As I begin this year 2016, I decided to write an inspirational story about a guy I know for the last 11 years. His life story will be an inspiration for everyone who reads this blog post.
I first met him in a social networking site called Hi5. I was doing my first year MBA in Cochin. It was the year 2005. For those who do not know what Hi5 is, let me tell you that Hi5 is the grand father of Facebook. Hi5 begat Orkut which inturn begat Facebook.
My conversations with Prasanna were restricted within a public chat group called "Chennai Tamil Teens". We were an online gang - Mike, Guru, Bala, Sinduja, Prasanna, Maddy and I. We would discuss about sports, movies and about love.
Prasanna was studying first year BSc in a college in Tirunelveli. He would find it difficult to string one sentence in English. Hence he would be the listener when we all conversed. Once I asked him to tell more about himself. He said that he worked in a hotel as a server to earn money for his studies. He also told that he earns Rs 20 every day.
Oh! A man who was earning to pay fees for his own studies! That was the first impression I had about him.
Then one day in 2005, he told our online gang that he has joined a net cafe as a net cafe in charge so that he canuse the internet cafe to chat with us all in addition to earning Rs 75 per day. That was also the year when Chetan Bhagath entered the Indian market with his books. Prasanna would ask us to suggest him some novels so that he could improve his English. We suggested him to read some of Dan Brown works and books written by Sidney Sheldon.
Here was a person who was learning to speak in English and was showing great signs of improvement in our discussions. Soon, he started typing sentences in English. Prior to that, he would type all his sentences in Tamil
Then one day in 2006, I invited him to come to my house. It was the year 2006. It was the first time in my life, I was inviting an online friend to my house. I stayed at my parents' house in Nagercoil. Prasanna travelled all the way from Tirunelveli to Nagercoil ( 2 hours bus journey) and reached Nagercoil bus stand. I picked him up from the bus stand. We went to Kanyakumari and this was the first picture I clicked of this guy.
After his first visit to Nagercoil, his visits to Nagercoil became frequent. When ever I landed in Nagercoil from Cochin, he would visit us. He loved the biriyani that my mother makes. This picture was taken at Maruthuva Malai (The southern most mountain in India)
Then, one day in our public chat, he asked us what he should do to improve his English. Sinduja told him to come to Chennai and start working in Chennai.
Without a second thought, he just came to Chennai and got a job for Rs 2161/- per month. It was the year 2007.
During that time I was working in Trivandrum and when I came to Chennai in 2008, I met him again and I was pleasantly surprised to see him speak in English. Yes! There were lot of grammatical mistakes in his sentences. But who cares! He was at least making an effort. His economic condition and his struggle were never his deterrents. I was seeing a man coming up in life with his own efforts.
Later in the year 2008, I moved to Singapore and I only returned in 2011. By then, Prasanna had made huge strides in life. He started working in a BPO, was earning a decent salary and also was my neighbour in Chennai. We would spend every evening together in Chennai. We would sit in my house balcony and talk about our childhood days. Though he had settled down in Chennai, he was in deed a Tirunelveli kaaran.
2011 was the year I got married. Just before I got married, Prasanna was the same guy who egged me on to be disciplined in life. He was there with me when I got married.
He is also a blogger. His blog in Tamil is a very interesting one. Read it here [link]. He pulled his parents to Chennai and the whole family shifted from Tirunelveli to Chennai. One day he called me on my phone and told " Chriz! come with me to the bike show room. I am planning to buy a bike". We went to the show room. I selected the bike color for him. We booked the bike and came back. Buying a bike is no big deal these days. But the manner in which he bought the bike still gives me goosebumps. For those who sit and cry for little losses in life, there is this guy who grew up, crossing all stumbling blocks, carving a career for himself, and building his own dream.
In the year, 2014, he called me up and said "Chriz, I have got an offer to head the operations of a BPO". I was happy for him. As I started thinking of the Prasanna I first met in 2005, I could not think of any one else who has grown in life without anyone to back him up.
Today he is a blogger [link ], a man who is about to publish his first novel and also a successful corporate leader. When people see him with his electronic gadgets, they may not see the hard work that has gone behind the scenes. Everything that guy has in his life (Be his iPhone or the house he is constructing in Chennai or his big gang of friends) is solely because of the bloody hard work that he has invested in his life.
If Some one asks me " Does Hardwork pay?", my answer would be "Bragadeesh Prasanna".