Friday 11 May 2012

Avantika Sachdeva

Mornings at Singapore are beautiful to watch, on a clear day it’s a great feeling to observe the bright yachts, and ships in the bay. The Sun kisses the ships and they glitter like gold. Mornings that are fresh and full of life, unlike those this one was dispirited and dull for Tina. She thought it was because of the hectic schedule the previous day. Though she soon realized it was not so, and was still unable to sort out the reason behind. Tina looked at the wall clock that her grandma gifted; she woke up one hour early today. May be due to the unknown reason that was crawling in her mind and setting her down.  Without spending even a moment she decided to leave the bed.

Margrette- her maid, served her black coffee, lost in her own thoughts without even looking at her she asked for Tea. The maid took no time to understand that something was bothering Tina. She was an old servant of their family from India. It was a regular practice, whenever she missed her family in India or was lost in her old days, she had Tea. Margrette knew this well. A few minutes later the maid came with a cup of hot ginger tea and newspaper. Tina went through the first page but, was in no mood to go through news of national politics or a rapist being sentenced life imprisonment. Rather she stuck up with an advertisement of training institute that claims of delivering enviable number of students who have cracked entrance examination of top institutes in Singapore.

A sigh came out of Tina’s heart. She could now realize what was making her feel that low; it was the all time reason of not being able to complete her education from the top institutes of India and all the humiliation gifted by her flamboyant relatives. The people who reduced their children to beasts of burden with all their individual aspirations over them and did not let them live the lives of their own. Tina shook her head in despair. She rushed to get ready for the office. Sitting in the car, she traveled in the past. How important it was in her family to be a brilliant student, if not then such kids were “good for nothing” and the most “worthless creatures” in the world. Thanks to god her parents always supported and inspired her.

Passing by the fountain in a high rise building where her office was located, she wanted to grab all the serenity and beauty of its interiors, which was decorated by exquisite work of art. She entered her office on 25th floor, walking the isle, greeting employees; she went straight to her cabin. Lisa- Tina’s personal assistant followed. After discussing the day’s schedule, she presented a few documents to be signed; along with HR’s report and forwarded CVs of candidates who have applied for the profile of Chief Software Engineer. 

Checking her mails, notifications, she updated the twitter and facebook status---- “hate blue when ‘the blues’ hit meL”. She was still low spirited, the mood she was carrying since morning. Tina opened the file and went through a CV. They all had graduated from top institutes, were good enough as per qualifications and experience, but lacked the burning spirit. Her eyes then passed through a known name “ Avantika Sachdeva”, she could not hold herself back from literally pulling the paper out of the file.

“I don’t believe this” was her baffled reaction on seeing it. This was none other than Pinki, her distant cousin. A girl who was her portrayed rival, because Tina never considered her to be a competitor, but it was the over excited relatives’ thought. Both belonged to the same age group, were from same society and city and hence, were always talked about together.

Tina still remembers that inconspicuous, geek who was an all time book worm, wearing those thick glasses with head buried in books. On the other hand Tina was a sporty, fun loving and chirpy girl, who was always in her comforts. She never went gaga for her studies, not even the finals. For Pinki it used to be matter of life and death to beg the highest rank. What Tina hated the most were social gatherings where, she was always bombard with—how much she scored in the last exams and weighing them with that of Pinki. It seemed to her, that information was so crucial for them to know as if it were to decide country’s future. These repetitive gestures from relatives made her reluctant from attending those events in future and she gradually restricted her visits to those people and annoying get together.

Tina was never a genius but, what made her teacher’s favorite was the clarity of concepts. Her fundamentals were crystal clear and so were the applications. On the day of their twelfth results she had calls from all distant people, not to applaud her, but to make her realize that she was not a part of ninety plus lot unlike Pinki. Pinki cleared the entrance for Indian Institute of Technology, an engineer’s dream institute in India. Tina had to complete her engineering from a less known one.

Overcoming all the so called past sins, she began her engineering education. She loved the infrastructure, the teaching methods were fine enough; but overall it lacked the practical approach to studies which she personally adored too much. This element made her think that may be this is why people compete and work so hard to enter into some specific institutions of repute. The positive part as a whole was Tina never let her experimentation fortitude die. She participated in numerous workshops, state and even national level project presentations. One such project that she presented in a state level competition was “Software Application to Detect and Monitor Smoking Activities”. The idea which she derived from one of her classmates who despite of having all good qualities was a chain smoker and was loosing on his mental health because of that one bad habit. She was totally against a few practices of youth who, in order to seem ‘cool’ compromised with their health, future and even life at times. She never wanted to change the world and its people, she knew her life was too small for that; but wanted to bring a change to those who have some hope and willing to change. This was probably her first step towards the business idea that she was handling successfully today.

Tina was in her last year of graduation and what started bothering her classmates and she was ‘Recession’. It was a devil for almost all the engineers who graduated that year. Colleges that promised ‘hundred percent’ placements had no answers to their claims. All the promises, allegations seemed fake. They withdrew hands saying companies are cutting down human resources .The future looked gloomy. The people around were back again with bitter comments saying ‘ab to kuch bhi nahi ho sakta’. It was getting difficult for highly knowledgeable and talented candidates from named institutes to get placed, where does the students from a B and C grade college stand? Seeing no hope in near future Tina decided to get into her post graduation, she went for management education for another two years. Completing it she worked for a few companies, the period of recession was yet not over.

Tina had an inclination to experiment and discover different facets of a thing. She felt a businesswoman in her during MBA that was in a dormant state. Tina decided to activate it and started her own software enterprise; the concept was her brain child. It was an innovative thought which germinated while she was getting closer to the world of software. She always had a spirit to contribute something valuable to this world. In the course of which she developed an idea of environment friendly IT solutions. The path was undoubtedly thorny, but determination made her stand out. With passage of time and association with right people at right time she was able to make the best of her knowledge. Gradually she expanded her business both in terms of verticals and geographical areas. Pinki after graduating from IIT worked for top Indian MNCs in software business and also post graduated from IIM.

Tina came out of memories and was curious to know what made Pinki apply for this job even after passing out from a renowned institute, working for leading players in the market and huge take-home. She read the HR’s comments that, the candidate was willing to work with an enterprise with different concepts so that she can return back something to society. Pinki  has had enough exposures on usual projects and for professional growth she wanted to try hands on untouched ideas.

Tina had a great feeling of atonement, she had always been confident of herself, but, could not forget what she had been listening from people around in her earlier days. She successfully rather, brilliantly managed to get out of the poor environment created by her relatives and circumstances by recession. The people who once said, she cannot reach the heights now apprehended her. Today after seeing an academically outstanding candidate like Pinki apply for job in her company, she felt all her sins had been washed. And it was all the result of her determination and personal strength; she never went against the basic thread that wove her. Kept her very innate traits alive and came out as a winner.

Destiny proved her to be right, “it is not the scores that make a person, and rather it is a person who makes the scores”.  Despite of the fact that she could not do exceedingly well in academics she was still the winner of her dreams. Tina was sitting in her cabin with green ambience all over which complemented her business idea. With a wink at statue of Buddha placed in right corner of the room she turned back, could see the limitless horizon and remembers what Microsoft Chief once said-

“I failed in some subjects in exam, but my friend passed in all. Now he is an engineer in Microsoft and I am the owner of Microsoft.” :- Bill Gates.

With a victorious smile on face she was sipping ‘Tea’…..                   1          1

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