Thirty-two

When I was not even 4 feet tall, and when people would ask me what I’d like to become after I grow up, I’d have just one word for them – Doctor. A doctor is what I wanted to become, what my mom wanted me to become.
‘We’ve no one from our family doing medical. So I want my daughter to take it up’ mom would say.
My dad too, however wished for the same though he never said it openly. Whenever my mom and I visited the K S Hegde hospital, the nearest one from my place, we’d admire the students there at the adjoined medical college. The girls looked just amazing with their full sleeved white aprons on. But I, including my parents, only had dreams and never really worked towards achieving it. I secured 81% percent in my 10th and fell into the lowest best 58% percent in my 12th. Reasons were too many for the extreme low score which handicapped me on taking up medical. The whooping number I secured in my CET exam ended up becoming the amount of money that I had to pay for my engineering as fees – 70k. The relatives called, believed whatever numbers we told them when asked about results and perhaps went to moon cause I never heard from them afterwards. Friends consoled for not very long. My father stopped talking to me but my mother was always there inspite of me having shattered her dreams of becoming a doctor. Today when I look back at those horrifying nights with fear as to where my future was heading, I want to pat on my back for having survived the trauma. My father at that time of life had quit his job as Sales officer at Wipro and was home. Agriculture was there, so he tried to relax a bit by taking a break for an year. All the money he had earned till then was drained for his sisters’ marriages and his children’s education. We were so financially crippled that I had to complete my Engineering with the support of educational loan from bank.
Though engineering was only an option that I was left with, it started very smoothly. If not medical, you have engineering, don’t you worry. Thank god you didn’t become a teacher. My dad began talking to me, word by word, but the relationship never was the same. I was working hard and having fun, but my results just didn’t ascend. I don’t know what was going wrong, I still don’t know, even after the completion of course. Meanwhile I lost a couple of friends, I broke up with my boyfriend, I learned life. I started reading books, I eventually started writing, I lived life. I was cheerful. I took part in chess competitions, won several prizes. I took part in sports events. I bought a pack of painting tubes and brushed them on my canvas. I tried on every possible thing to discover what I was actually skilled at. And it did happen to some extent when I left not a single stone unturned. By my third year I was reading alot of books. A book is something my dad always insisted me on picking up, and I had just hated it’s sight. But during this tough phase of my life, when I had no right person to share my pain with, it was all I went up to. On the other side my semester scores continued pulling me down despite hard efforts being put on. But the reading continued slowly to become an addiction, a growing passion. I read while traveling, while my friends during class intervals went out to canteen I’d just pick a book and start reading. From story books to newspapers to magazines to anything and everything that had English words in it. There would be times when even the previous night before exam, text books were replaced by story books. By the end of my Engineering when I was doped with language English and when I had not met the eligibility criteria to write to any company, I knew where I belonged to. During campus placements, I was hired by IBM as a technical associate for my communication skills, all thanks to the reading that I had nurtured by the day. I started a blog which is going on quite good. I joined for an internship at Deccan herald under the guidance of some of the renowned writers. Today I write till my fingers turn numb. I can’t leave my house without a book in my hand. And I can’t think of nothing but to become a good writer in the future.
From wanting to become a doctor to engineer to writer, life definitely hasn’t been easy but I’ve survived it with all the hardships. And that’s what has brought me here today to have a become a confident writer. It took me so long, I should have known it from the big showcase of books we had back home or from having a father who was an avid reader. That it’s in my genes, I should have just known it. But I preferred my own en routes. And no regrets because somebody had quoted not to have regrets and let’s just follow it without thinking much.

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