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There comes a time when one has to look back on the years passed by in order to assess the ups and downs of his or her life to determine if one fulfilled his or her role in life. It will not be so easy to recollect all the events that occurred over the years to make a firm assessment. In this context, I would in the following pages attempt to, as cogently as possible record some of the major happenings in my life.

Every individual is only a small cog in the wheel of humanity. When you are born you have certain identifiable characteristics, intelligence and mental strength. Many develop these basic qualities in different ways. Some become outstanding achievers, some let the years pass without many accomplishments to show and some reach pinnacles of glory and fame. The seeds of all these are embedded in the psyche of a man or a woman. But the cultural upbringing from a young age helps develop the way one takes directions in life.

Each individual is influenced by his/her immediate surroundings and the persons who shape his or her life. A person born in a slum amidst squalor and poverty finds it very difficult to shape his or her life differently from what his or her environment and the people around dictate. As a result countless persons live a life of ordinary mortals and fade away without making an impact on any aspect of life. Yet some others overcome the handicaps of birth and upbringing to become leaders in several walks of life. To rise above want and poverty and lack of opportunities and become an outstanding person is a rare breed of man or woman. Some people born into a life of luxury and freedom from want find it easier to rise to the heights of power and glory. It is difficult to categorize people into compartments and expect them to make a mark in life. When one comes into this world one is so dependent on his or her parents and acquaintances to develop a way of life. In the rarest of rare cases a person comes out of the shell and ploughs a path for himself or herself all on his or her own. If it is his or her destiny he or she becomes a powerful person or disappears into oblivion. Life evolves as days and years go and those gifted or destined make a mark at different stages of life surmounting obstacles in the way learning by experiences and correcting the course as they go along. Rags to riches stories and vice versa are not too rare in one’s long journey on this earth.

As a person ages there is a tendency to look back and recall events that have shaped the progress in his life. The events may be in his or own personal life or lives of persons surrounding him/her that have made an impression on his mental make up. It is in one’s own capability or efforts to shape his or her life accordingly. All the great men and women in different fields of activities like politics, literature, sports and others have enriched their lives by learning from such events and persons. I will now try to recapitulate my life and see if I have made anything out of it thus far…

A. R. Subramania Iyer
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