A walk down memory lane – Parul Rane, NMIMS Mumbai
Part A: Why Aditya Birla Group is big in your life
My family lives in the city, however my Granny shifted to the village house. She loves the weather there and likes to look after the garden behind the house. My village is some 250 km away from the city and on the western coast. Nestled in mother nature’s lap, it is abundant with rivers, lakes and has a long coastline. Being in the Konkan region, it has a lot of mango plantations, coconut trees, jackfruit and other orchards. We all love to visit our village; it is a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. A dip in the sea and watching sunsets is another favorite. The Ganesh Chaturthi is a big festival in my village, bringing home eco-friendly, mud idols for 7 days and immersing it in the ocean with grandeur is something that gives hope and joy. Since our childhood we would look forward to summer vacations so that we can go to the village and meet our grandparents. Granny would pamper us with loads of sea food, mangoes, jackfruits, jamuns, karvandas and many such seasonal fruits all day long, while we played to our hearts desire in our big aangans (something we terribly miss in the city). When it’s time to leave, I would be so sad that the vacation is over. As we grew up and got busy with studies and jobs these visits became less frequent and for shorter duration. Also, my Granny aged and was not keeping well. Although the village is pretty well connected to the nearby town and has almost all amenities, getting a government landline telephone connection is not one of them. We had applied for it almost 10 years ago and still hadn’t received it, so there was no way to communicate with my Granny other than going to some house which has a landline telephone. This is very risky in case there is an emergency as houses in villages are not near each other. “Idea Cellular” was the first telecom company to set up towers and connect my village to world through mobile phones. We were overjoyed at the thought of it and immediately took a SIM card and gave a mobile phone to my Granny. We could talk to Granny anytime of the day. I even taught her how to receive a video call now, the sweet memories of our childhood at a call’s distance. It doesn’t get bigger than that! Even today, my 90-year-old Grandma happily smiles at the camera during a video call!
Part B: How you overcame challenges to achieve your ambitions in life so far
I completed my bachelor’s in engineering and started working. After a couple of years, I wanted to pursue higher education. Studying in a top B-school was my ambition in life but working towards it was a difficult task. I decided to appear for entrance examinations and prepare for them. This was the most difficult challenge; my workplace was on the outskirts of the city I lived in. It would take 5 hours of total commute for work every day, work and commute would drain me completely by the time I reached home. The traffic made it worse, I had no preparation time for the entrance examinations, and this made achieving my ambition look impossible. However, I was motivated to overcome this and get admission to a reputed B-school and that too in a single attempt. Apart from the weekends I could not get anything done. Once sitting in the cab and gazing out of the window, tired and waiting for the traffic lights of a long signal to go green, I saw a little boy selling umbrellas at the signal. Now this is a very common scenario in a city, however what made it interesting was when the signal turns green the boy would wait on the pavement and read from a small book. I was astonished at his dedication and his obliviousness to the surroundings. I was inspired by his eagerness to learn and realised I have been given the “gift of time”. These 5 hours I spend sitting in the cab during commute could be put to better use. If that little boy can do it on the pavement, I can surely do it in the air-conditioned cab. I started reading up and solving little problems on my phone during this time, thus preparing for the entrance exams. I scored very well and secured admission to achieve my ambition.