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Stories of Changes
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Vignesh Sridhar - Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Hello. My name is Vignesh Sridhar and I am from Chennai. I am currently doing my B.B.A. from Loyola college and going to France this year to complete it, along with my Masters.

Before I start narrating my Story of Change I would like readers to know that what you will read below is a very small aspect of change and this is an ongoing process that will continue till my last breath. Here is a little introduction about me. I am a happy-go-lucky boy whose only aim in life is to be happy. I have sky-high ambitions and my aim is to keep everyone around me happy. I hardly self introspect and at times I can call this-the fear of looking within. Overall before MRA 2012, that is how I was.

I was first introduced to IofC/MRA and LMAD in 2012 . I had attended the youth conference in June 2012. It will be surprising for many of you to know how I got associated with MRA. I was clueless about the LMAD camp until 15 days prior to its start. Abhisek, a really close school buddy of mine, was planning to attend the 2012 conference as his sister ( Aswini Subramanian) had given him an idea about this and it appealed to him. He gave me a hint of this and I told him that I would join him as I was terribly bored of my holidays. I came into LMAD with an intention that it would be a holiday with Abhisek and a few other friends from Chennai and also, that these 8 days I would get to know people from around INDIA.

As I entered Asia Plateau, I loved the atmosphere and everything about that place . I was totally mesmerized by it all. What followed took me aback. Phones had to be surrendered and strict discipline was to be maintained. This still did not completely dent my holiday spirits. Initially, it took me time to get used to this, but being a person full of energy, I initially fussed and got cranky but then it all settled well with me. The sessions of Quiet Time again did not go to well with my restless behaviour and the fact that I was maybe too scared to look within myself for flaws, but toward the end of the programme I picked myself up and did it. However, by then it was too late and the programme got over. The absolute values of PHUL had always been around my head before LMAD 2012, but at LMAD, they were put into my head in the right way. In a way that I thought and felt that such values can never be substituted and the only way the world could be unanimously happy was if everyone of us imbibed these values within ourselves. The family day at LMAD totally took me by surprise, it is in fact one of the best things that could happen to any human being attending the youth conference. The group discussions (GDs) were my personal favourite. The LMAD has always had an exceptionally capable set of coordinators and in the GDs these people were outstanding when we participants shared our ideas and thoughts on the topic of the day or the events that had occurred at the conference. I would always have something to say at the GDs as I love expressing my point of view on any issue . The guest speakers at LMAD are ladies and gentlemen of exceptional character and stars in their professional life and listening to them is indeed inspiring.

By the end of the conference I had formed such a bond with everything at Asia Plateau . The people , the place and the atmosphere just wouldn’t let my mind and soul go back home . The amount I had learnt and gained at LMAD made me happier than I thought I always was. Now however came the big part i.e. implementing all what I had learnt there. Going back home, its often very easy to forget everything and that's precisely what happened to me as well 2 months post LMAD.

To be honest my life in the second half of 2012 was an absolute mess, thanks majorly to myself only . I wouldn’t want to get into details here but, in short, life was actually very tough. I had found that the academically bright student in myself was slowly fading away, I lost quite a few close friends, had fallouts with my family, almost came inches close to losing a few people who meant the world to me and above all I found myself to be lost and totally de-motivated in life. However, but for a few of these, none really affected me much initially as I was always a person with a care free attitude. With so much happening I almost even forgot the greatness of MRA .

One evening as I came home from college in a really frustrated state, at around 4.00 PM, I saw an email ticker on my mobile phone . As I checked who sent the e-mail, to my pleasant surprise it was from Viral Sir. At this instant a wave of all my MRA memories came into my head and I was elated. As I read through the e-mail, sir invited me to be a part of the December Workshop (till date, I keep wondering why and how me? ). This message felt like it came from God. I totally needed this to correct myself and my life and even though I had signed a contract to work at the Chennai open from December 31st, I almost instantly sent a message back to Sir, saying that I would like to attend it.

The December conference was on the lines of LMAD. For me, it was like a moral re-booster of LMAD and this time around I took the workshop more seriously. Right from day one, I did my quiet time and introspected well and shared my thoughts. A sense of positivism came back and I felt I was reliving the original Happy Vignesh back again. This time I vowed to sincerely follow all that I had written in my diary honestly and so far I have been able to keep it up. I promised myself and the entire team that this time if I falter, I will never step into Asia Plateau ever. Till date, I have been able to do it and I am very glad.

The best part is-2013 onwards, life has been amazingly nice in most aspects. With my parents, I feel so much better. We communicate so much more and I am still improving on this. I motivate myself constantly by looking up at my own dreams. I have sky high ambitions but to kick-start working for them, I have to be motivated and that’s precisely what I have been doing all this while. I feel a sense of satisfaction now. I got that attitude of being a go-getter that I had lost in between. I got on track in my academics but I still have a bit to complete to become the topper I was. Above all, I am a content person right now, and I finally realised that all this while, I was ignoring introspecting within myself and this is what led to my blissfully ignorant downfall. The realization dawned and ever since, I am a better person. I have none other than MRA and all its humble and helpful people to thank for this brilliant transformation in me. To me MRA is the best thing that can happen to any person whatever may be his state of mind or condition.

To conclude, all I would like to say is that, this story of change is something I have written with all my thoughts put in, it is something that will always be dear to me because MRA has helped me regain my lost self and thanks to MRA, I will always strive to be a person of high moral value following the four absolute standards and within the next few years on completing my education, achieve my sky high ambitions to be a role model that people of MRA can be proud of once mentoring and nurturing.

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