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

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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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.