It was not a surprise that when Taare Zameen Par released, many people told me that they then understood my plight. Only, it was a little too late. About six years too late. I started out as a normal school-going child; only, I was labelled a brat for not doing homework and not listening to my teachers and parents. It was not entirely unfounded; I had become one of those kids who did not want to listen to anything my elders said. Since there was nothing to praise about me, all I got to hear about, was my ‘bad’ behaviour with examples of model children. I had no intention of listening to that! There was a time when I would shut out completely. You know, like when we say ‘ek kaan se andar aur doosre kaan se bahar’? I had become so thick-skinned that my unrevealed motto had become ‘kaan ke andar hi mat jaane do!’ The reason was beyond me though, and I never understood why I was like that.
Gradually, I started lagging behind at school. There came a time when I would sulk, bang doors and cry nonstop for hours if I didn’t get what I wanted. My poor mother, who was catering to four generations of a joint family, could not help but give in to pacify me. Those around me, including my parents and other family members, began to call me mischievous, hardheaded and stubborn.
It was amidst all this that a teacher at school suggested to my mother to take me for a dyslexia examination. She thought I might have a learning disability and that treatment would help. At that time, the only available option was at a clinic in Sion Hospital, where it was determined that I did not have dyslexia. I had a slight disability where I confused b’s and d’s; and p’s and q’s; nothing that therapy couldn’t cure. That didn’t help my parents though, since I remained that difficult child. And it didn’t help me either, since even after all that, no one understood me. My middle-class family could only envision me studying and earning a degree to make it good in life, and that’s what they were pushing me for.
I went through the toughest times in middle and high school, sometimes barely scraping through the passing mark, and sometimes not. The foul behaviour continued. Somewhere down the line, I found a passion – football. I became one of the craziest fans of the Chelsea Football Club, and watched every game with super passion. That’s when trouble multiplied. All I wanted to do in life was play football, not study. I was determined to pay no heed to anyone who explained the basics of sustenance to me. It went to such heights, that finally my father resigned, and resolved that he would feed me as long as he could!
I failed ninth grade. And that turned my life around. To save my academic year, I decided to leave my upscale ICSE school, and join class 10 with the NIOS board. It was an easier syllabus, and I could bid goodbye to my worst nightmare – math. I excelled at commerce, economics and business studies. I was among the toppers, and had absolutely no idea how to handle the attention. With this praise came the motivation that even the threat of sustenance could not bring. The motivation to succeed. And I worked hard for that. I topped my batch in class 10, but my academic woes were far from over. I couldn’t secure a seat in any college of my choice since they did not recognise the NIOS board. I finally got admitted to Siddharth College of Commerce, and am grateful for that. The rough patch did not end. I worked hard again, and this time was on the college merit list in class 12. Even then, I could not secure a seat in another college since in-house students have to be admitted first. My father offered to pull strings, but I refused. Finally, my patience paid off. Way after the admission were over, in mid-September last year, a couple of FYBCom seats opened up at KC College. I got the break I needed. Today, I am proud to be an SYBCom student at KC, and also proud to have successfully completed my Diploma in Entrepreneurship Management from Welingkar’s and getting my Beginner’s Certification in Financial Markets from the NSE.
Although I remain to be one of the most enthusiastic Chelsea fans, I have long since realised that I cannot live off being a sports fan. For that, I aspire to become a successful businessman. I can and I will!
Volume 1 Issue 4