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From Sacrifices to Success: IITians Narrate their Tales

Success requires a lot of give-ups. For some these sacrifices are small, but for some it might mean giving up every joy. But it’s all worth in the end as success tastes very sweet. Often we come across circumstances in life where a lot of sacrifice is required to achieve something big. Many of us tend to give excuses in such circumstances. Giving excuses are easy, right? But what happens after that? Life becomes a monotonous ride leading nowhere. I am sure many of you reading this blog are IIT aspirants- some of you would be the first timers and others would be giving JEE another shot in the upcoming exams. I would make a simple request to all of you. Just go down the memory lane and remember all the sacrifices you made towards pursuing your goal. Also think of the sacrifices your parents would have made. And then try to relate with the following stories-

  • Joydeep Sen Sarma- AIR 18 in ’92 JEE (Ranipur, Haridwar)
Joydeep Sen Sarma

JEE was like a passion for Joydeep and it was inhumane the way he prepared for it. The last thing he would remember before falling asleep is solving problems and he would get back to it as soon as he woke up. Not paying any attention on himself kept him sick most of the time and he grew utterly bony. He never ever went out to play and his life revolved around solving more and more problems. His only joy in life was solving the toughest of problems. While practicing, he also kept an eye on how many notebooks and pens have he exhausted, as compared to a week before.The only trips he remembered was going to Delhi a couple of times to attend the training camps by his coaching classes. There was one place which he could call as ‘fun’ and it was school! In a small town like Ranipur, where meeting friends from Delhi was big thing for other boys of his age, he detested doing so as he felt that they were far ahead in preparation, being based out of such a big metro. He feels he was crazy and he can never do that again. He was not genius, but JEE made him better. It also taught him that none of the Delhi boys were advantaged over him. But above everything else he learnt that success cannot be bought by good clothes, good looks or an expensive car. It’s a by-product of sheer hard work!

Today Joydeep is the Co-Founder and Head at Qubole, India. He has previously worked companies like Facebook, Yahoo, and Oracle etc. 

  • Rajiv Dandotia- AIR 1758 in 2002 (Samod and Dholpur, Rajasthan)
Rajiv Dandotia

Rajiv came from a village where schools were just namesake institutions. Teachers never come to school and charged high fees for private tuitions ad thus obliging the participating students by giving more marks in practical exam. Rajiv could not afford that, but still he came 5th in a class of 60! And his percentage? A meagre 39%! Such a kind of education made him disinterested towards further studies and started helping his father in his factory. After a couple of years the factory also closed adding on to their financial misery. When Rajiv started exploring options for studying B.Sc, he could get admission nowhere. He thought of appearing for PET Rajasthan, but his poor marks made him ineligible. A bookseller advised him to take on the JEE and gave him some books. It was ironic, but Rajiv was determined. But to go through these reference books he needed to learn English first, which he had never learnt. So he first bought a dictionary! What kept Rajiv sailing was that he enjoyed solving problems. He was happy about the fact that he didn’t cram during the school days and many of his basic conceptswere clear. Sometimes he spent a full day on solving 1 problem, but he was never disheartened. People used to mock on him, but he always had the support of his family. In 2000, Rajiv managed to clear JEE screening. This gave him confidence of being on the right track. But then his brother was hospitalized and they were deeper into a financial crunch. He helped his father in work, sat by his brother’s bed and also helped his mother in cooking apart from studying. In 2001, Rajiv managed a rank of 3453, but that could not get him a seat. But this didn’t stop him from appearing the subsequent year, when in 2002 he finally managed to get a rank of 1758. The counsellors in IIT gave him admission despite his poor board results and thus his life was changed forever!

Today Rajiv is working as RAM Maintenance Optimization Specialist at Maersk Drilling in Copenhagen, Denmark. His past work places include Boliden and Luleå University of Technology.

  • Alok Kumar Gupta- AIR 259 in 2012 (Ranchi, Jharkhand)
Alok Kumar Gupta

For Alok, this was probably the world’s best happiness- his AIR rank in JEE. Of course it’s a sheer ecstasy for anyone who has cleared the JEE, but for Alok it was different. It won’t be an exaggeration to say Alok never saw happiness so near to him ever. The tough times for him had begun when he was just the age of four. His father was killed by robbers. Mr R.K. Gupta, a trader was returning from Khunti to Thakurgaon when this mishap happened. All the responsibilities fell on his mother’s shoulder, a lady who was almost illiterate. But Manju was determined to give a brighter future to her 3 children, and she took up sewing. By the time her children grew up, Manju could only graduate up to setting up a small stationary shop which could earn her just 10,000 rupees a month to support a family of four. It is needless to mention all the tough times the family would have gone through. But Alok was a bright child. He had the blessings of his teacher and the encouragement of his family. When he cleared the JEE, he told the media, “My mother doesn’t know what IIT means”; but still he dedicated his success entirely to her sacrifices. Alok says that one needs to be focussed and single-minded to reach his goals.

Alok dreams to give his mother all the comforts of life. He wants his mother to lead a royal life in a big house, like that of a queen. He thinks this success is a big milestone on his dream path.

These are just a few of the many success stories out there. Many of you reading this would be in much better circumstances, than what these winners had gone through in their lives. What led them through the thick and thins of their life, and motivated them to struggle, was dedication, determination and hard work. There is a lot you can learn from them, but what matters is how much you are willing to let go, to reach your ultimate goal. The answer lies within you!

 

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