I was standing at the door with hands trembling, scarcely able to believe what had just transpired. Taking a deep breath, I somewhat with the coordination skills of big gorilla begin to punch text on my phone to my best friend.
It went along the lines of, “It’s done! Deloitte it is”. Placements were over at least unless the company decided to go the Titanic way over course of the next 8 months.
Flashback to morning, I was standing and staring inside my wardrobe, again scarcely believing what I was seeing. How can wardrobe be 90% empty, agreed we weren’t given the blessings of Laxmi but even then this was such a disappointment. On top of it, the majority were faded jeans and t-shirts which had quotes which were my daily fare throughout engineering. Alas, so many poor choices in life. From a corner of my wardrobe a formal shirt offered me a wry smile, I looked at it and picked it up but it was so horrendous that I was seriously contemplating skipping the placements now. I decided that this mental stress has no power on me and started scrolling Instagram sitting wet and half-naked in the room.
That’s when I heard a small knock on the room, typically I shout what now mom!? when this happens. But that day had already gone bad, I decided to avoid further confrontation and opened the door and asked, what? (so humble right?).
She stretched her hands and held in it a cover which said “Peter England”. I was dumbfounded for a second. She said, “Hurry up and take it, you don’t have the whole day, your dad got it for you yesterday when he came back from office”
For some time all I had was mixed emotions of regret, deep gratitude and eternal thankfulness. Gently tearing up(no not that much also now okay? :P ) I wore the classy blue shirt, black pant and belt and looked at myself in the mirror. Who was he staring at me? Did I open portal to some alt reality?
Peter England was always a brand I associated with my father because he trusted nothing else for an important occasion. Subsequently, I also associated courage, responsibility, trust and genial nature with it.
My confidence shot through the roof, all that was left was Tesla/Apple to come to college to recruit. The interview process went smooth, they were happy with the maturity I bought into my answers and conduct(must confess I did steal dad’s shoes though).
There were umpteen challenges I had to overcome to be at the stage I am today. I had a bad stammering problem, I remember dad waking up at 5 am and taking me along with mom to a relatively open ground where I would shout my heart out, This helped in increasing my lung capacity immensely and reduce the incidence of stammering due to shot-breaths to a large extent. I remember them forgoing tours/trips just so that I can continue to get a quality education. It was always a confidence game for me more than my abilities or my talents. As Ravi Shastri often quips, It’s a mental thing.
Through that lens, Peter England has bought with it a sense of calmness, responsibility and something which I could wear and transform into a man from the boy next door. I’ll be always indebted to it.