After I completed my undergrad, I got a chance to pursue my post-graduate in a foreign country. I was all too excited to apply for visa once I got the acceptance letter from the university. It was all going well as I had already prepared and submitted all the documents required by the embassy. But I was stuck when it came to fulfilling the mandatory requirement of having a certain amount of money in my bank account, which was too huge for me and my family.
Though I had professor’s guarantee letter of providing me full financial support for my studies and lodging, I was told I had to manage that sum of money in my personal account, without which my application would be deemed incomplete.
I come from a middle class family, and I knew very well my parents did not have the resources to deposit such a huge amount of money in my bank account. But I thought I had some neighbours and relatives who were resourceful enough to bail me out of the situation.
The first person that came to my mind was a businessman who was also one of my relatives. My “overconfidence” that I would certainly get support from him was but shattered when I was told he could not be of any help to me. Then I started thinking about some other individuals who could come to my rescue.
One of my close neighbours also had a business enterprise. I made a dash for his home and explained my situation. It did not take him long to sympathise with my situation. However, I had to return empty-handed, carrying some of his sympathy for me.
I had almost lost my hopes until I thought about yet another person. However, I was not too sure about any help from him. His socioeconomic status was somewhat like ours. He used to run a small business.
To my delight he was ready to help me out. I was finally able to apply for visa. I completed my studies successfully and returned home happy.
One day when I was sharing this personal story of mine with a few friends, one of the friends interrupted, saying he could have helped me had I approached him for help. I thanked him but said I did not want to bring the issue between friends. I am thankful to the person who helped me out, but I have now realized that one should always establish good relationship and friendship with neighbours as well as relatives.
A version of this article appears in print on December 27, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.