I spent my whole afternoon catching up with department professors on my last day at Insti in the Tam-land, known as Chennai among the earthlings. They gave lots of advices and blessings. This ultimate-single-day-at-insti-experience with profs was surprisingly different than what one could have extrapolated from my past interactions with them – well most of them. They weren’t looking down on me, for some reason they didn’t use sarcasms, they weren’t sad that there’s gonna be a juvenile like me out in the world as an engineer. This time I shook hands with them, patting me on my back, they gave all the luck they had to offer, they were happy and smiling. This one day experience of mine got hardcoded in my numb brains then and there itself.

But the best career advice I got that day was from a taxy driver. I had booked an Ola cab to reach to Chennai Central railway station with their 200 off offer on first journey which turned out to be one of the best cab ride I ever had. James was 30 and had a typical indian cinema-hero-type of childhood and most of his adulthood. His father got expired when he was in 8th, he had a sister and a brother both younger than him. Four-mouths-to-feed situation left him no choice but to opt out from school. But this didn’t stop him from learning. He started working here and there, became a taxy driver and finally bought his own cab on loan. By this time he had managed to get his sister’s marriage and brother’s education. He even got married and was expecting  in a couple of months.

He gave me this simple career advice in Mother Teresa’s words (that’s what he claimed):

“Remember these words and apply them in your life and you will never have to look back and regret for your actions in difficult times – honesty, family and friends, Work and charity.”

Original quote was in Tamil. All of these words started with ‘a’. I forgot by the time I decided put this thought down. I tried to get the correct translation in Tamil from friends but didn’t have much luck there.