Let me tell you a bit about my background. I am from a typical middle-class family at Kolkata, and at my home – I have my dad and my sister. We lived there since our grandparents came to India during partition. My dad was a small businessman until it failed in 1985, and to support the family since then, he is working as a store supervisor in a local private company, an auto-body workshop. My mom was a school teacher; but unfortunately, she passed away in 2001 – when I was just 19 years old. My sister, who is quite younger, prettier and jollier than me, is now doing her graduation from Kolkata.
I left home 9 years ago for study, and since then, I am traveling to different places. When I was in school, I wasn’t very sure about what I want to do in life, but I remember having a feeble desire of becoming a math professor, as mentoring seemed exciting to me. Studying engineering was accidental, and I owe my success to my beloved math teacher who forced me to get into it. I loved to read, but traditional studying was never my cup of tea. I burnt most of my night oil reading story books. Fiction & comedy was my favorite.
Apart from voraciously reading everything except necessary textbooks, I was also locally very popular as a right arm fast bowler. It was 1996, and I was 16 years old. India poorly lost the World Cup Quarter Final, but for our generation, that World Cup aroused exaggerated zeal and passion for Cricket. Playing became much more important than study, and it took a good part of my student life. Initially started with a hand-cut coconut-wood bat and rubber balls, over the years I earned enough respect from fellow players, especially the opening batsmen who had to face me. However, after seriously injuring my left leg during a football match in 2002, I could not play anymore, and it helped me a lot to pass the exams.
Although I wanted to carry on study after graduation, I had no option but to take up a job to meet the financial needs. I started my professional life at Cognizant, worked there for 5 years and traveled many parts of India and the US. I did play many different roles on the job, hated a lot of stuff, met some of the best people, became expert in few things, started taking more responsibilities, and lately found my niche areas. But above all, I enjoyed being creative, energetic, and acting as a catalyst for interpersonal & organizational improvements. I enjoyed doing exciting things, it was my only motivating factor, and it still is.
When I was a kid, my mom, who was a reputed singer, took me to an art school as she always wanted to foster creativity & desire for learning in my mind. In fact, I remember she used to borrow story books from her colleagues, a lot of books for me, every week. I hated singing in public and had a horrible voice, so could not become a singer as she initially wanted, but ended up as a skilled water-color painter, and continued the beautiful journey for 12 long years. My Dad was a talented calligrapher, so I guess my skill was inherited. I could not keep the painting habit up after I started a career, but fortunately, my job allows me to think wild sometime, think creatively – and that keeps me alive. Recently I left a well-paid job, and the beckoning of American green card dream, when my soul started suffocating due to lack of excitements. This excessive desire for excitement works as an antidote for smugness. I came back to India and took up a much lower profile job, because it is exciting, and so is satisfying.
Motivating others when necessary is another special skill I have, which I realized when I touched many lives positively and came to know it from those who were affected. My friends, my relatives, my colleagues, and my students have seen me as a good mentor. I guess I can do it because making a real difference is always exciting.