Azeem Bolar, Diploma in Counselling Skills (DCS, 2003-2004)
Mine was a story where I could have asked God, “Why me?”
At the tender age of 13 (I was born in 1968), when life is to be experienced, explored and enjoyed, I was attacked by juvenile arthritis. This terrible disease sometimes leaves behind permanent deformities and leaves the patient immobile. But, in my case, the disease slowly ate up my vision.
My education, my career as a businessman
After my schooling in various countries of Africa, my education took me to France as I sought to embark on a career in the hotel industry. After getting my ABA (Associate of Business Management) in Hotel Management, I proceeded to London in 1989 to pursue and complete my BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) and MA (Master of Arts) in Hotel Management. Returning to India to join my parents in 1991, I got a job as Night Lobby Manager at Oberoi's, Bangalore. As my vision was gradually coming down, I resigned the job. I ventured into my own business, starting a kabab outlet and an outdoor catering service. By 1994, with very little vision left in both the eyes, I closed down my ventures. I went to Africa to join my parents. I fell in love with a 5-acre property, took the place on lease and revamped it into a flourishing business.
With failing vision and health, my journey into self and desire to understand others started
With my vision going down to just 5%, I could no longer manage the business and had to quit. Then my mind and body battled to recover from an attack of meningitis, followed by an infection of cerebral malaria and my first paralytic attack. In 2000, I returned to India, had mobility training from the National Association for the Blind (NAB), learned Jaws (a screen reading software), and completed the NIIT Swift India Certificate. It was exciting to be able to use the computer without sight.
All along as my vision and health were deteriorating, I could never indulge in self-pity. Seeing my positivity, a counsellor at NAB, guided me to Banjara Academy. In 2003, I joined Banjara Academy's Diploma in Counselling Skills (DCS) course. After completion of the DCS course, I joined the ADFC (Advanced Diploma in Family Counseling) course and enrolled for a Neuro-Linguistics Programming (NLP) course. At this juncture, I was attacked by a severe neurological stroke. This paralyzed the left side of my entire body and robbed me of my remaining vision. My regaining speech and vision were ruled out by the doctors. The doctors categorized me as a vegetable and gave me no hope. But none of these could paralyze my spirit to live.
I returned to Banjara Academy on a wheelchair to complete my ADFC course. During the period of this course, the 5 weeks of the NLP course was also scheduled. Ali allowed me to leave for the NLP course. My willpower and determination helped me to get out of the wheelchair and climb all the way to the classroom (on the second floor) with no vision and a half-functional body. All these done, thrice a day for 5 weeks!!
I successfully completed the basic NLP, Advanced NLP and NLP in Health courses. I returned to Banjara Academy to finish my ADFC course. Just then, a DCAC (Diploma in Child and Adolescent counseling) course was offered which I opted for. Later, I did an advanced NLP course with Owens Fitzpatrick. I also did my MS in counselling and psychotherapy, followed by courses in Gestalt therapy and Tools of the Spirit.
A meaningful and enriched journey as a counsellor
The above courses coupled with the learning at Banjara Academy, gave me the ammunition to launch myself as a counsellor, NLP practitioner and psychotherapist. The journey from then on has been meaningful and enriched with contentment.
The hurdles faced in my life did not deter me but only strengthened my conviction that counselling was a part of me.
I kept taking up various courses, which would inspire and motivate me to reach out better to people. These were the things that kept me looking beyond my failed vision. The Diploma in Counselling Skills (DCS) course helped me the most in reaching out to help fellow beings. Just a few examples: I helped a drug addict out of his addiction that had continued in spite of his visits to rehabilitation centres. I am glad that my counseling could help a person who was very stressed by traffic jams. A good friend of mine was cured completely of her persistent back pain. All the more surprising was the recovery of a counsellee from the clenching of teeth while in deep sleep.
Thanks to the counseling courses of Banjara Academy and NLP, I have become very confident.
I am a full-time counsellor with awards to my credit!
I thank my mentors Dr. Ali and Ing. (Late) Raja Reddy for giving me a new life. Now. I will go as far as my mind can see!! And I know when I reach there, I have it within me to go further to reach the skies…because the sky is the limit!!
Perma-link for Azeem Bolar's page here: http://banjaraacademy.org/alumni-psychological-counselling-journeys-azeem-bolar-diploma-counselling-skills-2004
Azeem Bolar - CKA 2012 Awardees Video