I was a 13-year-old boy, happy with my school life, extracurricular activities, sports and playing with friends. One fine evening, a tragic incident changed it all. I injured my head while playing football with my friends. I suffered major blood loss and later, underwent surgery. I don’t know whether it was a coincidence or a cosmic activity, but this accident led me to one of the hardest experiences of my life.
Until the accident, I was an aboveaverage student in school in terms of academics. After the accident, things started going downhill. Although I cannot be certain that the accident led to my academic underperformance, or it was something else, but I do know that the timeline of the events was the same. The worst scenario lasted until the first semester of class eight, when my marks reached the lowest point. My mother, in the form of an angel, came to my rescue and guided me on the path uphill. It was her efforts, support and hard work that changed everything. In the second term, my work drastically improved, with a score of 88 per cent as compared to 60 per cent in the first term. My motivation received the muchneeded boost and it reflected in my final term of class eight. A huge achievement for me was scoring 94 marks out of a hundred in biology, the highest I have ever scored. I realised then, that my interest lay in science and mathematics, those subjects I had scored much better in than the others. The satisfaction, however, was short-lived. Another incident changed my life in many ways – both positive and negative. It class nine, my parents decided to shift me from the ICSE Board school that I was going to at that time, to the upcoming system of IGCSE of the Cambridge Board. It was a totally new environment to adapt to. There were a few foreignstudents and the Indian students were of higher intellect and stature, at least according to me. I found it difficult to adjust, but eventually found my ground. I adapted well and made close friends. The education system was entirely different from what I was accustomed to. I faced some difficulty in coping, but couldn’t get the complete hang of it until the end. Meanwhile, there was a new adjustment – my family and I moved from the suburbs to South Mumbai, where again, I had to get used to a new locality and a new set of people. I cannot understand why, but I have always managed to be accepted by society no matter where I was. It was very crucial for me to be accepted and loved by all. Unfortunately, things never went that way, ending up in unfavourable situations. Maybe it was due to the comfort level I had reached with my old ways and life, but the new changes may have reflected in my school work. At the new place, I managed to keep myself busy with tennis after school, and got through my high school graduation in 2006.
In 2007, I continued with my higher secondary education in an International Baccalaureate (IB) School, the Mercedes-Benz International School (MBIS) in Pune.
I was excited to be educated here as this was my first experience in a residential school. The school’s campus is beautiful, with all the possible facilities that a student can possibly think of. The strength of the student body was about 400, of which almost 50 per cent were foreign nationals. Studying here brought about a major change in my personality and provided a boost in my confidence. This brought about a change in the way I perceived my environment. I was exposed to diverse cultures and societies as the faculty included foreigners too. It was a golden opportunity for me, thanks to the blessing and support I received from my parents.
The IB curriculum allowed me to combine subjects, from the sciences to fine arts, computers to foreign languages. I chose Spanish. IB changed my way of thinking and pattern of studying. Assignments were more abstract and analytical, which introduced me to a practical way of studying in contrast to the old system of learning by rote. The school also offered a number of extracurricular activities in which I actively participated.
My IB education has definitely made me the person I am today. The way the teachers taught and the vast pool of knowledge available, intrigued me. It was here that I learnt a lot about the world. I underwent a transitional change not just because of the system and teachers, but also my peers. I distinctly remember one incident where I had to present to a class of 20 students. I had never done this before; it was a first for me. I was hesitant and nervous and just blanked out, leading me to fumble a lot. But that experience enabled me to work better and to gain confidence in presenting before an audience, and I was able to speak to a crowd of hundreds at The Hague International Model United Nations Conference held in Singapore. It also helped me to be more spontaneous when I talk. There were about 1200 students from all around the world whom I could interact with. I graduated in 2009 with such valuable qualities and memories.
My life plan always involved a career of being a technocrat, where I would get an education in business management and commerce, and yet my passion was engineering. Until I was at MBIS, I was fine, but after that, I didn’t know what to do. Upon a counsellor’s suggestion, I took aptitude tests which were unfavourable for engineering. I opted for a Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) offered by the University of Mumbai. I have been a consistent performer in BMS for the past three years and I will be graduating this month.
It is often said that one’s desire, passion or dream cannot be suppressed; it is passion that drives a man and makes him achieve things he would never have previously thought of. This happened with me too, as it re-kindled the fire of my passion for engineering. During my leisure time while pursuing BMS, I would work with technology and electronics, research about various radio-frequency circuits and modules. I recently executed a house project involving electrical and electronic components for music and video in my new apartment. It was after this that my desire and passion for engineering grew stronger.
I am now in the process of transferring to the United States into an Electrical and Electronic Engineering programme. Along with BMS, I am studying for various exams like the TOEFL, SAT and Advanced Placement Exam for Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism, so that I can be successfully accepted by the US education system. I have been working day and night towards this goal and will continue to do so in order to achieve my greater goal to successfully run my own engineering venture.
From being nervous to speak in front of a class of 20 students, I was able to present to an audience of over 1200 students at The Hague International Model United Nations Conference in Singapore
Volume 1 Issue 11