Numbers were never my favourites. In fact, I was a big zero in them. But then I had to prove to the world that I had something in me that could make the world sit back and notice. I would put in all the donkey work that is required and do Chartered Accountancy course at all cost. My father warned me against it. My mother warned me against me. And even my aloof brother gave me his piece of mind saying that CA was not my cup of tea. But then I knew, I will put in all that is required and some more to clear the exams.
When the exam days came closer, I knew, I hadn’t prepared well. But then how could one prepare those subjects that one hates the most? And so during the exams days, I sought shelter in our old house. I used to leave the house at dot time and then make my way toward our old house. I would jump the boundary wall, unlock the keys and sit there in the hall amidst dirt and dust. Nope, I din’t have the nerve to flunk the exams, but being absent was OKAY with me.
The results were as expected. I got A in all subjects. Buddu, A,here stands for absenteeism. I had lost all hopes of studying ahead. I didn’t know what to do. As a result, I decided to work for an NGO that worked for both Hindus and Muslims. It was year 2004; yes the year when Godhra riots happened. I too was caught in the midst of it. The biggest plus of this endeavor was that I got to represent my NGO in one of the biggest camps set up for Muslims in Shah-e-alam area. There were several rape victims, burnt victims, injured victims, orphan victims and victims covered every nook and corner of the camp. Little wonder, journalists started swarming the space. Journalists from NDTV, Aaj Tak, Times of India, Indian Express and all became frequent visitors. I was in awe of them. The camp refugees were in awe of them. (As journalists become the cynosures of all eyes, NGO workers were sidelined.) I could sense the partial behavior of the camp people and then I decided to be one like them. Eventually, I resigned from my position as Project Manager of this NGO, and joined a course in Journalism.
Once the course was over, I joined The Asian Age Newspaper. The raw wounds of not completing CA began to heal. I had found my true calling… writing. I was not much of a writer earlier (if you consider me one). For me journalism was all about adventure. But my stint in the newspaper taught me that to be a good journalist you need to communicate well – both through writing and speaking. Thus started my long journey towards reading and writing. Without reading, writing is not possible. Today, I live in the world of Harry Porters and Hobbits. And I am happy. And I feel fulfilled. Now even my elder one has developed a penchant for reading. And that makes me a lot more happier.
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