I love the Golden Era of Bollywood music, I grew up listening to it. I was blessed with a pretty good voice and wanted to be a singer – I came pretty close too. In Grade 12, I was in the finals of a national singing competition but on the final day of the competition, just before my performance, I had an epileptic episode.
The other competitor went on to be one of the biggest stars in Bollywood.
Ten years of epilepsy impacted my memory and made it difficult to study but my family’s support helped me to get decent grades, a school diploma and a university degree. I struggled with my placement interviews and spent some time selling fax machines door-to-door. When I was 24, a lovely girl proposed to me despite knowing about my epilepsy and poor finances. I started a new chapter in my life. One day I attended a training programme. The trainer said, “The only way to influence your surroundings is to keep investing in what is in your ‘circle of control’ and make it bigger.” This made sense to me. I may not be able to change the circumstances around me but what I can change is my own attitude towards these circumstances. Rather than finding an excuse to indemnify myself against failure, I try to locate what I can do to make things better.
Overcoming my illness has made me a fighter and I always want to stretch what I thought myself capable of. When someone tells me that something is going to be difficult something in me just switches on. I’ve done lots of different jobs at Colt, and in each role I’ve achieved results that I hadn’t thought possible.
Rajeev Gupta | Senior Manager of Enterprise Risk & Assurance | India