Where there is a will, there is a way.
-Pauline Kael 

In November 2017, I joined new company and shifted from Hyderabad to Pune. Vivek and I were in same team and soon we became good friends. I noticed that Vivek was not very fluent in English. I told him that he should improve his English and should learn grammar. He started doing it. After a month when I did not see much improvement, I asked him if he is working on it or not.

He said, 'I am trying but now a days it's difficult for him to give more time on this.'

'You should focus on your career and should learn to how to manage. I don’t see spark in you.' I replied.

Vivek said, 'Bhai, It's not like that. I have spark and because of that only, I reached here. I did not give up and managed many things at time to come in this field.'

Later, he told me his story which proved that I was wrong. 

July 2002, after 2 months of summer vacations, Vivek was entering in 9th standard. Vivek was average in studies. Vivek had father, mother and a younger sister in his family. Vivek’s family was very reputed and wealthy family in Deori (a town near Jabalpur). Like his cousins, Vivek also wanted to pursue engineering or MBA. He never thought to join his father’s Pulse Business. It was the time when everything was going well. 

His father started having loss in business from end of year 2002. Till the mid of Year 2004, his father’s business condition worsened, and he got into big dept. His father had a loan of around 20 to 25 lack rupees. His father knew that he cannot afford for degrees like engineering for Vivek. He suggested Vivek that in this situation, completing 12th standard with commerce stream would be a better option for him and family. His father also told that he can join any collage in hometown for B. Com, can work as an accountant and earn well enough to spend a good life.

Vivek wanted to take mathematics and join engineering college. However, understanding the situation he did what his father had suggested. In Year 2004, Vivek passed 10th standard with good marks. As planned he choose commerce stream in 11th standard. But till the 12th class was completed, Vivek could see he will not have good future in this career path. 

Now, Vivek started looking for options other than B. Com. He talked to his cousins and friends. One of his friends told him about Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree. Vivek searched about it and told his father that government college fees for BBA is affordable and he wants to go in the college counseling. His father agreed on it.

June 2006, Board exam result was out and Vivek passed 12th standard with good marks. His father took him for BBA college counseling but unfortunately, Vivek did not get government college and they were not in condition to take private college. Now, there was no other option left. Vivek joined B. Com collage in hometown.

Along with his B. Com., Vivek started helping his father in business. His father had one partner in his business. They had a mill and a shop. Shop was for all the buying and selling operations. Vivek started sitting at the shop. He also started looking into business accounts. In next few months he found, his father’s partner was cooking the accounts. Vivek observed for some more time and later, he started maintaining everything in the account books. He told his father about this and they had several discussions on this but shockingly, he ignored this. Later, these discussions converted in hot talks as his father was not getting separated with his business partner. 

Till the end of his B. Com second year Vivek got frustrated very much. Saving father's business was not possible now and he could see that he will not have a peaceful life here. He decided to go out from his hometown to do something else and thought that, later he will take his parents also, from Deori. On the other hand, his father’s business condition was getting worse day by day. A big portion of his father's earnings was going in loan. His family did not have enough money, even to fulfill their daily needs. In this situation going somewhere else was next to impossible for Vivek. However, he did not stop here. He took advice from his cousins. One of his cousin brothers asked him to come Mumbai. 

His cousin was an engineer on a ship in Mumbai and with his reference Vivek could get a job on ship. Year 2008, After completion of B. Com. Second year, Vivek reached Mumbai. He found that if he gets the job, salary would be good for him as it would be in dollars but job would be weird like counting fishes etc. Vivek decide to stay there and will try to get the job. He was staying there with his cousin and his friends. Two of his cousin's friends were working in an IT company. Vivek got to know about IT jobs from them.   

Vivek stayed there for months in hope of job. He used to get more free time than others in flat, where he was staying. In those four months everyone in flat started asking Vivek for their daily works. This continued till eight months but he did not get job confirmation. 

On day Vivek asked his cousin that he want to talk to his mother. His cousin connected call from his office. In general discussion his mother asked Vivek about his daily routine. He told most of the time he spends at home and do some daily works for his cousin and his flat-mates. While talking, she showed disappointment after listening this. They talked few more minutes and cut the call. 

Call was conferenced from cousin’s office and he was also listening. Cousin was also got disappointed with Vivek. His cousin thought, ‘I am the one who is supporting him by bearing his daily expenses, helping him to get a job and instead of being thankful to me, he is blaming me.’ On the other side Vivek was thinking that he is losing his self-esteem.

In my point of view both were not wrong at their places. Later, Vivek’s cousin decided to send him back to Deori. However, Vivek was not regretted for this because in these 8 months he found that working on ships is not his cup of tea. One thing he noticed that working in IT company can give him his desired path. Before coming back to home, Vivek’s cousin asked that what he wants to do next. Vivek told him, he wants to work in IT. His cousin suggested him to search for Master for Computer Science (MCA). Vivek searched for it but as he was from commerce background, he was not eligible for MCA.   

Vivek reached Jabalpur and from there he called his mother to inform her about his arrival. She told Vivek that his aunt (his father’s younger sister) is calling him and asked him to go Niwas (A town near Mandla, Madhya Pradesh), at his aunt’s place. Instead going home Vivek reached Niwas. There he told everything to her aunt and uncle. There he cried a lot on his situation. His uncle was a known lawyer in Niwas. He suggested him to prepare for MBA entrance exam. 

Vivek took his advice and asked his father about it.  His father got agree on that. He started arranging money for his coaching fee and accommodation in Jabalpur. There was some time in joining of the MBA coaching classes so meanwhile, Vivek completed his B. Com Degree with good academics. He also prepared for bank PO Exam by himself. However, he could not clear the exam and unfortunately, a new thought generated in his mind that he is not able to clear competitive exams.

But, as per plan, Vivek joined a coaching in Jabalpur. His father suggested that he should also apply for M. Com so if nothing happens then at least his year will not be wasted. He applied for M. Com from a collage in Jabalpur. 

It was very difficult for Vivek to understand the MBA coaching class lectures. There were two main reasons. First, Vivek’s foundation was very weak and second, he was from Hindi medium school but couching was in English medium. He tried to improve his weak points but it took some time. Till the time he was able to understand lectures, time was over. As a result, he couldn’t get good percentile in any of the MBA exams and could not get a good college with affordable fees.

Later, he came back to his home town. His father was very much disappointed with him. One day in anger his father said, ‘You cannot do anything and you are of no help. I told you earlier to work as accountant in Deori but you never listened to me.’

Vivek was very depressed and frustrated. One day his mother gave him motivation and said,’ You should not get demoralized. Still you can do whatever you want to do.’ It took some time for him to be normal. He decided to go at his aunt’s place for some time. He reached there and stayed there for some time. His uncle had contacts with politicians, businessmen and many more high-class people. One day his uncle invited one of his friends Subhash ji who had two Engineering colleges in Madhya Pradesh. His uncle discussed about Vivek’s situation with Subhash Ji. Vivek told him that he wants to work in IT. Subhash Ji suggested him to pursue MCA. Vivek told that he is from commerce background and he is not eligible for MCA. 

Subhash Ji said, ‘That’s ok, still there is one hope but it might be difficult for you. If you will give 12th class mathematics exam and pass it then you will be eligible for MCA.’

After knowing this Vivek was still hopeless because he knew if he will do this then he will have to prepare for 12th exam and MCA entrance test parallelly. Also, it was the final year for M. Com. Another reason was family. He knew very well, after seeing the result of MBA entrance exams for which he prepared for one year, his father won’t trust him again. 

Vivek thought about it but did not took the step forward. Perhaps, he was confused. Two days later, he came back to his hometown. 

Vivek was hopeless because he knew if he will do this then he will have to prepare for 12th exam and MCA entrance test parallelly. Also, it was the final year for M. Com. He was also thinking that after seeing the result of MBA entrance exams for which he prepared for one year, his father won’t trust him again. 

He told this to his mother and she asked him to fill the form but Vivek did nothing. One day her mother asked if he filled the 12th class mathematics form. Vivek told he is not feeling positive for it and maybe he will not be able to do it. 

His mother said, 'Perhaps, you will not get this chance again. And if you won’t take it up then you may have to work as accountant in Deori. In my opinion you should try again. Take it as this is your last chance.’ 

‘I failed in MBA entrance exams preparation, I read mathematics around 6 years ago and I do not know anything about computer. Papa won’t allow again. This is not at all possible.’ Vivek said.

His mother said, ‘Nothing is impossible Vivek. Whatever you learned while in MBA exams preparation will help you here. You can join computer classes to learn computer. These all won’t cost much, we will support you. You just have to manage it and put all your efforts. You are thinking wrong about your father, I know he will always support you.’ 

His mother talked to his father, who did not oppose this. Discussion extended to his cousins also. His family decided to give him this chance with one condition that he can pursue MCA only when he gets a government college. Decision was not easy for his father as those were the days when he was troubling, even to manage daily expenses. Still his family supported him in every way. 

Next day Vivek  visited government school to fill the 12th class mathematics form. There he got to know that last date for application is already passed. He talked to teachers that if there is any other way. One teacher told him that he can fill the form from private. He gave him an address and asked to meet Rajeev Kumar. Vivek called Santosh ji and asked if giving exam from private will be valid or not for MCA. He told him that any one is valid.

He immediately rushed to the given address. He met Rajeev Kumar, who told him that he can get the form till next day 12:00 PM with a demand draft of 500 Rs or he can buy directly by paying 1200 Rs cash. Vivek thought that getting a demand draft till next day morning will not be possible so he is left with only one option, to arrange 1200 Rs. He already had around 700 Rs in his pocket. He called his father and explained the situation. His father somehow arranged the money for him. Vivek submitted the form from Deori.

His aunt already told him to stay at her flat in Jabalpur so he was not worried about accommodation expenses. For MCA coaching and Computer course fee, he asked his father to manage. He decided that he will give accounts tuition to school students and will manage for money food and mathematics class. 

Two days later he left for Jabalpur. He had only 6 months to prove himself. First day Vivek went to meet a mathematics coaching teacher who was suggested by a friend and told him about his commerce background. Teacher assured him that if he will follow all the lectures honestly then he would be able to score at least passing marks. Vivek joined the coaching. Same day he visited an institute for MCA entrance exam preparation. When Vivek told them that he is a commerce student and need to clear the test to get government college, they laughed. They told him that there are only six months left for the exam and being a commerce student it will be difficult for you to grasp all the concepts within this time. They advised him to target for the next year MCA entrance test and if he will give exam this year then he should not expect for government college.

Vivek told them that this is the only chance he have and this is the do or die situation for him.  They told him that he can join the classes but lectures will go with its pace and if he could not grasp the lectures then it will not be institute's or teacher's responsibility. Vivek registered for the classes. 

His aunt's flat was in outer area of Jabalpur which was around 8 KMs from his mathematics class. Mathematics class used to be from 11 AM to 12 PM and MCA exam class was from 4.30 PM to 7 PM. Distance between both the classes was around 7-8 KMs. On bicycle Vivek used to go classes. 

He started attending classes. As he used to have free time between 12 PM to 4 PM, he thought to search for computer classes which have class timings within this time and between mathematics and MCA exam class locations. He found one where he registered for PGDCA course and its timing was from 1 PM to 3.30 PM including one hour practical and half hour lunch break. He was also searching for students to give private tuitions for accounts but it was bit difficult for him. 

For initial 10-15 days he used to leave flat at 10 AM and come back by 8:30 PM. Later he got 5 students group to give private tuitions near his flat. Now for around next six months he followed a very tough schedule which was the most challenging thing to do.

Vivek used to wake up at morning 6 o'clock and after 2 hours of self-study he used to prepare for break-fast. Starting at 10 AM, first he used to go mathematics class for 11 KMs by bicycle and after that computer class for 5 KM from there and then for MCA exam class for around 5-6 KMs. After MCA classes he used to go to teach accounts to his students form 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM which was around 2 KMs from there. He used to reach flat at 9:00-9:15 PM and prepare for dinner. After that he used to do self-study for 2 hours. 

He followed this tight schedule for six months with commitment and determination. He used to go cycling for approx. 25 KMs daily. Last two months were like hell. His M. Com. Exams were going to start. As he applied for M. Com. directly from Sagar University, his exam center was in Sagar. Distance between Sagar and Jabalpur is around 200 km. He used to travel Sagar a day before exam and come back next by day evening. He was staying there at friends place. He did this for nine subject exams.

Hard work always pays off. Vivek passed the mathematics exam with  58 marks. He was one of the 5 students who got government college from his MCA coaching institute. Vivek got admission in Jabalpur Engineering College. He completed PGDCA diploma and also M. Com. Degree in the same year. 

However, this was not the end of his struggle. After joining the college, it was not easy to understand computer subjects. In first semester, he got backlog in one subject. Then one of his classmates, Amit Gupta started teaching him coding languages and other subjects. With the help of Amit he could learn computer subjects in deep. 

Year 2013, Vivek got his MCA degree but couldn’t get the job from college. One of his cousins was working in an IT company in Bangalore. He contacted him and reached Bangalore. After few months of struggle he got a job in an IT company in Pune.

Currently Vivek is working in a multi-national company and settled in Pune. He is earing well enough to support his family, who always supported him when he needed most. However, his struggle is not yet over, so as his attitude for fighting.

The best thing I found in this story is that Vivek did not stop trying until he got for what he dreamed. There is a lot more Vivek needs to learn but Vivek gave his best in those six month and did things with perfection. In my view he is Imperfectly perfect.

Kushal Rusia
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