It is the stuff that fairy tales are made of. Prema Jayakumar’s life can become the story of a film, all the more because her unbelievable success has come in the city where dreams are chased. Mumbai. Prema, daughter of an auto-driver has topped the challenging CA examination this year. Her cramped room, the limited income of her father, her lower middle class, restless surroundings, the difficulty of attaining all learning resources did not come in the way of her securing the top position in an all-Indian examination and that too, one which is considered as the toughest exams across to even qualify for, leave alone to come first.
Prema’s triumph is of course the triumph of merit. It flies in the face of arguments, which thinks that creating tailor-made reservations and so called affirmative climate are the only way to usher in success. Prema has shown that if there is genuine talent, hard word and the will to succeed, nothing can keep oneself from reaching the top. Prema and those like her are also role models for an aspirational new India where class, financial power, neighbourhoods and nurturing matter less and less than the will and wish to succeed. Prema belongs to that India in which a will is the way and not privileges, an India where class or caste or gender obstacles can be transcended with hard work and talent. Hence Prema is a story that must be told to all those who care to listen. Prema has already talked about her parents being her biggest pillars of support and the one thing she wants to do now is to chase her dream of giving them a better life. Prema’s comrade-in-arms is her younger brother who has also qualified the same exam. Her parents have all the right reasons to be proud of their wards who have qualified the tough exam so early in life and with such credibility.
Prema’s story is also about her parents who have done their best like million others, who with high sacrifice, hard work and sincerity are trying to push the generation after into better jobs, better employment opportunities and a better life and one must hear such stories to understand that the new generation is also responding by putting their best foot forward. Such stories are uplifting not because it is a story of success but it is a story of an everyday life of an everyman in this country. And while wishing Prema the best in her life, we would also hope to see her success or the likes of it being replicated across several homes around the country.