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Barrie Benches, Coffee and Conversation

The Dream

We first noticed Saurabh on Instagram. His handle is #thathimalayanguy , have you seen his photos? He takes some amazing photos of Barrie, specifically the waterfront and DANG IT! They are beautiful and totally capture the peaceful, serene nature that we are so lucky to be surrounded with. We reached out to Saurabh and asked him if he would be interested to sit down on a Barrie bench with us . Guess what? He agreed! Saurabh told us of his dreams, his fathers dreams and a future that looks so bright, born from those dreams that were eventually broken.

“My father had a dream. He wanted to see stars on my shoulders. He wanted me to join the Indian Army and to be truthful, I wanted this as well. I did the assessment interview 3 times and I kept getting rejected. It was hard on me. The first time I was rejected was in 2016 and I was really hurt about it.”

A New Plan

As Saurabh was sharing this, you could tell that he’d lost a little of his posture. At the beginning of our talk, Saurabh was animated and sitting straight up on the waterfront Barrie Bench. But as he started to share a snippet of his life, his hands were folded in his lap and when he spoke of his father, he paused ever so slightly.

“After I was rejected from the Indian Army, I applied for a job in an outbound call center and I worked there for 8 months. From that money I bought my first camera and I found myself. This took 3 years and I just didn’t know what I was doing with my life.”  You see, Saurabh has a good eye. He loves nature and taking photographs. Buying a Nikon in India is not something done lightly. But there was still more to do. There was that little issue of his future. Working at a call centre served its purpose – but now what?

A shadow of Saurabh at the Barrie Waterfront.

College Bound in Barrie, That’s What!

“I did an English proficiency test and passed it with good grades. I applied for 2 colleges and chose Georgian College. So now, I’m here. I arrived last week of February 2019. I should graduate Project Management in December and have already decided that I will continue at Georgian in January, taking Human Resource Management. I’m definitely going to continue with my photography on the side.”  Of all the pictures that Saurabh has taken, he told us that he’s missing a very important picture that he’ll never get to take.  He lost his Grandmother in 2007 and she was everything to him.  “she was the loveliest person that ever existed but I don’t have a single picture with her. I can trade everything just to have a single picture with her but that’s not possible.”

Saurabh with his camera at the Barrie Waterfront.

You may see Saurabh around Georgian College. He’s made many new friends and sometimes hangs out at the International Centre there. He’s working hard towards his future and isn’t about to let one broken dream get him down. Don’t you wish you could bottle that up? We think Saurabh will do well in Canada and wish him the best on his journey. Check him out on Instagram #thathimalayanguy . You’ll be glad you did.

Written by: Sharon Johnston | Images by: Stephen Elliot and Sharon Johnston

Barrie Benches, Coffee and Conversations is a feature that will highlight Barrie Citizens.  We will share the stories of locals in an effort to make our big community just a little smaller.  If you’d like to share a story of hope and inspiration, email ME .  Perhaps we can sit together on a bench sometime.

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