At the end of the tunnel, there is always light.
Being the rebel that I was during my days of studying engineering, encouraging the others to follow their dreams and not to do what the person next to him was doing, I only ever sat for one engineering job interview – not because I didn’t have an opportunity to do so but because if working as an engineer was the last thing left on this planet to do, I still wouldn’t have done it.
A part of me – or maybe more – didn’t even want to sit for that interview with a reputed software company but I had my reasons: I wasn’t making much by working in sports and there was no stability whatsoever, and I was told by many college teachers to give up on dreams and to ‘settle’ for a job. Also, I had always done what my heart said without as much success as I would have liked to enjoy, so, for once, I wanted to see if what they said made any sense.
…and so, one morning, I woke up and decided to walk into a building close to Yerwada jail in Pune for a referral interview.
It was not an interview; it was an audition based on aptitude tests! And me being me, I obviously didn’t make it.
So, here I was, teary eyed and feeling like an absolute loser, walking out of the company’s large off-white premises. Me being my biggest critic, I got angry at myself and came to a deep realization that my life wasn’t going anywhere. But I loved myself way too much, enough to call myself special. Now that I think of it, I believe I did everything possible to restore my self-respect and for the same, and at times, even went to the extent of calling myself the chosen one – chosen to live a life beyond the greatest dreams, to defy the odds, win the the biggest of fights and more importantly, in time, win the hearts of people.
So, I didn’t get the job and I felt like a loser, but I had also learned that life was a celebration and no matter what happened, it must be lived to the fullest. So, shamelessly, I decided on going for a concert that weekend. Now, if you have graduated as an engineer six months ago and are working only part-time sports jobs – including football commentary, half-time shows, content writing, managing websites, marketing, ticket sales, sponsorship and journalism – you aren't expected to go for concerts or anything that is a lot of fun, especially, if you are born in a society as conventional as India, but I did and with a sense of pride attached to it. Why? I don't know. It just felt good. Intuition, maybe.
On the days when I wasn’t working part-time, I would apply for a bunch of fancy-ass sports jobs. Now, I knew Arsenal wouldn’t offer me a job to recruit kids for their academy but at the end of the day, irrespective of how improbable it was, I relied on miracles. And that’s why they are called miracles - because they are ridiculously improbable.
On the day of the concert I had promised myself to not think about jobs and career and smile all day. At the concert, the performer was talking about grace and he mentioned miracles, and I began to ask myself when would my miracle happen?
And then it did…
At the concert, I was with friends and performance was so good that the dance came naturally. I was doing the only step I knew: the bulb-fix dance-step!
It was then when my phone began to vibrate and I noticed that I was getting a call from a different country. So, I sprinted outside the auditorium and to my surprise, it was a man from France on the phone. The height of shock was coming to terms with the fact that he was excited and ready to offer me a job to work as a sports analyst for a Singapore based company.
I was like: What? Like what?
I couldn’t have not accepted it; it felt like a dream and after I entered the hall again, I shook myself to explain what had actually happened. It was a wonderful feeling!
(Me with Katsumi Yusa when I was working as an analyst
for a number of Indian soccer teams including ONGC)
After getting home from the concert, I scribbled, “If you have ever had a dream and you dared to follow it, you must have realized that it’s not always that you find yourself seated in the prettiest position. As the time passes and the things don’t go in your favor, you tend to lose hope and start looking for alternatives. Somehow, from somewhere, when you think all is lost, He shows you a light in the dark that presents you with a glimmer of hope.”
…and I still stand by it.
When things don’t go how you intend them to pan out and you are faced with situations filled with frustration, one must not lose hope because miracles do happen. At times, I am in situations where things feel like they haven’t fallen in place but I remind myself continuously that it's important to keep your head up and keep going because miracles happen every day, every hour, every minute and every moment; one just needs to notice the miracle that is.
Because no matter who you are and what you do, if you have done everything possibly possible, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
Keep smiling, guys. Live your dream and have a fantastic day!
No breath, no life.
Know breath, know life J