It Is Not How Many Times You Fall Down, But How Many Times You Get Up Counts!

5 minutes

I’m Dhirendra Sinha. I graduated from IIT Guwahati more than 13 years ago, did my MS from Texas A&M University and  currently live and work in the United States. I work as a Director of Engineering for Captora Inc, a startup in California.

I will share some of my experiences with you, believe me if someone like me can do it, so can you.

Shy, above average student at school
My dad worked for Indian Army and my mom was a homemaker. I have 3 brothers. We had happy and loving childhood,
and being from a middle class family also kept us humble and grounded. School gave me good knowledge and lot of opportunities to learn about myself.

I was shy and  an above average student in school. I used to secure 4th/5th rank in a class of 30. But I knew, I was good at few things: day dreaming for sure :-). I used to dream that the top 3-4 students would get transferred to other schools so I wanted to secure first rank in class. But that never happened!

I was also good at painting and geometry. Later I discovered that I was right brained kid, good at visualizing things. I was really good at Engineering Drawing and all engineering courses which required Visualization.

Parents and my elder brother had always feared me that if I will not secure good marks in 10th, I was set for doom. So I really worked hard, did collaborative studies with friends and yes, I did get very good marks in 10th. This victory proved me that I can succeed in something which I set my heart to.

Entrance exam one more time?
Preparing for engineering entrance with no coaching was very tough. My dad couldn’t afford expensive coaching classes, so I had to study on my own with whatever books I could manage. Also, most of my friends, neighbors and my dad’s colleagues used to tell me that I can’t make it to an IIT, I should rather try for some local engineering institutes, not everyone can become an IIT’an! It was very discouraging.

I couldn’t crack JEE in my first attempt and was devastated, but did manage to get in AIT, Pune, a great institute but not an IIT! Not been able to clear JEE made me very depressed, 3 months passed by in ragging and getting adjusted to college and it was the time for winter break. I started thinking – should I really give up my dream of being an IIT’an and settle in that college? I still knew from within that I was capable of getting what I wanted.

Finally, I decided to give it another shot. I discovered about some cheapest form of correspondence course from a reputed coaching class (I think it was RTPF by FIITJEE) and started thinking of how can I buy it. I came up with an idea and started spreading the word about it among my classmates that whoever wants to prepare, can share the cost with me and we did! It was after a long time that I felt like my dream was near.

Collaborative study and mental conditioning works!
We did a group study and helped each other out. This was so much fun! We wrote sample tests every week in the hot afternoon at the
exact time of the day as would the actual JEE exam would be. We were mentally conditioning ourselves for doing well in exam. Later in the evening, we would exchange answer sheets and score them. This was extremely useful. My chemistry was really weak, but just by taking so many tests, evaluating every chapter and also by doing group study, I improved a lot. Also, during my preparation, my elder brother used to write letters to me (Yes those days, there were no cell phones, no email), he use to write very encouraging words that I had it in me to become an IITan. I used to read those encouraging words again and again to keep myself motivated!

Finally, the Exam day was here – We were so stress free! We took the exam peacefully and you know what – 4 out of 6 of us who were preparing got through JEE! I had imagined this victory and visualized it so many times that my mind absolutely believed that I can succeed.

I chose Mechanical Engineering at IIT Guwahati. Wonderful, beautiful place!

My biggest learning

If we know our strengths and weaknesses, we can do wonders. Set your goal, a goal, that is realistic but also makes you stretch. Know what does it take to achieve it. Then just work hard and believe that you can achieve it! Remember, there is no substitute for hard-work! Take help from everybody you can to succeed. There are people who are willing to help you, if only you show them that this is so important for you.


Dhirendra Sinha is Director of Engineering for Captora Inc, California. He has done his engineering from IIT Guwahati and MS from Texas A&M University, US. He is a father of two beautiful girls.He volunteers for YourDOST as he wants to help people through this medium.