Kota/Kolkata: He was frantically trying to find out his result online. But slow internet connectivity was playing a truant. A quick call made to his office colleague brought the sweetest news to his ears. He was in a sense of disbelief.
“When my office friend called me back, informing me about me having secured the first rank in CA examination, I was in a denial mode. I had heard that the president had called the topper and I had not received any such calls. But later, I realized that I had actually topped when the President of India called me to congratulate me on my achievement,” he shared.
Meet Kota’s Shadab Hussain, the tailor’s son, who made it to rank one in his first attempt for the Chartered Accountant (CA) exam this year. Shadab, overcame all adversities to make it big in his life. However, despite all the hard work and labour put in, he feels that his father is the bigger hero. “He is a ladies tailor and only a matric pass. My mother, on the other hand, is a school dropout, but they never compromised with our education. My three sisters are all graduates and my father kept motivating me to work. He always believed that I could top the CA exam,” he revealed.
However, the boy from Kota, who has kind of written history, by becoming the first Muslim to top the CA exam (old syllabus), had to face many financial constraints. He even took up a job as an accountant at a private firm. “It was really difficult for me. I used to study from 6 am to 10 am and then work from 11 am until six in the evening, following which I would again study till 10 pm. Long walks and badminton session were my way of distressing,” recounts Shadab, who now wants to join a big corporate house.
On being asked, why he chose to become a CA when aspirants come to Kota with the dream of cracking the engineering and medical entrance examinations, he replied, “The future at present looks bleak for the engineering aspirants. There are too many engineers around. That apart, it’s an expensive course, in comparison to doing MCom along with preparing to crack the CA exam.”
From Kota to Koday
Scoring only 13 marks lesser than Shadab, approximately 837 kilometres away from Kota, in Gujarat’s Koday village, is Shahid Husen Shokat Menon. United by their identity of being representative of the minority community, both have confronted their shares of adversities to make it to the first and second rank of one the most difficult examination to crack in India.
“I come from a small village in the Kutch region of Gujarat. My father is into business. So, financially it was not very difficult for us. But the biggest challenge was to travel 100 kilometres on a daily basis for my preparatory classes for the CA Integrated Professional Competence Course examination,” revealed Shahid.
Even as a school student, he had to travel 10 kilometres a day to his alma mater, St Xavier’s School. Commerce, as a subject had always interested him, hence CA was an obvious career choice for the 23-year-old. Surprisingly, when he had expressed his desire to become a CA, his family, where almost everyone is a businessman, supported him in every possible way.
He said, “When I took the decision of cracking the CA exam, I gave my 100 per cent for the preparation and left the rest to the almighty. I believed that since I had put in my best, my result would also be good.”
What it means for the community?
On being asked what it meant for the community, he said, “Two Muslims securing the top two rank for the CA exam is definitely good news for the community. Our success story for sure will inspire many. It feels great when leaders message to congratulate.”
Answering the same question Kota’s pride, Shadab said, “It’s really amazing to see Muslim youths performing well in competitive exams. It will also make people believe that hard work can help one scale any obstacle. Our success will make many realize that our religion is not a barrier to our community and individual success. Talent and hard work are all that is needed to make it big in life.”
He also added, “Apart from joining a big corporate house, I also plan to do something for students from financially backward families. Once in a job, I will try my best to support the education of at least three students on an annual basis. We need to help such students so that the poor in our country get empowered.” Shahid too aspires to join a big corporate firm to make it big professionally.