“New beginnings don’t see time and place, they just happen,” says 58-year-old Rajesh Vora, explaining his decision to return to college, after almost 40 years.
A resident of Mumbai, Rajesh is a father to three children, and two of them have had the unique opportunity to study in college, alongside him.
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In a Humans of Bombay post, his daughter Dhruvi says:
“Believe it or not, now my father and I are in the same college, and he’s actually my junior! We have so much fun together—we talk about our professors, our classmates and even our assignments. In fact, even during our break, my father sits with my friends, and they all love his company!”
Speaking to The Better India, Rajesh says, “When I decided to resume my studies, I knew that it was going to be challenging. I knew that people would have a hard time digesting it, especially as it is something unique and unheard-of. But, the support of my family is what keeps me going.”
A fifth-year law student now, Rajesh rejoined the field of education in 2013.
“Due to financial problems, after completing my Class 12, I got a job instead of enrolling in college, full-time. Although I tried pursuing a part-time BCom course, juggling the two was becoming too much, and I realised it after I failed in the 2nd year. That’s when I decided to leave studies and concentrate on helping my family. Now, after so many years, my children have grown up so it was time to give myself another chance,” he shares.
However, the road to it was never easy for Rajesh, as he had to convince the college to allow him an admission, because of his age.
“There was some resistance in the beginning. They were citing rules which barred me from taking admission. But, I dug deeper, and with the help of a few friends and acquaintances in the legal sector, I found out that the latest gazette does not put an age cap on higher education. Eventually, I got it!” says Rajesh.
Speaking about her father’s interest in law, Dhruvi’s post elaborated, “My father was always interested in the world of law… He wanted to study law, but when he was younger, his family couldn’t afford it. So instead he became a consultant, and worked at a firm.”
Driven by his interest and sharp intellect, Rajesh was able to start his own legal consultancy firm in 1989, that primarily worked with the government revenue department. And, he did all this without a law degree.
“After spending years working in various firms, I had a fair knowledge of how things work in the sector, and so started my own firm some 30 years ago. Despite not having a degree, I could always do my job, but I wanted to grow. In some avenues, the lack of a degree becomes a hindrance, and I didn’t want that to happen to me,” he adds.
Thus determined he joined college, as his daughter’s junior. Two years, later, his son Meet, followed suit and joined the same law college.
“I was a junior to my daughter, who recently graduated and is practising. Now my son is my junior in college. We are the father-son-daughter lawyer trio!” he chuckles.
While he admits that there was a slight awkwardness within the initial days, their relationship eventually strengthened and grew into something strong and meaningful.
Dhruvi beautifully encapsulates just that, here. “I can’t wait for both us to start practising law! And I hope I can do for him, what he’s done for me — tell me that I’m the best at what I do, push me to reach for the stars! Life has come a full circle for us, and now we’re both out there, chasing our dreams!”
This is indeed a heartwarming story of a father rediscovering himself through education. If we can learn something from Rajesh, it is that dreams don’t ever age!
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