"Don't Give Up"!

An inspiring narrative received from Chennai-based RBI retiree Smt Vathsala Jayaraman is copied below :

M G Warrier
April 11, 2020

                "Don't give up!"

My cousin was  the eldest of ten siblings. He  completed his  degree in 1940 under extremely trying circumstances with residential and financial support of many relatives.Immediately after graduation he  got a job as an analytical chemist in a laboratory.

Intellect, Integrity and Industry are the sure means of success, my father advised him  just before starting his  career.This advice was his  taraka mantra* and there was no turning back. He  changed his  job and got into commercial sector.

After a few years in the job he  was desperately looking for a change.One day one of his  friends  asked for advice whether he should accept a job offer from a company based in Goa. Incidentally the friend told my cousin  where the interview was and who interviewed him.

Next morning on an impulse my cousin  took his  papers and went to the hotel where the VP of the company,an American was staying.He  sent a note to him that he  would like to meet him.He and the GM of the company were interviewing six candidates for the position of Regional Manager and therefore he was asked to meet them in the afternoon.In the interview the American asked him: "You have not responded to our Ad. We have also not called you for an interview,How is it that you came to meet us?’ My cousin  replied that”I am a salesman and when I have something to sell I don’t wait for the customer to write to me and that is what I am trying to do”.It was a breezy interview. My cousin  was appointed and those who attended the regular interview lost the chance.

The important lesson is : Don’t wait for opportunities to knock at your door but create opportunities.The American later on sent my cousin  a card from US “I still remember how you gate-crashed into our organisation”.

 My cousin rose up in life and lived 99 years.He held senior positions and was Telecommunication Expert in Washington. I lost him three months back. He was a roaring success in our family.

A study of those who made it big shows that struggles and failure should be taken as our teacher not an undertaker. Failure is delay and not defeat. It is temporary detour and not a dead end.

The heroic story of Lakshmi Agarwal an acid attack victim is a sterling example of never say die attitude and her story is the inspiration for the film Chhapaak..Today her NGO helps acid attack victims to come out of their trauma and lead a dignified life.

Deepa Maliks story is inspirational.She underwent three spinal surgeries ,183 stitches and is paralysed from the waist.Yet she entered the Limca book of world records four times,has won 54 medals in javelin throws, shotput and swimming. She is a Padmashri and an Arjuna award winner. "She may be confined to a wheel chair but her grit takes her where her legs don’t”.

Mariappan Thangavel’s case is an example of success amidst adversity.Raised by a single mother, a construction worker, he suffered permanent disability in his right leg when he was run over by a drunken driver. He won the gold medal in the mens high jump in para Olympics games in 2016. His awards include Arjuna award and Padma Sri. He says “I don’t see myself as different from able-bodied kids”

Failed in business at 22, had a nervous breakdown at 27, defeated for congress at 34, defeated for senate at 46, defeated for vice president at 47,elected as President of United states at 51 and that is none other than the great Abraham Lincoln.

All of us have failed-fallen  down when we first tried to walk, almost drowned when we tried swimming, did not succeed in the first interview- the list is endless.

Pranjal Patil is the first visually challenged woman IAS officer.Cracked the UPSC exam in 2016 and improved her rank to 124 in 2017. She passed BA, MA from JNU, followed by MPhil and her PhD in international relations from JNU. She used a software called JAWS [job access with speech]. When she was refused appointment because of her 100% blindness she fought with the government, met Ministers and did not curl up bemoaning her fate. Her quote "Success does not give inspiration.The struggle behind success gives inspiration..The attitude and the approach to do something matters and each individual can become a building block for a beautiful society.”

After completing his studies Amitabh Bachchan tried to get into films but was rejected due to his unconventional look and great height. Amitabh also tried to become a Radio Jockey but due to his heavy voice he was rejected from there too. The very same voice enthrals millions today.

Actor Rajinikant , perhaps the highest paid actor in India is a living legend. Born to a police constable and housewife as one of four kids, took up menial jobs before getting a job as bus conducter. He used to act in small plays now and then but his heart was in films. With the help of friends he completed a course from Film Institute in Madras. Director K.Balachander gave him the first break.This is what he had to say when Rajinikanth evolved into a phenomenon. "Rajinikanth claims that I am his school. But I must admit that this wasn't the Rajinikanth I introduced. He has evolved on his own merits and strengths. I gave him an opportunity and unveiled him to the world. He went and conquered it."

The living examples I have quoted tell us an inspiring story of setting a goal, working tirelessly , with determination and courage undaunted by the fear of failure.

After all, giving up is easy but fighting out is a thrill and when you make it out it is nothing but conquering the odds.This is not exclusive to our career but also to simple issues like losing weight, overcoming health problems, improving marital relations, making it big as a speaker or writer etc qualify for the dictum- It definitely includes our fight against the present enemy too.

-Never give up.

                               ****.     ****.     *****


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