This post is the script of my ‘Ice-Breaker’ speech in Toastmasters Club. Here is my whole life in 10 minutes :
You know my name, not my story,
In the darkest failures, my shining glory,
You know what I’ve done, not what I’ve been through,
What was the lie and what all true,
You judge me from the scoreboard,
but you don’t know my game,
Maybe what I am doing make no sense,
but you hardly know my aim,
You are laughing at my efforts,
screaming all of them are in vain,
Listen, I’m not giving up,
I’m like a beast,very hard to tame,
You know my name, not my story,
In the darkest failures, my shining glory !!
~ Amit Chaudhary
Today, I am going to tell you that story of my life which you still don’t know. My life has five main chapters :
Chapter 1 – Hills to mills :
I was born in the lap of Himalayas, a village named Tharu in Kangra Dist of HP. It was a joint family and major occupation of the family was farming till my father got job in Indian Railways.
In around two years my younger brother was born and I was sent to my maternal abode which was a remote village in the hills of Himalayas.
It didn’t have a pakka road connecting to the nearby town and we used to get drinking water, supplied by trucks. I still have a fading memory of my great-grandmother with whom I used to go fetch water and used to spill almost all while reaching back home. My maternal grandfather was in army from whom I used to listen War stories. The life was simple and serene.
But then around 4 years of age my parents took me from a village in hills into the town of mills where my father worked. It was a place called RCF(Rail caoch factory) Kapurthala. Raliway coaches were manufactured there.This was my journey from Hills to mills.
Chapter 2 – The transformation :
Inspired from my maternal grandfather, I had a dream of being an Air force fighter pilot…
In class fifth I took the entrance exam to join Sainik School Kapurthala. It was a military boarding school. I cleared the written test, interview and medical and
joined it. Little did I realize the kind of trouble I was putting myself and my family into. Unknowingly I had put my family through financially hard times as it was an expensive school. I can’t forget their sacrifice and what they have done for me.
Not only that I had put myself in that ‘hell’. The school was ruthless, there was ragging, physical torture, a morning to midnight strict routine and then there was pain of separation from the family. I cried and cried till my tears ran dry. I still remember how I used to communicate through letters and postcards to home.
Slowly things got bearable and I adapted and learnt to live in that hell. I washed and stiched my own clothes, gave myself medication when needed, did almost
everything on my own and transformed into a self-dependent individual.
Another kind of transformation was brought in by my school teachers.
My school Principal inspired me to read good books and watch good movies, my art teacher brought out the artist in me. I didn’t want to join school band but my music teacher beat the hell out of me and made me join it. Serendipitously, our school band was selected to march on Republic day in New Delhi. Marching on Rajapth is one of the memorable moment of my life. I love music now.
Then, In the Xth board I was amongst the toppers of my class and my school registrar’s lecture on the day of result struck me. He said one should not only be good in studies but should be an allrounder.It had a great impression on me and in 11th class I started playing every sports be it basketball, swimming, squash, volleyball, football etc. I won Gold medals in my first 3000 mts and 1500 mts athletics races. I made a place in school Basketball team. I never believed if I could be a sportsperson.
It was then I realized I can do anything or anybody can do anything.
In hindsight all of this experience have made me stronger, not only physically but mentally as well and now I call it Heaven not
Once upon a time, I lived in heaven,
When I was a boy of age eleven,
I put my little steps into the heaven,
there was a glitter in eyes,
the excitement and frenzy of a new life,
the stage was set to transform,
a puppy into a lion n live the life of king size,
the golden years of my life were seven,
Once upon a time, I lived in heaven !!
Chapter 3 – Dream to Dust :
After seven years of transformation I was ready to realize my dream. I cleared NDA written exam and SSB interview but unfortunately I was rejected in medical. I had calcification which means, I had a mole of calcium on my liver. Although AIIMS, Dellhi cleared me but they didn’t take me in. It was a shock… I was broke and I was shattered. From cloud nine, I crashed to the ground. The pain was unbearable as I was rendered helpless by fate. Moreover I didn’t have a clue what to do with my life. I was lost.
Chapter 4 – Sweat and Shine :
I refused to lose in the hands of fate. I took admission in BSc NM in DAV college Jalandhar. There I got opportunity to be in college quiz team and we won Inter- college physics quiz there. That’s how I met a physics lecturer who suggested to me to do engineering. So along with my Bsc exams I took AIEEE and managed to get admission in Civil Engineering, GNDEC Ludhiana, One of the best colleges in Punjab.
As I had no particular interest in engineering, I did everything but studies. I was in my college Athletics, Basketball, Cycling, Cross-country, Quizzing and Cultural team. I won innumerable medals and trophies during college. I became national player in cross-country and cycling.
I had joined various clubs in college such as ISTE, NCC etc. I started writing poems, photography and video making. Surprisingly I was among toppers in my civil branch and became Student of the year in the final year of my college.
Chapter 5 – In search of the destiny :
By final year I had watched many true story movies such as October sky and Glory Road, watched many inspiring videos such as stanford speech of Steve Jobs and Harvard speech of JK Rowling, many inspiring books such as Stay hungry and stay foolish and connect the dots. All these in culmination gave me wings again to dream high and touch the sky. I dared to dream again. This time I dreamed of being someone who can make difference in the world. I decided to do an MBA.
In the final year I had offers from construction companies but I decided to join TCS thinking it would provide me learning and it indeed has.
Before joining TCS I taught in PT Education as a quant teacher for about six months.
Since joining TCS I have participated in events such as CSR initiatives, TCS 10K, TATA Crucibles, TBLA ( Tata business leadership awards) in which we were regional finalists and various other events. Besides that I have joined many clubs such as photography club, dance club, trekking club,quiz club and now the TM club.
This April I appeared for TAS( Tata Administrative Services) and went till presentation rounds. It was then I realized that I need to improve my speaking skills and it is one of the major reason to join TM club. I have developed new interests such as singing, gyming, cooking, learning Spanish and playing chess.
I like to be jack of all trades. I believe there is just one life to live and lets do everything one can do.
Before winding up I want say few lines of my poem …
Jal jaane de khud ko, iss aag se kyu darna hai,
yeh aag aur davaab hi tuhje badalenge,
Abhi koyla hai tu, Heera tujhe banana hai,
Iss andhere ko cheer kar,
kirano se apni, jag roshan abhi karna hai,
Jal jaane de khud ko, iss aag kyu darna hai,
Abhi koyla hai tu, Heera tujhe banana hai !!
PS : I became the best speaker of the day 🙂
Edit : Due to shortage of time I couldn’t write about the support and motivation I have got from friends at every stage of my life. Whatever I am today is because of you all. The list is long and you know, you are in my special list. Kyunki …
Har ek Friend Zaroori hota hai … Love u all 🙂