Manoj once thought that asking for help made him look weak.
He now lives everyday trying to help as many people as he can.
Let’s start at the beginning. As an engineering student and a State and National Level Cricket Player, Manoj’s life was looking prosperous. Featuring in the Tamil Nadu and the Presidents’ XI Cricket Team, it would be no exaggeration to say that things were going right for this young man.
However, in his second year of college, disaster struck. Manoj was suddenly faced with an injury (a ligament tear in his ankle) and the doctor’s orders –
You can no longer play in 50 overs matches.
A physical injury to a sportsperson can be life-altering, and this held no less true for Manoj as well. On the one hand, he loved playing cricket. On the other, his injury made it impossible for him to play. Shattered about this outcome, Manoj struggled for years to come.
I thought seeking help was a weakness. I wished to overcome this on my own.
The result, however, was years of emotional turmoil. Manoj just could not come to terms with the fact that he could not play cricket the same way anymore. To top it all off, he began gaining weight. “I had no reason to go to the gym anymore. Before, cricket helped me stay in shape. But After my injury, I stopped paying attention to my fitness and began gaining weight.”
Manoj soon found himself at the heaviest weight he had ever been, at 90 kgs.
I would look at myself in the mirror, and see that I was not who I used to be. This actually drove me to try to change myself.
But fate was not about to leave Manoj alone yet. It still had one last blow to strike. During his MBA at Symbiosis (an achievement which in itself was an uphill battle), he found himself vomiting blood in class. Upon examination, it was found that Manoj had a benign tumor in his spinal cord. “I was really shocked”, he says, “this tumor came out of the blue and turned my world upside down.”
A surgery to remove the tumor was then inevitable. Manoj recalls this process as one of the most painful periods of his life.
There was so much pain that I would cry myself to sleep every night. It was a difficult time.
The doctors had warned Manoj that recovery from the surgery would be a slow and painful process. They had also told him that there would be a chance that he might never be able to walk properly again. At this point, as if he needed anything more to worry about, there was the tension of semester exams as well.
My friends helped me a lot. They would actually hold me up and help me walk to my exam centre.
However, despite all that he was facing, Manoj found himself recovering slowly, but steadily. The support he received from his friends and family, as well as his own perseverance helped push him through. There was one mantra at the time that he found to be especially useful – to take life one day at a time. Miraculously, Manoj pushed himself to not just recover from the surgery, but to regain his fitness as well.
I went from not being able to walk, to performing a single push-up, to 50 push-ups, to even doing pull-ups!
“Soon, I had lost around 20 kgs. I finally started feeling like myself again.” He even put himself on a strict diet. Fried foods, and sugar was off the table – for almost 20 months at a stretch! But it all paid off. Manoj soon found himself looking at a familiar figure in his mirror again. With his health and fitness back on track, Manoj was ready to take on new challenges. “Because of this period in my life, I feel so much stronger”, he says.
I think to myself – if I could do it once, I can do it again
His period of turmoil was finally over, but something still didn’t sit right with him. 2019 rolled out, and Manoj found himself dissatisfied with the path that his professional life was headed towards.
This is when Manoj came across YourDOST on the internet. Without thinking twice, he grabbed the opportunity, gave an interview and got hired as Account Manager for the team. “I don’t know what it is”, he says, “but it just felt right. I can’t explain it, but I feel like I’ve found my place here.”
But you know what? There might actually be an explanation. Working at YourDOST was different from his previous jobs in ONE major way.
At YourDOST, whether directly or indirectly, I feel like I can help people and make their lives better. I couldn’t do that in my previous jobs you know?
With this, Manoj’s life had finally come full circle. He was no longer the naive youth who thought seeking help was a weakness. He found himself, instead, a hardened individual who could face any struggles that came his way, one that is confident enough to say, “If something happens to me, I know I can face it”, and most importantly, an individual who firmly believes that not only seeking help, but also giving help is one of the most powerful strengths one can have.