I have always tried to fit in to some group or be around people even when I didn’t really fancy their company. I wanted to feel a sense of belonging. But I can’t seem to make up my mind, to stay at one particular place long enough, even if I actually like it there. For some reason I like getting in trouble. That somehow seems to make me feel stable. I feel so unusual if I bother doing work at the given time. The blame should go maybe to my creators. They were probably trying too hard to make my brother feel stable. They didn’t notice that I was always left hanging.
When I was seven, my parents decided that my brother, who was eleven at the time, and I had to move to Mangalore with my mother. He kept falling sick in Delhi. Dad thought we needed to live in a peaceful, less polluted environment. I didn’t want to move, I really liked Delhi. I had no memories of visiting Mangalore as a child or staying with my Grandmother there. Either way I was too young to make such decisions and had no choice but to move there.
My aunt suggested we apply to the school she studied in. It was a convent school. My parents were convinced that I’d like it there. It was named St. Mary’s, like the one I studied at in Delhi. The school had the ugliest uniform and had the most annoying rules. I had to wear a blue pinafore because the school believed it was a “reflection of purity”. We had prayer meetings every morning and I was forced to attend mass. I began to hate my religion.
Clearly, I wasn’t doing well in that school. There were seventy to eighty girls put together in each batch. The teachers couldn’t give us enough attention. After completing my primary education, I told them I was ready to join my brother in his school. My parents asked me to wait a few years because they bought a house right behind. I didn’t want to trouble them so stayed there for quite a while.
Thank God I decided to switch schools later, it made my life better.
My brother’s was a classy C.B.S.E school. Entrance exams were held for each student, both written and viva. I had no idea what I would be asked as I had studied in a state-board school for four years. I didn’t do well in the written, and viva went way worse. The lecturers were amused at how little I knew about the subject and how confident I was being. This was the first interview I had to deal with on my own. My parents had always made sure that I’d get everything easily. This was new to me.
My viva was so bad that I could see the ‘no entry signs’ on their faces. I knew in the back of my mind that I’d make it though; I always did. They asked me what my surname was and as soon as I mentioned it, they knew I had a sibling who was in the first batch of the school. I could see their expressions when they discovered who I was; it was so entertaining.
Getting into my brother’s school wasn’t a problem, but coping with the lessons was. I barely made it each year. It wasn’t fun but I started mingling in school. I needed to be accepted and I thought that was all that mattered.
My brother was an introvert in front of people he didn’t know very well. He was a topper but was shy. He was definitely no help to me as he’d ask me to deal with my “own problems.” I switched tuition teachers every six months. My brother and his friends suggested tuitions they had heard of, or were planning on joining. All my mother did was blow thousands of rupees on those tuition classes. They never worked for me.
I was always adamant about making things happen for me and wanted to move to Delhi for eleventh standard. But my dad didn’t want me to stay in the hostel and told me to stay with him if I moved there. Maybe he knew I would stop demanding the change on hearing this. I didn’t want to jump from my mother’s lap to my father’s. I refused to go and had to join St. Aloysius P.U College, Mangalore. I wanted to study Psychology right from the beginning and couldn’t take that up as the college didn’t have the course for Pre-University.
I chose commerce. My mother thought I could switch later if I wanted to. I didn’t like my batch nor did I like my course. It wasn’t hard though. I was actually good at commerce but I wasn’t interested in Statistics or Computer Science till the last semester. All in all I was ready to leave the city. My father was still against me moving to Delhi. He thought I’d stay back in Mangalore if he insisted. But I was done.
When I applied at Christ University, I didn’t care much about the place. I knew the course I wanted and it was supposedly the best college in the city. They asked me a question and I directly told them that I was bad at statistics and couldn’t answer anything related to it. That was my first rejection. My cousin told me about the interviews happening at Mount Carmel College and St Joseph’s. I had no intention of applying but did anyway. At MCC, I was terrified seeing so many girls together. It brought back terrifying memories of being in a convent. Thankfully, the entrance exam for the course I wanted was taking place only in June and I knew my parents wouldn’t have agreed to wait that long. I was so glad I didn’t have to go back there.
As soon as I entered Joseph’s I instantly liked the environment. The College looked tiny but interesting. The written exam here wasn’t that hard. I was worried about the interview. I didn’t want to get rejected for being myself. When I entered the room, I saw a man with long beard and a pony tail. I didn’t know his name. He looked calm and that made me more nervous. As I walked toward him I thought, “Whatever happens, just be you.”
For some reason I liked the college. It felt comfortable. I knew if I got in I could stay here. I had one chance. The nicest part about the interview was that I could actually be myself; I didn’t have to lie. He asked me exactly what any new comer would want to be asked. He asked me what subject interested me and what I wanted to do out here. He made sense to me, and I probably made sense to him in a way I couldn’t at Christ.
I was done with my interview by 12.00 p.m. I had to wait till 4.00 as they were about to announce the results. I went to Domino’s and walked around with my mother. I felt different. When I came back at 3 I saw how tensed a couple of students were. I didn’t feel the same way. By now I was so sure that whatever happened would happen in my best interest, although deep inside I wanted to be a part of this course. At 4.00 p.m., they put up the numbers of the candidates who had made it through. My mother went rushing in to see if my number was included. She came out in a minute or two.
Voila! I was in! Little did I know that staying in the course was harder than getting in!
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