“Will give you a treat at the blue frog when I get my first salary, for now let us eat at McD please”, Shipra urged, while I was busy teasing her for not giving me a treat over her getting placed, which was due two months now. Just then Shipra’s Mom called and asked us to rush home, in a very worried tone. When we reached home, Shipra’s Mom sat in the living room, with a haunted look on her face, staring dead ahead at the T.V. Its volume blaring at its highest, may be hoping that somewhere they would say it’s all a lie.
Each word, breaking and shattering the dreams and with those dreams, hope. Eyes watery, wanting to scream out loud, but silence was all she could manage in the shock. Two months ago Shipra got placed in Satyam with a six digit package, and today that very placement seemed like a curse.
Within a week Satyam’s shares were down to nothing, the company was delisted from NIFTY, it was on the verge of closing, Satyam’s future was cloudy and Shipra’s grief had no bounds.
She was my teacher, the ace student of her class, not the top rank but always in the top three. She was the only girl out of the six student selected by Satyam that year from my brother’s college and she decided to help every other student of her class in studies so that they could get placed too. Dedicated, hardworking, loving and kind, that is how my mom saw her and my brother got chided for not being anything like his best friend. And for me she was one of my favourite people in the world. I always looked up to her and even though I was five years younger to her she was my best friend and we shared everything with each other.But now, she was broken, cocooned in her grief and no one could do anything to console her. Upon getting placed with Satyam, she had decided not to appear for other interviews, to give the others a chance. Now, the placements were closed.Life had played a foul game with her and she was back to square one with the future looking bleak and uncertain.
“Am I that bad? Don’t I deserve it? Or have I done anything wrong? Why did this happen to me?” Shipra cried.
It had been four months since the Satyam breakdown. Every classmate of hers had a joining letter but her, and with all the ex Satyam employees out in the job market, a fresher didn’t stand much of a chance.
“My whole year is wasted. I didn’t even appear for any entrances, my life is a waste, what am I going to do?” an inconsolable Shipra complained.
Then my mother told her about the people who lost everything in the Gujarat earthquake.Back then we used to stay in Surendranagar, Gujrat. I was very small, but I did have a faint memory of the horror and screams. She then told Shipra the story of Vikram Uncle, though I didn’t remember him well I remembered he had a jewellery shop in some mall that crumbled into dust in that ill-fated quake. Also she said that he used to stay on fourth floor and jumped out of the window, to save himself, when the earth broke havoc. He had broken his right leg, but not his will. Now eight years later, he has four shops in Surendranagar and Ahemadabad, just because he didn’t give up and decided to draw the lines of fate in his favour.
It was either this story or something else that jolted Shipra out of her depression, but anyhow after that day, she was all geared up to challenge fate itself. That very year in November she appeared for CAT, the most difficult of the management exams in India. With barely seven months of preparation she got into IIM Bangalore, one of the most prestigious management institutes of India. And her feat did not cease there. She aced in her class again.Two years of firm dedication, rigorous hard work and achievements got her placed in DELL. But somehow that did not satisfy her. She worked there but aimed for more. Within a year she started a Software training institute with my brother and two other friends of hers.
“I am leaving my job”, Shipra told me while we were finally enjoying a pizza at the Blue Frog.
“Your brother and I are going to start a consultancy firm along with our training institute”.
“Why didn't he tell me?And when did this happen? Why are you telling me now?”
“A week ago our loan got sanctioned, and this was going to happen someday. After I realized jobs weren't reliable, cause if companies like Satyam can dissolve, any company can. If that company is my own, at least I will be upset at my failure and not question my calibre cause of someone else’s failure. And I am telling this to you now because tomorrow we are having a surprise for your mom and would need your help, after all, all this is happening because of her, right?”
Her words made me realize, what people say about ‘life throwing lemons and us trying to make lemonades out of it’ is perhaps true, because, when one door closes,somewhere another door is open. All we have to do is, keep trying the knobs.