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I truly believe that failure is the first step towards success. Unfortunately, I learnt this lesson the hard way, when one unfortunate incident occurred during my college years. When one is faced with such an issue, there are two ways of dealing with it. Face it and emerge or give up and crush under its pressure. I obviously chose the easier option: to give up.

The Dark Side of Education
Till the ninth grade, I studied in Amulakh Amichand School and was unaware of the fact that I was dyslexic. I was always a below-average student, but I performed really well at extracurricular activities. I was a shy person but I was able to overcome my shyness while I was dancing. From my school days, I have been really passionate about dance and it has helped me shed my inhibitions in many ways.
Towards the end of the ninth grade, my teacher suspected that there was something wrong and that I might be suffering from a learning disability. She said that if I did not look into the cause for my low grades, it would be very difficult for me to pass my board examinations. My parents took me for a checkup, and we were told that I was a suffering from dyslexia, a learning disorder. I was taken aback by this revelation. My parents did not take this news too well either.
To add to my misery, I was forced to change my school. I moved to Don Bosco, Matunga because they took care of the needs of special students. My dyslexia also caused low self-esteem because at this point I began to doubt my own capabilities. I stopped talking to a lot of people and had very few friends. Because of these changes, I began to turn into a complete introvert. The fact that I had to cope with a learning disability and a completely new environment overwhelmed me, and I was unable to deal with these unpleasant changes initially.

Coping with Change
Slowly, I began to deal with the changes in my life and chose to accept my new surroundings. It proved to be quite challenging but it certainly wasn’t as tough as I imagined it to be. With the support of my faculty and friends, I managed to overcome my fears and I sailed through the academic year with ease. I secured 65 per cent in my Class 10 examinations. But as they say, life is full of surprises, and I had another one coming my way.
When the Class 10 results were declared, I was told that the board lost my marksheet and I was kept waiting for almost a month! It was an agonising wait because during this time the admission process had already begun and my friends had secured seats in different junior colleges. It was a frustrating time for me as the last date for admissions was nearing and there was no news of my marksheet. I felt like a victim and was really disheartened because nothing was going my way. I couldn’t blame anybody for the situation I was in except fate, and maybe the Maharashtra Board as well.
When I finally received my marksheet, I joined Fr. Agnel School, where I completed my SYJC. Even though I was upset about not being able to attend the same college as my friends, I decided to adopt a positive attitude and accept what life had to offer. During this time, I slowly started to develop an interest towards dance. I found myself really enjoying b-boying and dancing took up a lot of my time. In fact I did not limit myself to one dance style but decided to explore more options and delved into popping and locking as well. To my surprise, I realized that I could easily adapt and learn different moves. This not only boosted my self esteem but taught me that education and marks cannot measure your worth. All of us have have some talent or the other, we just have to find and nourish that talent.

Re-Interpreting Failure
After completing SYJC, I joined SIES College of Commerce and Economics to pursue a BMS degree. This is when things began to change. I quickly adapted to my new college and I actually made some amazing friends. Slowly, the introvert in me disappeared and gave way to a much more confident and outgoing boy. However, the pressure of presentations and projects eventually got the better of me and just when I thought life was beginning to favour me, I was in for another surprise. When my second-year results were announced, I discovered that I had failed a subject because I was short of three marks. No grace marks were given and no mercy was shown by my faculty. I was completely shattered and felt like I had never belonged to my college and my teachers had never really understood me. The fact that I was dyslexic haunted me all day and night. It was like reliving the moment when I was first told that I had a learning disorder. I was so upset by this failure that I actually cut off from all my friends, locked myself in a room and disconnected from the world. My parents worried a great deal about me and obviously didn’t like seeing me in such a state.
Some time later, a very dear friend walked into my life and changed everything. He helped me accept my learning disability and made me realise that my life is meaningful and certainly worth living. Because of him, I was not only able to face the situation I was in but also use it to my advantage.
Since I had nothing to do for six months but wait for my reexamination, I decided to join my family business. After a while, my brother and I branched out into our own business. We started with gift articles but as our business started growing, our range of products also increased. Now we deal in bags, shoes and many other female accessories. Over a period of time I realised that just because I failed an examination, it did not mean that I lacked talent. In fact, I learnt so many practical things about life such as trading, consumer psychology, import-export rules, tax deductions and many such things, which no textbook out there could have taught me. And the practical learning that I acquired really helped to strengthen our business. Currently we are one of the best dealers in the market and we hold our own individual Import Export Code Number number (IEC number).

A Lesson Learnt
My brother and my friend made me realise that life is not only about an education. It is not about conforming to the norms of society or worrying about other people’s opinions of you. Instead, it is about overcoming the hurdles you are faced with, accepting challenges and moving on. You need to have courage and the ability to face difficult situations to walk the path of life. After all, these are the qualities that define us, not the marks we score in an examination. It has been a difficult journey but thanks to the support shown by my brother and my friend, I am a much stronger Ankit today.

My parents took me for a checkup and we were informed that I was a suffering from dyslexia. I was taken aback by this revelation and my parents did not take this news well either. To add to my misery, I was forced to change my school.

Volume 2 Issue 1