NESTALES: Hidden treasures, extraordinary stories from Nesties.
It was the 3rd quarter of 2008, I was a young supervisor in Accenture in Mumbai.
One groggy Saturday morning, I got a call from my parents that our buyers for our products from our farms have retracted and loans have mounted up. They maintained their composure, but I knew the gravity of the financial distress. They know I cannot help much, being in a costly city with a normal pay packet. I assured that I will do as much as I can. I sold my M800, laptop and a mobile and managed to garner 20K, it was a pittance compared to the loans. It helped them with 1 month’s interest. Having sold my laptop, I started haunting internet cafes. Unknown to me, this is where I was going to have my break.
There was this guy, Srini, designing a pamphlet of jobs in Australia. The pamphlet said the interview was at a nearby hotel for a Finance job for 1 year, basically, they filled roles for maternity leaves. I went with no expectation, cracked the written, by now the crowd became 1/4. I waited for the final interview. I got the offer. Now the only issue, I was taking a huge risk in a recession-bound economy. Took the leap of faith, was in Australia in Jan 2009, knowing that my contract is for 1 year exactly, I made the most of it. Australia mostly untouched by the recession was a good market. I worked as a contract in a financial firm in Parramatta, wanting to make the most of my time, I took on jobs of cleaning, car washing, Car mechanical works, Library assistant over the weekend mornings, Delivery boy ( had a little Mazda), Selling sim cards and a bartender ( got a license there for a 100$). I was making good headway. Managed to close up the loans in less than 4 months and gave seed money to my parents as well. I have never seen so much money in my life. It was electrifying.
My little Mazda did 30 thousand kms that year. I travelled far and wide, got lost a few times ( a time when GPS was a luxury), I was happy. By now I saved enough to give a hefty downpayment to buy a flat in Chennai. 12 months passed faster than the rest of my life put together, Bid farewell! I had an agreement with my company that I will rejoin in 1 year and true to that, my ex-boss became current again. Back in India, back to work.
That 1 year changed me – I was confident, bold, never worried about a risk and that made me what I am today. I am content, happy, never worried about money post that year and most of all my parents looked at me differently – knowing that I was not the same kid who went to Mumbai.
Would I do another 1-year stint again? In the blink of an eye!
Inspired enough? Read Harteij’s phenomenal victory over the most feared illness here: Ride of Hope