What was one experience in your life that hardened you as a person? by Anonymous
Answer by Anonymous:
My father still thinks I am an engineer but am not!
Going anonymous for obvious reasons… and it’s a long story.
I am from India, a small town 6 hours from Bangalore. My dad is a farmer, had a small piece of land and did his best to educate us. My brother (he is 4 years younger) and I studied in a government school. My dad and mom wanted us to get good education and we worked really hard. After my 12 (PUC); I was hoping to get into engineering – I got decent marks and secured good rank as well (Engineering Common Entrance Test); after this, I was supposed to travel to Bangalore for Seat Selection (it’s a session conducted by the state government and based on your rank you get to choose colleges). While I could get into a college I wanted, I could not get the stream I wanted (E&C) – I am from general category and my rank didn’t make it.
This was my first time in Bangalore and I was alone (Friends dad accompanied me). I was a little confused and back then we didn’t have mobile phones or even a telephone (at my home) to call home and discuss (my dad is not educated, can barely read would not have had no clue, I was the most educated; but still); during this confusion, I met a man who claimed to be a parent accompanying one of the students. He spoke to me nicely and was advising me on engineering courses, I was happy I found someone knowledgeable. He also spoke to me about his connections and assured me a seat that I wanted if I was ready to pay a ‘little extra’ and advised me to let go of what I had.
And I did. I also gave him all the marks cards (he wanted that to start the process) and as a token, gave him the money I was carry to pay my fees (INR 3000, about USD 500); I was told the ‘extra fees’ would be INR 2 Lac (USD 3000) (one time) and was told to get the money as soon as possible. I was so confident about the decision I made – I went back home and convinced my dad to mortgage the small piece of land he had and get money from a local moneylender. I went back to Bangalore with exactly INR 2 lac and extra 700 for expenses. I met this new friend of mine, and handed over the money to him…
By now you would know what I had done. I was naïve but arrogant – a deadly combination which can ruin your life… The man disappeared… I lost all my money and all my pride. I didn’t know how to face my dad so I decided not to tell him. I called home and told them that I had been admitted to the college and the courses start immediately (my dad is still naïve and he believed every word I said; he even asked me if I needed more money to buy books).
After this, I tried to find the man who cheated me (went to all the places I met him; even to a police station; no one helped); after 3 days I was out of money – I started working in a mess (it’s a kind of eatery); I thought I will work hard and earn back whatever money I had lost.. I did that for 3 years… In another year I was expected to graduate as an engineer; find a good job and help my brother get into engineering…
My pay when I started off was 30 rupees a day with food and accommodation and end of 3 years was 50 rupees; I worked 7 days a week and with tips and others could save about 600 rupees a month (+ I saved whatever my dad sent every month for me to buy books and as hostel fees). End of three years I had saved about 75000 rupees (USD 1200); which was nowhere close to what I had lost. It’s then when a few of my friends helped me to get a job in an event management company (in 2006) with a starting pay of 4500 rupees per month (USD 75)… I guess that was the turning point… I slogged my ass off for; got promotions and salary hikes regularly (attrition at event management agencies is high so that helped as well).
Right now, I work as marketing manager for a global MNC (I did complete my Graduation at a night college); got my brother into engineering – he finished and is working now. I paid back the mortgage and got the land back. So life is good… But, my dad still thinks I am an engineer (except for my wife). And I hope it remains that way (he is proud and happy).
So what did I learn…?
Bad things happen… Learn as much as you can
Accept whatever comes your way… once you accept, life becomes a lot easier and your mind will automatically start finding ways to make best out of the situation.
Love is a powerful motivator, it can make you do some amazing things to keep someone happy
Don’t ever give up. Life is too short to whine and cry. Humans are survivors and you will find a way out.
Be nice. Sometimes we take people for granted; judge them on work they do or their education. Please don’t.
Lastly, hard work pays.