GLASS – HANDLE WITH CARE

I had always felt very sad and incomplete on seeing other children going to school while, I was at home all day, dreaming. I was a 10 year old boy, sitting at home with an imaginary tagline on my forehead – “Glass – Handle with Care“. I could only dream at that time, to be a big man one day, sitting on a table and working on a computer. But how would I reach that state of my life was nothing more than just a mirage for me at that point of time.

Finally, when the time came for me to step out of the house and enter into a school campus, my joys were leaps and bounds. I couldn’t contain them. I was admitted to the school directly into the fourth standard. It all happened because of my aunt (my mom’s elder sister). She convinced my all-possessive maternal grandfather to allow me to go to the school where she was working as a teacher. I was a thin timid boy with no courage at all, bearing the same imaginary tagline – “Glass-Handle with Care”. 

Years later, when I passed out of my school and it was time for me to get admitted into a college the tension arose in the minds of my local guardians. But I joined. The day I went for the admission I saw a senior student carrying a sword along with all his friends, protesting against the government during the Mondal Commission issue in 1992. This time, carrying the imaginary tagline “Glass-Handle with Care” by myself, I was trembling in fear looking at the rowdy students out there. This is how my first time at college started with a serious jolt down my spines.

In 1997 after my graduation, I wanted to taste freedom and fortunately, my aunt stood by my side trying to convince my grandfather to allow me to study away from them at Bhubaneswar in Utkal University for my post-graduation. My father’s elder brother was the Secretary to the Vice-Chancellor of Utkal University. I stayed at my cousin’s to complete my PG in Utkal University. But I was strictly instructed to carry my tagline, “Glass-Handle with Care” without fail.

That imaginary tagline was the chain which put me under its bondage at every ‘First Step’ I took at different stages of my life. But I could breathe free with my lungs inhaling the fresh air of freedom for the first time when I came to Kolkata, my first out of state stay. I sensed, the tagline “Glass-Handle with Care” disappearing for the first time after many years in my life. I felt God’s promise of “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go“, real and evident.

Have I become very strong? Am I free from all the sufferings? Don’t I have any weaknesses anymore? No, not at all… I have become more weak and slower. But I definitely am free from that all-encompassing negative tagline, “Glass-Handle with Care”. 

Never enjoy stagnancy but always be ready for the first time adventures relying on His divine strength.

Stay Blessed!

MY LESSONS FROM ALL MY BEGINNINGS

First times are hard to forget as it is the time when we step out of our comfort zone to do something which we had not done before. Either it brings sweet memories or it brings bad memories to us. Perhaps, therefore, first times are always known to be special. 

Well, I have so many first times in my life and today I am going to share two of my most memorable first times. These are so close to my heart and quite special to me.

First journey to Bangalore: After completing my bachelor’s degree, I came to Bangalore in November 2018. For me, it was not just an ordinary journey. It was a big step that I took out of my comfort zone. It takes about 48-50 hours by train to reach Bangalore. As I was going to Bangalore for the first time with so much luggage, my parents didn’t want me to go alone. Initially, I had planned to go with my friends but then the plan didn’t work out well. So I decided I would be going alone. I gathered my courage and spoke to myself, “if it is to be done then it has to be done now.” The train journey didn’t seem tiring to me. It was a fascinating and peaceful journey.

I enjoyed so much. 

While the train was departing from Patna, I promised myself, “I am not going to be weak. I will face whatever comes my way. If  it has to be done then I’ll make sure it gets done in the best possible way.” 

I arrived at Bangalore around 9:00 PM and booked an auto. My cousin came to receive me. I saw the city in dazzling lights and something in my heart said, “welcome Prerna! Your dreams are waiting for you. But for that, you will first have to spend a good time with struggles.” 

Well, the city seemed quite strange and confusing to me at first. But I have been exploring Bangalore all by myself. I love walking alone on the streets and is enjoying its weather. Though I travel across the world, I am never going to forget my first journey to Bangalore. It is one of the most beautiful memories of my life. 

First vote: Ever since I came to know what is an election and how important is one’s vote, I was quite excited for casting my vote. Well, I got the chance to cast my first vote in 2014 Loksabha Election. I remember I was so excited that I stayed awake the night before the election. I woke up early morning and made sure to get ready early. I had pressed my dress a day before itself. Seeing my excitement, my mother said, “it is just an election dear. Why are you preparing yourself so much?” But for me, it was the day when I would be practicing my right to vote. I was so restless to cast my vote that I asked my mother to get ready soon. Finally, we went to the election booth and I got the chance to cast my vote. 

There are so many first times in my life. All of them are safely stored in my mind. Though they are different, except one thing and that is they required courage to do. At first, they seemed intimidating but later they are no more intimidating. Some of them were bad and some of them were so good. But whatever it is, one should learn from their first times and should try to make the second times a better one. 

MY FIRST JOB – TIME TO RECOLLECT

Everything has to begin somewhere and it certainly ends elsewhere.
Every day is a new beginning and it ends somewhere.

I would love to share my experience with my first job.

It was a lovely day when I and my friends set out to the campus recruitment drive happening in a college in our native place, Cochin. In fact, being a careless person, I was the only one not carrying anything for the campus interview. Most of them came with a CV, photo, and copy of certificates and much more and me – just nothing. I was never intending to do anything. After reaching the campus, I realised I was I didn’t even carry sufficient money. I was, I am and I guess I will be totally absent-minded.

Thanks to the loving people who are supporting me and bearing me. My friend’s dad, on his scooter, took me all around the city to find a place to get my photo or even other stuff printed- luckily which I had saved on my email. Even though we managed to at least get a resume, I was happy. It was then when the exam began, and I went in to write it.

As usual, I was never expectant about getting to the next level. To my surprise, there was my name among 250 others – I was shocked. I called my parents informed them- they were super proud of me. I always feel blessed to have such kind-hearted people around me.

It was a long wait for the call letter. Still, the very first time I received it,  my happiness knew no bounds. My dad gifted me a Nokia 1100- the very first mobile phone I had. In September, I was all set for my training which was in Bhubaneshwar. The campus was huge, we all trainees had a big room to stay in. It was hard for me to find any familiar faces, but there weren’t any.

This morning was quite pleasant.

I  woke up and freshened up and walked towards the training centre. I could see groups of people coming into the same building. All had hopes and dreams and enthusiasm for the upcoming things the future had in store for them. I too walked in, grabbed a chair in the corner and sat there. I knew no one in the room, still, I decked up my face with a smile for everyone. It all began in a jiffy.

But I could still recollect the moments of my days- I had in the Infosys Campus, which became a piece of memory to cherish forever. Even though it didn’t last long, it still changed my life.

A few friends I made there, remain, my friends, the rest drifted away like me. It was a memorable time for me though. The only thing I carried ahead was the teaching and the moments of fun I had with my friends there.

Even though I had many more dreams to conquer, my path drifted away from there. Still, it was the first job in my life. The first something doesn’t have to be very dramatic in everyone’s life but it does leave some very valuable memories to carry forward with, in life. It allows us to the scope to experience something new and learn from it. I didn’t have anything dramatic in my first job yet, I had lessons which I learned for life that came afterward.