Yesterday, we carried a heartwarming story about the daughter of an auto driver, who topped her Chartered Accountancy (CA) exams. In the article, Prema Jayakumar spoke about her father Perumal who came from Tamil Nadu to become an auto driver in Mumbai.
He toiled so that both his children Prema and son Dhanraj could study. Incidentally, even Dhanraj cleared this tough exam. The CA exam is very difficult to clear in one go, so it is all the more creditable that Prema and Dhanraj did it, overcoming adverse circumstances. They studied while staying with their parents in a Malad chawl, without comforts like air-conditioning or a separate room in which they could study.
In the report they cited their secret, which is no secret really, dedication and hard work. They put in the necessary hours to get through the exam. This story, like a beacon in a dark tunnel of violence and doomsday news dominating, fully espouses the spirit of this city. Whatever its drawbacks, however trying it is to live here, it explains why people still come to Mumbai hoping to make something of their lives. That an autorickshaw driver has children who cleared their CA exams fully proves the ethos of the city, that it is not where you come from or who you are, but, what you make of yourself that matters in Mumbai.
Some time ago, this paper had also reported about a Mumbai girl called Varalaxmi Pillai, whose mother Shanta Pillai worked as a maid. Varalaxmi had spent her childhood in a 150-sq foot house in Kanjurmarg, with a limited supply of water and electricity. Today, she has a Masters Degree in International Business and Management. Truly inspirational accounts and sterling proof why Mumbai continues to be a magnet for aspirants and immigrants.