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‘I always failed in school’: Meet the farmer who became a Microsoft engineer

From studying under lanterns in a remote village to working at Microsoft, Santosh Mishra has come a long way – and he’s raring to do more.

November 29, 2022 / 02:13 PM IST
Santosh Mishra landed a job at Microsoft after years of hard work (Image: officialhumansofbombay/Instagram)

Santosh Mishra landed a job at Microsoft after years of hard work (Image: officialhumansofbombay/Instagram)

From studying under lanterns in a remote village to working at Microsoft, Santosh Mishra has come a long way – and he’s raring to do more. Mishra, a software development engineer at Microsoft, opened up about his journey in an interview with Humans of Bombay.

He revealed that growing up, he was called “murkh” (fool) because no matter how hard he tried, he ended up failing in school. “The words and numbers looked like gibberish to me. Everyone would say, ‘Isse kuch nahi hoga’ (he can’t be helped),” Mishra told Humans of Bombay.

Perhaps convinced that his son would not fare well in school, Mishra’s father told him to start learning how to farm when he was in Class 9. The teenager would help out in the family farm during the day and study at night.

“Our village was in a remote area, we hardly had electricity. I’d study under a lantern. I hated it,” he confessed. But Mishra did not give up studying – a decision that changed the route his life took.




Despite working as a farmer, Mishra continued his education on the side through a distance learning course. He then got admission into NIT for a Master’s degree and moved to Tiruchirappalli, where again he had to contend with the challenges that come with living in a city – foremost among them being his inability to converse fluently in English.