Lost and found

#14/100

This story dates back to year 2008. I had recently started lectures for my first year in degree college. I was studying for chartered accountancy exams along with a bachelor’s degree in commerce. I used to attend college lectures in the morning from 7 am to 10 am and head to a Chartered Accountant’s office for my articleship for the rest of the day. (Every C.A. student has to serve a mandatory internship under a qualified chartered accountant for 3.5 years called as “Articleship”)

It had barely been 10 days since I was gifted a cellphone by my mother. I was over the moon with this gift as I’ve always been a gadget freak and was waiting to own a cellphone for myself. This cellphone was a huge investment for my mother as we weren’t financially stable during the entire period of my student life. It was more of a necessity rather than a luxury owing to my erratic schedule with college, articleship and tuitions.

The day started with college early in the morning. I wanted to inquire about the travel concession provided by my college and had paid a visit to the college administration department. I went there with the cellphone tucked safely inside my wallet. I was extra cautious not to misplace it or accidentally drop it. But I didn’t pay any attention to my ‘absent mindedness‘ and left the whole wallet with my cellphone at the counter of the department on my way back.

I didn’t realize it till the end of my lectures that day. I bid goodbye to my friends and tried to find my wallet for some cash and went numb when I couldn’t find it inside my bag. A shiver ran down my spine when I realized that I had misplaced my wallet and the cellphone with it. Teary eyed I went back to the lecture hall and searched every nook and cranny but couldn’t find it. I went to the canteen, library and finally the administration department only to be told that they haven’t found any lost item.

I just wasn’t ready to accept the reality. I couldn’t tell my mother that I had lost the cellphone which she had bought for me with much love and after many sacrifices. I called her up eventually and told her the sad news. I burst into tears while talking to her. She tried to calm me down and told me to keep calling my number with the hope of connecting to the person who had caught hold of my cellphone. This felt like a lost cause to me as I knew people aren’t sincere enough to return a brand new cellphone directly placed on to their lap.

I kept calling my number on the way to office. I was in a sunken mood at office and told them about the incident too. They tried their best to cheer me up and kept calling my number to see if someone would receive the call.

That’s exactly when a miracle took place. Someone picked up my number!!! My colleague talked to the person who turned out to be the librarian. He told her that a student had found my wallet and gave it to the librarian for safekeeping. I absolutely couldn’t believe my ears. I was going to get my cellphone back!

I ran towards the college (technically took an auto but in my mind I was dramatically running towards my cellphone), reached the library and collected my wallet with the biggest smile on my face. The call was received at the exact moment when I had lost all hope of getting the wallet and cellphone back. I prayed for the student who gave back my lost stuff without any malicious intent. I went back with chocolates for my colleagues to celebrate the unusual ‘lost and found” incident. I again got moist eyed when I told my mother that I had found my precious cellphone.

When I earned my first and only scholarship

#5/100

I’m a chartered accountant by profession. I had cleared my exams way back in 2012. I almost gave up reading for good after studying for these exams. Forget further studies, I was mentally exhausted to even pick up a novel to read.

Cut to 7 years later, I finally wanted to study further, get another professional certificate/degree. I’ve always been an avid reader, I’m curious about the ways in which the world operates. Let me put it out straight, I ain’t a studious person but I do enjoy gaining information. Studying just for the sake of giving exams is probably one of my nightmares!

After researching through various short term courses and certifications, I finally zeroed down on CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst). I was fairly sure that I wanted to do this course. However, there was one big glitch. This course was extremely expensive. There are 3 levels to this course, the entry fees to the first level and examination costs was a whopping USD 1,150 (INR 86,000). I am anyways a known procrastinator, the exorbitant fee to this course made me second guess my decision of enrolling for it.

While I was in two minds about opting for this course, my friend told me about a “Women’s scholarship” offered by the CFA institute. Although she told me to not keep my hopes high, there was no harm in trying for it. I just had to answer few questions about why I deserved the scholarship and how the CFA degree would help me in my professional goals. I gave my best to answer the questions, applied for the scholarship and ‘tried’ to forget all about it. I refrained from registering for the exam till I heard about the institute’s decision. I knew I had very slim chances of being awarded the scholarship but somehow I couldn’t let my hope die a silent death.

Every morning I refreshed my mailbox to look for the institute’s reply. This went on for over a month. One such morning, I woke up hazily to a routine weekday. I refreshed my mailbox out of habit and there it was, the institute’s reply!

I got the scholarship! My joy knew no bounds! This was probably the sign I was waiting for. The scholarship waived off the fees to USD 350. I enrolled for the course right away. After experiencing few setbacks, I sometimes had pessimistic reaction to certain situations in life. This scholarship somehow restored my faith in the Universe. It was that positive beam of light that I was struggling to find since a long time.

The missing pendant

#1/100

To kick start my first article of this challenge, let me document one of the most miraculous days of my life.

Ever since my childhood, I had developed a habit of wearing a gold chain on my neck. I call it a habit because I’m not particularly interested in jewelry or accessorizing as such, it’s just a thing I had picked up as part of our community values. I know it doesn’t make sense at all, it’s just one of the crazy things we south Indians do, “Your neck looks bare, wear a gold chain!”

As I started using the public transport for my work commute, I became extremely fearful of wearing a gold chain on a daily basis. There have been many instances of chain snatching on the trains or railway platforms and that honestly scared the shit out of me. I still carried on with determination and built up my confidence after almost a decade of using the public transport.

However, an incident that took place about a year and a half back forced me to change my view on this. I had started going on long morning runs ranging from 7 to 10 kms during the weekends. On one such run, after completing few rounds, I slowly felt my gold chain slipping through my back. I turned around and saw it on the ground. In the momentary celebration of having found my gold chain back I realized that it didn’t have the most important element, my precious tortoise pendant.

Although I didn’t have an interest in wearing jewelry, I absolutely loved the pendant. It was a beautiful small gold and diamond pendant in the shape of a tortoise, it even had eyes carved on it for crying out loud! Let me insert a reference picture here for you to understand why I absolutely adored it.

https://www.bluestone.com/pendants/the-tortoise-pendant~9509.html

The realization struck soon, I might have lost the pendant way before the gold chain slipped from my neck and I just wasn’t ready to lose it. I was running on a concrete road with tiny pebbles and leaves all around. It was physically next to impossible to find the pendant on the ground. I still spent the next 45 mins going over the same stretch of the road multiple times to try and locate my precious pendant. All through the ordeal, my mind was exceptionally calm and confident that I would find it. However, the positive chatter soon ended when I wasn’t successful in retrieving it. Reluctantly, I decided to head back home. I couldn’t complete my running target either and honestly that bothered me even more.

I started taking painfully slow steps back home with my eyes still fixated on the ground, eagerly trying to locate my precious pendant, without any hope left to find it. I walked for sometime, probably the most disappointing walk of my life, when my eyes fell on something shiny on the ground. You’ve got to be kidding me, there lay my pendant, smothered in mud and tiny pebbles! This place was way behind the path where I had felt my chain slipping from my neck so I had no inclination of searching for it here. My pendant had slipped from the chain almost a kilometre before the chain lost it’s balance. I had spent 45 mins looking for it in the completely wrong direction and path. I was exhilarated! I absolutely couldn’t believe my luck! I found my pendant back!

I had an exciting story to share to my mom that day and also a valid reason for tucking the chain and pendant safely inside the locker. To celebrate this miraculous victory, I decided to complete the run that was disrupted by the missing pendant incident. Yeah, that’s how I celebrate, I run!