After finishing my master’s in Economics from Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University, I got placed in a leading marketing company as a manager to handle their analytics team. I remember the day when I called my mom and told her that I finally got placed. Her next question was about the package? How much? I told her XX lakh per annum and she told my dad and they became really happy.
When I came back home, I asked my mom about dad’s reaction, as for him, I was still a nalayak (unworthy) guy. She told me that my dad started crying after she told him about the package. I knew the reason behind all those emotions as I have seen the hard times during our childhood and this was just like a dream come true for someone who belongs to a middle-class family.
After I got my pay cheque, I went to the ATM with my dad to withdraw money. We were withdrawing some ₹20,000 and dad realised how easy it had become. Earlier, we had to think so much before spending even ₹1,000. During that time, my daily salary was equal to the money my dad made in a week. Now you can understand why he was so happy at that time. After a year, I got a promotion and the package increased and my salary per month became more than ₹1 lakh, including all the perks.
This was like the ideal world for anyone but I was not happy as this was not what I wanted from my life. As I always wanted to work for the society. It’s very hard to explain sometimes the satisfaction you get when you do social work. After two years in the corporate world, I realised this was not my cup of tea.
Meanwhile, I got a chance to meet Vithika Yadav, Indian human rights activist and country head of Love Matters India, during one of the flash mobs that we had organised together. She became my inspiration and then she offered me a job which was not related to my educational background. Then, the problem was to convince my family as this time it was not about the promotion but a pay cut of 50%.
It was very difficult for me to explain it to my mom and dad as to why I wanted to quit a high paying job when everything was going fine. It took few weeks to actually initiate the discussion with them and initially they thought I was not serious. After a lot of discussion and debate, they asked me to do what I love and said that they would manage with less money. That day, I realised how lucky I was to have such parents.
Many people still ask me why I chose to enter this field. Were they paying you anything? Yes, many people are working in the social sector. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t earning. Everyone has to earn their livelihood and why I am saying this is because we need more young people to join the social sector. Still, many of us think that once we get settled in life, we can start working for the society.
Today, I feel so happy about my decision that I took last year. In one year, I have learnt a lot and met so many people that I would not have met otherwise. Now, I have also registered my own organisation with whatever money I got from my last company as the PF amount and even my dad doesn’t know about this secret.
Do what you love. There will be difficult times but it will just test your patience. “Apne sapne poore karne chahiye nahin toh Woh sapne reh jaate hai” (One should fulfil their dreams or else they remain that only.)