A journey starts with a million of endurance and courage to reach the crowning destination. There is always a kind of journey that ends – that ends after attaining the final moment with pride and happiness. But there is another kind – the kind of journey that doesn’t have a destination; that doesn’t have an end. I have started a journey, the journey of the latter kind. This is a tale of how journey started from a cubicle-living to compassionate-living! It was fun to work within highly professional companies and try to solve complex strategic and financial challenges whilst at the same time getting generously paid for doing it. However, it was at this point in my life when I felt a strong drive to get more involved in an area focused on making a positive impact on a more personal level – ideally to make life a bit better for people in need. To choose a path which is less taken is obviously a difficult decision. Knowing the way, I want to travel in my life, I still wondered how and where to start the journey.

Before 10 months (June 2014)

While working at IBM, Pune, my life was very similar to each corporate techie! Loads of friends, late night parties, movies, lavishly spending money, weekend trips were the routine of my life. It was one such day, where the shop keeper said,

Cards are not accepted ma’am’ ‘Where is the nearby ATM?’I asked. ‘There is one in front of the mall’ he said.

Completely cashless, I set foot inside the SBI ATM. Usually no one notices the Ads displayed in the ATM and I was no exception. But that day was quite different. I had to wait in a long queue. Every time, after a transaction was over, I could see a layout of Mahatma Gandhi portrait. The portrait spitted the image of picture which I drew for a drawing competition conducted in IOB, my father’s office. When my turn came, I couldn’t help but wonder what that portrait and lines written under it meant. Cash in my hand and thoughts in my mind I walked out of the ATM. As soon as reaching the hostel, I turned my laptop on and typed the exact words which I saw at the ATM,


As soon as reading about it, with no second thought, I applied immediately. Months later, lesser that I know, I ended here in Wayanad just to embark upon my fellowship program journey. 🙂 This was after fully geared training sessions in Gujarat, which were very helpful to understand the ground realities of the rural India. With a completely urban back ground, I was negligent about many rural realities. I really feel that SBI YFI is a right platform and had given me an opportunity to get to know the ground level scenarios. Gradually, I became a delightful part of the local communities, which created a great rapport between me and the community. When I was a kid, I was deeply touched by a quote,

Life laughs at you, when you are sad; Life smiles at you, when you are happy; Life salutes you, when you make others happy.

With SBI YFI, I exactly know how to start the journey, the journey to make others smile; to originate happiness in the hearts of the people. The journey has begun, with no limitations and no end. The battery for this endless journey is the smiles across the faces. The happy face charges the battery and helps me cross miles in the journey. At the end of a day, all that matters are how many smiles we bring about on other’s faces.

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