Dedication: My Dear Students
CA – Pass The Real Story
Positivity and struggle – If you have made these two your companinons, then success is always a guaranteed outcome because every struggle with time and perseverance reaches its goals. But nowadays when I witness the low esteem and confidence amongst the students due to bad academic performance or peer pressure or when I see the children failing to take responsibilities, I feel disheartened. But when I look back into my memories, my life, I feel proud not because today I am a successful CA but about the fact that the troubles and predicaments that I faced to be what I am today allows me to feel good about myself.
My journey has been an interesting one…..
Hailing from a very poor family in PIPARIYA (M.P.), I had a small family of 5 – My mother, father, me and my two siblings. I was in third standard when I experienced the sense of pain for the first time when my father slapped me. Yes, I cried a lot that day and why not , crying at that age was like a right to a child. My mother was always there with me , even on that day.
From that day, this became a routine in our house. My father was a short tempered man which made him agitated off and on. I learnt what was called – Domestic Violence! But being a kid my hands were chained.
Somewhere, deep down I knew that my father was a good person, it was the situation which hovered on him. I was sick and tired of the daily fights therefore one day I took a decision for myself. I ran away. Yes, I did run away from my family, boarded a train and reached a new place – ITARSI. Unfortunately my parents searched me out and brought me back home with the promise of never fighting again. But all in vain. Again the same routine began. Fights, abuses. I was tolerating all of this until one day when my father started shouting on me and beating me as soon as I stepped foot in the house. The reason was that I went out for a movie without informing. My father kept on hitting me, his rage was so high that he took a hot brass rod and scarred my hand . it pained a lot , I cried for help, the injury was so bad that I was rushed to the hospital. Though the doctor treated my scar but the pain in my heart was still intact. At that very moment I decided to leave my home.
I left a note for my mother and boarded the train for BHOPAL. I stood at the Bhopal Junction and thought ‘Where will I go, what will I do now?’.
A boy merely of 10 – 11 years of age, who does not have a guardian, who is alone in a new city unknown to his eyes, for him there are two option : Begging or working in a roadside teastall or a hotel ; I chose the latter. I was able to manage food and lodging but along with the dormers came physical and mental humiliations. I kept on shuttling, sometimes in a tea stall or in a barber shop, sometimes doing household chores or helping in a tailor shop. I was like a vagabond searching my life sometimes in Bhopal and sometimes in Indore.
Through my uncertain journey I took the train to Mumbai one day without thinking and without any preparations. I realized that if there is bad there is a great deal more of goodness in the world when I met a man in the train to Mumbai who showed his concern towards me, gave me food, understood me. As soon as we reached Mumbai, the man took me to a shop in Kalyan and with his reference I got a job there. It was a junk shop whose owner was Wahid Qureshi. Along with my job I chose to work at his house all well. They were very nice people. It took me no time to call him Abbu and his wife Ammi. Ammi took care of me like her own son and she even sent me to madarsa for education. A whole year went by and I was old enough to not stay in their house anymore. Abbu had a second marriage and I was asked to search a new job and home for myself. As I was ready to leave, Ammo gave me her friend’s address as a reference. They were Gujrati’s and due to Ammi’s reference I got a job there but I couldn’t be happy and soon left there house to find a new home at a painting shop. The owner’s wife knew Ammi so I got a home to live in with a new family.
They weren’t so able and on top of it they had my responsibility so the owner gave me a job at a tea stall and took my salary as their’s. Overall I was happy that I had managed for my food and lodging. The tea shop where I worked was situated near Canada Bank and I got the opportunity to deliver tea for the white collar bank employees. I was always very keen to observe them working, I used to feel very good, I hoped for a life like this. Maybe it was my future which was attracting me towards it. Anyways, one fine day i accompanied my owner to buy some paint. The shop owner Mr. Chandrawali Singh Rajput asked about me and when he came to know that even I am a rajput, he asked my owner to leave me with him and like this I got a new family.
I started working with dedication. Babuji (as I called my new owner) and the rest of his family had to visit his village in Uttar Pradesh so they took me along. In their village I met Gayatri whom I liked a lot. Say my age and lack of experience, I fell in love with her but as the news reached her parents, situations worsened and with Babuji’s help everything was back to normal.
Now we had to leave for Mumbai but before leaving I met Gayatri who said, ‘if you really love me then be successful. If you can do that no one will stop you to marry me ‘ . I don’t know it was love or infatuation, but her words had a huge impact over me. As I was back in Mumbai, I spoke to many people for a better job opportunity but slowluly came to realize that if I had to be a successful man , I will have to complete my studies first. I started visiting various schools but no one allowed my admission as I did not have any previous academic documents.
All my documents were at my home in Pipariya – my home which I left seven years ago. In between the memories and reality I decided to visit my house and babuji’s permission. Babuji packed sweets, clothes and some money for my journey back home. He asked me to return soon with teary eyes. As I continued my journey, excitement filled my heart to meet my mother, siblings but when I reached my home I saw it locked. After inquiring from my neighbours I got to know that when I left the house, my mother was very sad and tensed. I did fail to realize that just for my selfishness I made my mother suffer a lot.
Searching my family, I reached Ujjain – my grandmother’s place where I got a trace that my family was in Bhopal. With my maternal uncle I went to the factory where my father worked but all in vain. We returned to Ujjain and I stayed. One morning as I was sleeping, a soft touch on my forehead woke me up. I saw my mother sitting beside me and my father standing in front of me.
Though I thought to just take my documents and go back to Mumbai but family love did not allow me to go back. I started working as a guard in a factory and in between all the hassle I filled my 10th examination form as well. I failed at my first attempt but didn’t lose hope. I continued my studies and filled the form again. In the morning hours I worked and at night I studied. This time I passed my 10th exams. I was very happy to accomplish my first level which made me think about my higher studies. During my study phase I met Archana – a girl from a rich family. I fell in love with her, her beauty and her personality. When I proposed her she mocked me, at my status and as she was leaving she said ‘First come to my stature then think of loving me. You illiterate fool’.
Those lines marked my heart so bad that I decided to be successful at any cost. I directed the fire in my heart and worked a lot ; be it as a night guard or as a factory worker. Meanwhile, another girl named Sabina entered my life who was my factory supervisor’s daughter and she fell in love with me. She always helped me, took care of me, lend me money whenever I needed but I thought of her as my friend because I loved Archana. It became difficult for me to study while working in the factory so I switched my job and started working as an auto driver which saved my time for studies and also helped me to earn good money. I encouraged my younger brother Govind to study with me. I cracked my 12th examinations with immense hard work. Sabina was very happy for me. Without delay I took my admission in B.Com 1st year and started my preparations. One day Sabina’s mother came to me and said ‘ Sabina wants to marry you. We tried to make her understand but she is not ready to listen that is why I have come to you to know your decision’. I was taken aback, I couldn’t respond. Sabina had so much in mind I was not able to realize until now. At last I had to tell the truth to her mother, I had to say no. In the evening Sabina called me up, she cried , she begged, but I had already given my heart to Archana. She cried till she kept the phone down but later that night another phone call came, Sabina’s mother called me up to tell me that Sabina drank Sulphase.
Sabina’s death shook me to the core. It took me months to cope up qith the loss but i somehow managed.
One day, Vaswaniji gave me few documents to deliver to his CA Manoj Khare. When I reached his office, I saw the man sitting inside a huge cabin, 10-15 employees are working under him, he is so intelligent to assign work to his employees, beaurocrats are waiting to meet him. This was my first look of a CA.
After that meet my conscience said to me in a determined voice ‘Boss! This is the only thing I have to do. Money, status, everything is surely mine inthis profession which I always wanted. So, I took the road of my new dream; Completed B.Com 2nd year and for the 3rd year i took admission as a regular student in Chitransh college. My family started staying with me and I left my old job to join as a driver at Subhash Jain ji’s place from which I got a lot of time for my studies, earned good money and most importantly i was happy. One day, I was missing Archana very much so I thought to go meet her or atleast look at her from a distance and come back. But when I reached her house, I got the need that she was already married with a baby girl. I was broken, helpless, I calmed myself and enquired to know that she note lived in MP Nagar. Furthermore, Archana and her husband are on the verge of separation and she lives alone with the girl. I was so eager to meet her that I reached her house, saw that she has started her tuition classes. I saw her teaching and I was stunned to look at her, admire her, after 10 long years. I kept on looking at her. Suddenly Archana looked at me and came to me, ‘Do you have some work here?’ she asked. I just smiled back. She observed me for few seconds then said ‘ You are Mukesh right?’ I validated. She laughed and said ‘ How could I forget you, wait for 2 minutes.’ After she came back I told her everything about my life, my struggle, also that I am in B.Com 3rd year and I want to be a CA. She was very happy and motivated me but when I asked about her life, the pain and sorrow was clearly visible on her face. She told me that she was very unhappy with her husband and now she was waiting for the divorce. Her marriage was just like a chain strangling her down and she started crying. After a small silence I said ‘Archana I want to marry you, I want to love your daughter as mine. Please allow me to do so’.
She was shocked ‘What are you saying? How can it be possible?’, she said. “ Why not “ , I replied. “ I want to accept you with your situations . Don’t you think that I am doing this to you out of pity. I fell in love with you the moment I saw you. Now that life is giving me a second opportunity to complete my love life then please don’t say No.” She felt silent, she had tears in her eyes . I felt that her eyes were screaming out to tell me that how come she couldn’t realize my love, how come she couldn’t understand me as a person. When I went towards her to wiper her tears off, she hugged me . That moment , I considered that moment of my life to be the most beautiful one in this whole wide world.
As I left, I asked her to wait for me. She smiled back but I knew that I have many challenges infront of me to overcome. Firstly, I had to complete my CA then to search for a job through which I can plan for my new house. Sometimes , I even went to the college and formed with groups of friends and we began our studies. Due to our hardwork we passed.
After graduation, friends of mine went to different fields, only me and Pramesh were left to walk the path of CA. Pramesh was always ahead of me , be it in studies or financial amenities but he was always very helpful to me. We filled the forms and started our preparations. In the mean time my younger brother got selected for the Army and he went off for his training.
Now we had to join our articleship and for that we went and gave our interviews in many CA firms and got selected for a firm of CA Jain. We prepared for our examinations but I failed in my first attempt. For my second attempt , I took a termination from my articleship and started my preparations yet again. We both failed at our second attempts as well. Pramesh was very disheartened but I was happy as I scored equivalent to Pramesh in both my examinations. Again we started our preparations and gave our third attempt but all in vain. Pramesh was very much upset and decided to leave CA. I tried to make him understand a lot but he did not listen. He even advised me to leave CA but I told him that I will make this dream come true and will not leave the battlefield just like that. He left but I was very sad as I was left alone again . So, I thought to go meet Archana.
When I told her the recent event, she assured me not to lose hope but also warned me that If I want to marry her I have to succeed faster as Heena’s father comes to Archana every single day and fights with her. She asked me to be cautious so that I don’t fail to marry her. I left her housee that evening with a determination to clear my exams and then only meet Archana. I began my preparations for my fourth attempt but I failed.
This time I self-judged and calculated myself that what are the mistakes that I am repeating in every attempt of mine. I realized that the biggest mistake which I made was to terminate my articleship midway as practical knowledge is far better than theoretical knowledge. Thinking about all this made me join my articleship again but this time I wanted a good firm where I can learn all the work properly. I went to join CA Agarwal Sir, wherein my friend Sudhanshu was one of the articles. I got the exact environment to work of which I dreamt of and therefore satisfactorily I started my preparations of the fifth attempt. Though this time I gave just one group but still was left behind for 12 marks. My strength was fading away and Pramesh’s words swirled my mind – “ Leave it Mukesh ! CA is not our cup of tea “.
When you are into this circle of negativity , what you need is a good guidance , a person who can take you out of it. I had that one person with me , My Sir – CA Agarwal. He made me understand that at first you need to select the group in which you are confident. I was ponderinf over my decision making when Archana called and went quite for a second when she heard about my result. Before keeping the phone down she said “ Take care of yourself and forgive me”.
Next day the newspaper gave me a news which devastated me. She hanged herself. She left this world because of domestic unhappiness. I saw her one last time in the paper and rushed to her house but they left for the cremation ground before me reaching. Tears were profuse inside me like a tornado, screaming out just one question – Why Archana ? Couldn’t you wait for me ?
I was left broken after hearing her say these words. I began to hate my studies, CA. This terrible course robbed me off my happiness. Every second just one thought was cribbing in my head, The person because of whom I was doing everything , when she only left me then what am I supposed to do now. I couldn’t get out of this remorse for many days but if life was to stop because a person is no more then it wouldn’t have been called LIFE. I calmed myself up and gave my 6th attempt but failed again.
I did not have a single hope ti live anymore. I became quiet and started to lock myself up. I stopped making friends and meeting people. But in this difficult phase of my life a person came as an angel : Shyamla- she was the daughter of a scientist and was a good friend of my sister. My sister told her everything about me and one day she came to me and said “ Look , the one who leaves us , we cannot bring them back but the hopes they expected from us , the dreams which they saw with us , we can fulfill them for them so that wherever they are , they can smile”. She made me understand loads of things. These words of hers worked as an ointment to me and gave me some motivational books to read as well. I began to change myself. When someone helps you to come back to life , be happy , you tend to have an instant connection with that person which can go up to the level of love. This happened with me and started searching Archana in Shyamla. But before I scould say this to her I came to know from my sister that she is already engaged. I lowered my feelings to the same old closeness which was purer than love.
My exam leaves were over and I joined the articleship again with new energy and hardwork. Every work that I was given , I managed to finish it before the scheduled time and this made my Sir more happy.
The only tension I was having was for my 7Th attempt as it was my last one and family pressure for marriage was on top of my head. There were two reasons, One – I was getting older and Two- My sister had to get married and the money I will get in my marriage will be invested for her marriage.
I tried to make my family understand that CA is my aspiration and I will have to do that but my family did not understand. A marriage proposal came for me which was from a very wealthy family. I tried to say no but my voices went unheard and at the end I was forced to do the engagement. I had a year for marriage so I gave my 7th attempt and started waiting for the results. On the result day , I did not even dare to look at them as I was very much afraid to fail once more. My sir saw my result and gave me the good news that finally I passed. My happiness had no limits as this was my first success in my journey of becoming a CA.
Now my articleship was over and I had few job offers as well but I didn’t want to do job right now. I spoke to my Sir that I wanted to work with him on assignment basis and he agreed to it . I started getting my pay as per my assignments. I had my next group to get cleared so I started my preparations timely , gave my papers and got my results. I could not pass though but I got exemptions. This examination calls for sacrifices and I really couldn’t remember when I celebrated any festival. Meanwhile , the one year before my marriage was about to end. I requested them to spare me just one more year to study but the pressure was too high. Therefore after my exams in May , the dates were fixed for my marriage. According to the plan , my sister got married and then Smriti – my wife , was welcomed to our house.
Married life began and so did my household responsibilities. I created my office in my homespace and carried out my work and studies simultaneously. I gave my exams but could not clear. My work pressure and my studies were too much now so I decided to send Smriti back to her house. No wife would want to leave her husband and go but Smriti understood my position and left me alone for few days. Because of my workload I asked my friend , who was my fraternity mate to join me as a partner but we could not get along and soon the partnership was over. I decided to be thoughtful while choosing my partners from now on.
One day , one of my clients made me meet a shopkeeper whose all the business documents were destroyed in a fire accident. I agreed to help him out but only after my exams and he too seconded that. I started my exam preparations. I studies more new refreshers , asked my friends to help me out on chapters etc. In all of this process one thing I understood that this will not be something very easy and wont be able to do it alone. I needed a companion who was competent and intelligent. In the mean time my brother Govind’s marriage preparations started. I went to invite a fellow Accountant whom I knew for the marriage where I met Maya ji who was also doing her CA. As I had a conversation with her I decided that the kind of partner I was searching for my office was her. But at that very moment I did not talk to her about it and left. Later, we became study buddies. With all my ambition I started my preparations for my PE-2. I gave my exams and cleared it. I was in my CA finals now. I was back to Bhopal with happiness.
I remembered that shopkeeper whose work I had promised to do. I contacted Mayaji and shared my proposal of partnership with her , as she too wanted something like this , she agreed. We discussed everything and soon became partners with our common friend Manish.
I met that shopkeeper and after discussing my fees I started my work. To complete this work we needed a new office space so we told about this issue to the shopkeeper. He understood the issue and gave us a space beside his own office. At that time , Agarwal Sir too gave us a huge audit work which we completed diligently within a short span of time. We were making profits but alongwith that we were also becoming quite competent in our work. Maya ma’am too was of my type who gave work more importance and did all her assignments quite energetically. I was very happy working with her. We started indulging in our work so much that we failed to notice that the final examination dates were near. So we decided to take 15 days leave and then we both started our preparations. I wanted to appear for the second group , Maya madam for the first and Manoj Sir for both the groups. We made our notes in a jiffy , did our preparations , gave our exams and then started our work again. But when the results were out , we all failed but I got an exemption in one subject so I was now eligible to appear for the examinations for the next 3 years.
This time we took a pledge that we all will do group studies and for that we rented a room where we we three could study. But in between everything somewhere deep down , I was feeling really guilty that I was not able to give a worthy amount of time to my wife. Therefore , I thought why not make her work somewhere so that she will not feel bored and also will earn. She used to work before getting married so now she joined a clinic and started working there.
Few days later, I got to know that my wife is pregnant. I was happy to my heart’s core but I could not express my love to her. I asked her to go to her own house as by staying here she will not get the proper care which was required at this stage. This is the sarcasm of life , that when my wife needed me the most I was not there with her and was asking her to leave this place. But I did not have any other option. My goals were calling for this sacrifice. Smriti left and before a month to my examinations my mother called me and announced that she is a grandmother now. For seconds I thought of flying to my wife and my son but then had a reality check. All my family was there with her , with my son , except me .
Exams were over and we awaited the results. In between , we earned some more projects and we got engaged with that. We rented us a new office place. Results were out and we both passed our groups. Now we had to be ready for the last group of our finals but we were engaged in a lot of assignments as we never used to say NO to our clients. As of the work we could not focus on our studies and as a result we failed our last groups. We gave it again but failed again but Manoj ji was now a CA this time. We stroke a consensus between our work and studies and gave our groups again for the third time and one of us became a CA and one did not. As Maya ma’am was a CA now , we could do all the audit reporting work and now we did not have to think about seal and signature on them . But now I became very agitated which led to fights between me and Mayaji. Meanwhile I gave my fourth attempt and failed again. Now I was so broken down that every second my irritation led to fights and troubles in our office. The lovely fraternity bond that me and Mayaji shared was lost somewhere as she was a CA now and I was not. The fights were so much now that we even decided to call off the partnership but all of our clients loved to work with both of us so we did not make them more suspicious about our ups and downs. Somehow I calmed myself and even Mayaji helped me through this phase which helped me be ready for my fifth attempt. I wanted to be a CA this time desperately , so I asked my wife to go back to Jabalpur and promised her that this is the last time.
I was crazily concentrating only on my studies as Mayaji took the whole lot of responsibility of the office. But , before 15 days to my exams my father got hospitalized where he had to get operated. When my mother informed me about this I kept quiet. Maybe this was the last call of duty which I had to go through before my final examinations. I had to choose between my father and my exams , at that time I chose my exams and said no to my mother with a cold heart. People started criticizing me , taunt me , but nothing inserts inside your mind when you have chosen to be a rock solid personality. As soon as my examinations were over , I rushed to my father. He kept quite and I also kept standing there , teary eyed.
I was now back to office in a full working mode. The fights which were a normal aroma of the office lately was now next to zero. Then D-Day came. Results were out at 8 am but it was 9.30 am , and my friends were calling me to ask for my roll number. Nobody called after that. I was assured that I failed even this time. I quietly left my house. I was remorse. I was cursing all my dreams, goals. This CA left me of nothing, anywhere. I lost my Archana. I could not be with her because of this CA when she needed me the most. I could not give the desired love to my son which is a responsibility of a father. While contemplating, I reached a temple. I screamed at him, asked him – Why? Why are you doing this to me God?.
After an hour I reached office. Mayaji asked me about my result and I gave a sad look. She saw my expressions and asked me for my roll number. I was so irritated that I wrote my roll number on a paper and threw it over her desk “ Why are you asking this again and again? I have already told you I was not able to clear my CA. I will never be able to. Stop irritating me so much please “ I stormed off.
She smiled at me and waited for me to calm down. “ Mukesh , you are CA now !”she said and turned the computer screen towards me.
I saw my result and howled. I cried . I cried so much so to sit down on my knees. The biggest dream of my life is achieved, Yes ! I AM A CA.
The dream , which I created in the year 2000 came true in 2010. I was now – CA Mukesh Singh Rajput.
Photo credit: Images courtesy of the storyteller.