I’m standing outside the pharmacy, looking fixedly at the message my wife sent me ten minutes before, ‘she is not drinking if I breastfeed her, buy the milk powder once again.’
The clock on my mobile phone screen reads 10:58 P.M
I’m short of 50 bucks to buy a box of instant formula powder.
Memories flash through my mind - me and my wife getting graduated from one of the top universities in the country, high-flying jobs, getting married, spending our honeymoon in Bali, the sudden urge to start something on our own, taking a loan from parents and bank, quitting the corporate jobs, working our asses off in the new start-up, vendors and franchisors cheating us, non-cooperative employees, new tax regime and demonetization further breaking us down, stress, depression, pregnancy, premature birth, NICU hospital expenses, a rental house with monthly grocery expenses, our car seized, loan defaulters, leaving me having 250 rupees in my pocket.
The feeling of incompetence to feed my infant was excruciating. After years of successful corporate life, how did it come down to this?
From roof-top to drainage gutter, our lives stumbled down and ransacked our peace and happiness.
Reason - We wanted to start a business on our own!
A speeding truck takes a left at the end of the road and is approaching me. I want to let go of the pain; I want my death.
‘Jump in front of the lorry, and it’s all done.’
A night-time kulfi seller was vending milky ice sticks to many children on the opposite platform. It looks like the children have sneaked out of the house to have these late-night delights. Three of the children are close to their teenage I guess, and they successfully jumped over the compound wall and landed safely inside the house, leaving one child outside. He was small than the rest.
The kulfi seller pushes away his tri-cycle and goes out of sight. The boy licking his ice candy understood his brothers, friends, or relatives ditched him and notoriously returned to their haven.
“We know you can’t climb up… you little clown. Go on. Ring the bell, let your father come out, and give you a few smacking. We shall enjoy a show tonight…!”
One of the boys yelled and giggled from inside.
The boy looked terrified. He knew he could not climb up the wall. He threw the half-licked kulfi away and tried his best to hold on to the compound wall. He tried multiple times before crashing on the ground, hurting his knees.
The lorry is just a few yards away from me; I come closer to make a dramatic fall.
The child got up, brushed away dirt from his legs and arms, stared right into my eyes as if some furious tiger was about to pounce on its prey, walked a few steps back, runs crazily before he jumped up high to get hold of that compound wall and with mighty strength he lifted himself up and in a jiffy, he sits on top of that wall.
He looked behind me as the truck passed. I missed. He winks and smiles before he jumps back into the house.
I fought my pain; I took a loan from the pharmacist to purchase the milk powder. I closed our loss-making business with a heavy heart. Attended more than a hundred interviews to land a job.
Today more than a thousand entrepreneurs look for my management consulting advice for developing their business.
Pain is Ok. Brush up your wounds and leap. Failures are worth it!