Dreams don’t come with an expiry date. What matters is how badly do you want something. How far are you willing to chase your dream? How many obstacles does it take to bring you down? Will you settle for the backup option?
According to a report in Mid-day, when 25-year-old Prathamesh Hirve’s mother was told that their son was going to be an engineer with ISRO, she didn’t quite understand what it meant. A 10 X 10 house in the slums of Filterpada wasn’t very familiar with the mysteries of the universe, and those who attempted to unravel them. Later, when she realized that her son was going to be working with an elite group of professionals in an organization as big as ISRO, she was overjoyed. Sometimes, that’s what pride looks like – a mother’s eyes glistening with tears.
Prathamesh didn’t have it easy. He lived in a densely populated area where there were more than enough distractions. Losing sight of his goal and succumbing to the urge of mere survival was perhaps the easiest thing to do. But settle, he didn’t. His dreams were too big and determination too strong.
Faith as unshakable as the earth
A lot of people around him would often see him burn the midnight oil and question his intent. Once when his parents took him to a career counsellor, he was told that he was better off doing arts. It did upset him, but not enough for him to abandon his dream. He told his parents that he would become an engineer, no matter what and his parents believed him. In 2007, he was granted admission to Bhagubhai Mafatlal Polytechnic College for a diploma course in Electrical Engineering.
The elephant in the room
Till class 10, Prathamesh had studied in a Marathi-medium school, which is why English wasn’t a language he was very comfortable with. During the first two years of his diploma, he used to sit at the back of his class. He didn’t want his professors to ask him questions he knew, he couldn’t answer; not because he didn’t know it, but because he couldn’t communicate in the language he was expected to speak in. In the second year when he spoke to his teacher about his language problem, he was asked to read and refer to the dictionary as much as possible. With perseverance and hard work, he got better at it. During his internships at L&T and Tata power, his mentors encouraged him to study further and that’s when he decided to pursue a degree from Smt Indira Gandhi College of Engineering in Navi Mumbai.
Failures are nothing but indicators to a bigger success-story
After completing his degree course in 2014, he applied for a spot in UPSC but failed. Next, he applied to ISRO in 2017, but there too he couldn’t make it beyond the waiting list. He had a couple of job offers in hand, so, he took a job as an engineer. However, his sight was still set at the stars. In May 2107, he applied to ISRO once again, and guess what? Prathamesh Hirve was one out of the nine people selected from among 16,000 applicants.
It took him 10 years of hard work – of studying day and night, of not giving up in the face of failure, of fighting all odds and of believing that he would one day achieve his dream. People like Hirve prove that if you want a fairytale, you have to write it yourself. You can either settle for what you have or fight for what you want; People who do the former seldom make history.
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