Since my childhood, I have wondered why my life is different. Is that the same doubt everyone has? Though we have distinct physical features, we hate comparison. Though we can see the path taken by successful people, we hesitate to follow them. Are we obsessed with being unique, or at the very least, safeguarding our originality? Our originality oozes out with the choices we make or the chances we take.
The favourite formative years:
With love and respect for the superstar Rajinikanth which is an integral code in every South Indian’s DNA, I remember my favourite line from a song featured in the famous movie ‘Padayappa’ which translated means, “We cannot choose either our parents, our physique, our birth or our death”.
The lyricist concludes by elucidating that the only choice we have is to ace the art of living the life we want.
The events of the past may appear faded in the albums but are still fresh in my memory. From an innocent kindergarten kid, I struggled through primary school with more than my fair share of an inferiority complex. The transformation came in the secondary school where I became bolder, only to reach my first milestone of rejection and failure in the higher secondary. Looking back now, these were my formative years.
The bud-to-blossom phase:
I vividly remember that Saturday evening, it was 2nd April 2011, I was on study leave for my 10th standard board exams, my eyes reluctantly glued to the screen of old CRT computer monitor, while everyone around me sat on the edge of their chairs/ sofas/ stools staring with bated breath at the television screen. The quiet was pierced by Ravi Shastri on the commentator mic, “Dhoni finishes off in style. A magnificent strike into the crowd! India lifts the World Cup after 28 years! “
For the very first time, I witnessed my 47-year-old dad transform into a young 19-year-old teen reliving the exhilarating event of the past. The joy and ecstasy on the faces of my father and brother made them appear to be siblings rather than father and son. I realised that such moments are a rarity and thrust away my biology books to vociferously join them in the celebrations. For a split second, I dared wonder, how would it be if I could do something which would be so life defining and exciting for my father. That moment and my thought is forever etched in my mind.
From a kid who had a singular goal of getting single-digit rank in term exams and revision exams, I started dreaming of becoming a responsible citizen. I started dreaming of wearing a doctor coat, a lawyer coat, a camouflaged police uniform, a civil servant and what not!
I prepared for the 12th board exams like a beast with subject books being my only priority. I ignored my health – both physical and mental and lost the race by a few marks. This setback in my higher secondary taught me the invaluable lesson of the need to have a Plan B with Plan A. This event brought about a very important paradigm shift, both internally and externally. Though the scent of flowers is inherent within the bud, the fragrance spreads only when the flower blossoms. Likewise, our core values and purpose emerge only as we mature.
First chance to make own choice:
I followed my gut and joined the National Cadet Corps. I was now straddling three disciplines, studying as an under-grad, I was also studying to be a CA and was an NCC cadet. My well-wishers advised me that I would be, “A jack of all trades, and a master of none”. My inner voice kept telling me, “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but often times better than a master of one”.
NCC was a decision made by choice, and CA was a decision by chance. Both have worked and shaped my nature. I am gratified that while I may not have become a Dhoni, I am Abi who is able to stand up for her own.
Decisions by choices make us and by chance mould us:
The decisions made by choice and taken by chance mould the individual. The former teaches us the importance of structured planning, being proactive and having systematic approach towards our goal. The latter teaches us the value of being bold enough to go with one’s gut feel, embrace a highly uncertain (and at times risky) outcome, the fine distinction between responding and reacting.
The choices we make and the chances we take always revolve around our core values and purpose. The universe aligns the decisions taken by chance with those made by choice. Makes one wonder when opportunities fall in one’s lap at the right place and time, in the larger scheme of things, is this a coincidence, magic, or just pre-connected dots!
About the Author: CA Abirami K, ACA, B.Sc Maths (Comp. Application)
A qualified Chartered Accountant working at a prominent bank as Relationship Manager in mid-Corporate Group. While pursuing graduation in Bachelor of Mathematics with Computer Application in PSG College of Arts and Science, Coimbatore, her interest toward accountancy prompted her to become a Chartered accountant. During her under-grad days, as a sergeant with the NCC, she led her contingent as Parade Commander. She represented her college for Best Cadet competition in Republic Day Training Camps.
After working with a software major for 1.5 years, her amiable nature made her switch gears to choose banking sector. Her belief in fitness (both physical and mental) sees her actively participating in marathons, while cycling extensively on weekends. She is part of the ‘Smiles that Shine’ on Sunday mornings through HAPPY STREETS, an event which encourages the public to come out onto the streets to socialize every Sunday morning through a wide array of activities. She has recently enrolled as a volunteer teacher with an NGO called U & I.
The Quest for the Meaning of Life
BE WHERE YOU ARE
Disconnected in a Connected World
Choices and chances are pre-connected dots!