Inspiration. One of the most positive words when it comes to us writers. We find inspiration in the most common looking things and in the most routine of the circumstances. Or in most ordinary people. Real people. Not just the heroic tell-tale ones. The ones, who fell down at some points of time in their lives but didn’t give up, stood up again. I know everybody would have heard this line a million times. Sounds clichéd isn’t it? But still, when you see people actually following this line in the truest form, you believe that yes, there are people like these. People around us.
Five Years Back:
She is a friend. A college friend I met in my Business school - the place where young harbor the dreams of high-flying corporate jobs. We weren’t any different. We had similar hopes too. It was just that we entered or rather we were exiting a B-school at one of the worst times. The doomed financial year of 2008-09. The one which changed the future of many companies and along with it the dreams of many B-school students who were to pass out that year. The companies were distributing pink slips and hiring was the cuss word. And that too fresh MBAs? No. Never, said most of them. The Placement Committee (of which yours truly was a part of) worked in overdrive. Calling companies one after the other. Trying to lure them to visit the school. Just a handful few paid heed to us.
It was late January. Quite late by B-school standards of getting placed. More than half of the Finance stream students were yet to be placed. A bank had shown some mercy on our school and had come for recruiting. But, that Bank was the last hope. Because after that bank, there were no companies lined up for recruitment. Group Discussions and Interviews. We gave our best. Hoped. Prayed. Prayed hard for getting placed. But luck had different plans. We (as in me and my friend) weren’t a part of five students that were recruited that day. Sad faces loomed around. Because as I said, we didn’t have any more companies lined up.
Everybody left one by one. We were the last ones. We were sad but none of us was in a mood to say anything. Just before leaving, at the parking, she broke down. Completely. I joined too. The ‘what nexts?’ found their place in our tear laden voices. Take up marketing jobs, may be? And then, came the ‘why does God always have to do this to me’ questions. The ones for which we didn’t have any answers. She cried about her unused law degree, her lost dreams of clearing IAS exam even after slogging for years, the fact that her younger sister was well settled in her career, the fact that when she entered the best B-school of the State she had hoped that now, atleast now her career would take a better turn. I had never ever seen her like that. Broken down, totally. I don’t remember how long we cried that day in the empty, dimly lit parking lot of a place which once held high hopes for us.
That was some other day. Today is another. And today, my friend runs multi-crore business ventures. Yes. You read it right. The same woman who had broken down in the parking lot five years back for not getting placed in a bank, today runs business ventures giving employment to many. She runs a Credit Co-operative society with eight branches all over Gujarat and Rajasthan. She runs another business of manufacturing ready-to-eat snacks and a venture in textiles. And she does it, single handedly.
Wasn’t an easy journey for her. She eventually did get placed in one of the Credit Co-operative societies from Rajasthan at a salary most of us would not have taken. She stayed in various cities of Rajasthan away from her family for a year and half surviving in that meager salary, learnt the ropes of the business, left her job and created her own Credit Co-operative society which today is giving some serious competition to the one she initially joined. And mind you, the one she joined had been established way back in the year 1999.
The woman I knew back in cold January of 2009, the woman who cried along with me for not getting placed in a bank is the woman today who is a business woman, the woman who has learnt the ropes of the trade, who knows how to deal with people. She is the woman who has made something out of herself. Inspiring. Isn’t it?
This post is written for the Write Tribe Festival of Words – Day 5 where we had to share an inspiring story / a personal experience that will inspire.