It has officially been one month in India and I can say that I have grown a lot ever since, in terms of experience, exposure and learning.
Still remember the first time when I was in India in 2010, well, I wasn’t suppose to be there, but I guess fate brought me there. And I’m glad that I came, it just expand my horizon, I got to know so many people. I never in my life regretted knowing them, people like Ashesh, Akshat, Himanshu, Gaurav, Keshav, Ravi, and many more.
Once you step on that very ground on that very moment, everything just becomes clear, you were once born here
How I know Rajesh Panda, CEO, Founder of Corporate Gurukul?
I met him through India Overseas Immersion Programme through Ngee Ann Polytechnic, School of InfoCommTechnology. Like I said that I came to India in 2010, it was because of this Programme. Now everyone seems to be curious how ‘Suraj Singh’ came about and some even approach me with a confusing look. In 2010, I came to India – National Institute of Technology Rourkela, I had a dejavu the moment I stepped into the AV hall, it was like I had been there a long time ago, at the same place, same seat, same country, there was a flash back, a flash back that startled me, a flash back that didn’t exist way before I step foot into India.
At the very same night, I had a dream, Lord Ganesha came into my dream, he was there standing right in front of me, the feeling that I had was so calm, his aura covered me and there was no language barrier. I knew what he wanted to tell me: “Follow me”. He led me to his temple, very pure, very majestic, the surrounding was quiet, and I still remember vividly there were two lions at the gate. The steps felt so real in front of me, I took my first step up, then the second, then the third, he didn’t look back at me, I followed quietly.
And he led me into his palace, a place where no one has ever entered, and I enter his majestic. Suraj Singh, the name that was sounded to me, I kneel down respectfully, and accepted who I really was.
The next day, I went to a temple, I couldn’t believe my eyes, the structure had changed, but the aura did not, that very same ground, that very same place, I was here last night in my dream.
Suraj Singh, your life isn’t just about yourself, your life belongs here, your life is to contribute back to where it belongs. Now, accept it, and follow me.
I followed him.
Subsequently, I started practicing Hinduism, understanding the where he was, where he came from, where was I heading to. It was never enough, the truth, the reasoning, the explanation, the connection, I went to India once again, all by myself, on a road to discover who I really was.
2011, I went back alone staying in the same place in the hostel of Nitrkl with some of my friends, then in end of 2011, I started India Internship Programme in my college where I flew to India Orissa state working on a research project titled: Employability in India & Singapore and the coordinator of India Immersion Programme 2011 back in Rourkela. 2012, I took up the role of Coordinator India Immersion Programme once again in Rourkela and then I was enlisted into the Singapore Armed Forced for 2 years.
Completed my National Service as a Corporal In rank under the Transportation Battalion, coming back and out into the society, I was a bit lost, lost in a sense whereby I don’t know where should I go to and when should I go, how should I go, Suddenly I fell into a ‘infinity Dark hole’
Follow me I said, Why are you here? What did I told you 5 years ago Suraj? Are you still here with me?
Yes sir, Yes. I’m always there with you Sir, please show me the direction, please, don’t leave me here alone.
Hold my hand son, I’m here for you.
Everything became clear for me, I need to get back to India, I have to get back to stay connected.
Met up with Rajesh in 2015 again right after I complete my National Service, meeting him was purely getting back my hardisk but it led to him asking: “What are you doing now? do you have plans to come to India for work?” This actually struck me, I was thinking about it and he was there asking me.
Interviews, discussion, then it became finalize, and I decided to take up the job offer. It was hard for me, in fact I was discourage by a lot of people. Some were saying: “Why? Why India? Why don’t you work in Singapore? the pay is so much higher than you working in India.”
Leaving behind everything and start in a place where you are not familiar with, wasn’t an easy decision for me, and there was even a few moments, I wanted to give up the idea of coming back to India.
1. Money wasn’t my priority but the society has given you no choice but to become their slave.
2. Debts, loans, bills
Given my job in India, I can survive, but how can I survive in India with my debts going on and on in Singapore? It wasn’t just me anymore.
But still, I came, reason being I wanted to be a part of this developing phase, the phase that I never had back in Singapore. Yes, Singapore is very developed, but was there anything I could have gain from the industry? Was there something to learn from a 9-5 desk job of a $2500 salary? No. The exposure and learning here is totally different, and it’s ever-growing.
If you are born poor don’t blame your parents, but if you die poor, blame yourself
自己的未来由自己掌控 You control your own future
I was talking to my national service Encik (Sergeant major) on whatsapp, he asked:
Him: “Why you go till so far and work?”
Me:”I love India, maybe my previous life I was born here, I had this attachment, inaddition, exposure and learning is huge here!”
Me:”Maybe some will understand some will not, but yea”
Me:”Cause alot of people just think of money and tell me not to go? But to me, experience.Exposure.learning is more important than anything”
Me:”I’m giving myself one year, then if possible, I would try to open the market into China and Japan for the company.”
Him:”Well plan, but you not going to study?”
Me:”I’m going to, but not now. Money is the problem, I’m not from a rich family, I started working at the age of 13, started off at KFC with a pay of $2.10/hr, then as a street magician, then become a server in food court, manage to get internship in a small accounting firm, then in the human resource department in a private hospital then marketing, not to complain that my life sucks here, but it’s a good learning process journey. So here I am, paying for my own education for the future, I don’t blame anyone, not my parents not anyone for not being rich, infact I’m glad they are not, so here I am, striving hard for my own future.”
Him:” I very much agree with what you said. It’s our life, do whatever you want”
Me:” What I’m working here contribute to the education sector in India.”
Him:”Your dream is there.”
Me:”I’m loving what I’m doing.”
Him:”That is important.”
Me.”Yes, in fact it’s meaningful on what I’m doing here, it’s hard, I have to agree on that but…”
How many actually know the real meaning of : “You ripe what you sow”
Me:”Thanks, but maybe alot out there understand it, but i’m trying to make people understand what I’m doing here, learning never stops just because you are not in school, everyday is a learning process”
When you have learn to let go, then you will learn what you have gained