Saturday, November 5, 2016

And in that moment I knew…

Did you notice that new girl in the intern section in the medicine wing? She definitely seems too awkward in her own skin. The girl who passed out among the creamy layer in her class but is disquieting when it comes to the hour-long history taking and making concoctions in reference to the nature (character) of patients. Here is a gentle reminder to the readers that I mean no disrespect to any profession, rather this is the disarray of my own mind as a 22 year old. Coming back to me, arr her… She, the one who didn’t have the intrepidity or motivation for that matter to gulp down the shloks (Sanskrit chanting) in order to get through the Masters exams. She was too interoperable to dive head first into the Masters degree in Ayurveda, without a promise of any future after investing or squandering 4 years in pursuing and completing masters, again with the creamy layer of the class. There of course was an option of getting married to a established doctor or their son and have a medicinal household of taking hour-long patient history and making concoctions. All this sounds like I am talking sense now, searching to move away from something that I was clearly not interested in and was definitely not a great choice for carrier as it offered no returns after a major investment of time. But at that point in time this exaltation led to my exile from all the others, who wanted to be a part of this herd.

I was alone- physically, mentally & spiritually. Losing interest in the present field and oblivious towards what else can be done. It was when I came across people, who were running in another race of getting into MBA, it was a rat race in itself, but an interesting one at that. So there it came the so called break through, I had to pursue masters and I deliberated that a MNC shall in anyways be a better option than my own personal potion business. Hence my concentration shifted from quaffing antidotes to solving equations and applying logical reasoning and reading 3 newspapers a day. After 6 year long routine, this was a welcoming change. It was the time when I did let go of all my inhibitions and obfuscations and devoured myself towards its preparation; this decision that was made could make or break things for my future. I was not a warrior in this time, I had my parents backing but I was no less than a trooper, I was for the first time, fighting a fight to stand out of the crowd, daring to walk in an opposite direction, swaying against the wind. All I can say is that, it did need strength and commitment not to lose hope halfway.

I still remember the day, the drowsy morning when during my morning routine of browsing through the morning paper, while shortlisting the articles which needed thorough reviewing. I came across the notice for admissions calling for Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. This was the first time I saw such varied course list and was drawn towards it instantaneously. The word Tata made my interest and trust grow and the full-length research began, courses, seats, reservations, exam pattern, you name it and I found things about it. It became my single  focal point of obsession and with it grew the raging desire to get through. Time came for the written tests and it was the single most exhausting exam that I have taken in my life. Since I had applied for multiple courses, I had to sit through 4.5 hours and write 3 essays back to back, while sitting on a wooden bench in a dilapidated government school in Nagpur. My back was wrenched after a hour but it was something sorcerous that kept me going. I came back and waited for interview calls, everyday. And yes the day came, when a girl from Chhattisgarh despite lack of support travelled to Mumbai towards the dream she has had repeatedly every night for the last 3 months. Yes you remember me telling you that my parents backed me, until the societal pressure got to them. Now it was just me, my hard work and my fate against everything and everyone else.

I gave my best in the rounds of group discussions and was desperately waiting for my turn to get through the doors and dazzle in the interview, I was confident. My name was called out, I was asked to give my introduction then came the next question, I wasn’t confident with the answer. And I was asked to leave. I was shattered. Everything seemed to be going in slow motion; I came out of the room, unable to compose myself at the same time unable to express myself. I sat on the porch of main quadrangle and closed eyes and sat there for an hour, looking around the mesmerizing atmosphere. A confluence of people with various cultural, ethic, national backgrounds coming together to learn, live and last for lifetime as TISSIANS. It was that moment I knew in a very long time what I wanted. This was it, but regrettably I couldn’t do anything more other than hope, wish & pray. Everyday since the interview, till I received my confirmation, 19 days, were passed twiddling thumbs. I have no recollection of anything significant done in those 19 days, and yes the last day was monumental. That friends, is the day I think of when I really want to remember how you feel when you are happy, contented and triumphed. This was the first time I did not need to use words to answer my eyes did the work. And I am indebted to TISS, forever, for what I am, how I think, and how I do things. Cheers for many more of such TISS moments.

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