Conversations that create “opportunities”! | Milaap

Conversations that create “opportunities”!

July 2018, I was posted as a fellow of Milaap in Bhubaneswar. Bracing myself with a thought of too crowded airports of India, I landed in Bhubaneswar airport in Odisha. Surprisingly, after collecting my baggage and coming out I found it was really peaceful. At least that is what you would call being a Bangalorean and feeling that you have seen too many people and vehicles in your life.

As always, I booked an Ola. Awaiting my cab in the arrivals I looked around. Things seemed to be in harmony here. My phone beeps, I realized my cab was here. I got into the cab and found my driver smile and greet me. I settled down and hit for a conversation with him.

His name was Muralidhar Mallick. I was relieved he spoke good Hindi. I asked him how did he know Hindi. He replied,” I am a BCom graduate Saab”. Confused, I questioned him why is he not working for a firm where he can earn better, given his qualifications. That is when he opened up his pandora of how he started on his own.

Mallick is from a small village near Cuttack, Orissa. In his younger days, he was good with his studies. On completing his graduate degree in BCom he started working for ITC as a marketing sales representative. Few years down, his life turned upside down. He had the worst fight with his Manager and left the organization. With no much savings and a family to feed, he bought an old ambassador of his friend’s and started driving it. The money he got was not sufficient to sustain his family of four. He started driving an auto which he got on loan, which he used on his dry days without any trips. He started making profits and saved more. He invested his profits on the right things.

Now Mallick owns two autos which he has lent to his poor friends and a car which he drives. He says,”I see my struggling days when I see them.  These years, I have become more compassionate to people, struggling myself with success, I believe people would always do better given the opportunity to grow. That is what I do, ‘I gave them an opportunity to grow’.” Mallick wants his son and daughter to get a good education. He wants to see them as chartered accountants, the dream which he wanted to be.

I found a small scale successful entrepreneur, a proud father and a humble human being in Mallick. On reaching my destination at Gram Utthan I asked him to smile for a picture. It was too dark and the car indoor lights didn't work. He held his mobile torchlight over his face and gave the same pleasant smile. I clicked and thanked him.

The torchbearer Mallick.