For almost 3 years, I have been writing a post everyday on my blog. And since today I have nothing special to write (or cut, copy and paste), let me bore you a bit with my family history.
My ancestors came from Ambala, Haryana where we had a small furniture business. My grandfather, who was the first person in my family to complete his high school, was the Panjab state rank holder in the matriculation exam. Since there was no college in the district, he went to Monga, Punjab to pursue his higher education on full scholarship.
There, he unfortunately fell ill and was misdiagnosed by a local hakeem, who made the conditions worse. The household was run by his grandmother, who became a widow at the age of 20 and was hardened with the hardships of raising her kids and grandkids alone and protecting the family from scheming cruel world. Plunged into the debts and in absence of any male family member capable of running the family, my grand father had to discontinue his education.
Due to spiraling interest costs and the expenses of his sisters marriage, we had to sell off our furniture shop. Without any education, without any money, one of the brightest students was forced to pick up a job as an apprentice at a ration shop.
This was probably the lowest point in our family history, but we did recover. In the free time, he self schooled himself to learn English and soon joined the GoI as a lower division clerk. Promotions were hard to get for high school drop out and he had to work for 17 years after his retirement, but he did succeed in imparting the best education for his kids and married his all 3 daughters off.
My father, the only son, secured an admission in IIT Roorkee where he topped his class of Mechanical Engineering and joined Indian Railways. He is now an Executive Director at CAMTek, a subsidiary of Indian Railways. He has 2 sons. I, the first real IITian in the family, who topped his class of Aerospace engineering at IIT Kgp and is now working with Broadcom for the past 4 years. And my younger brother, who finished his Chemical Engineering from IIT Delhi and is now pursuing his MBA at IIM Calcutta.
Another interesting aspect of my family is the diversity it has. My paternal grandfather is from Haryana, my paternal grandmother is from Himachal Pradesh, my maternal grandfather is from Rajasthan, while my maternal grandmother is from Uttar Pradesh. And I have lived in 9 different states and was schooled in 7 different schools.
The diversity did not end here. My grandfather did his entire schooling in Urdu (a variant of Arabic). If you have noticed, my father, my mother and we kids have different last names. My father hated the division of the country on lines of caste so much that he dropped his last name and adopted ‘Kumar’ (a generic last name which spans across all castes) My mother continued her family name (a very rare move at that time) while we kids adopted our original family name and never bothered to change.