Meet the modern day role models

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When it comes to the word ‘inspiration’, a name that occurs in students’ minds is that of Srinivasa Ramanujan.

Not many know, however, that the mathematical genius failed in all subjects except his favourite one in the FA exam conducted by Madras University before he went to Cambridge University.

Even now, there are many living examples of people who refused to be cowed down by early failures, only to emerge victorious later.

Meet Thrissur city police commissioner P. Vijayan, who failed to clear the SSLC exam in his first attempt but went on to become a successful IPS officer.

Born in a not-so-affluent family in a remote hamlet called Puthoor-madam in Thalassery, this 1999-batch IPS officer never blamed circumstances at any stage.

“It’s your will power that ultimately defines success. It’s not a disadvantage to be born to parents who are neither educated nor affluent.

One should be ready to pursue one’s dreams till the goal is reached. The challenge lies in finding ways to reach there,” said Vijayan, who played an active role in solving the infamous Chelembra Bank robbery case.

To finance his college studies, he used to work in a soap company and take classes for schoolchildren.

“I was sure of my goal, but had none to guide me. That didn’t prevent me from looking out for a mentor. After days of search, I finally came to know that only one person in our entire village, ‘Ummer mashe’, had attempted the civil service exams,” he said.

Though Ummer mashe could not clear the exams, Vijayan knew well that he could guide him. “On several occasions when I walked the entire five km stretch just to meet him, he would not be at his house. Finally I managed to meet him and he gladly gave me the first hints on how to tackle the exam,” he said.

Thereafter, he cracked UGC and JRS, after which he was eligible for a monthly scholarship. “I used the money to fund my IAS coaching and the happiest moment in my life was when I was awarded IPS in 1999,” he said.

Another sterling example is that of Shajith Koyeri, the national award winning sound designer who worked for movies like Omkara, Ishqiya and Barfi!.

His early life was one of struggle as he was forced to discontinue higher studies after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

“That was a time when I didn’t know what to do and I spent a whole six months to decide what I would be.

At the same time, I relocated to Mumbai in 1999 and got a chance to work in my friend’s sound studio.

Then I discovered my passion on my 25th birthday. From then on, it’s been hard work and commitment,” said Shajith, a native of Punnol, Kannur.

He spent the next 12 years learning all about sound editing, designing, foley editing and pre-mixing before doing his first independent work in Perfect Husband (2003).

Three years later he won the national award for Omkara and in 2011 made his critically acclaimed Hollywood debut with DAM999.
The story of football star I.M. Vijayan too is no different.

He started out by selling soda at Thrissur municipal stadium. But sheer passion and purpose saw him eventually rise to become one of the top names in domestic football.

“My early life was full of struggles but I had the single-minded devotion to improve my game each day. I would practice for hours every day even when it appeared that I stood no chance of getting into a professional club. But years of hard work paid off when I got into the police force at 18,” he said.

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