Thursday, 5 March 2015

The Story of My Motorcycle

As soon as I graduated from college, I fought with my parents to allow me to go full-time with my start-up. They didn’t approve of my choosing an uncertain course over the secure path of campus placements and there was an unsaid tension between my parents and me. I became taciturn during that phase, and would answer in a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ over the phone to my parents’ anxious questions, often evading most of them. Since they lived a thousand kilometers away, they were understandably concerned about my well-being. Most of their questions were directed at my company and almost always ended up calling it futile. I would hang up, frustrated. Fighting it out with abject poverty, I painted a rosy picture of my life to my parents saying, ‘I am making a decent half a lac rupees a month,’ so that I would be relieved from at least one end, while figuring out a revenue model that worked for my venture. 

It was the end of the second month of full-time entrepreneurship and a very difficult time for me. I had rented a 2 BHK apartment in Malviya Nagar, made one room the office and the other, the living room. The rent, shared between my partner and me, was fifteen thousand rupees per month besides an additional three thousands for electricity  My partner’s parents knew  his dismal financial condition and they  supported him, whereas my self-respect forbade me to ask for my parents’ help. As the date of paying the rent came closer, tension in the house grew. My partner started pestering me to arrange the money, and I retaliated by asking him to generate money from the venture instead. Owing to my slackness, the rent was delayed and my landlord, an astute Delhi businessman, got pissed and gave us a notice to pack our bags. We begged him for one more day and my partner stopped speaking to me for a day so that I knew it was entirely my fault. I decided it was time to let go of my ego and ask for my parents’ help. But before I could dial the number, I saw an unread message in my inbox. It said, ‘Rs. 60000 credited in your SBI account’. It was my father.

My eyes became wet as I dialled my father’s number. He answered on the third ring and said, ‘It’s your birthday next month. You always wanted a motorcycle. Allow me to gift you one. With the money transferred, buy it for yourself. It would help you in your business.’ Unable to say anything without giving away that I was crying, I cut the call and sobbed uncontrollably. The money he credited sustained me during the next six months of pathetic poverty. I struggled hard, the windfall in my bank account reminding me of my duty towards my parents every day. Six months later, I found an investor for my company. For the first time in life, I was in a condition to buy a motorcycle for myself, which I did.

When my father came to Delhi last month to inaugurate my venture’s new office on my birthday, I made him sit on the pillion of my six-month old motorcycle while going to the venue. He said to me, ‘You have maintained it really well. It does not look like it’s a year old.’ 

‘Yes Dad, I had to. It gave me hope when there wasn't. Thank you.’

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