Born and raised in Dharavi, Mayur has worked with Reality Group for over five years. In his own words, Mayur tells the story of his journey with Reality Group and how it led him to find his passion.
Working with Reality has been an achievement. I joined Reality Gives as a caretaker. Through this job, I have grown as an individual and my communication has improved. When I started it was not possible for me to speak English. Now, it’s very easy for me to speak in English and for that I thank the team at Reality.
I joined a computer course with Reality Gives in 2009 because one of my friends introduced me to Reality Gives. It was a 3 month course and during that time I met the founders of Reality, Chris Way and Krishna Pujari as well as Asim Shaikh, my computer teacher. I still remember my first class with Asim (it was also his first class!), he taught us about the desktop recycle bin. To better understand he gave us an example: recycle bin is a Kaachra kundi (hindi for dustbin), we thought that was really funny. I finished the course in three months. It was a great start to a never ending journey!
After I finished the class, I kept going to help Asim teach the computer class. I kept going every day and finally Asim talked to Chris and recommended me for a job with Reality. I became the caretaker for Reality Gives and then for Reality Tours. It felt unbelievable, I never thought that I could work for Reality (I just wanted to learn about computers!).
Working with Reality Tours opened new doors for me like learning English. I also get to meet a lot of people from all over the world and I really enjoyed the bicycle tour when I used to go as a second guide. My colleagues from Reality are my role models, especially Chris Way, Krishna Pujari and Asim Shaikh. It’s every exciting and challenging to work for Reality Tours!
I will never forget the day that I discovered my passion. It was a bright and beautiful day to work in my office. I went early and started my work for the day: organizing files, entering data in the computer, etc. Then, Chris Way called me into his office. He must be calling me for some work, I thought. But that day was not like other days. Chris told me to get ready with shorts, an extra shirt and sport shoes. He also told me to get other kids in the community to come too. We were going to Shivaji Park. Shivaji Park! I didn’t know why we were going. People go to Shivaji Park to play football, cricket, kho kho, volleyball etc. Oh yes! We will play cricket today, I thought. And with this thought we reached Shivaji Park. But what I saw was more amusing, I saw a group of people playing with a funny oval-shaped yellow ball. It was an Australian football. I touched it. Felt it. Kicked it. Then fell in love with it.
I have played Aussie Rules every weekend since then.
After six months, I became the captain of the Maharastra Aussie Rules Football team and I helped organize and promote Aussie Rules Football in Mumbai. Fifty boys and girls from Dharavi now play Aussie Rules Football. This has been my proudest achievement.
After three and half year I got an email from AFL India saying, “Congratulations Mayur Parmar. It is a pleasure to inform you that you have been selected to represent India in the sport of Australian Rules Football and to play in the AFL International Cup 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.” I had been selected to play for the Indian National Team and travel with them to a tournament in Australia. That day when I get the selection letter was one of my happiest days in my life. But at the same time I was nervous because I needed to get my passport. I immediately applied for my passport and the week before flying to Melbourne I got my passport in my hand. Finally I took a deep breath and started preparing for my first flight!
After a long journey to Kolkata and then to Australia we finally landed in Melbourne. Sadly, we lost all the matches. But it was a really good experience throughout the month in Melbourne, I made some good friends, and learned a lot of tips to bring back and apply in Mumbai footy. web speed For that, I really wanted to thank Chris and especially Lincoln (founder of AFL in Mumabi) from a bottom of my heart for giving me these opportunities to do something in my life.
When I join Reality Tours and Travel as a caretaker I was 15 and one person on a tour asked me “What do you want to become?” I told them that I wanted to become a charted accountant. But if you asked me now I would say my dream is to become a professional AFL player. Now, five years later I can proudly say that I am Operations Executive for Reality Tours and I want to work for Reality forever (unless I become an AFL player, of course).