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My celebration of failure

Inspired by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s words, “Don’t read success stories, you will get only message. Read failure stories, you will get some ideas to get success.”

By the time I reached Class XII, I was quite an Electronics Hobby Pro. I had experience of nearly 3 years of repairing radios, cassette recorders and amplifiers. I did not repair televisions as I was afraid of high voltage cathode ray tube. In my locality in Calcutta most of the people knew me and I used to get regular flow of business. This money helped me to buy new circuits for my experiments, books on electronics and definitely supply of cigarettes & Amitabh Movies.

Definitely study was not my priority. Hence it was quite a happy go lucky life. One fine day my Mom shouted, “If you are not getting a rank the engineering entrance exam, the only choice you have is to open a radio repair shop in Chandni Market.” That day I promised to myself that I would become a proper ‘Graduate Engineer.’ At that moment in West Bengal, we had only Government Engineering Colleges and only way you can get into it was by securing a rank between 1-1000 in the State Joint Entrance exam. As I was confident with my electronic circuits, my idea was of securing rank was too easy (Just like watching Deewar Movie ). So I appeared in the JEE after my class 12th Exam. I passed class 12th with a terrible mark (Just 62.5%) and failed to secure any rank in JEE.

The easy answer to Mom was, “Don’t worry. Let me study hard for one more year and I will secure the rank.” I took admission in BSc first year and dedicated my time to study. That point in time I was always around friends. So I actually followed what my friends said –  followed a borrowed strategy. I appeared for JEE for the second time in West Bengal and FAILED!

I was shattered, I did not study in BSc at all; did not attend classes, could not get a chance in Engineering Entrance, and did not know what to do. For few days I just roamed around the roads of Calcutta, sat in public parks for hours, smoked 20 cigarettes a day but no solution came out. However I decided to join Commerce stream. As I was not a regular student I took admission in a night college in Calcutta and started attending commerce classes.

In a week’s time I realised that B.Com is not my cup of tea as my heart still lies with Electronics. It was like being in love with a girl. You are deeply in love, proposed twice – rejected. Again tried to fall in love with some other girl but you can’t do that! So frustrating. One morning, I took a firm stand that I will appear in Entrance again, but I will not tell anyone that I am appearing again. The first step I started hunting for teachers who specialise in coaching JEE aspirants. I found one “Basu-Sir.” I appeared for a quick exam in front of him, He said “Rajarshi, if you leave everything from today and follow what I tell you to do, I can ensure you will get a rank in the Entrance.”

Next 6 Months was dedicated to study. I took extreme step towards the preparation. I bought last 20 years of exam papers and completed each paper 5 times. As all members of my family used to work so I got quiet time during the day for my study. Around 5 p.m. I used to go out of home telling that I am going for B.Com classes, then come back at around 8 p.m. and start studying again till late night. As I still continued to earn through my electronic repairs I used to pay for my tuitions, books, papers etc. The day of the exam, I told mom that I am appearing for JEE again. Mom smiled and asked, “What do you need from me?” I told her, “Keep the news as secret and make tiffin for me as I consider it lucky.” Next 2 days I appeared for the exams and kept my fingers crossed for next 3 Months.

Around the result time, one night I woke up with a dream. As I am a follower of Vivekananda, I dreamt of him, He said, “Rajarshi, tomorrow your results will come out and your rank will be 352.” I sat on the bed for few moments, took my diary. and noted, “As I dreamt my rank will be 352 and if that happens then this is the evidence of the same.”

Next afternoon the results of West Bengal Joint Entrance Exam for Engineering came out and my rank was 353. I took admission in Electronics and Communication Engineering in Regional Engineering College, Warangal, and rest is history today. I still have the diary and I open it to remember my story.


1. Never live on a borrowed strategy. We should have our own plan and make it happen.

2. Take firm decisions. For a moment you may think it’s wrong but in the long-term you will be successful.

3. Look for people who made people successful. I am talking of Indian version of Sean Parker or Peter Thiel.

4. Your dream will come true for sure, whether you can live with your dreams till then or not, that’s the question.

Dreamt and Written by Rajarshi Guha (


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1 Comment

  1. wow. Amazing story

    Also, NEVER LET PARENTS MIS GUIDE YOU is what I keep saying.

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