Many have asked me how I managed to get all these degrees while doing my course.
First,while doing CA I concentrated only on CA and nothing else other than my BCom evening classes.I was a foundation student of the science stream(Got a rank in IITJEE but could not get the engineering degree of my choice in IIT Counselling, so left it at that, now I have no regrets and enjoy life even better than an IIT Graduate here in America.)
After that I did my GMAT and TOEFL with good scores and then flew to USA to Stern Business School(in the top ten)primarly based on my CA work experience and my exceptionally high scores in GMAT and TOEFL.
Then after that I did my CFP there alongwith my MBA.
That done, I did a short stint of a job and while doing that I did a SAP Certification and PMP exam.
Then while doing SAP I had a feeling that CPA is gonna be a piece of cake and did that too.
So, every where it is like step-by-step increments I did.Incrementality is the greatest concept of life.Dont be bamboozled sh*t by anyone and their qualifications and not me in the first place.
Now, as I say this, it sounds all this was hey! but too easy but then it comes with a tag.People burn out after Indian CA and say, "Thats it Im done for my life...."and then they rationalize their approach and then they carry on with their lives.But the parsi blood in me said, never be satisfied in your life raise your economic status, my brahmin blood in me said be intelligent and work hard thats the only way to succeed in this world.(Now, Im not casteist in any way but then one's upbringing also has a take on one's view of the world).
So what get you with a these two?--Businessmind(Parsi) and Pure intelligence(Brahmin)?---Qualifications and a cool life!
Now, this can be emulated by anyone irrespective of whether they are Dalits or Upper caste people provided one finds the opportunites oneself,works hard without cribbing or railing how bad the world is.Intelligence or businessmind,mind you is not the domain of any one caste.It is just that over a period of time, certain communities and castes develop some specializations,thats all.Nothing in genes.(I dont wanna go on a discussion on eugenics and castes, just my take on the issue).Truly spiritual men live for themselves and others in the soceity and others live for their castes and communities.
I know lot of people who are more qualified than me.This brings me to one concept called"Lifelong student".I prefer to be a life-long student than a bl**dy arrogant man with airs.My talk sounds like I have airs and arrogance but that is precisely targetted to elicit an awakening in you all.
FEAR IS THE PRIMAL SIN.DEFEATIST ATTITUDE IS THE WORST THAT CAN EVER HAPPEN TO ANYONE.
What travails did I face? Innumerable to be counted on fingers or narrated in this forum.You tell meabout auditors who treat you badly and how the system is corrupt but listen to a few snippets of my life.I was not offered a life on a platter.
Let me list a few here:
1.Boss of my first firm who shouted at me the choicest expletives(Mother f**ker was a 'small' expletive when compared to what he used to shout against me before everyone) despite the fact that my mother was dead(sullying her name, my mixed caste and other such sordid details targetted to break my spirit and soul).I bit my lips, worked even harder,cleared my Intermediate exam, and then shifted over to a peaceful and a nice audit firm with a kind auditor(who even gave me 3 and half months leave for my Final Exam--Unheard of in those days unless one was a "Dummy article")
2. Friends who were absolute crappy people.Some where rich, some even drug addicts.I finally got rid of them.They were unwanted corrupt baggage.I tried helping a few but they wouldnt change and one guy due to jealousy came to kill me.I was hospitalized and thats when I vowed, I would learn martial arts.
3. I worked even during school during weekends(after 11th faking my age) as a Pizzaboy operator going in the hot chennai sun.My father used to tell me,"Chikluu you are gonna burn that white skin of yours(Indians fetish for fairskins!) why take the pain.Im feeding you"But then the pleasure of earning one's money howsoever small is unmatched.
4. In USA, I was beaten due to racism, despite the fact that I look quite like one among them! I ran behind them after recouping from initial shock and beat them with my martial art skills.The yankess ran away.God gave me that daring courage then.I dont advice such moves to anyone of you though.
(Problems(fears) are like these dogs, you run and they come behind you but you stop and pick up a stone and chase them they scamper away)
5. I lost my friend Vidhyashankar in a lorry accident and he died in my arms with just one woe of not being able to complete this damn course.I said, "Come on! think of your life, not your next attempt" but then he smiled and he died in my hands.He was my only true friend.A brahmin, that he was, who had lot of intelligence and goodness but laced with fear,poverty and worry about future.I would setup an institution of merit in his name for poor students.That would be my big help and also my way of repaying back the memories we had as friends lazily watching the waves in Marina Beach or going up St.Thomas Mount and seeing the skies touch down the earth gently in the evenings, instead of eulogies or obituries for him here!
6. My mother died due to cancer.She recorded her speech to me in tape in hospital and gave it to me to hear after she dies! I managed to hear it once after her death but then I broke down and cried...couldn't hear anymore...all motherly advices she gave me in that tape)I asked my father to keep it in some secret place and not show it to me.My dad never remarried.I dont know where she got that idea, maybe from Nargis in some movie!(Thats also when my father took me to a Bhagavathy temple in Kerala and I got hitched to Durgambika worship)
7. Her side, never entertained me or my brother much(except my maternal grandma) because of this intermarriage but my father's side in kerala loved me a lot.
8. I never had a love affair with any girl but yeah I fell in love with one girl (Yeh Ishq Khambhaqth!) while studying and I did not have the courage to speak to her my mind despite whatever Karate'-Kungfu skills I had. Now, this girl fell in love with another guy and that was the end of the chapter,end of Solomon Grundy! I mulled over it for days like the classical Devadas and then finally got out of the rut with the help of my dad and brother.I even thought of boozing and stoning(drugs) a lot! With my mother gone, I fantasized all sorts of mushy things with this lady love of mine! And it was big blow for me emotionally.Maybe Im an emotional soundrel and these scribbles are of an emotional scoundrel! However I took keen interest in pets(Dog is a man's friend any day!) and luckily did not degrade myself boozing or stoning.
9.While diving from a big rock for swimming in the sea, I hit my organ "there" on the rock..on the spot!..it sounds funny to hear but then...Wow! you must feel that pain...it was like hell.I suffered a lot for a few months in the hospital and luckily nothng happened to me and it was a medical miracle of sorts.I beat that fear even today by jumping now and then from big rocks or bungyjumping in USA.I dont like the concept of fear!
10. In USA, lot of pains and tribulations in office.As also subtle discriminations due to racism.
What I have scratched here is just the proverbial tip of an iceberg.
These and many are being showcased here to prove that Im a normal guy and not someone from heaven.I had the grit despite being a mere mortal...and have the grit still and it exists within you all.You have to tap it and never say DIE!
You say die!----------------> You are dead that moment and many deadbodies roam about this world in a cadaverous manner not knowing what they do where their goal is and what the heck is happening to their lives in fear and diffidence.
Live life, Bindaas! Enjoy everything(within limits), know everything(there are no limits here), read everything with an unbiased mind(from the koran to the Torah) and have a sane mind and work hard!Help others.My success really belongs to my dead mother,father,my brother,'my lady love' who gave me pain, my dogs(different over a period of time because couple of them died) which removed this pain,my books,my professors, my teachers, my seen and unseen mentors,my auditors(both the guy who abused me and the one who embraced me.Both taught me something),my friends(even the crappy guys and the one who plotted to kill me),my B-School guys and profs,my pains and tribulations,etc.Truly these qualifications belong to them and thus without any ego,I come here with my friend's name and not my name to help,scribe,recieve boquets and brickbats from all of you.If I have touched a few and inspired them, my work is done I deem!
Crush the fear is all I can say.
Only two basic emotions exist--Love and Fear and Fear is something unreal
FEAR= False evidence appearing real.
Yeah, I know thats a cliche but thats how I tell myself to pep myself up.And it works like a magic healing balm and a medicinal poultice for my soul.
Only Love exists and it is real.Even this mortal frame behind this "Vidhyashankar" which types these words will one day die and his qualifications be buried deep into the udders of this Mother Earth but not Love for it has no death.And this is no romantic statement or Shaayri I quote to elicit "wah wahs" from you all or a dialougue from Bollywood films, I mean this from my heart and this is what 'Vidhyashankar' speaks from his heart today.
But for my love towards my dead friend these postings and these beautiful interactions with talented people likeyou would not have happened.But for the love for my country,my ICAI,my CA community, these advices and guidances from me,howsoever small would not have happened.
P.S.Dont ask my age ;) (Im in my late twenties and an eligible bachelor still but dont intend to be a Devadas once again! Haha!)That was to lighten you guys and gals up from my Heavy Bhashan.Now, go and study!