I am Ankita Saraf from Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh pursuing my Chartered Accountancy. 2011 was the turning point in my life when I went for the ‘Let’s Make a Difference’ Youth Conference for the first time at Asia Plateau. It was my first encounter with the four absolute standards which sounds very basic but actually difficult at times to implement it in our practical life. The concept of Quiet time was something which has completely evolved me and gave me deep insight about my own self. It showed me real "I" what I am as a person and what kind of life I am leading. I was like a free bird and blessed with stupendous family and friends who stood with me in all the facets of life. I never used to take my life seriously, cannot think far-sight, and also took undue advantage of staying away from family for quite a long time. Making excuses and telling lie at my own convenience was a habit which I had inculcated, above all I was always been very reluctant to take family responsibility and raise upon the occasion at the time of need.
More than my family I was close to my friends because I felt they understand me well, fulfill my desires, support me in doing whatever I wanted to do. I used to get carried away very easily. Never stayed contended with what I had. Hanging around with friends till late in the nights and getting involved in all unproductive habits was not unusual in my case. I had the habit of not saying ‘no’. I was not hesitant to booze out with friends occasionally because it was a common feeling if I will not carry myself as per my companion I will be out from the group. LMAD has given me a platform where I can see my true reflection and get connected to my inner-voice, I got to know more about myself after I started doing Quiet time and deep introspection, the sight was scary and I was ashamed to see my own reflection in the mirror, did not have the guts to write the truth in my quiet time diary. I struggled day and night to lift myself. My friends did not support me as they could not digest and accept this modified version of Ankita. I used to have endless number of friends in college days but after being through the journey of LMAD I realized what a fake life I am leading. Got to know the real meaning of friendship later on there are hardly few number of friends even a person whom I considered as my Best friend is no more in my contact but I have no regrets for that. Now I can proudly say I have great friends who do not feel hesitant to confront me when I go wrong. I can completely rely on them. Fake relations do not last for long. Quiet time gives me immense peace of mind and whenever I feel perplexed it gives me clarity of thought to reach to a conclusion. I was more or less like a floating wood which floats directionless. Being stayed away from family for years together I got used to of my own privacy. I disliked entertaining guests coming to my place which was a sense of worry for my parents. They never appreciated this attitude of mine. Lmad has given me my extended family it was then I realized how important it is to nurture our relations. One can do wonders in life if only he/she builds a good moral character and relations with people.
In academics I was always a bright and sincere student. I knew my Sir under whom I was doing my article ship of chartered accountancy [CA] and will not allow me leave for eight days to go for the Lmad youth conference and I was very adamant to attend this youth conference so conveniently I made an excuse of my accident for not attending the office, he agreed; but in the moments of silence my conscious pricks up with a question what I have actually learnt in these eight days. My journey started with a lie so how can I build a structure on weak foundation. I was extremely restless without thinking of the consequence after coming I went straight to my Boss told him honestly where I went and what I have learnt and showed him the certificate which I have earned, asked him for forgiveness and open-heartedly agreed for the punishment. To my surprise he was spellbound and patted me for being honest and also willing to face the consequences’. From that day my faith develops that these standards do work. Presently I am pursuing my CA finals. I am struggling for years together to become chartered. Despite of many failures and snag coming on my way I did not give up. I believe when “HE decides, HE provides”. Our responsibility is to perform our duty without cheating our self. During dull moments many have come to give me sympathy but, I have decided to strive for it till the day I will not prefix two words before my name. More than me it is Viral Sir aspiration to call me CA Ankita. The most touching gift he gave me was a visiting card holder which he got from Hong Kong especially for me to keep my card named CA Ankita Saraf. His words make World of a difference to me. Even if the entire World would stand against me, I have faith that he will always be there to hold my hand and guide me. He is my source of inspiration, my mentor and a great guide who has always stood with me and given me a direction to follow. Lmad is close to my hard only because of him, his belief and blind trust on me gives me strength. He is my real Hero it is my deepest desire and dream to be like him, work along and reach to his level and expectations. In true sense he taught me how to present myself, where to speak and how to deal with the situation. Because of him only I started thinking positive and avoid all negativity which was deeply imbedded in me earlier. I started believing in myself and no matter what I will not give up till the very end. If a sacrifice of one man can influence so many what if we all are united and work as a team to actually create a difference. I do not get flatter by people’s appreciation nor do I feel bad if anybody points out finger at me till the time I know in my conscience what I have done, stopped giving my justification to prove me right. Because the fact is I cannot keep everyone happy and live as per the perception of others. More than my parents my relatives feel worried about my marriage, being a typical Marwari culture but I have decided to get married when I want to, not when I am asked.
I have learnt how to respect my elders, teachers and even the people who serve us in our day to-day life no matter how big or small they are. Respect needs to be earned not given just by chance. The things which one is suppose to learn in childhood in true sense I started implementing after getting involved with Lmad. I was extremely shabby keeping my room and wardrobe clean, it was not my habit, but today if at all my room is not properly arranged I cannot take it. Before going to bed I make sure everything is in order. My friends often call me Lmad product and I feel proud of it that I can live by the idea and completely subscribe to it. I had taken the Pledge in 2011 when I first went there but did not sign it as in my conscience I have decided to first become worthy of it and later do the needful. I was struggling day in and day out in all facets of life to reach to that level of excellence and finally after two years I could manage to sign the Pledge. Now if at all my mind goes hey-wire during dull moments the pledge reminds me of my responsibility. Seldom have I used to ask question to GOD why it happens to me only and I have always considered myself not been lucky on many counts but after listening to people sharing nation-wide my entire perception got changed. Instead of complaining for the half empty glass I started appreciating the filled up part. I feel contended about myself and welcome every morning with open heart for any upcoming challenges. I feel more confident about myself and realised one fact it is all in the mind. If you can control your mind and give orders instead of taking the same you are capable to do anything and everything in life. It is more of your attitude and positive commitments that differentiate us from the mass to become class. I want to do everything in this one life no matter what hurdle comes on my path.
Couple of years ago my brother’s engagement got strained, few days before the marriage date. I was partly responsible for the strain in the relation. I was not getting that good feeling from within towards the girl and that she would be good for my family and I could not convince my parents. I have learnt in MRA when nothing works prayer works. Every day I used to pray in my heart to guide us and stop any ill-fortune which can ruin my family. It worked God answered my prayers but my family was completely relinquished and lost hope on anything. Somewhere even I was frightened but still did not lose hope. The people who were criticizing and blaming me for this untoward incident later appreciated for saving the family to go through the larger ordeal. My parents are religious, they do not miss a single opportunity to visit religious places and offer prayers. Being raised in the same environment and culture even I was following it without knowing or understanding what I am doing. Practising Quiet Time, I started questioning myself as to what I am doing. Why I am doing? What is the need and relevance? One by one my queries were answered and eventually I realised that I am doing all these things because others are asking me to follow the tradition. I am an Individual and have got all the right to walk on my path. I feel the best pillow on which one sleeps’ every night is our conscious and ones we are governed by it we are not answerable to anyone else.
Too many words would impoverish its meaning. From deep down the heart I want to Thank Lmad for showing me a new Era and making this beautiful journey of Life so meaningful. It is well said ‘Action speak louder than words’ so I want my deeds should itself be self-explanatory to define what I am rather me defining it in words. I want to spread the teachings of IofC-LMAD across country and include many to experience this change. I will always abide by the learning which has added so much of value in my life. Constantly I seek guidance from higher force to reach where I am suppose to.