Around 14 to15 years back, there was a time when I was at Nagpur visiting my grandfather who had taken ill and was admitted in the I.C.U. During that prolonged and difficult period at the hospital, there was one elderly gentleman who was a regular sight in the waiting area. Finally, we got introduced to each other and I learnt that he was the retired Chief Justice of Mumbai High Court and was there for his wife who was undergoing treatment in the same I.C.U.
As we got to know each other better, he posed me a question one day “What do you think makes success of a man: Is it destiny or hard work? “I was a young, enthusiastic entrepreneur in those days and running on a fast growth track. It was obvious for me to choose hard work before destiny, attributing it to my 80-hour weeks at work. He, however, chose to differ and said that finally, it is only destiny that works. Coming from such a distinguished & highly educated person it was a surprise for me. He, in fact, added names of eminent personalities from various walks of life who firmly believed in destiny over perseverance.
Most of the events thereafter in my life made me also realise that almost everything in life is destined and pre-decided. The work or activity we do is just a catalyst for destiny to take its own course. The reason I share this today because we have just launched the Yes Bank Saevus Natural Capital Awards – a partnership of two young, dynamic organisations – Yes Bank and Saevus – to promote, reward and showcase the best in the field of nature and bio-diversity.
It takes me on a flashback mode to one of my business trips to Mumbai. I usually travel by Indigo Airlines and reserve seat 4C. After take-off, I was flipping through the third issue of Saevus which had just released couple of days back. Sitting at the other end of the aisle was a gentleman, immaculately dressed in a suit, and I could easily make out from his attire that he was in all probability, a banker. I came to know later that he was a Senior Vice President with Yes Bank. He requested me to share the copy of Saevus magazine with him and we started talking.
Knowing that I was one of the guys from Team Saevus he suggested that we meet him some day in his office as his bank might be interested in doing something with Saevus. I had forgotten this whole mid-air interaction, as things on land took precedence, till after a month and a half he called up and said he was still waiting for me to send him a presentation about Saevus. Thereafter, he introduced me to the responsible banking team of Yes Bank to carry the proposal forward. When I called him to express my gratitude after my first meeting with the responsible banking team, I was shocked to know that he had quit his job with the bank. I never got to meet him after that.
Today, with registrations already piling up within a day of opening the awards, it already feels like something of historical proportions is going to happen; much of which was crafted by destiny years back in the course of an in-flight conversation…