-backs with the rest of the world, at times out-do them.

Whenever I come across an obstacle or a realm of darkness, I remind myself that the beacon of light is not far-away. And as Robert Frost wrote,

"Two roads diverged in a wood, And I
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference."

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  1. Very well written...Its true "Hard Work has no substitutes". Be confident and keep that spirit alive inside you... This will get you even farther. Good luck :)

  2. A though-provoking account beautifully driven to a gem of a conclusion. Carry on, my friend!

  3. The other side of the story of Aug 15 06 is etched as well.