My Indestructible Soul

I started my career as an IT writer for a small dot com firm in 2001, around the same time when global recession had reared its ugly head, causing slowdown and havoc in the Indian IT industry.

Many corporates in India were letting go of people as part of restructuring. Firing employees was suddenly the new buzzword.

As luck would have it, I also lost my job within five months of joining the industry. Finding another IT job at that point in time was next to impossible. No one was willing to hire a fresh graduate.

Frustrated with my work situation back then, I took up a call center agent role at a leading BPO in Gurgaon. I didn't last there for long, since working in night shifts wasn't clearly my thing.

Nothing went right, despite me being good in academics and communication. Despite me having the grit and determination to succeed. Despite everything.

Around the same time, all my friends alienated me. My family too couldn't understand the meaning of the term "recession". And since they had spent a fortune on my education, they expected some kind of payback.

But that wasn't going to happen anytime soon!

I remained jobless from May 2002 to October 2002. Technically, I was still working (read "fooling around") at a BPO or at an airport as a mystery agent but none of that would count as experience per se.

So there I was, broken and lost, confined within the four corners of my house. Unsure of what to do, where to go, and whom to call.

I kept applying nonstop for jobs but no one wanted to hire me. Felt like the end of the road for me. I considered myself a liability and allowed negative feelings to creep in because I had no support structure. People I called my own were turning their backs toward me.

Then something miraculous happened.

I heard my inner self talk to me, reminding me of a young little boy who challenged set paradigms from the outset, who suffered the ignominy of abuse early on but stood tall to withstand every test of time.

That young little boy was none other than yours truly.

I had to believe and invest in myself - yet again - even if that meant being misconstrued as "selfish". Rebuilding yourself, your esteem, is sometimes a slow and arduous task, but it is totally worth the effort. That very moment I pledged to get up, not get knocked down by life ever again.

They called me a loser but now they praise me; the same Rahul who eventually worked for some of the best tech companies in the world like Samsung (in South Korea) and Oracle, traveled to ten countries for both leisure and work, lived abroad for seven years, and got to study in one of the most premier business school of our country, the IIM.

An eternal optimist like me will never tell you to give up. Anything is possible if you believe in yourself!