“My sisters and I — we grew up very fast. More than innocence, our childhood was filled with responsibilities and a brush with the harsh realities. Like if I wanted a badminton racket, I never thought of asking my parents. I used to participate in a tournament and win one.
Looking back, I think the best part was how even while we had fun, we were aware of what all was expected of us in the family.
I started giving tuitions when I was in the 8th standard — not because of financial constraints but because my mother wanted us to be independent. And I realised what she meant when I was able to buy a laptop for myself from my hard-earned money from giving tuition.
I come from a small town in Jharkhand called Lohardaga. Here, like every other small town in India, our neighbours knew exactly what was cooking in our kitchen as did we or why Kushal’s didi went to the terrace on the pretext of checking on the achars when all she wished was to get a glimpse of Dabbu bhaiya. Likewise, small towns are places where mothers inevitably end up comparing their kids’ grades with others. My mother did that too — she said she wanted to see my picture in the newspaper one day. I used to laugh it away till I actually got two gold medals in my graduation.
Happy tears rolled down my mother’s cheeks as the reporters asked her about me. I couldn’t be prouder. But somewhere I knew that this wouldn’t be possible but for my elder sister. She forsook her chance to go for coaching classes so that I could go for college. I never forgot that — sometimes even blamed myself for snatching away her chance. To this day, I dedicate my awards and all the appreciation I get to her.
My job at Donatekart makes me very happy and content but I am not a workaholic. I never was. I have always treated work as just a part of life and not made it my entire life. I like to plan my day and finish my work as soon as I can but by giving my 100%. Sports and martial arts have made me better at time management and made me more disciplined.
Well, my mother and my ex-army father definitely deserve the credit too. If not for them I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
-Sumit Choudhary, Senior Software Developer