“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I will open doors and step out of safe closets...

Growing up in an Indian family and moving from Dubai to Paris in second grade was a disorienting and confusing experience.

I was different from the other boys. I didn’t enjoy sports or karate. The team selection process during P.E. was a constant dread. I preferred reading about American Girls like Molly and Samantha. I retreated to my corner of the library, safe in the shadows...

I felt safe in the unbounded space of my imagination and comfort of my family. I felt joy when we visited my relatives in India and my grandmother cooked my favorite dishes – fried eggplant slices and potato and cauliflower curry.

Duda’s warm embraces lifted me up. She made me feel accepted and cherished. She made me smile with her oft-repeated Hindu saying, "Goddess of Compassion, grant me mercy."

My grandmother’s legacy of compassion remains with me. Two nights before she passed away, I had a dream where she spoke to me. In my dream, she appeared young, healthy and serene. She reassured me she loved and accepted me. She encouraged me to live and love on my terms, fearlessly and proudly.

My grandmother’s compassionate spirit guides me. After HBS, I will be working on health care innovation to improve patient care, delivery and access in America. I hope to be a leader who leads with compassion and quiet strength, with the courage to break boundaries and step into the light...

— Pothik Chatterjee