Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Idhar chala main udhar chala... Jaane kahaan main kidhar chala...

'Uncertainty' is the most synonymous word to the word 'life', more so, in case of people like me who are a dilemma for themselves. Ever since 1987, I have been going through such phases in life but this one is an outstanding phase. Simply because I have made a decision which is referred to as 'foolish' by the whole world and when such a majority stands before you, you usually tend to get influenced. Same is the case with me as I have been also made to feel that I took a foolish decision. But, from my heart, from my mind, from my within, I do not have any such regrets. Its only because of the external influences

Oh, by the way, I have not yet shared what the decision is. Nothing big but big enough to make life go crazy. I have quit from my job at ICICI Bank. And surprisingly, I have not been able to understand why I did so even after 45 days of research. I submitted my resignation through the intranet. No one except Priyanka knew it. The moment I submitted the resignation online, it was an instant news on the floor and I could see all kinds of reactions around me. Some were almost in tears while some smiled. Some showed sympathy while some laughed at my foolishness. And yeah, my parents, I told them quite late about this. And I have been unable to judge their reaction till now

But everyone, including me, had a common question, 'What next?'. I had to answer something to keep my dignity before those who laughed at me. I could share the truth that I was clueless to only those people who had some sadness in them for me

The plan had been there ever since I completed the 3 month internship in March 2009. But somehow, I kept delaying for various reasons. Sometimes, I thought that I should find a job before I quit this. Sometimes, I thought I shall do it next month. Sometimes, life got so busy that the thought was erased. Sometimes, life was so tough that I could not afford such a thought. I definitely must say that, sometimes, I felt good too and did not find any meaning in leaving the job. For the kind of person I am, I know that what I think now will never be there the next moment

On 17 Nov 2009, I decided that I must resign and I just did that right away. I knew that, had I delayed for a few minutes, something would make me decide otherwise. It was 11.55 pm on 17 Nov that I submitted my request. It was important that I submit it on that day only as that would relieve me from work on 31 Dec exactly. A single day's delay would make me work in 2010 also, which my superstitious mind did not want me to do. In the process of complying of the notice period of 45 days (17 Nov to 31 Dec), I have been thinking a lot about that question, 'What next?'. And honestly, as on 4.20 pm (I don't know why 420 comes so often in my life while trying to analyze life) on 30 Dec, I am still as blank as a black board having not seen a chalk ever in its lifetime. Alternatively, you may also say that I am black board which has seen only chalk on it and never say a duster and in the process, a whole lot of writing has made it only a garbage. In these days, there have been variety of rumors that spread across the floor at my workplace like I got a job in HSBC, Infosys and many other companies, I am going to London to do an MBA, I got into a PSU Bank as a PO, etc. I, honestly, never initiated any of these

More than finding an answer to this question, what was sounding more important for me was finding the answer for the other question, i.e., 'Why did I resign?'. I felt, its possible for me to decide what's next only when I know what made me leave this. I can take a right decision only when I know my priorities, likings, dislikings, etc appropriately. In fact, off late, I have been able to cope up fine with the job too. The salary too has gone up by 25% considering that I am working in the night. The chances of being sent to branch banking, though I am not interested and consider my current profile far better than branch banking profile, have also gone up considering the large retail expansion plans of the bank

All these reasons did not seem to convince me when I asked one question to myself, 'Where will I be in the next 5 years if I continue?'. Seeing all people around me who are having a work experience of around 4-8 years and have a similar educational qualification as me, I could farely evaluate my position in 5 years and that did not seem convincing to me in any manner. I had to go beyond. I realized that no effort can take me to the position that I desire as my qualification does not permit it. Only being talented and hard working is not sufficient as you need to have the eligibility criteria as well. I have been observing all the newspaper ads in the recruitment space. For all the position that I desire to be, I satisfy all conditions viz age, talent, skill, experience, etc but the door would open up only if I had an MBA from a recognized B School or a ICAI certification as a Chartered Accountant. My performance would be seen only if I were qualified to perform

I understood the bitter fact that I have destroyed my life by ignoring my CA studies. And all through the past 1 year, each time I saw an ad asking for a CA, I have hated myself beyond anything for the wrong decisions that I made. Seeing practically, I can, to some extent, say that I made decisions as per the situations' demand and continuing CA was never an option to execute. I joined IFBI after my degree to ensure that I will get a job in 3 months flat and start earning. The process took 6 months. I have been working from the past one year and have earned about Rs 1.5 lacs. But, I never felt this as an achievement as I had to pay Rs 66000 to IFBI and spent Rs 30000 to survive in Bangalore and Rs 50000 to survive in Hyderabad and Rs 20000 for miscellaneous reasons (I spent more than I earned and I still owe Rs 16000 to Vivek. The loan taken to finance IFBI education is still outstanding for Rs 32000. The same amount has been used to buy my laptop. Perfect tally) and thus, as per the terms of accounting standards, all I did was merely a mistake. I spent an amount to earn to earn the same amount and in the process, lost 1 and half years of precious time that just went off giving no results to me. Add to it those 2 years during BCom when I could have joined articleship and completed PE-II as well. I could have easily been a chartered accountant in July 2009. And my income till now would have been positive as CA course would cost me some Rs 50000 and I would have earned it back and also some few thousands (can dare to say lacs) more too. This is when I realized the importance of dreaming big and doing big. Never settle for a small aim. It only makes you smaller. Set a big aim. It makes you bigger

The current condition of my life is too critical. Even a slightest financial mismatch can create big blunders. But, I can not hold myself anymore in this meek life. Even if I start today, I would reach my goal by 2013. Thats fair. I deserve this punishment for all hasty decisions that I made rather than accepting all adversities and moving towards the goal

Its going to be very tough to stick to this decision. I have not seen educational books from over a year (in fact, about 3 years as the college books were more like a novel which I never read too. Moreover, my choice of subjects was so magical that I did not have books for them. That's perhaps the biggest reason why I scored very high marks in these subjects as I would write my own content rather than trying to write something that has already been written by someone. In fact, I believe, there should be no standard books. We must be asked to express our views on each topic in the exams rather than the definitions that have been told by someone). I have not sat in serious classrooms for over decades. The classes in my school were more fun as I was a child. The classes during higher secondary education were mostly missed by me as I carried a lot of other responsibilities. The classes in degree... Should I say? The classes did run. I either would be busy doing something else in the class or out of the class or we would be roaming across the city or busy in some other activity and thus classrooms never took an important perspective in our lives. Further, its been ages since I stopped writing. Ever since computers have come, writing with a pen has become a rare act

Above all these physical aspects, the biggest issue that I have to deal with is the mental set up. Once a person starts earning, a totally new lifestyle begins. And once you adapt to such a life, its very difficult to come back to a life that involves serious struggles on the ground. Battling with the mind that has become a slave at work for the wage and the hand that irks for not having cash on hand to be spent at its own will and wish is a real big challenge. Money is no less than drugs. It addicts you. You feel lifeless without it on the planet earth. So, continuing education is one option that I can not again, practically, think of. I have been with the same mindset from years. I have to somehow change it

Going for a job is one thought that I would not consider. I have understood that, for the qualification that I possess (though my score is superior), I can get ground floor labor jobs only. I want to some intellectual job which has certain value. I want to do something which can bring out the best in me. Working in a bank and creating accounts and deposits is something anyone can do. Even if I be a topper and record holder in this, it is in no way going to add any value (it only increases quantity). I want to do something in which the brain has a larger role to play creatively rather than following a set process through which the work is done. And this level of job is called as senior management job. To go for this, you either need 20-25 years of experience or qualification and I do not have both

Another thought is that of beginning the business that I always intended to start up, i.e., stock broking. The task would be quite difficult and it would need certain investment too which is the biggest barrier

There are many other think inks that are thrown on my sheet which also includes doing something creative (I would reveal more when the work nears completion). All I can say is that I have thrown my life once again into the world of challenges. At least, from now, life would be lively again and the monotony would not exist. I would definitely miss my workplace and people and more importantly, my bank balance on the last day of every month. There has been a lot that I have learnt over the past year. I'll miss you ICICI

For the moment, in my life, only one thing is decided. I am going to Bangalore. When? How? And most importantly, Why? No clear idea

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