I’m just like you.
Just like everybody else.
With a single exception.
I couldn’t take CLAT 2011.
And this is my story.
Hailing from a not-very-busy town, I’m a simple, shy person. But I wasn’t so always.
I was a student of a reputed convent of my town, an active participant in extra-curricular activities and fairly good in sports & academics. My life there was — protected. Innocent. Bliss. I was one of the popular girls of our school and everyone was my friend and I, a friend to everyone. I had played state level basketball and was the environment club president. And later when I was made the college captain nothing seemed better. I had just fulfilled my dream. What I didn’t realize was that life won’t remain the same always. My life took a shift from normal after my board results. They were ‘good’ but not what I had expected. “Not worth the hard work I put in.” I thought. Now I must tell you that I’m not a very positive person. Not that I don’t try to be otherwise, but it’s just that my default mode is ‘sad’. “Pensive”. The 10th board results gave a sharp blow on my confidence. It now came down to zero on the scale. None the less I opted for science in my senior year because I loved “the concepts of physics”. My mother on the other hand was worried sick. How was I going to cope with maths, my phobia??? I remember telling her, “arre sab ho jayega! Physics hai to main hu!” But that didn’t happen. I barely passed in maths both the years. And chemistry didn’t help either. The only saving grace was English & Physics (both subjects I never took seriously because I seemed naturally good at them). Education for me means knowledge. Learning something new every time. English wasn’t a subject to me it was a language. There is always room to improve, but learn? No. And physics, well, sure there are a lot of concepts & theories & stuff, and I no doubt love them, but after a while they become repetitive. Concepts flow away and we are left with numericals ! I became mad. In the real sense of the word!!! Physics had stopped satisfying my curiosity & there was nothing else to fill the void! Exam after exam I received blows on my confidence. Thrusting myself into studies, I left the world behind me but all in vain. No matter how much effort I would put in, my grades just wouldn’t improve. And now my confidence had shifted to the negatives on the scale. I stopped participating in extra-curricular activities & left sports completely and thus I became fat. Strangely those people from high school whom I considered to be my friends didn’t want to help. On the contrary they made things worse, if that was possible. Then came the cherry on top. Secondary school board results. One word description: disaster. Dad got mad & mum all the more worried. I gave every possible entrance exam. Field no-bar. But our house had become a site of war. Dad & mum wanted me to do law. As for me, I had just one thought in my mind. “I’m not a loser and I shall prove it.” Everybody everywhere told me that engineering was the most difficult field for science students. And Lo and Behold the next thing I knew, I wanted to become an engineer! All this while there was a tiny voice inside my head telling me I was wrong. That I’m not meant for that field and if I become an engineer the little spark for learning that’s left in me will also die and with it my zeal for life. But I paid no heed. All this was happening while I was waiting for my entrance exam results. And when they finally arrived, all hell broke loose!! Aieee: not good. IIT: wtf?! Uptu: selected. Srm/Manipal/Comed: selected. NIFT: waitlisted. Clat: 121. NID: not selected. I went insane! Adamantly telling everyone I wanted to go to Manipal. Not hearing anything else. That’s when dad got worried. Then we made a deal. He asked me to join a law coaching institute while I await my counseling (roughly a month), after which if I still wanted to go in for engineering he won’t stop me. Halfheartedly, I agreed. First day at coaching: GK. Horrific. I didn’t know a thing! Smirking, I told myself, “I was right! I’m meant for engineering!” But keeping my side of the deal I kept going. Class after class I realized I was slowing becoming alive. Legal, logical, reasoning, GK, arithmetic…..the world is stuffed with things I don’t know!!! And the change in me was visible to all! On the dinner table I would go on endlessly citing cases and legal issues and laws lesser known to common man! I didn’t have to push myself to study & was happy again in the new world that I had found! And I happily gave up my orthodox idea of becoming an engineer! It seemed to me as if I had found my calling! But again…I forgot a simple rule of life. It doesn’t remain the same forever.
I can’t take CLAT.
When the forms began to be issued, I got news. I won’t be able to take CLAT. I’ll be over-aged. Exactly a month older than the upper age limit. My whole year wasted!!! What did I drop for? This?? I went into a state of numbness. My whole year wasted!!!! “WHY?”, I kept asking myself. And one day I finally got an answer. “Because this is what makes you happy.”, said that tiny voice within me. And I rose again. All my life I’d never studied for marks or ranks or certificates. Then why now? No CLAT wasn’t the end. It can’t be. Yes life would have been different in NALSAR (the place I wanted to go), but it’s not necessarily going to be bad outside it. I shook myself & started preparing again. NLU-D, Symbiosis, Jamia, AMU…even IP!! CLAT wasn’t going to stop me! Mumma & papa were super supportive!!! Didn’t care about the name of the college as much as my happiness. And I walked again.
Now with NLU-D & Symbi results out, I wonder how life would have been had I stuck to engineerin. But then, I guess, it doesn’t matter anymore. I didn’t make it to NLU-D by-the-way. My Symbi score is nice though. I gave my IP paper yesterday & now await its results.
I wonder how mum and dad knew what I was meant for. I’m grateful to The Power above for blessing me with them. Without them I’d still be a lost soul.
I’ll be honest and say that a part of me is dead. The strength to fight is fading rapidly. The courage to look people in the eye is gone. I’m an invisible person in the crowd. Nothing special. Nothing different. But I still walk forward because my greatest strength is still alive. My hope. I hope for a better tomorrow. I hope people won’t judge me by the name of my college. I hope they won’t laugh behind my back. I hope someday I will become the bold, outgoing person I once was.
And I hope one day I will make myself proud.
I believe someday…I will.
“The battle belongs to the persistent.. Victory will go to the one who never quits. Winning doesn’t start around you, it begins INSIDE you.”
P.S.- I apologize for not disclosing my name but I am not yet ready to face the world head-on.