“Why doesn’t your son goes to college for higher education?” My grandfather asked his office accountant, in a surprise.
“He has completed his schooling, it is enough in our family, and now will help me in my work, I need an assistant to look after your company’s accounts. And sir, I cannot afford his higher education fees too. He dreams to settle out of India”. Mr. Sharma replied, hesitantly.
“No need of him to work here” My grandfather ordered in a high pitched voice, “Send him to high school, he is a bright student, I will pay his fees. You should have informed me earlier ” Grandfather added, and left to smoke outside the office.
My grandfather was a charming personality, with shine on forehead, smiling lips, eyes scanning people and places, and brain calculating profits and losses. He loved children. He was a chain smoker. He smoked partly due to addiction and partly to show off. And he thought why not smoke for show off, when then smoking was a status symbol and when he owned a house and a successful business in his name, 3 cars with a driver, all of this in the year 1984 when there was no one in competition against him and people struggled throughout their lives to build a house alone in their name. He was proud of his children, two daughters and two sons, and could imagine of passing his legacy to his two sons whom he considered deserving, able and efficient enough to improve and expand the business, mint money and live the life people admired.
But, as they say, Destiny has it’s own way.
1992, in my birth year, my grandfather died in an accident, he was a diabetes patient too and recovery from an accident was not easy for him. What he left behind him was his wife, family, his savings and his growing business which then required to be expanded and fight strong against the growing competitions with modernization, all this in the hands of his two sons who weren’t prepared to handle it immediately after his sudden demise. Albeit they struggled to overcome the challenges. They tried hard. Their family tried hard together.
Years passed…… business suffered, families suffered and so did health. The two brothers separated their ways, separate business and separate families. Children suffered too. The problem I and my brother-sister faced, among many, was delays in paying tuition fees of the school. We used to hide heads in the initial times when our names were called out to pay the overdue fees, but gradually it became so regular for us that when the school peon entered our classroom with a list of students whose tuition fees was pending, we used to come out by ourselves without letting him announce our name. Our teachers and friends became used to it too. We used to smile when we saw each other in the same line of such students called out by the school’s administrative officer. Life taught me that struggles, when faced and fought and are laughed at, by a family together, brings the family members closer and strengthens their bond.
Well the school time passed with this and other beautiful memories and it was the time for pursuing higher education.
I wanted to become a Chartered Accountant. I didn’t knew then, but was more than happy to learn that the course was the cheapest course in India for commerce students, albeit with highest dignity of a Chartered Accountant. Though cheap, but the fees was required to be paid in advance. It was not a school where delays will be allowed. The time was tough and my father was joining money from various sources to pay for the fees as we didn’t have savings then. My father did his best..
It was then when that accountant’s son (Mr. Junior Sharma) arrived India and wanted to meet his old friends, my father being one of them. Just then! Imagine the coincidence..! They met. They talked. The accountant’s son decided to pay for my education fees until my father managed from his own resources and would repay him. When asked by his wife of his sudden kind gesture for the daughter of one of his “just a friend”, he replied ” I was able to complete my science graduation because that girl’s grandfather paid for my higher education. A little money from his fortune then, helped me shape my life and now I would be able to repay that debt by helping them in their need”.
Through this post, I thank him for that support extended by him. I thank my grandfather for securing my future, unknowingly! I thank my father to instill hope in me and to believe that thoughts matter, so keep them always positive. He says-“If you do your best, then the rest will be taken care by god.”
I Thank God for making the ends meet, then, for me.
Truly, Destiny has its own way!