In a semiconductor course tutorial at IIT Kanpur, Prof. Aloke Dutta pointed at me and said, “Please come and explain the functioning of an NPN transistor.”
As I sprang to my feet and walked up to the blackboard, my friend Ashish Agrawal was gaping at me: The task was not easy. How did I know this when I was ALWAYS behind in class?
On the blackboard, I drew a rectangle, divided it into three parts, labeled them N, P, N, and walked back.
I made an utter fool of myself but whether out of shock or decency, the instructor said nothing. Instead, he explained how an NPN transistor works.
But behind that seeming bravado, I realized how hollow I was. Those four aimless years, I scrambled before exams and passed, but never achieved any mastery or depth.
After this string of poor performances, I had serious self-doubts — was I was even good enough? I was so embarrassed that I did not submit any faculty recommendation for my MBA application — I didn’t deserve it.
But the past need not own us. I got a fresh start on joining the IPS and later, my MBA. This time, I gave it all I had, and gradually, my confidence came back.
We all want a more perfect past. But it is a trap.
Yesterday’s story is over. You can’t rewrite it. But tomorrow’s story is not written yet.
Change tomorrow’s story. Write it well. It takes just one success to change everything.