We all read motivational quotes but the real learning lies in experiences that we gain through small life incidents. I would like to share one of my experience with life, which helped me to observe, realize, and absorb few lifelong lessons.
“I think for rest of your life, you will be solving 12th class’ accounting questions only and this must be a Hindi medium book, isn’t it?
A thunderous laugh of my classmates made me embarrassed. Though it had become a routine but I tried not to give any explanation and importance to them.
I belong to a very small town of Rajasthan, where the youth did not get good opportunities to explore themselves and self-development. Education and career opportunities are like peanuts. I was a very introvert but an intelligent student in my school and graduation. That was a trend there for girls to become a teacher after completing their graduation. Because there were only B.Ed colleges available in the town and girls did not require to leave their base location for further studies. So that was the easiest and the safest choice available to their parents. After unsuccessful effort in my pre-medical entrance, my fate could be the same as other girls, but I knew from the core of my heart, mind, and soul that I would do anything to get out and create my own path.
“It is always great to know what you want to do in life. But sometimes it is very helpful in life to know what all you DON’T want to do and you WILL NOT do. It works like a filter.”
I was sure, I would never go for a teaching job (at least at this stage of life when the whole world is wide open for me). After several unsuccessful attempts to get admission in Microbiology or Biochemistry in various colleges in Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Banasthali, my parent got my admission in M.Sc. in the same town. I could see my future. M.Sc. B.Ed., M.Ed. and marriage (with a level high govt. teacher working in any rural area). I knew I would not do that, but then what? What was there waiting for me?
“Believe me, “LAW OF ATTRACTION” works.”
One day in an old newspaper (while having food and keeping my plate on that newspaper), I read that all India Entrance exam for MBA from Rajasthan University was going to be conducted after two months. Here were twinkles in my eyes. I decided to make a different choice. I decided to go for MBA.
As I shared this with everybody in the family, there was a natural reaction. “This girl is not at cleared what she wants to do in life.”
“I don’t want to live here to follow the stereotype. I am not interested in becoming a teacher and bride of a school teacher.” I said
There was a pin drop silence.
“O.K., we never stopped you from going with your choices. For this also, we will not stop you. But remember, this is your last chance. If you succeed, go for this. If not, then you have to live here and rest, your fate will decide.” My father said.
I knew I was a born fighter and very stubborn.
My eyes sparkled and I started preparing for entrance exams. For two months I closed myself in a room. I stopped talking to people. Stopped taking phone calls of my school friends. I stopped eating much because it caused sleep and I did not want to waste a single second. For two months, I vanished. Hardly I talked to my family members, not because I had any complaint, but every single moment was valuable to me. I almost challenged my limits. I did not want to fail.
And the result was as expected. I got selected. And that was the most beautiful day of my life.
I went to Jaipur and after few formalities, our classes started. And the very first day it was a big cultural shock for me. That was a batch of 60 students and most of the students were from metros and well-known colleges like Delhi University, Miranda House, St, Francis, Mumbai and what not.
What all practical problems I faced:
- I came from an environment where I learned English tenses only to clear exams. I was not comfortable in English communication at all.
- Since my childhood till graduation, I was passed out from Hindi medium school and college. My throat was almost choked to see heavy MBA books in full-fledged English language.
- Maths and I were a big time enemies of each other. Here I had to learn and pass Accounts & financial management. The biggest terror for me.
- Gelling up with people with their high attitude and ego.
- My contact with computers/the internet and Google is not going to be very easy as I had never worked independently on anything except MS WORD.
I understood it was not going to be easy for me. The circumstances were changed and it affected me till I lost all my confidence and will power.
Very First day and ragging started.
“So girl, where are you coming from?
“Hanumangarh” I replied timidly.
“Hanumangarh? Does Hanuman Ji live there?” there was a scary laughter in the room of all seniors and my classmates.
“Ok, sing a song”
I was left with no choice but to sing.
“Deewana….main hoon deewana tera. Mausam hai mastana….us par dil deewana……Deewanaaaaa teraaa”
“O Hindi medium madam, Sing English song”
“I don’t know any English song” and again the moment of embarrassment I had to face.
The day was very long for me. One by one lecture and introduction happened but I could not understand much, especially in Accounts. The pace of Mr. Kothari’s lecture was faster than the speed of light and he assumed (I think) that everybody knows the basics of accounts. The debit..credit…bla..bla…Oh, God.
I was alone for the first time. First time I was away from my home. In that small PG room, I cried for the whole night and thought that I took a wrong decision. I would never be able to cope up with this fast paced environment. I was totally shattered, afraid and weak.
For few days things did not change. My classmates bullied me. I used to sit in the classroom at the last bench, eyes frozen on board and mind was dumb. I did not talk much with my classmates. There was only one friend Hemant, who used to talk to me during the day.
One day, I could not hold and got so frustrated with all this that I straightforward went into my accounts’ lecturer room and burst “Mujhe kuch samjh nahi aa raha hai aap kya padhate hai.” How can you assume that each and every student knows everything” and I cried in front of Mr. Kothari.
He asked me to sit and gave me a glass of water and said “What do you think in my 20 years of professional career I am not able to understand student psychology and expressions through their non-verbal communication? I knew you were suffering but I wanted you to raise your voice by your own.”
“What should I do? I feel like to go back to home” I said.
“Wapis jaane ke liye aaye the kya ?
“NO” I said
“Nothing is as complicated as you have assumed and your weak mind has stamped on this assumption. Start learning basics from books of class 11th & 12th for accounts. And for other subjects do not cram words, understand the fundamental and design in your words and for communication, your intelligent thoughts matter with full conviction, not always your language. I have heard you in a group discussion during your selection process after clearing written exams. You have immense power in your words. Go for it. Fight and I am with you.”
“Sometimes a small ray of hope ignites your mind. It happened to me as if a drowning man catches at straw”
I started learning accounts from 11th and 12th class books. Many of my classmates made fun of me. I found some secluded place in college and during free periods and interval, instead of wasting time I spent time in clearing my fundamentals and reading newspaper and various books.
In this whole duration, my only friend Hemant stood with me throughout. Unfortunately, he left college after two months due to his family problems. I was disturbed by his absence but I promised myself to fight alone.
I continued my struggle against all and started finding out the ways by my own.
- Started reading small story books in English and in my PG, I bored my PG mates by telling them the same story in my own words.(It helped me so much to overcome my fear of English language).
- I started participating in all debates, group discussion, and activities in college keeping all my hesitation aside. I was leg pulled many times but I stopped caring.
- Wrote and pasted all efforts I made to come here and life goals on the walls of my room.
- Started exploring new city alone. It gave me immense self-confidence and enhanced my knowledge.
- Never wasted time in gossip and unnecessary conversation. I always asked myself “Will this discussion lead to anything fruitful or productive?” If the answer in mind was “NO”, I detached myself from there and focused on something relevant.
- Enjoyed my own company. Stopped looking for friends. I knew someday they all will come to me by their own.
- Started spending more time in a library.
For six months I worked on me. I worked hard for my studies, my overall personality, my communication, my knowledge, and my attitude towards life.
Our semester exams were held in January. I worked hard and smart. But my classmates did not leave any chance to pull my leg.
“Oye…see She is going to top in this semester…and a dirty laughter.”
“Kyu bhayi, is baar paper Hindi me aa raha hai kya?” one more burst of their laughter made me irritated.
These were the common comments and I stopped giving much attention to them.
Exams finished. After one month result was declared. Each knew his/her own individual results. The first day of the second semester after vacations of one month.”
First period – Mr. Kothari was standing in front of the class. Everybody was waiting for him to say something.
“It’s surprising to see that only 6 students out of sixty, clearly passed all the papers without any back. Out of remaining 54 students, 28 students have back in accounts. I appreciate those six and request to stand up.”
Many were dumbstruck to see me standing among those six. And that moment my face was stunningly shining like moonlight.
“A huge round of applause for these gems. Rest of the students will re-appear in their back paper with second semester’s exams.”
A roar of hand clap raised my adrenaline rush.
After period was over, few came to congratulate and few could not come due to their shattered ego.
I went to Mr. Kothari and thanked him for those life changing words and his support.
He replied “The fire is inside you, sometimes you need somebody to give that fire a spark. Don’t let this fire become a cold ash. Leave stories of strong actions and results, not of your tears and fears.”
My heart was filled up with joy and was ready to take new challenges.
These six months of my life were of total transformation for me. I learned very important lessons of life:
- Never forget the fighter inside you. It’s easy to be in your comfort zone and feel safe. But your real exam starts out of your comfort zone. Few choose to be thunder and few surrender. Your choice will decide your fate.
- People and circumstances will change, sometimes in your favor, sometimes totally against. It’s only YOU and your stubborn attitude, which will make you win.
- Speak out and discuss. You never know who is there to hear you and what all wisdom pearls you may get that can change your life.
- You can only conquer the odd by going deep down, not just by thinking about that.
- Odd circumstances make you mature enough to differentiate between the real people and the fake one.
- Value your friend who stood by you when nobody was there in difficult situations.
- The power of attraction actually works. Work on the solutions rather than to give energy to problems by thinking about them continuously.
- Each person is unique. I, you and everybody. Don’t underestimate your potential. Don’t try to be somebody else. Polish your own skills.
- You will always get results proportionate to the efforts put in. So if you want 100%, work 100%.
- Always welcome people who let you down. Once you have faith in yourself, they will work like the best motivational dose in your life.
“We all are given chances in our life, Take it or break it, it’s our choice.”
“The names, places, thoughts and quotations in the given incident belong to authors’ own life experience.”