Of course, another incident which all of you know, with all the arrears that were surrounding me, and I remember after my fourth semester where I had once more, one more time failed in Dynamics. And I’ve come home, and my father asked me what happened to the results and I said that I have failed in only one subject. I expected to fail in two. And somehow a lot of things happened there. My father became emotional. He cried. I’ve never seen my father cry. Lot of people have advised me.
I should work hard, I should study well, I should aspire to come up in life, but nothing had any impact on me. But the day I saw him cry, that day I couldn’t resist and from that day to today I ask this question to myself and to every youngster I meet. If you can’t even make your parents feel proud, what is the use that you are born as a human being? If you become a headache to your parents, if you create sleepless nights to your parents, if the peace of your parents is going to be taken away by you.
I don’t care what capability and potential you have; the primary responsibility of every individual is to live your life in such a way your parents feel very proud of you. If you can’t fulfil that, you’re good for nothing. But it took me a lot of time to realize that. But when I saw him crying for the first time, I couldn’t resist when I asked this question, what are the use of your very birth if you cannot even bring joy to your parents?
I wanted to do something in life, but I was not sure whether I can. I went to the terrace of my house and for somebody whose life has been only filled with failures. I’ve never won a cup, I’ve never got a certificate, I’ve never gone up the dais to perform. My headmasters never knew me by name. Some of my class teachers never knew me by name. They used to refer to me in the context of my brother who was a genius. A cousin, but because we grew in a joint family, we never knew these word cousins.
So, we used to call him as brother. So, they used to always call me as, hey! Badri’s brother, that’s how they use to call. They never knew even my name. So, for somebody who has never tasted success in life and only failures, and suddenly here I was after finishing my fourth semester in B.Sc maths, that great sense of passion to make it very big in life. But I don’t know whether I had it in me. I don’t know who will mentor me. I don’t know who will guide me. I don’t even know whether it’s possible to start so late in life and still make it big in life.
In fact, that day in the terrace when I was standing, I was probably most scared and terrified than I have ever been in life. In fact, I’ve never known so much fear again in life. The heart is beating, wanting to be very big in life and all I can see behind me was years and years and years of only failures in life. Not even a single taste of success in my life. I don’t even know what it is to be applauded, because nobody has ever applauded me even once in life. And then when I was standing there in the terrace terrified, Vijayaraghavan, right now the Dean of XLRI and that time he was doing his fellowship in IIM Bangalore.
Genius. Eccentrically genius. He’s the guy who, when he had his interview in IIM and they had asked him this question, shall we ask you many easy questions or one tough question? And he had a great explanation, professors they explain for everything. And he had a great explanation, in the probability of one question being difficult but easy for you is much greater than many questions being easy but difficult for you. It may be an easy question for the questioner, but it may be difficult for you.
So, I opted for one difficult question and in the IIM interview they asked him, which came into existence first, chicken or egg? He said chicken. They said explain your answer. He said you said only one tough question. And that is how he got selected. In fact, that is how I learned, interview is not knowledge assessment, but personality assessment. They don’t care whether you know the answer or not. They just want to know how you handle. With what personality? With what confidence? With what situational brilliance do you handle an interview?
In fact, a confident I don’t know the answer, but if you want, I can find it. Scores in an interview rather than a hesitant correct answer. And here was Vijayaraghavan demonstrating a personality there in the interview, they couldn’t resist. And that sort of a person. Of course, Vijayaraghavan guided me and he said that harder you press the spring, when you release it, the faster it bounces back in life. Your life has been pressed by failures.
All the 18-years of your life, today you decide to bounce back in life and “God” will not stop you, he said. And I did something right for the first time in life. I trusted his words without questioning. A very, very important lesson in life. When somebody who has evolved wishes you something, blesses you something, predicts something about your life, take it with faith. It turns into reality. Question it, doubt it, then it does not turn into reality.
It is not what he said. It’s the faith with which I absorb the whole thing when he said, for all 18-years your life has been pressed by failures. Today decide to bounce back in life, bounce big in life and “God” will not stop you. And because I took his words with faith, from May 1984 to today, “God” has not stopped me. He has not stopped me.