As Anirrudh stepped out of his elevator for his morning walk, his Iphone rang. It was his wife who reminded him to get vegetables on the way back. He placed the phone back in his pocket and turned to take a look at the incredible skyscraper that housed his ultra-luxurious apartment on the 32nd floor, literally touching the sky !
Anirrudh, a Stanford educated expat, recently shifted to Mumbai, India from the Bay Area, San Francisco to helm a well funded tech startup as the CTO (Chief Technology Officer). He had dreamed of getting back to India and couldnt think of a better opportunity. Having shifted to his heavenly address at Colaba, he was happy things were finally settling down and often wondered about his dream run in the last 20 years after graduating from a premier engineering college in India and doing his Masters from Stanford. He also started counselling students in India towards successful careers , this was a way for him to give back to the country.
As soon as he completed half of his morning jog, his thoughts came back to the unfinished errand, getting organic vegetables for the week. Over the last 2 years in India, Anirrudh had made great friendship with Mukesh, an agricultural research scientist who had returned after doing his PHD in Canada. Since then, Mukesh had started a farm and would sell organic produce at nominal prices to his friends. Anirrudh loved helping his friends given his elite status, which is atleast what he thought.
“Hi Mukesh!” greeted Anirrudh as he stepped into Mukesh’s home. “You don’t look too good, whats the problem?” he continued . “Yaar, i dont know, Aditya has been acting very strange since yesterday, he doesnt speak to us”, Mukesh responded looking at his wife who was weeping. “Can you tell me what happened? I know Aditya is a nice kid” Anirrudh asked quizzically. “Yesterday i shouted at him for watching too much TV especially since his 10th standard board exams were approaching. I told him he would never make it to engineering if this is way he studied”, Mukesh’s wife replied, still weeping. “Let me speak to him” Anirrudh responded proud and beaming about their reference to his career path as he walked towards Aditya’s room.
“Good Morning Aditya, how are you?” Anirrudh said and he continued “What am i hearing about you not studying. I think we spoke about this earlier. If you want to be successful in life, you need to study very hard. How else will you get into IIT or NIT or BITS for engineering. There is a lot of competition nowadays”. Anirrudh was now thinking about his early days as a gold medalist in his engineering college. “But Uncle, i dont want to do engineering. I want to be an Agricultural Scientist like my dad”, Aditya responded.”Dont you want to be successful, own a big house in a posh locality, have everything you want in life?” asked Anirrudh
Aditya looked curiously at Anirrudh and said, “but uncle, i dont want to work in an office. I want to work outdoors like my dad, i want to be active like him. He has no Blood Pressure or Cholestrol and he runs faster than me at his age (58) . He works with his bare hands and gets to travel the entire world meeting scientists, farmers and feeding the world with his research work. For me, doing anything else other than that is meaningless. Can you please explain this to my parents “.
Anirrudh couldnt believe what he was hearing. All the counselling work he had done since the last 2 years seemed pale in comparison to what Aditya said. Just as he got up to leave, his Smart Assistant on his Smart Phone spoke “Time to take your BP tablets” . He shut it in haste, patted Aditya and walked out.
“You should allow Aditya to decide his career” he told Mukesh and his wife as he left carrying his vegetables back to the apartment.