Rakesh was a happy child at six who pulled off pranks, laughed heartily and did everything that a normal child would do. But everything changed in a jiffy when he lost his father and mother on the same day. His carefree days were mercilessly snatched and a pile of worries were thrown at him. Every day from then on he has looked life in the eye and improved himself. He has now carved out a successful path for himself where everyone who knows him is proud of him.
The glorious days of childhood enjoy the usual protection of father’s love and mother’s pampering. However, for Rakesh, life became shredded pieces of glass under the feet when his parents died in a car crash when he was only 6. He was born into a prosperous family of Punjab with acres of expensive land in the name of his parents. But destiny had something else peeping out of its window pane. The car crash not only subjected Rakesh to the hardship of life but also showed him that the relatives who cherished his company before turned their backs on him leaving him feeling cheated. He had nowhere to go as everyone he knew had backstabbed him after his parents died.
However, Rakesh had only one option – taking life by its horns. He pulled himself together, remembered how his mother had always high hopes with you, and decided not to succumb to the blows of life. To survive he had to work even if it meant becoming a child labor. He started working in one factory after another and often cried himself to sleep thinking about his mother’s healing touch. Every day would be a burden, weeks would go by when he had meal only for namesake. He mended cycles, waited at tables, became an errand boy to pay for his education. At times he had no money for even medical aid.
Life was creeping at its pace when one day in 1971, Rakesh saw some soldiers practicing for parades and operations. Their uniform, command, and pride in self clicked with him instantly. And when he heard ‘Bharat mata ki jai’, the slogan reverberated in his mind and he made a promise to serve this mother before he dies. This was the ambition he nurtured since he was just 10-year-old.
It became Rakesh’s habit to watch the soldiers parade. One day he entered the camp and asked about how he can join the army. He was told that he could do so only if he completed high school. He had no patience so he skipped STD 9 and gave private exam for STD 10. After the results declared him passed he again went to the training centre and told them he is ready to join the forces now. Within some time he realized that he would join at an entry level as only graduates are eligible to become an officer.
This came across as a blow to Rakesh as he had no money to pay for college. He wondered about and found out that he can enroll privately. He paid for the forms and books by working in factories. Treasuring each of his struggles, he says, “Life should be full of obstacles because if there is no setback there will be no prosperity or growth.
Captain Rakesh Walia was recruited as an officer in Indian Army and served there for almost ten years before resigning owing to failing health of his wife. After coming back to civilian life, he became a stock broker, after which he joined a travel group where he was associated with major airlines. Currently, he is working as the Chief Administrative Officer at Matrix Cellular, a company which has been valued well over Rs 1,200 crore.
Even today, before going to bed he prays that nobody sees that adversities that he had as not everyone has the strength to bear it and still follow the right path.
Rakesh’s willingness, hard work and the belief in himself made him tread this path to success. He is a great inspiration to us and proves that howsoever hard the situation might be, always hold the beacon light towards the goal and nothing can stop us, if we have solid determination.