Before I introduce myself, let’s pretend for a moment that you’re having a conversation with me instead of reading a blog (some people think blogs are boring). By the identity which ‘neighbor bhabis’ recognize me is- Rafeed Elahi Chowdhury, the student who failed all his life in studies, and is now studying at a private university.
By profession, I am a digital marketer, a journalist, a standup-comedian, a writer, a film-maker, and the list will go on. Now you understand the reason behind ‘neighbor bhabis’ calling me a failure.
Anyways, this is not a rant article, or a ‘motivational’ piece. I am just here to share my point of views with you people. My story begins at Mastermind School, where I have studied from playgroup till A ‘Levels. When my teachers used to ask me what I wanted to be in life, I used to say the common dialogue which society taught me- “Ami manush hote chai” (I want to be a proper human being). Funnily enough, most of the people who are taught the same answer are moulded to become robots, with 9am-5pm jobs. Let’s hope the same doesn’t happen to me.
When I was in grade five, I started writing love letters for my crush. Through that, I fell in love with writing. I can still remember the day when one of my teachers caught me red handed, delivering a love letter to her. Luckily or perhaps unluckily, I was the unpaid labor who used to write poetry for free and hand those over to some friends to help them with their relationships.
One day, one ‘bhabi’ got to know about one of my love-letter incidents, and told my mother- “Tell your son to press the calculator buttons instead of the keyboard buttons in writing all day.” That did hurt. At first, I was very depressed about it, I must admit. Later on, I realized, I will press wherever I want, she is no one to decide that! I told my parents about my passion, and they agreed to me being a writer as long as I could keep my grades up.
Not so surprisingly, that didn’t happen. My O and A Level’ grades weren’t up to the mark. I shifted to Commerce from Science background, which is often deemed to be the worst possible fate for a science student. That did not work out well either. Now enough of the failures. Let’s move on to the optimistic part.
I opened my own club in Mastermind School, and hosted one of the biggest events ever. Besides that, I also got elected as the president of one of the oldest clubs in Mastermind. After finishing my A Levels, I got an enrollment offer from one of the top universities in the UK with scholarship. I got a job as a freelance journalist at the leading English newspaper firm in Bangladesh.
If I had not made a mistake, I would not have learnt the lesson
Just a few months back, one of the leading global marketing leaders asked me to join his team and I eventually did. I am also working with my own startup, which is literature based. I have performed stand-up comedy, and made three short films. Last year, , I was crazy to meet this role model of mine, whom the whole Bangladesh loves (you can take a hint).
Just last week, I got a call from one of the biggest schools in Bangladesh to get up on stage and share my ideas on creative writing; that too, wait for it, with my role model!
Now enough of the bragging. I ended up studying in North South University. Was it because of the finances? No. Do I regret not going abroad? Yes. Even after getting poor grades, I managed to score a scholarship because of creative writing. How did all of it happen?
If I had not made a mistake, I would not have learnt the lesson. I regret not studying harder during school life to make my parents happy. Unless the realization comes to you, that you need to DO something, no one can change your life. Some mistakes we learn from. Some mistakes we earn from. We earn a lot of respect, love, but the question remains- is it making us happy?
Maybe, if I had taken the scholarship and gone to UK, I would not have been able to work with so many projects. Maybe, if I was a studious kid who focused on studies, I would not have been able to write so many love letters. Some of us dream to be fashion designers, while some of us dream to become chefs. One question that we are always afraid of is-“What will people say?”
Firstly, one of my favorite speakers once said- “If we become busy thinking what others will think, when will we think of ourselves?” Society is the only thing which will speak when you don’t need it to, and won’t speak when you need it to. If something makes us happy, we should definitely go for it! Another common question arises a lot- “How will I convince my strict parents?”
Trust me, I still get beatings from my mother, even in this age. If I can convince my parents that I am a writer at heart, then so can you. Just don’t lose hope. They gave birth to you, they’ll understand. Eventually. If they don’t understand, make them understand because they are your parents! They want to see you happy.
You can earn millions. but if the work you are doing is not your passion, you can never be happy from the heart. If you are afraid of doing something, then yes, you’re dreaming it right.
I have been mocked because of my writings and respected too. We just have to accept the criticism and move forward instead of overthinking. Now those of you who are reading, I’m assuming you clicked to gain some knowledge. I am not providing knowledge, just sharing my point of views. But trust me, since you were curious enough to read this, I bet you are already aspiring to become someone.
I am not proud of the times I have made my parents upset, but it’s never too late! There are more than enough opportunities out there for all of us to follow. If you can’t find the ones that enlighten you, you are not trying hard enough. Before I stop writing, this is my request to you- please focus on yourself and your ideas. My role model often says-“Poor minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, and great minds talk about ideas.” Which one would you choose to become?
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