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IIT Memories (Part 5/5): Theme 4 — Luck Matters (or It’s Destiny)

March 20th, 2009 · 5 Comments

I had a choice in 1984 – between going to Carnegie Mellon or IIT. I spoke to a friend who had gone to CMU and he recommended IIT. I stayed back in India.My first night in IIT was a long one. I found myself making noodles for a senior at 3 am in the morning. Ragging was what helped me open up as a person, giving me the courage to look at an alternative life beyond academics.

The sale of IndiaWorld came at a time when I found myself unable to raise venture capital – and in a short span of two weeks, suddenly ended up with two competing offers. The IVF treatment Bhavana and I went through for five years had taken enough of an emotional toll for us to do one last attempt – and that resulted in Abhishek.

At every stage in life, there is that something unexpected that happens – just when we least expect it. Luck matters, but we have to be in a position to leverage the luck that life throws our way. Every challenge in life is a Surprise Test – we fail some, and we crack some.  The one thing I learnt through IIT is to take these ups and downs in one’s stride – and maintain an equanimity that keeps one grounded in the good times and doesn’t depress one during bad times.

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Satya // Mar 20, 2009 at 10:45 am


    I think the a lot of real story is here. Please write more (may be make it part – 2). I can feel the intense struggles.

    We normally think -” Oh!, he has earned millions of dollars” – what we do not realize is the how much sweat, pain, hard work and frustration is part of it. We live in a cocoon of ours in the same local area with our family and think that we will be overnight famous and rich.


    “…to take these ups and downs in one’s stride – and maintain an equanimity that keeps one grounded in the good times and doesn’t depress one during bad times.”

    There is word in the Bhagavad Gita – “sthita-pragyna”- a person who does not loose his/her equanimity in bad or good times.

    sthita – static , pragyna – wise

    And it is one of the things which comes in life with intense reflection when you are struggling.

  • 2 kasi // Mar 20, 2009 at 10:56 am


    I was going through a post in NYT blog….came across this quote and immediately thought of posting it here.

    “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.”

    From you all your previous posts over the years we know how lucky you are.


  • 3 Vishal // Mar 20, 2009 at 11:36 am

    luck favors brave as others are not looking for it 😉
    Good post Rajesh.


  • 4 Vishal // Mar 20, 2009 at 11:40 am

    I think the fact that we need to keep trying with common sense intact need to be base of all education. We also need the education to tell us that the world is indeed a stage and no one knows the twists and turns in the plots.
    So one should enjoy the play in all the ups and downs.


  • 5 Satya // Mar 20, 2009 at 5:27 pm


    Apologies for the typos as one colleague pointed out.

    Nevertheless, your message is clear. As I see in rich proportion at Bangalore, people have never been outside of their home (or max. 500 to 600 km and go back every saturday and sunday to their natives), never stayed alone in their lives, never faced a failure of selling to someone (and God forbid the personal trauma).

    A Murthy or a Premji or a Soota have travelled and struggled across India (and world) throughout their lives and they are today where they had done before. But here, everyone thinks that s/he will be a Vice President or CEO by knowing a couple of programming languages or working as a PM/GM etc for some company 🙂

    Will look forward to more of pieces of this nature.

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