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Vidhyashankar's Heart Speaks!

Vidhyashankar (CA) (1292 Points)

17 June 2009  

Hi students,

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.


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!


 85 Replies

Rock (student) (1518 Points)
Replied 17 June 2009

Only one thing i can say is that """ you did lot of Hard Work with Great passion and Confidence """"

Just a simple question : i think you didnt preplanned to study all these courses?? right ??



u r a gr8 source of inspiration for us......


Vidhyashankar (CA) (1292 Points)
Replied 17 June 2009

Originally posted by :Iqbal
" Only one thing i can say is that """ you did lot of Hard Work with Great passion and Confidence """"
Just a simple question : i think you didnt preplanned to study all these courses?? right ??


"If you want to make God laugh tell Him your plans" for He will have a better plan.

If you carefully read through my narrative, you will find that nowhere is there anything planned as such.I happened to see the opportunities and grabbed it.There would be planning of a short-term to clear the pertinent exam but too longterm a plan is not what I dig.

One must keep one's eyes wide-open and when one finds conducive to what one desires deep inside, then one should grab it.

The deep desire inside you is the real plan which God has for you.If you are doing something which you hate, then your 'plan' has gone awry.

2 Like

Vidhyashankar (CA) (1292 Points)
Replied 17 June 2009

Thankyou Iqbal,digitalfun and Astha...


Truly, U deserve whatever U R today!!!I would keep u as my Goal in Professional life. 

RAMANJU (here to updating the knowledge)   (485 Points)
Replied 17 June 2009

Sir, Can I assume that this is all happened in place because you enjoyed the work with great fun!

Vidhyashankar (CA) (1292 Points)
Replied 17 June 2009


Ofcourse, everything happens for a reason but one has to enjoy the process.If you hate what you are doing, you are cheating yourself and people around you because one day the hatred will take its toll(on you and others).We only have one option really which is to enjoy what we do and stay upbeat about it.Maybe this is the true meaning of the Bhagavad Geetha words "Karmanyevaadhikarasthe' maa kaschid Phalachana"(The actions are important and not the fruits and in that lies our Karma.Nowhere Lord Krishna says, dont enjoy what you are doing)


1 Like

KAMAL SETHI (MBA (Finance)) (226 Points)
Replied 17 June 2009

Really, very Inspiring. You certainly seem to have good narrating skills as well. The twists and turns in the story (One of your friend tried to kill you, you with your martial art skill was able to beat up the goons who racially abused and hit you in USA and with all of your qualifications you are still in your late twenties only) are too hard to believe. Even the photograph you have uploaded in your profile doesn't seems to be yours at all.  Having said all these please don't get offended by my statements . These are my personal view. But all these story which you have narrated seems like a story of a Great Hero who hardly exists in real in this world.

Vidhyashankar (CA) (1292 Points)
Replied 17 June 2009

Kamal Sethi,

Yes, your doubts are understandable.But please believe me that Facts are stranger than fiction.

Also, I know people who have lived many many times greater lives than me.Maybe you are not exposed to such things.

I know an Indian woman who fought cancer bravely came out of it,studied well got the highest distinction,who knows martial arts like me and has enetered into a brawl and fought and won against Black goons in ghetto areas,who goes for Skydiving,who battles for women rights in Chicago,etc.America is truly a land of opportunities and liberal thinking, whatever might be the defects and my kind of story is nothing but something very common here.

My age is 29 my dear friend and even during these many years I have seen manythings.

Just that Indians cannot digest too much all at once and that too from one among their brethren.If this story had the author with a foreign name then I guess Indians would eagerly lap it up.This is the reason why I keep my identity concealed.

In any case, you are free to have any view about my story and also if the admin feels otherwise about it, they are free to remove the story.I have nothing to lose!

KAMAL SETHI (MBA (Finance)) (226 Points)
Replied 17 June 2009

OK. I take your point and even agree to some extent. But I don't agree when you say your kind of story is very common in America. Moreover, higher education doesn't guratantee you to be a great person especially if your education gets to your head. And your categorisation of Indians as not been able to digest too much all at once is in a very bad taste. Being an Indian yourselves , you should refrain from demeaning people of India as a whole by  mentioning"Indians cannot digest.... " and "I Guess Indian would.....". You could have addressed me only (I wouldn't have mind than) instead of categorising the whole nation as per your ill thoughts.

1 Like

CA Mohit Agarwal (Chartered Accountant) (1025 Points)
Replied 17 June 2009

hi frnd

hats off to u & ur degree

CA. Dashrath Maheshwari (TaXpert) (15065 Points)
Replied 17 June 2009

Kudos dear,

I appreciate your spirit, nothing unbelievable in the story and no one is going to remove it.

I will feel honoured if you keep sharing your knowledge with all the caclub members instead of sharing stories.

Thanks a lot for being a member here !


Vidhyashankar (CA) (1292 Points)
Replied 17 June 2009

Ok Kamal,

I do find a smack of envy here in your statements.

And since you have nothing better to poke at you are critically dissecting my statements and when I personally attack yo, it leaves a distaste in the mind of the readers and thus I use those generalizations purposely.If I said you are telling me this because you are envious and that other people are praising me or that it did not happen in your life....what will that portray me as? ---"someone whose education has got to his head"(as you put it).Everyone has ego and one who denies this is a damn liar.You reply back because a part of your ego fights me, I retort back because a part of my ego fights you.However, envy and jealousy when put into constructive use would benefit both of us is my take.

I would definitely have the humility to say sorry to you and for mentioning the word "Indians" in a generalized sense depsite being an Indian myself(though meant in good jest and for a lofty purpose of creating an inner awareness) but would you have the guts to be humble? is my question.Humility too needs guts, my dear friend.If I have said anything to hurt you, Im terribly sorry.It isjust that the general attitude is not one of a healthy one, else our nation would have become a super-power by now!(the proof of the pudding)

Now, coming to the issue of credibility of the story:

Ok here is one incident in my friend Malolan's life:

He was travelling from Thirupathy to Chennai by bus and he got caught up in a station.He went to a toilet and the door got jammed and he could not come out depsite yelping for help.Finally someone noticed it and opened the door.My friend came out fatigued but the bus had already departed without him.

Next day morning, in the news papers comes the news that the bus in which he was to travel caught fire and all the passengers in it were dead.

The night before that incident my friend had a dream in which he saw a bus burning.He was an ardent vaishnavite sporting a nama and thus prayed Lord Balaji in the Thirupathy hotel to avert any accident in the bus and safely transport him to Chennai.

Lord Balaji averted the accident in His own fashion.Maybe the prayers were answered.

Chill beads of sweat adorned Malolan as he read the news from the pages and He went to the nearest Balaji photo and cried his gratitude.


Now, how does the above narrative sound.Something like taken from a film scriptt or from a novel.Because it was beautifully edited,scriptted by me(atleast in a mini-fashion).

Now, this person stammers a lot and thus would say, "I I I I ...Escaped a bus accident" and then maybe you would believe him because he is not expressive and he has not galmourized or marketed his miraculous incident in life.


Now, if I degalmourize my above story, it would become believable: Lets start it:

1. I was treated badly by my auditor(Yeah, whose auditor does not treat 'badly' thats childish, tell me something new Man!)

2. I had bad friends and one guy you know tried to hit me with a cricket bat Ouch!!!!(there I go with my kindergarten narration)

3. I worked as Pizza boy(We see many  students who work like this in metro cities for an extra buck)

4. In USA I was treated 'badly' due to racism and I hit back a slap(Yeah tell me something new, dont you read newspapers about Australian attacks?)

5. I lost my friend, I lost my mother,I had an accident while trying to dive for swimming, My father took me to kerala temple,I had dogs as pets, I had a one-sided love affair which failed,Im treated badly in my office in USA.

Now, tell me if I just say these 5 statements plainly seperately then maybe there is a better chance of believablity.But my age is 29 and all these experiences can happen to me and to anyone and maybe even more romantic than this.Just that the power to express whats in the heart does not lie with all.Indians(again at the risk of generalization) have different vernacular languages as their mother toungue and think in that and then translate it into english(unless one was brought up in USA or UK), also their skills are poor(statistically speaking) forEnglish.This is no way means they are unintelligent or below grade.So, this makes for a narrative with a quality of english higher seem impossible or something from the sky especially when narrated by another co-Indian.

Also, my juxtaposing unconnected incidents which happened over a big span of time creates a surreal effect in the  intelligent reader(like you) to not believe in the credibility of the story.

I really do not care whether you believe it or not and this lengthy tirade or discussion is only to ensure that students who read this are inspired and they take their burdens lightly and forge ahead in their lives.

No where is my intention to hurt you.I would never ever, repeat never ever dream of hurting anyone in any manner,unless it is for their own good.Your quest for truth is remarkbale and your boldness too! I appreciate that and donot want to steal your thunder of retort or the brilliance of your arguments in any manner.

Rekha (MANAGER - FINANCE & ACCOUNTS)   (1445 Points)
Replied 17 June 2009

U r simply Great Sir!!

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