For Rajesh Singh, success has formed different meanings at varied junctures of life. From his first ambition–when he was as young as 10–to make his father’s name live on, to currently making his son’s name the most sought after name in holistic education, Rajesh has always put his family first.
His hard-working nature, grit and self confidence in anything that he believes in has continued to ensure that success follows him, no matter what path he chooses.
Born and brought up in the oldest town of the world, Benaras he didn’t have an easy childhood. He and his elder brother attended a prestigious school, lived in a decent locality but he started to realize that his father worked really hard. He could see that their father only cared for his children and their happiness. He made sure that they were best taken care of even if he didn’t earn too much.
All of ten, he was inspired and motivated having seen his father toil so hard. It left him pondering on how to make his father’s life better and make sure that his father got the due for toiling hard. He dreamt his first dream: to ensure that his father’s name lived till eternity. That point on, he focused all his energies on doing well academically and keeping away from all the fun and indulgences kids his age would revel in. Very strong-willed and adamant on making things happen for him, no matter what sphere: personal, professional, or artistic–he never learnt to give-in. Boys his age would be seen bunking school and watching movies but he was seen spending time studying the markets around him, of understanding how businesses work.
When in college, he studied well along with doing odd jobs to support himself and to put his knowledge to use. He also became active in collegiate politics. It was during his master’s days when he fell in love with the woman of his dreams. The first love, he was smitten by her, much like the breeze, softness and soothing shine of moon, as he fondly calls his wife, ‘Chanda,’ came to his life and rendered him the support to achieve all his dreams and fight the world. But it was not easy either. In the conservative times back then and in a town even more conservative, love marriages and dating were alien concepts. Sunita came from another town to pursue her PhD and during her masters’ days is when Rajesh approached her via a friend. She refused explaining that he was into ‘politics’ and didn’t seem to ber very focused on education. He was disappointed but didn’t forget her, but didn’t talk to her too. But during the last days of college is when they got talking and decided to marry immediately. This, they did without the consent of either of their families.
That fateful, auspicious day, all he had was 1200 rs in his pocket. They spent 450 in buying a mangalsutra, 150 in a saree and rest to the pandit and travel expenses. At first the family resisted but then they fell in love with Sunita so much more than anyone would have expected. She had won their heart and soul. Soon they were blessed with two sons: Kunwar and Parth.
He started working with his brother in a coal business. They started trading coal and would have days when they would come back home painted in the black of the coal. This went on for six years, as they realised that this was a sinking ship and would not grow as much in future. Rajesh was also wondering on how to make his father’s name live on. Till one day he decided to shift to Lucknow in 1998. A growing city Lucknow, offered immense opportunities and he saw great potential in real estate. It is here that a new journey started. It is here that Rajesh Singh made a new life. It is here that he loved and laughed, lived and believed. In the name of his father he found Dayal Real Estates (need to cross check). In an effort to do it for the people who really needed a place to call their home, they first launched residences for people
“I had seen the pain of making one’s house and the effort that goes in it. I had also seen the pride and happiness at owning your own abode and I had felt the peace of sitting in your home and calling it your own. I wanted to give the same feeling to the people for whom, a home was a distant dream, for the ones, the means were limited but dreams were not,” explains Rajesh Singh. Growing at leaps and bounds and hitting milestone after milestone, he had to sacrifice a lot of family time, he went on to construct apartments and now has over 5000 residences in ten years, to his credit only in the capital city of the largest state of Uttar Pradesh.
He built township after township, moved from smaller houses to farm houses, to building one of the fanciest hotels of Lucknow, and another one was under-construction. In between, he also ventured into satisfying his creative side, he made two feature films: Fareb and Anwar. The latter is very popular for the song ‘Maula Mere Maula.’ Through Anwar he brought to us the music director, Mithun, who has been scaling heights after heights after his talent was recognized by Singh.
Everything was going fine, and their second hotel– which was under-construction–had already been awarded the “Best Future Hotel of The World Award.”
But life, as he said, brings in the tough times that can give a new meaning to one’s existence, so happened with him. In a most unfortunate incident, he lost is first born son to a heart-attack. This broke his heart but inspired him to live life and reach out to more.
Kunwar was travelling from Lucknow to Delhi in a train with his friend. Back in Lucknow, his parents were out for their morning walk in a park when they got a call by Kunwar’s friend that something was not alright. It turned out that Kunwar had died of a heart-attack in the middle of the night before. Shattered and broken, the family accepted the fate but couldn’t believe in the absence of their big boy. Singh stopped the construction of their second hotel immediately to start a school in the memory of Kunwar. On 13th Jan, 2014 which would have been Kunwar’s 21st birthday, he launched Kunwar Global School which is affiliated by Cambridge. Aimed at providing holistic education and care, the school is a family for the parents and its 150 students are all reflections of Kunwar in some or the other way.
“When I see Kunwar’s name on the T-shirts of the children, I feel he is around. I like to have lunch with the children and make sure that they feel at home. I have missed a lot of time in building the empire but now I wonder what for? In running around so much, I never lived my life,” adds a saddened Singh.
While Parth went to study in Mumbai, Kunwar and Rajesh bonded over a lot of things and in his last few years, Kunwar and Rajesh grew very close. Rajesh calls him his ‘best friend’ that he lost too soon in life. Today he finds peace and happiness in the smiles of these children and imagines his Kunwar to be in the 150 faces that are in the school. In his words, “I wish to see thousands of Kunwar’s doing well and going out in the world making sure his name lives on.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A development Sector Professional who started her career in journalism with names like TOI and Tehelka. What inspires Megha the most are the stories of people who learned to fight, to make it large. As an editor for India’s Most Inspiring Success Stories, her aim has been to bring out the stories that inspire to aspire. And for her, it has only reaffirmed her faith in dreaming and achieving.