Aug 6, 2006

Who else might I have been - Part 1

My stint with Sunday Scribblings begins here....

This thought actually started burgeoning in me when I was in class 9. I knew I was just 2 years away from the crucial decision which I had to take-"What do I want to do in life?".

Science and Maths have always fascinated me since my childhood. I wasn't too keen on Arts or Commerce. So I had to be in the Science field.Science is such a vast subject. What do I like in Science? was my next question and pat came the reply - Biology, especially the human physiology. I loved reading about the different systems inside the human body. I still remember the digestive system and the circulatory system and their respective diagrams. With my good score in Class 10 board exams, I decided to opt for Maths-Physics-Chemistry-Biology group. This group had a mix of both my favorite subjects. Ofcourse, Chemistry was another favourite subject of mine.

I was firmly decided on Medicine when I joined my Class 11. The hard work I put in my Class 12 was like never before. I'm amazed now while I think about those days. How lazy I have become these days !

As soon as my class 11 final exams were over, I had started on the tuitions for all important subjects in the summer vacation, running from post to pillar for various tuitions. The classes in school started and the pressure kept mounting. But I was never feeling tense.

When I came to know that I stood second in school in class 10, I was pretty disappointed. I couldn't believe that I lost the first place just by a single mark. At that crucial moment, I had taken a vow that I would definitely come first in school in class 12.

Juggling between school and tuitions were not that easy. Initially I felt I needn't take up tuitions for Physics although it wasn't my favourite subject. But then I didn't want to take a chance. This is how my schedule used to be.I would wake up at 5.45 AM, quickly brush my teeth and wash my face and run for Physics tuitions.I would come back by 7.20,have my bath and rush to Maths tuitions by 8 AM. Thank God, my school timings were between 9.45 AM and 4.30 PM. I would come back from Maths tuitions by 9 AM, have my breakfast and rush to school by 9.30 AM. My grandma would keep my lunch box readily packed. A series of grilling sessions at school. As soon as school gets over, I would rush to Chemistry tuitions by 5 PM and return home by 6.30, tired and hungry. My grandma would serve me Boost (secret of my energy!) and snacks. Then it's time to visit the nearby temple. I believe that God's blessings are quintessential to my hardwork. The time would be 7.30 and I had to do my assignments and home work and prepare for any tests. I would be preparing till 11.30 PM and hit the sack feeling tired but satisfied that I'm making progress towards my goal.

Since I had started on a crash course for Biology, most of the chapters were completed by my Bio Sir by the end of summer vacation. He covered the remaining syllabus over Saturday afternoons. Then it was tests after tests. We used to have 3 hour tests based on a single chapter.He would prepare the question papers and give a copy to each one of us. We were supposed to write them at home and submit the answer books. I used to set the time and write the tests diligently, mostly during nights. My preparations were going in full swing. I never felt that my hard work was stressful or tiring. In fact, I actually enjoyed it. I knew where my goal was and that helped me focus my preparation.

All said and done, the exams finally started and I gave my best. Next was the preparation of dreaded entrance exams for professional courses. I don't know if I was feeling overconfident or wanted to relax for a while. I didn't prepare as required. I whiled away my time, playing with kids and watching cricket. As expected, I didn't give my 100% in the entrance exams. Yet, I was hoping that I get good scores in Biology and Physical Chemistry papers.

All exams over and it was prayer time. First the entrance exam results came. My Biology marks were very good but I goofed up in Physical Chemistry. Maths as expected was horrible. Anyway, since my focus was only to get into Medicine, I didn't pay much attention to my Maths scores. For medicine, my entrance exams aggregate was 87. Little did I knew that this was no where close to the marks needed in a place like Tamilnadu where reservations rule the college admission.

There was a slight ray of hope that if my board exams were very good, then I get a chance of securing a medical seat. Those were days when my dad, brother and I used to sit in the terrace,
gazing at the stars and discussing about the possible options. Dad used to come up with insights such as "Last year, the cut-off was 285(out of 300) for general category" etc etc. I started imagining myself as a doctor wearing a white coat and performing heart surgery. My dreams were filled with those fat medical books and my clinic where I'm giving full attention to my patients.

The day dawned and I was eagerly awaiting my board exam results. Friends called me for a game of "Country" and I was playing in the open space in my apartment. My granny shouted that I got a call from my aunt who was supposed to look into the education department's announcements and let me know my results. I came running on the staircase, skipping steps and took hold of the receiver. My aunt dictated my scores which I wrote down. I put down the phone receiver and....

Part 2 of this post - here

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