To begin with, the arrival of Susanta was almost like the scene from Harry Potter, where he stole the flying car to get to Hogwarts- a place he always called his home.
I had worked with his elder brother years ago. He had introduced me to Susanta his younger sibling and approached me for helping him out as he was searching for a job when I was taking my own big career leap. I was shifting from Kolkata to Mumbai.
I had replied to him, “I will see to it.”
Susanta was then a kindergarten teacher, who knew only one thing & used it to his power- HARD WORK.
After we had officially spoken, Susanta went on sending me morning and night wishes on a regular basis on Whatsapp. Occasionally that message had one more question to it. “Do you have any work for me, Sir?”
This went on for about 9 months.
I was then in Mumbai, still trying to figure out my entrepreneurial venture & engrossed in many other works.
One usual night while I sat at my work, my phone beeped. It was the same night wish from Susanta with the same question, to which I had promptly replied, “Okay. Board the next train to Mumbai.”
To my surprise,he stood there before me exactly after one and a halfdays. Susanta had come to Mumbai.
No questions asked. No demands made.
He had no idea of where he would stay, what he would do, how would he even provide for his food. It was the only trust.
I was left dumbstruck.
Susanta’s certificates were nothing near to help him know what I was trying to build. He had no knowledge of how to use a computer!
Those days I had the dream of building a school, to teach people on Digital Marketing. At nightI would learn my lessons and then provide Susanta with notes to make content out of them. He worked relentlessly for 17–20hrs a day on a broken, pre-historic Macbook I had managed for him.
This person stood stoically beside me when I had neither fund nor fame. He worked with me a hand in hand when I had nothing.
He stayed in the servant’s quarter which I had managed to arrange for him. He had no complaints.
Slowly when I felt that things had started to fall in place, I rented a space in a co-working area & offered him the first seat in the cabin because he deserved it more than I did. He made sure he was upgraded and knowledgeable enough. He passed all the certifications that were required.
This marked the rise of Susanta, my FRIDAY (from Robinson Crusoe).
Things that one should learn from Susanta:
– To put trust over logic
– To never question his Guru
– Follow instructions obediently
– The zeal to learn something new
– To sacrifice first
– To be patient
Susanta never saw the pain but welcomed the journey to the big picture of forming a company.
Belonging from a good family he didn’t mind staying in the servant quarters. The status-quo never got to him.
He was like a hungry predator whose prey was only knowledge from everywhere & anywhere possible.
He believed in my belief.
First I had thought, he was only fit for any other clerical job, but he proved me wrong. He became the first soldier of The Digital Fellow.
My man FRIDAY hadn’t given up on me even on the days I was struggling. He blindly supported me and stood there strong, as my pillar.
Even when I was in mess, couldn’t afford lunch, Susanta would bring us bananas that we ate sitting in my car (sounds hysterically funny, I know!)
But even in all these days, of endless struggle, he never let me stop dreaming neither did he stop. His optimistic outlook was a great motivation for me and was enough to keep me going.
I knew I had someone who believed in me, no matter how weird my dreams, my ambitions seemed.
Lady luck had decided to hit me down. I was hospitalized. I stayed in ICU for about 5 days & every time I opened my eyes everything was a blur except for the familiar silhouette that stood there beside my bed constantly, waiting Hogwarts for me to wake up.
He has been like a BROTHER, my support, Susanta had shown me what it was like when a human decided to be caring & affectionate.
Things he taught me:
His belief was like a mountain, immovable.
– Clear Vision
He always knew what he was working towards & his vision was always clear on building TDF (The Digital Fellow).
He would point at the tall buildings in the city & assure me that one day we would have our office in one such building.
He was thrown out of his residence but never complained. Rather found himself a home in Iskcon.
He sacrifices his taste buds and turned vegetarian for the Iskcon community because he wanted to be morally right to them.
He dreamt big. He always kept his chin high even on the cloudiest days. He was hopeful.
He is the only guy who speaks to me sarcastically and the funny part is I don’t even mind because I know whatever he says it is for my well-being.
It is said that behind every successful man there’s a woman, but I say, if you need your corporate to be successful, you’ll need a Susanta.
After we built The Digital Fellow on 1st April 2017, he became the mentor & coach for the interns who came to learn & work.
Such men are rare. Susanta is a different breed. I thank his parents for making ‘Susanta’ possible.
He dreams of owning a BMW in 2025, I will be more than happy to make his dream come true, and as he always says, I hope for the brighter side!
Being a voracious reader himself, Susanta is a social media enthusiast along with being what I term as a ‘Hardcore Dreamer’. Presently he drives our (The Digital Fellow’s) brand road map.
This journey of building The Digital Fellow was quite memorable and only for this one special person.
Susanta, this blog goes out as a tribute to all your Hard work, Unconditional Love & Unmatched Sacrifices.
Thank you for being the pillar to my dreams.