How my mother's illness helped me grow as a founderAman Mahajan
Waiting for her MRI reports at the hospital and her head in my lap, I realized that time is the greatest narrator. With the fervour of a great storyteller, it synchronizes the past with current situations to weave the possible future outcomes. The narration, precisely detailed, honed by the Satan himself, tries to move your optimism to zero level. As the unending thoughts whirled my mind, the receptionist waved a receipt the report at me. As the doctor confirmed his observations, I and my mom were struck by the bolt. The despised bone TB had spread its tentacles in her body. She was aghast and so were we.
The doctor’s words were nothing more than a lifeline as he confirmed that the disease is completely curable. All she had to do, was rest, medication and avoiding certain foods. We had to fight it together as a team. Everyone but my mother are working professionals, so plans had to be made. And Lo, behold! The unanimous decision had found the best person to nurse her, “the wannapreneur”.
This piece is not about being burdened by the additional responsibility of a feudal cataclysm but the camaraderie that is born between you and these colossal hazards potent enough to rip you apart by this escalation. My mother, my eternal light was battling against one of the most dreaded diseases and I had to captain a ship which housed the future of four (all co-founders including me).
Ironically, the months that followed helped me to evolve as an individual, potent enough to face the world and the investors. Fortunately, it also helped me replenish the nostalgic moments from my childhood which were embedded in my brainframe. My mother’s impulsive childishness, her holding of my hands while I was on my laptop, her tantrums while having medicine and food, her frustration of lying in a room for months and me alleviating her through random startup news, all helped me grow as a founder for my startup was my baby. I had to make efforts consistently to keep it afloat, deal with the consumer’s mood swings, live with investor’s tantrums, and alleviate my team’s dipping motivation and so on. I grew nonchalant of the additional responsibilities that fell on me and nothing seemed a burden anymore. It became a part of routine. To quote an incidence, one Sunday my maid didn’t make it home. Being a Sunday, everyone was home and in relaxed mode. Without a twitch, I completed the house chores and prepared meals for everyone. Eventually, it has become the ritual now and I take it as an accomplishment.
Finally, after being bedridden for 3 months, she was able to move a bit and recovering fast while my startup is yet to receive any funding. I have managed to hold the founding team together and we are still working on our startup but the learning is this. There are two P’s for a startup or life in general. Patience and Persistence. Note that:
The fruits of adversities may seem far bygone,
But tis you whose sweat will form foundation of the throne,
Until then, persevere
Alone, alone, alone…
The adversities always help you grow when you push above your limits. Where failure is an option but you chose to ignore it, it is then you overcome your burdened self and save yourself of self-pity.