Inspiring Stories
A collection of personal Interviews with celebrated leaders, entrepreneurs, corporate honchos or any success stories.


A R Manikanth - From Overcoming Disabilities To Inspiring Millions

While so many people today complain about small issues in life and use them as excuse to not achieve their goals, this man of wisdom, having had multiple failures in life, almost losing hope, also losing the ability to hear, never spoke a word about what was wrong in his life, rather looked at the positive side of life and is today one of the most inspiring writers in Kannada literature.
There are many people around you whose lives you never know about, but can be equally as inspiring as your favourite celebrity. You will surely be surprised and million times inspired when you actually get to know someone in person. One such person, whose life’s journey is unknown to most people, but can truly ignite your soul and make you chase your dreams is Mr. Manikanth from Bangalore, a columnist of a daily regional newspaper.
A R Manikanth
Born in a small town in Mandya, in a middle class family, he never even had enough resources or people to look up to and learn from. By the time he was in his 10th grade, his hearing ability had slowly deteriorated. While he took it easily, as he grew up, by the time he was in his 12th  grade, his ability to hear was almost completely gone. The doctors informed that he had to be operated but they would still not confirm a 100%success in the result. Fearing what if it affects and makes his condition even worse, his parents denied the doctors’ advice to get him operated.

Eventually, as most students at the times, he was pushed in to the engineering crowd to graduate as a mechanical engineer from PES Engineering College, one of the most renowned engineering institute. Life seemed to be quite smooth although his problem with hearing wouldn’t allow him to learn during classes, he somehow managed to clear his exams for the first 2 years. Meanwhile, his interest to write had slowly increased. It was the third year of engineering that became one of the biggest turning point of his life. He happened to fail in his examination, that led him to wait for an entire semester to rewrite the examinations. He began to utilize this time to write for his college magazine, which soon became popular because of his write-ups. Although, he was not supposed to attend classes, he was still invited to come to college to help out with every program of his college that required his talent of writing. The time passed this way and soon he cleared his examinations and got into final year of engineering.
A R Manikanth
The final year became another turning point when he failed in his examinations again. On one side, he wasn’t allowed to attend classes – he was used to it, but on the other, his father would give him any more money for his expenditures and Mr Manikanth had to somehow find a way to earn some money. “I remember sitting idle and thinking what to do next” he says, “That was when I realized there were newspapers that paid for good write-ups. I earned my first payment of Rs. 50 when I wrote for a regional newspaper.” That became a way for him to earn some money for his own stay and other expenditures. Another year went by, and he managed to clear his examinations. Now was the true test of life. Like most engineering graduates, he too dreamed to settle well in a good company and earn well. But fate had other plans..

Manikanth went to Bangalore in search of a good job and managed to get a job in a small company. While he expected the company to give him a work that would suit his education, he was actually given a job of welding metals. He recalls, “I thought I would get a nice job as a mechanical engineer, but when I went there, I saw that even 10th grade pass-out people, diplomat holders and engineers were all doing the same job. I had to simply accept and go with the flow of life. The routine simply continued. For the next 2 months, I would go in the morning, start to weld the materials, and go back home in the evening. I couldn’t take it anymore and decided to quit. Then, someone told me they’d help me with a job; I followed them and was once again given the same kind of a job but in a difference company. I had to quit again and the same incidents repeated the third time. I was completely drained. My relatives at the native would tease me and say I could simply go and serve at a hotel. Madly in need for some kind of work, I tried that too but was unable to continue. Finally, I found openings in an automobile company and went for the interview.”
A R Manikanth
He believed this would be a great chance for him to finally settle in a good job. He cleared the first round of interview which was a writing test. This brought him some hope that he would get the job somehow. The second round involved a group discussion in a conference hall. Manikanth sat at a corner of the room, all set to utilize this as the only chance to settle. He was immensely happy when he thought he would get the job. All his high hopes were completely shattered when he was rejected because of his hearing issues.

Imagine being given hope and then what you hope never turns into reality. Imagine being given a hope to succeed again and again, and you have almost touched the goal, but are pulled back every time you are just almost there. That was the experience Manikanth was going through.

Having been rejected, he began to walk back in the busy street of residency road, where he found the office of a newspaper agency – ‘Samyukta Karnatka.’  All his memories of his writings being appreciated, led him to approach the media. He was told that they would write to him if incase there was an opening. He was glad and went back. He waited for 3 months and didn’t hear anything. While he was almost on the verge of taking up another job, he got his appointment letter to write for the media. He went to the office happily, eagerly waiting to start his work. He was provided with a sheet of paper which had something printed on it. What he saw and what was told to him by the editor, shattered him once again. It was an English write-up that had to be translated to Kannada language and unfortunately, he wasn’t well versed at English. He tried to translate each English word separately and just group them together, which would obviously result in a bad state. Days passed, and he didn’t submit a single translated version, while his seniors finished each copy in a matter of minutes. Finally, he confessed to one of his seniors, who wrote for him a copy each day. Slowly, in a matter of six months, he became one of the best writers of the media. He then shifted to work with another agency named ‘Vijaya Karnataka’ where his creative side was showcased. He had to write many columns of different subjects, in a single side of paper. He wrote many stories of inspiring personalities from around the country. Each of these stories has the power to bring tears in your eyes. In spite of his physical issue of not being able to hear, he never missed to interview and write about some of the biggest celebs of the country. His talent led to many celebrities from around the country, reaching out to him and appreciating him for his terrific work. He wrote many inspiring articles, humorous ones, romantic ones and what not!

It was not until his friends suggested that he thought of collecting all his beautiful articles and publishing them into a book. A renowned South Indian actor – Prakash Raj was surprised to see his work and soon agreed to inaugurate his first book. Manikanth has so far published 6 books, each of which is unique and creative. If you ever get an opportunity to read even a single one of them, you are sure to not miss the others. While he continues to create his mark in the field of literature, his humbleness is something every individual could learn from. Not losing hope and staying determined to try again, always prove to be the important keys to success.

Drop your comments and wishes to reach Mr. Manikanth. 

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 23rd March 2017.
IJ Kavyashree
IJ Kavyashree is a contributing writer at Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine.

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