This is the story of a boy from a middle class family, who lived in a sleepy suburb near Delhi. He was studying in Class 10th with a happy family, like all boys, he was celebrated and pampered. His parents loved him and his younger sister adored him. He was the apple of their eyes. The boy although was a little shy and chubby, to the extent of being Lazy but no one in the family seem to be bothered about it and certainly not the boy himself.
When in School, he was another average kid, he did not know why but he felt lost in the crowd, not able to make sense of the usefulness of studying Algebra and History. He felt a little out of place and took shelter in being a little disconnected from his surroundings although couple of Teachers did tell him that he had potential which he was faltering away but unfortunately none could pin point or rectify the reason for his disconnect. He too had a feeling of being incomplete of not living up to something but what was that “something” he could not find out.
School went by as fast as it had come. The time had come for our boy to choose a career, will it be Science or will it be Commerce. He was confused. The opinion of his friends around him added to his confusion. He had been in School for 12 years but he did not know what is it that he wanted to do in future. Although one thing he knew was that he loved studying Literature but he did not know If a career could be made out of it. Leave alone that, he had no idea of the implications this decision would have on his life.
So, he went about taking advice, he went to his family, who like all middle class parents wanted their son to be either Doctor or an Engineer. Literature was out of question as it was treated to be a little too “Feminine”.He consulted his friends, who too shared the same opinion. He was a little taken aback with the prospect of studying Maths and Science but as was the case with our boy he choose to go with the flow and landed up in Science. After all it was just the matter of studying Maths and Science for next 2 years, he thought. During the next 2 years he did what others were doing, went for IIT coaching, after school tuitions became a norm, his family supported him blindly. Their Son was on his way to glory, or so did they thought. Nobody saw the signs of him struggling with grades or being disinterested in class.
But, the boy always felt something missing, he could not understand why he hated going to maths classes, why studying was such a pain, why he felt suffocated but he could never make sense of these signs. After all he thought this was his only destiny and he carried on resigned to his fate. He Never went far with science but his father was there. Supporting him as always, wanting the best for his son, even if it meant having to send him to a costly private engineering college.
College came and went but the boy again could not make sense of any distress signals. Teachers not giving due attention, Not being able to get the kind of returns for the efforts that he used to put in. But, he carried on, at least his family was happy and he had his friends around. Not surprisingly,The only classes he really enjoyed during those 4 years were all not related to Science or Engineering. Time passed and the graduation day arrived. All of his friends got jobs easily, while he had to work his heart out to end up in one. He never really knew what was he supposed to do in a job, He had only worked to get one because everyone around him was doing so.Not to be left behind, he made sure that he got one and made his family proud.
He joined a Blue Chip IT company, everybody was so proud even he was happy and proud. At last he had proved himself but that suffocation and negativity carried on with him even in job. Everyday at job he had to force himself to work. His colleagues got recognition while he did at best a mediocre job. Everyday he put in more hours at work but he just could not compete. At last the signs caught up with him. He could no longer work under this pressure of living a mediocre Life, a Life of being an achiever in others eye, while being a failure in his own.
He started listening to his heart, got the self confidence going in his abilities and at last realised his potential. He started reading literature, writing a blog, did an MBA in Marketing, started doing what he loved doing and more importantly got the respect of those around him.
Today that boy is well on his way towards his goal, although the journey for him has just about begun. He his happy and satisfied, that he at last is moving in the right direction. Only regret that the boy has is If only he would not have ignored the warning signs earlier, he would not have to go through all these years of struggle but then I guess, this journey has only made him stronger for the battles of Life ahead.
This is a true story and that boy is me. I have learnt the lesson of my Life the hard way. My story carries a message for a wide section of the society especially Student Community. Although, I will agree a lot of awareness has come in since the year of 99, when I went to school, I still find these messages of equal importance.
As the CBSE results day draws closer and college admission rush begins, my simple advice to student community will be- “Think a lot more before zeroing in on a specific course!”. Do it only if you are 100% sure. Lot of your time and investment will go into college, choose wisely.Always keep the larger picture in mind. Do not be myopic and take career decisions under peer pressure. Try to see yourself 5 years down the line and visualise if you would be happy in the field that you are choosing and finally, Do not ignore the Warning Sign, if you have to drag your body into the class without your heart in it.
I wish you all the best!
Disclaimer: For my story to reach out to a wider audience, I have made this blog post an entry in Colgate Moral of the Story Contest– ( A Blog on keeping a track of warning signs for your gums!)