Himanshu Bakshi who has dwarfism, has to cope in a world where nearly everyone is taller than him when he leaves home.
In fact: In this article, Himanshu shares his journey from accepting life as it is and making the best of it.
He tells us that – Right from KG till date he has someone judging, criticizing, laughing at him because of his Dwarfism. However, he has never made Dwarfism as an excuse to not succeed in life.
Today Himanshu is a Chartered Accountant, a Lawyer, a Black Belt in Taekwondo, a TEDx speaker, to receiving the CII Young Achiever Award and recently addressing the BRICS Economic Forum.
Presently, he is associated with Ernst & Young, India in the Transfer Pricing Team.
My Journey Dealing with Dwarfism and Becoming a Chartered Accountant
I STAND TALL despite my short height of 3 feet 8 inches. I am suffering from ‘Dwarfism’ and I have NEVER been demotivated by the ‘Different-Ability’ from which I am suffering.
Thanks to my parents who stood by me, I went to a regular school (not a school for children with disabilities) with normal children.
Growing up with Dwarfism is not easy. Every day was fearful.
My life is full of challenges every single day (literally!) – Whenever I step out of my house I see people laughing at me and making cheap comments. I have even witnessed an ‘educated woman’ pointing towards me and telling her son that if he did not eat his food this was how he would become.
I remember while entering the class in school I was treated as an object of entertainment.
I always wondered why people laugh at me, do they think I am an entertainer, as in our country a Dwarf is found only in the circus as clowns.
Did all of this hurt? Of course, it did. But I realized early in life that being a dwarf was not in my hand, what I have with me is my MIND which I can control and no one can conquer.
I worked on my inner self and decided to bring out my best.
People who are physically challenged are sometimes WRONGLY regarded by some – As people unable to contribute to society in any meaningful way because of their disability, which is so not true!
Other than being good in my academics I was also a ‘Black Belt in Taekwondo by grade 9.
I studied and lived in a hostel for a few years as I had to realize the reality of life – The sooner the better for me. I had to face my fears and I did.
My CA Journey
Being the only child of my parents, they had aspirations from me although their aspirations were a bit dented the day I was born because I was different in comparison to others.
While in college I wanted to pursue a course where the world DOES NOT see me with sympathy but they see me as a person who has CROSSED ALL HURDLES.
I did not want to join a course which has categories for disabled people, I wanted a course which treats everyone equally and CA DOES.
That is when I decided to become a Chartered Accountant from ICAI (The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India).
To be a Chartered Accountant from ICAI, one needs to clear 3 levels of exams:
- CPT: First level. You have to give this exam if you register for the CA course before graduating.
- IPCC: Second level exam. This consists of 2 groups – Group 1 & 2. Each group has 3/4 subjects.
- CA Final: Last level of CA exam and has again 2 group – Group 1 & 2. Each group has 3/4 subjects
- 3 years of articleship training: This starts after you clear IPCC, either both groups or anyone of them. I did my articles from Deloitte.
In fact, I lost my dad when I was in my CA Final (last level CA exam) and that was the lowest point of my life.
My dad wanted to see me as a CA, I fulfilled his dream, but the day it got fulfilled he wasn’t there in this world. My mom is the biggest pillar of inspiration.
Also, I know the worth of my efforts as I have written most of my exams while standing for 3 hours, as the benches were too big for me.
With a lot of hard work and dedication, I cleared all three levels of my CA Exams and qualified as a Chartered Accountant.
Entering the Corporate World After Qualifying as a Chartered Accountant
Fast forwarding, after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, I knew it was time for me to enter the ‘Corporate World’.
I always had the fear – What if the corporates do not accept me if they see my physical disability and not my merit?! But yet again I reminded myself that we all have disabilities, the only difference is my disability is visible.
I started my career at Deloitte (including 3 years of training period) in the Audit and Assurance Division which provided vast exposure to financial reporting framework, reporting requirements under various statues in India, etc.
In 2015 I moved to Ernst & Young in Transfer Pricing, International Taxation. Now handling litigations, advisory, and documentation.
All went well and as the saying goes – If God takes away something from you, he replaces it with something you’ve never imagined. That’s evident in the case of my life:
- I am a national level current affairs debater
- I have participated in many TV talk shows
- Given inspirational lectures to people from all walks of life
- Written articles for many newspapers
- In my previous organization, I was given the award of an ‘Inspirational Person’ of the year.
- Also got featured in the renowned fashion magazine MAXIM, that too in its anniversary issue
- Received awards from many renowned personalities such as Late Mr. Jagjit Singh (Famous Ghazal Singer) and others
- Was at Fever 104 with RJ Khurafati Nitin on his show
- I am a TEDx speaker (watch my video here)
- Have addressed many forums such as CII, ASSOCHAM etc and the list goes on.
- Recently been conferred with – CII Young Achiever Award
- Recently addressed the BRICS Economic Forum as well
With my strong WILLPOWER and DEDICATION, I have proved to the world that nothing can stop you other than yourself.
So by sharing all my achievements, I am just trying to make one point clear – Everything is Possible.
I am a 3 feet 8-inch person. The day I was born the doctors told my parents – Look your son won’t live for more than 4 years. The reality is I do not know if the doctors are alive but I am alive living my life to the fullest.
Right from KG to date I have someone judging, criticizing, laughing at me, etc but I am a firm believer in critics. Till we don’t have critics in our life, something is not correct, so be BOLD and do not care what anyone thinks of yourself.
I always BELIEVE in this quote by Mahatma Gandhi – Strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from an indomitable will.
Even though I am short in height, I have never allowed myself to be dwarfed by my thoughts and action. Today, I stand tall by my achievements.
One strong message I have for everyone – ASPIRE TO INSPIRE BEFORE YOU EXPIRE.
Now It’s Your Turn…
Do you have anything stopping you?
Or Can I help you anyway?
I am on a mission – ASPIRE TO INSPIRE BEFORE YOU EXPIRE.
What is your mission in life before you expire?
Kindly let me know in the comments section.
You could reach me at firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com. You can connect to me on LinkedIn at – Himanshu Bakshi