of the week!!
If you have ever watched any of Sunil Shetty movies, chances are you have watched him in a prison scene. The one where a scrumptious meal of one roti and some daal on a plate could be seen sliding across the horizontal length of your screen only to dash into the far wall and splatter its contents into a food graffiti. I used to find it very funny until my mother started doing that to me.
Hector from Troy and Indian Middle class have one thing in common, they live by a code. In this case the code is simple “get settled” which entails;
- Landing a decent paying job. (The more renowned the company the better bragging rights.)
- Marrying some homely chick/guy from the same caste preferably. (If any girl above 25 is still single then it becomes a matter of state level crisis with every neighbor and relative suggesting grooms left and right.)
- Buying your own house. (A flat in a decent building is acceptable, the more posh the building the more boastful the parents.)
So after my MBA one fine day, when I announced my decision about a startup and my lack of interest in a good old job, my parents received the news in silence, held it for a considerable time and then with an audible sigh continued with whatever they were doing. They always suspected I was a bit mentally challenged and I had confirmed their worst fears – their son was an entrepreneur – wannabe lunatic, raving about his startup refusing a real job and thus making him in middle class terms, “Useless”.
And so began a campaign for containing the losses. Social invitations were turned down, relatives weren’t entertained. All calls from family friends were avoided lest anyone would pose the damning question “So what does your son do now?” The answer to which according to me was “Minds his own business, you should try it sometime”.
Things got only more interesting, the conversations with my family always had an edge, opinions conspicuous by their very absence. There was always a proverbial elephant in the room visualized by me as the one from “Horton hears a who” with clover and all.
Soon I began to doubt myself and the path I had chosen. While I was struggling to land clients, my friends were earning handsomely, seemingly content with their choices and respected by everyone for their good sense. The silent pressure from my family was overwhelming, everything looked bleak when suddenly I got my first client and things changed. Your first client would give you a whole new level of confidence, in your idea and yourself. The income was negligible but it gives you the willingness to struggle and keep moving. Somehow my parents had witnessed my persistence and finally relented in a manner as if to say, we have tolerated this up till now, might as well see this farce to its end, but I suspect they are coming around slowly and surely.
So I have realized a few things which I would like to surmise here;
- Your Parents desire the best for you and have mentally charted the route for your success. Expect severe whiplash when you divert from that path.
- There will be many who would try to discourage you citing true or fictional examples. The only thing to do is a gut-check, do you feel strongly about your business idea? If the answer is yes, ask everyone to go take a hike.
- Some people may surprise you by openly or covertly supporting you – my friend you have just turned real lucky – these are the people who would stick with you in highs and lows, make sure you do right by them.
- When no one believes in your idea, You must.
- I need to move out asap.
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