- Hi, my name is Mosin Shaikh a proud Chartered Accountant from India.
- The special fact about my birth is that it falls on the ‘World Labourer’s day’, 01st May – A befitting day to be born in a family of labourers!
- Yes, I grew up in a family where my mother, father, my younger sisters, my little brother, and I – were all laborers in a brick-making kiln!
- Today, I am a partner at M/s Shinde Chavan Gandhi & Co., a Chartered Accountants firm with offices in Latur, Pune, Mumbai & Delhi.
- I do have material comforts like my own house, a car, etc. I am living my dream life.
- Here is my story.
Growing up in a brick kiln and realizing the power of education
“A man can be poor by his circumstances, but not by his thinking or intelligence.”
I was born in a brickmaking family where my parents and siblings were all labourers.
As much as it pains to say this, my father was an alcoholic and abusive. It was my mother who had to work hard all day at the kiln and take care of all of us.
Growing up we never had good food to eat, even during festivals and always wore clothes handed down by others! Yes, I am not ashamed to say that we lived partly on charity and mostly due to the hard work of my mother.
I studied in a Municipal Corporation school (public schools) and we could never afford new notebooks to write on. I used to gather the loose sheets of paper from discarded books and make my own.
Looking at kids from well off families, I used to wonder what I could do to have a comfortable life for myself and my family. Yes, I yearned to live a life where I did not have to worry where the next meal would come from!
That is when I realised that all those who lived a comfortable life, had one thing in common – ‘Education’. I knew good education was my only way out of this extreme poverty.
A blessing…being adopted by my aunt
When I was in Grade 3, my aunt and cousin Sayyed Farukh (also labourers at a brick-making factory) saw that I loved studying. So, they took me with them and decided to educate me. They treated me like their own child.
They enrolled me in a school nearby and took an interest in my well being. So, now apart from working as a laborer, I would attend school regularly.
Since then till I graduated, my daily routine was this:
- Working at the brickmaking factory from 5.00 am to 7.00 am
- School/ College from 8.00 am to 1.00 pm
- Back to work at the brick factory till 8.00 pm
- Homework/ Studies till 11.00 pm and then off to bed.
Getting admission in a college
After completing my schooling, though I enjoyed learning, I did not have any goal about what I was going to do next!
Luckily, a college professor at whose house my aunt used work as a maid, suggested that I take up the Commerce stream.
He further mentioned that with my scores I could get admission at one of the top junior colleges in Maharashtra. I took his advice.
The college was 5 to 8 km from my place and since I could not even afford travelling by a public bus (which is very cheap in India), I used to walk to college! Looking at my hard work, my cousin Farukh got me a secondhand bicycle!
When in college, I was hesitant about making friends since I had no money to spend at the college canteen as they did. I kept a distance from them and sat on the last bench in the class.
What Next now?
From working as an office boy at a CA firm to pursuing CA
In my final year at college, I observed that most of the students were planning to do the Chartered Accountancy course from ICAI (The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India). So, I too decided to join a CA firm.
I started as an office boy serving tea, doing cleaning work, and eventually moved to some accounting work.
I started with Rs. 750 per month as salary and within a year, I was earning Rs. 4500 per month! This was good enough for me.
However, while working at the CA firm, I was fascinated to see the kind of respect my Chartered Accountant boss was getting from his clients and of course, the financial comfort he enjoyed. That day I too decided to become a Chartered Accountant.
So, one day I told my boss about my decision to become a CA. Far from encouraging me, he said that it was ‘not possible’ for everyone to do so.
That very day, I quit my job and registered for the CA course from prestigious ICAI.
The CA journey – the trials and tribulations
“God helps those who help themselves!”
Since I was a graduate, I could start with my articles immediately.
When I attended an interview to do my articles, many CA firms rejected me, perhaps due to my shabby clothes.
My life took a turn for the better when CA. Sachin Shinde admitted me as his article assistant and offered to help me with my CA journey. He also promised to make me his partner once I became a CA. It was a life-changing moment for me.
My cousin Farukh was also very supportive, in fact, to pay by CA course fees of INR 15,000 (almost $200) he sold his engagement ring. (We did approach a local politician for help, and of course, he did not help!)
I had to prove myself not just for my sake, for the sake of all those who had faith in me. It was just the beginning of a long pressure ridden journey.
Since the stipend I was getting for my articles training was not sufficient, I used to work at the brick kiln after office hours. I even worked at construction sites on Sundays to earn money for my coaching classes.
Seeing the hard work I was putting in, my Principal CA Sachin Shinde offered to sponsor me for my coaching classes so that I could focus on my studies. This was a great relief.
I gave my best. I cleared CA Intermediate exams (IPCC) shortly and in my fourth attempt, I passed the CA Final exams and finally became a Chartered Accountant.
In a moment, all the difficulties I underwent, the tears I shed, the hard work I put in, had brought me success. I was now CA. Mosin Mahebub Shaikh.
I paid my respects to my Guru CA. Sachin Shinde and my cousin Farukh Bhaiya without whose help and support I could not have achieved this feat.
Immediately after becoming a CA, I was given various awards, featured in newspapers and news channels. In fact, I even got a letter of felicitation from the former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Fadavanis.
That day, I realised one thing, we are honoured and respected as per our position in society!
A few words to conclude…
“Take charge of your life and work hard. Success will be yours.”
Remember if you are poor by money no matter what, you can rise in life through your honest efforts.
Give your 100% always and don’t forget the sacrifices made by others to achieve your dreams. It could be your mother, father, brother, etc.
As per the commitment made to me by my Principal CA Sachin Shinde, I am now a partner at M/s Shinde Chavan Gandhi and company. I am a motivational speaker. I also mentor students who want to achieve their dream and motivate them.
My parents are not educated enough to know the extent of my success. However, they know that I will always do the right thing in any situation.
Now It’s Your Turn…
If Mosin’s story inspired you, comment below and get in touch with him or WhatsApp him at 9923881484.
(Article edited by CA Uma Krishnan and image by Ankit Lodhi)
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