From making 35 dollars a day selling perfumes at a Pakistani store in New Jersey to bagging a contract worth 10.75 crores at the IPL 2022 mega-auction, Harshal Patel recalls his story that has left everyone inspiring.
Born in Gujarat, Harshal Patel moved to the USA with his parent when he was a teenager and had to do some blue-collar jobs to make a living, including selling perfumes at a store owned by a Pakistani.
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) April 10, 2022
A major challenge after moving to America was the language of communication for Harshal who had studied in Gujarati medium.
Speaking with host Gaurav Kapoor on the latter’s show ‘Breakfast with Champions’ Harshal Patel said: “I used to work at this Pakistani guy’s perfume store in Elizabeth, New Jersey. I couldn’t speak a word of English because I had studied in a Gujarati medium throughout. That was my first encounter with the language and also with the language with so much slang because that entire area was predominantly Latino and African American. Then I picked up their kind of English. Gangster English. They used to come and buy $100 perfume bottles on Fridays. On Monday they used to come back and used to say, ‘hey man I just sprayed it a couple of times. I want to return it man. I have no food on the table’. That was a regular occurrence.”
“It was a great experience for me because I learned what those blue collar jobs really are. My aunt and uncle used to go to their offices, and they would drop me on the way. So at 7 am I would be dropped and the store would open at 9 am. Two hours I used to sit at the Elizabeth railway station. Do my work till 7.30, 8. So 12-13 hours a day and I used to get paid $35 a day,” he added.
Upon returning to India, Harshal picked up bowling and impressed the coaches in Gujarat from where his cricketing journey really kicked on.