Recap of my Wonder Years...

chakky's picture

Writing about my past, my present is like a story through different ages cause I have been a nomad, roaming between India & Kuwait. From 40 days old to 3 years, I was brought up by my grandparents. Back to Kuwait to then spend my next 15 years of life. The past 11 years I have been living it between Cochin & Chengannur(4 years where I did my Engineering...)

So to speak, I would have to juxtapose a lot; which I shall do...

A gallery of my wonder years .... HERE

Born a Capricorn on January 11th 1979 to a lovely couple Antony Chakiath and Lillykutty Antony in some hospital in Kuwait, my parents both working(Working as as he only had a Double Diploma, one in Electrical and other in Mechanical Engg & Mom a staff nurse) had a tough time trying to manage their jobs, taking care of 1 year old Laiza chechi and then me, the new born.

For better care, my parents decided the best thing was to go down to India and hand me to the safe hands of my grandparents, "The first heir of the Chakiath Legacy of Generation Next"!. Well with the experience of bringing up 7 children, my parents were not mistaken.. Like my grandmother says, "Grandpa used to call you arabikochu!". Well they ensured I had the best days in my childhood, pampering me in a way, I guess no one can ever beat and suddenly one fine day, I was 3 years old and my parents were stable enough to take me back..By then they had their second daughter Lina and she was now 1 year old!

(Looks like Dad & Mom forgot Family Planning, hehe just joking....) I had some difficulty adjusting and they also had a tough time trying to live up to my expectations, which my grandparents set.. and this still continues unresolved but not of priority between me and my parents...

1982 - 1990
I then grew up like just any other NRI kid, basking in the hot sun, air conditioned life and the four walls of an apartment and travel only by ac car, hamburgers, ice creams,cartoons etc.. Studied in a Boy's only school and was living a indifferent life..

Until the Gulf War in 1990 made us suddenly change to living in refugee camps across Iraq & Jordan.One month that made me realize what War can do to one's life... One moment I was watching cartoons, eating ice creams and sleeping in Air Conditioned rooms, next moment I was in a tent sharing space with 10 other families, shitting into some hole in the ground and standing long queues for slices of bread, one tomato, one buttermilk and some curry :). We were lucky to have gotten ourselves into a Red Cross camp.. As we landed at Mumbai, throngs of Indians lined the arrivals, welcoming us "Refugees" back to the safety of India.. My parents were devastated, they had to leave with nothing, the only precious thing they had was their kids and then a family to go back too...

I luckily got myself into Kendriya Vidyalaya, NAD, at Aluva. This is where my life really turned. The first day in this new school, I joined on Holi. For the first time I saw people throw, colors and here was me a shy boy who never spoke to a girl other than my sisters and close family friends daughter was facing the daunting task of escaping from a bunch of girls who surrounded me out of nowhere... I dont know what got into me, but I ran around a lot trying to escape them and I found no hope.. so finally I threw stones at them...
The girls were aghast, how can a boy be so rude to girls and it did not strike me then of how dangerous it was.. It made all the boys too to join in and everyone together ensured I ended my new white shirt and face being colored by a variety of hues..and lots of scolding from home by Mom who was aghast seeing the results..

Jose uncle, my dad's youngest brother was my mentor from there on, taking me for shopping, outings, playing football, friends houses etc.. Soon I started excelling in sports, learning to drive, going on trips and I started noticing a change in my life.. At school, I was the youngest player for the school football team and it was no mean achievement as we had to play K.V Port Trust and some of my heroics as a defender marking Jayaraj, our South Zone Regional Football team captain who was in Twelfth standard, brought me into the limelight.. Meanwhile my parents were called back to Kuwait when the war was over and life became once again of living and growing up with relatives which I enjoyed too..

Seeing my focus on the playing field and my parents missing us, I was pulled back to Kuwait to do my Tenth Standard onwards. I resisted a lot, but I had no choice and I joined Jabriya Indian School. It felt weird coming back to air conditioned classrooms and to sit among well groomed petite NRI kids once more. During KV life, I studied under trees, small cramped class rooms and we all smelled like pigs because we had a games period everyday ensuring we all were dirty half way through the day... But I had to meld in and it took a couple of months..My playing continued but in unchallenged environments since half these kids could not even run as they never even exercised.. But somehow my studies started getting better and the landmark was becoming School First in Tenth Standard. A free return ticket to India, accolades on my achievements, honors from various Indian Associations, I was basking in Academic glory for the next 2 years and finally passing out as the Best Outgoing Student.. I continued my trend of being school first and though my marks never spoke the true performances, everyone accepted I had in me the talents...

Back to India, wrote my entrance exams, got 1313 rank in Medicine and 1180 in Engg; my dad wanted me to try once more for medicine as I got these marks on just a one month short term entrance coaching and no prior training for it.. But as fate would have it,though I love Biology and medicine, my admanant trait made me choose Engineering. I wanted a paid seat in Cochin so I could travel from home.. but my dad ensured I took only a free seat (even if the net expenses resulted were more due to hostel living, travelling etc) so that I learn to live, and I ended up in CEC. From academic brilliance, to CEC was another drastic change. People here loved to talk, we spend more time talking and bunking classes than doing studies. Academics were secondary and so were sports.. but then the new things came in, activities, events and organizing things. The four years in Chengannur gave me my Marble Boys ( my friends for ever. More than learning, more than sports, my days here were marked by my training to manage, organize, volunteer and do something to run the various events.. Along the way I learnt to live alone and stand on my foot taking decisions..and become part of teams and events.

2002-2007 and continuing....
Poornam charmed me because of my talks with Amar on the vision that he had for the company. I had no idea what I wanted in my own life, but I felt comfortable to be lead by this person and I took the plunge. I went on a crash course for linux, got myself ready to attend his interview and finally ended as the 12th person in his company, with everyone before me all my batch mates and friends from CEC and Model Engg College.. Today as it edges close to 300 people, 6 years hence, I have no regrets, I had my ups and downs, I left technical field as early as 1 year and have been learning the ropes to make something of this company which has my heart and soul given out to it..

I have stood the test of friends jumping for higher salaries, seeing people dismiss me as a failure since I could not get a job in Banglore (I never tried even once for a job in blore..)and so was stuck in some unknown firm in Kakanad, I even had a friend drunk and crying saying he was shocked at what I am doing with my life, when he who was a zero in studies in College now works for Accenture.., my parents wanted me to be a global citizen back to Kuwait, I had night shifts, my friends were depressed as marriage proposals were rejected left and right because Poornam was unknown, 6 days working, daily up and down drive of 40 km to work and the list goes on... I smiled, took the comments I could digest, tried telling people why even if I never worked in the latest technology, I was happy. I had some friends and well wishers who believed in me and my marble boys... I then had my closer friends with me in the company, my directors, core, seniors and colleagues who are with me in this race..

Other than it, each step I took had its failures, each time I felt the world around me alienating me, suddenly I felt happy as each year the organization grew.. Now a days when I look for companies to buy, as doing M&A had been thrust on me, I felt a little villified.

Something is changing in my life and the decisions I took were I guess taking me through a different route, one that is less travelled and with more risks and dangers... I now need to prove that life can go on, the sturdy capricorn, swallowing his difficulties, ignoring critics and ignorant people, slowly moving to my destiny... which I am not sure of even today.. but I have targets set for Poornam, which guides me and I hope its where my destiny is leading me through..

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As different as you are, you

As different as you are, you are an inspiration to a lot of failures who claim to be successful around you! Hats off to you, chakky chettayee! :-D

No words :-) It was touching

No words :-)

It was touching though..

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