Each morning for work and return late in

Each one of us has a different life and a different journey.
For some, the journey is easy and for others, very tough. Each one of us
encounters some events which can alter the course of our life for better or for
worse. These events, even the tough ones, can force one to personally grow and
get a new understanding of oneself and others.


The first decade of my life was fairly carefree. We were a
normal happy family. My younger brother and I lived in Gurgaon with our
parents. Our mother, who was a homemaker, looked after us and pampered us while
our father worked in a large multinational company.

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Sometimes things in life don’t go as anticipated. When I was
eleven years old, my mother was diagnosed with meningitis. Everybody in my
family had thought that she would survive it. Unfortunately, she did not, and
passed away very suddenly .This was an earth-shattering loss for me. It felt
like I had survived a bullet piercing through my heart.


I transformed overnight from a child to a boy and forced
myself to become emotionally and mentally stronger to take on lifes’
challenges. I became more sensitively attached to my younger brother and my
father. My younger brother missed our mother a lot and his grades in school plummeted.
I helped my brother with his studies and also focused on my own education.


Life gradually started becoming normal again. My father
would leave early in the morning for work and return late in the evening. After
coming back home from school in the afternoon, I took care of myself and my
younger brother. I played the role of my mother by providing mental and
emotional support to my younger brother and helped him with his homework. I
even attended his parent-teacher meetings. I helped him take decisions and
tried to keep him cheerful and happy at all times. I realized how much we had
taken our mother for granted and how much mental and physical comfort we had had
just because of her.


Just when I thought that I had already seen the worst in my
life, my brother and I were faced with another nightmare. Amidst my final year
high school exams, just a day before my mathematics exam, my father committed
suicide. This tragic incident left me in limbo. I was once again the same
eleven years old I had once been. Now, however, I had no one left to seek help
from. I was left all alone with my younger brother. I had no choice but to take
the upcoming exams. Somehow, I passed my final year board exams.

I had to suddenly grow up again and evolve from an immature
boy to a man.


While graduating from high school, my classmates had the
parental support to help them pursue their passions, plan exotic-vacations, and
buy hi-tech video-games. I, on the other hand, was figuring out how to cook
food for my brother and myself. I began to live alone at home, shouldering all
the household responsibilities from cooking, cleaning, educating my brother and
myself. Now, I not only had to think about my future, but also about my brothers’
future. Also, I was no longer just an elder brother to my sibling, but also,
all that was left of his family.


These events have completely changed me as a human being on
a personal level. I have had to grow up overnight from a child to an adolescent
and then again from an adolescent to a man. I have become tough, resilient,
independent and mentally strong. In the past year, I have learned to manage our
finances, do housework, cook and be a mentor to my younger brother.


I am ready to face on any more challenges that life may
throw at me head on.