Sept 2000, I was sitting Infront of my childhood hero Amitabh Bachchan in the TV show “Kaun Banega Crorepati”, the Indian version of “Who wants to be a Millionaire”
It was a dream come true moment for me. A few minutes before, in my nervousness, I had tripped over a wire. He held my hand and was trying to calm my frayed nerves. My hero was in front of me, still, I couldn’t enjoy the moment. Everything was hazy. I was not able to feel the atmosphere.
All I remember is this incident. In the hot seat now, my 2nd question for 2000 rupees was “How many lungs does a human being have”? I should know the answer. Isn’t it? I couldn’t. So, I used the phone-a-friend to call up my mom. She answered the question. She didn’t stop there. Chided me in Odia “You can’t answer this simple question”.
Mr. Bachchan asked me “Did your mom scold you”? I was embarrassed. I didn’t know where to hide my face. I went on to win 25 lacs that day.
If someone had told me earlier that I will be a millionaire, I would have laughed it off. In fact, a few months before KBC happened, someone had predicted that I will own a car soon. I had dismissed it as a joke. I remember joking with my mom, “Dad gifting me a car is not the same as me owning a car”. My life changed after KBC. Everywhere I went, people recognized me. Oh! I was flying high.
Life moved on and by 2011, I was an IT programmer, working for one of the largest companies in India, based out of the USA. One day I decided to move to Europe. For a few months, nothing was working for me. It was frustrating at times. An opportunity came knocking. It was a management role in the UK. A role that is totally and diametrically different from what I was doing. After much dilly-dallying, I decided to go for it. The lure of going to the UK, and the opportunity to visit Europe sealed the deal. When I look back, with a hand on my heart, I can say it was one of the best decisions of my life. I found my life’s calling and passion — supporting organizations and individuals in their transformation journey as an agile coach.
Now it seems like my life is going well- a good job, good pay, settled, what more can you ask for? But deep within, I was feeling stuck. I started questioning the very purpose of my life. I was having sleepless, restless nights. When I realized that things are slipping away, I decided to take control. I found a coach /mentor to discuss my situation. In one of the sessions, I had my “aha” moment. I could clearly see my future road to take. It helped me to look at life from a different perspective. Today, instead of cribbing, getting frustrated, or brooding over a situation, I pause, reflect, question, and act only if it is worth the effort.
My dear friends, in all these, what kept me going — is the belief in myself.
All I know, my friends, is that opportunities are everywhere. Just open your eyes, see them, grab them and be the hero of your own story.