Tuhin Subhra Das is a graduate from St Xavier’s College Kolkata and a first attempt Chartered Accountant,. He currently works with Indian Oil, Mumbai
Snippets of his interaction with mycastory.com
My CA story has been the toughest but also the most inspiring and beautiful chapter of my life so far. Commerce was my choice, not a fallback option. It was more about Self belief and Passion. The fact that I belong to a culture where career in Commerce & Business is the last resort and never your milestone had a lot to do with it. The odds and adversities bring out the best in optimistic people. Hence on 21st January 2013, the day I saw God, the day I became CA was also the day my parents were happy, content and most importantly relieved. It took me 7 years to convince them that I walked the path meant for me.
I did not have a single person in my family who knew about CA profession; hence it was my friend’s dad, a CS, who introduced me to CA. I guess it was this phrase which attracted me, “A Chartered Accountant is a person with common sense not common to all”. But thanks to St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata campus which screamed CA from day 1, and so I never looked back. I don’t know about other colleges, but this is one campus which looks at CA course in a different way. For Xaverians, CA is like a habit and failing in CA is weird. 9 out of 10 students in Commerce are doing CA, and when results come it was more about who all got ranks and who failed, as if passing is a norm, and it is nothing but a Board examination. These things have a profound effect on the mindset and attitude. When you know failing is never an option, you go out and take your exams ideally.
Though my PCC was cleared in first attempt, but during post-PCC articleship, I was feeling uncomfortable with my understanding and concepts. They were shaky and many a time I found it difficult to relate the applications with basic concepts. My first CA final was due in May’2012, but I had promised myself that there is no way I am taking exams unless I get conceptual clarity from scratch in every topic of all 8 subjects, except ISCA. I went slow and deep with my preparation and then I realized I needed more time. My CA friends warned me, my family was dead against it, but I saw merit in my decision and postponed my attempt to Nov’12. It allowed me to take it slow, not hurry, and revise at least 3 times. The final results were no different from PCC, but now there was confidence. There was no stammering in my thought process, the understanding was absolutely thorough. Before I wrote my exams, I could feel myself as a CA; only thing was to cross the 400 halfway mark, which thankfully I could.
CA course made me understand the difference of “I know, I don’t know” and “I don’t know that I don’t know”. This is one course which is mostly taught and understood in mother tongue. Because out teachers, Praveen sir, Vinod Gupta sir, and others focused only on conceptual clarity and rational understanding. The thing is complexity are only the barriers which prevent you from getting the logic, because once you get that it is always easy. Hence as an individual I started looking at all concepts from points of Logic and Rationality. Though CA gave me the initials of an accountant but it added scientific temper to me.
On any given day, CA profession will stand out amongst others because it provides you limitless possibilities. I have seen CAs making a career by practicing only a chapter of one of the many subjects we learn. CAs are in practice, in service, in entrepreneurship, in mentorship, in family business, and now also in politics. It’s my belief that their prosperity even in politics has got to do with the fact that they are Chartered Accountants. So all students who are in CA or are in two minds about CA, let me tell you that CA gives you wings, that’s it, it is you who have to decide your flight post it. I have seen CA rank holders looking upto a CA with 408 marks in final for advice and understanding. This is not a journey of 4 years and a membership but a way of life. Once you are a CA, the world looks upto you because things you learn are French for them, hence you must be in a position to explain them that too very calmly and in a layman’s language. CA provides you an opportunity to play in bigger fields. Take it or leave it. But even though you take it, CA has its own naïve way of accepting you. So once in it, be fearless.
For CA aspirants I have one sincere advice. There is no readymade solution. Every aspirant is different and so are his strengths, weakness, adversities and opportunities. Hence stop copying or following the path others have taken. You must create your own path, based on yourself. Get inspired but don’t imitate. This is not just about 400 marks, but much more than it. Please write your own script.
In the end, I wish Anurag sir and Sonia Ma’am on their venture, on CA job portal. As I always maintain, Live like an icon, die like a legend. You must leave your legacy behind so that your presence is felt in your absence.