From Mumbai bookseller to student in Texas—one young man’s incredible rags to riches story

It doesn't get much better than this.
December 26, 2017 10:50 am Last Updated: December 29, 2017 8:16 pm

It’s hard to change the direction of our lives, and in many cases, people stuck in bad situations can feel like it’s impossible to get out. Yet, there is always hope that, with perseverance and hard work, success can be achieved despite any adversity.

And one Mumbai boy’s rags to riches story is proof positive of that.  

Salmon Syyed is no stranger to poverty. He was born and lived all his early life on the streets of Mumbai. His mother was a trash collector, who gathered refuse to sell just to make some money. Life was so hard, that even Syyed had to drop out of school and join his mother in collecting trash just so they could eke out a meager living.

Salmon Syyed was born into unimaginable poverty.

(Voice of Ram/Screenshot)

“On some days we would earn some money,” Syyed said in a video posted by the YouTube channel Voice of Ram.

Syyed never gave up, though. Through hard work, Syyed was, thankfully, able to “upgrade” to selling books by an intersection to support himself and his family.

But Syyed always dreamed of making his life better.

Syyed did not just sell the books, though. He also taught himself how to read them with the help of some kind customers. Eventually, these same customers pressured him to return to school and continue his studies.

And that was when life really started to change.

He excelled in his studies. He learned to speak English fluently and eventually began studying sociology at a local college, K.C. University. But while he studied, he continued to work. But not as a bookseller, anymore. Instead, he managed to land a job as a tour guide.

Through his studies, he even attended an event in New York City, which was an incredible experience for the young man.

“I had a great time there,” Syyed said in the video.

Syyed’s journey did not end there, though, it continued to get even more impressive.

The young bookseller had managed to completely change his life. But his story was about to get even more incredible.

“He was born and lived on the footpaths of Mumbai,” writer-director Ram Subramaniam, a longtime friend of Syyed, wrote in a tweet. “Today Salman is studying in Houston, Texas. Am choking up as I type this!”

Sayyed had worked so hard in college that he was able to get himself to the United States and study at a university in Houston, Texas. His rags-to-riches story culminated in an incredible way.

Despite his good fortune, Syyed never forgot where he came from.

(Voice of Ram/Screenshot)

But the young man never forgot where he came from and his good heart never left him. During the recent hurricanes in Texas, he helped his new neighbors out.

And he volunteered with the Red Cross.

And this desire to help people is something that Syyed hopes to continue.

“Today I want to help other people like me who are stuck at a crossroad in their life,” Syyed said in the video.

In sharing his story, he has been able to do just that.

Watch his inspiring story below:

In 1892, he helped a struggling college student. 27 years later—what goes around comes around.