Disclaimer: If you are expecting that this post is related to spirituality, you might get disappointed. 

“It’s impossible to come out of this dire situation, what options are you left with, let’s end this all ” suggested my mind. 

No matter what happens, I am not going to quit my life” I replied. 

Then what are you planning to do?”

I will go to the Himalayas”.

The thought of the Himalayas took me back to a humorous banter with my friends a few months ago.

“This is our fourth attempt to get passed in the C theory exam,” I said.

“Maybe yours, but it’s “S’s” third attempt,” said Mr N with a slight smile.

“How come,” Mr V interjected.

“Instead of clearing his backlog, he slept in his room in the previous year”, Mr N said.

“I was pretty sure that I will fail again. So, instead of fighting a losing battle, I utilised my time on something meaningful,” reasoned Mr S.

I ignored the fun and asked, “What if we fail again, it’s our last chance to get passed, isn’t it?”

“I don’t know about you Mr worried. But, “S” has four more attempts apart from the present one,” said Mr N teasingly (laughs). He continued, “I have heard the maximum number of years within which one can complete his/her engineering degree is 8 years”.

“I don’t want to see myself as a 5th-year B.Tech student”, I said.

 “But, “S” is more than comfortable to see himself as a 6th or even 7th-year B.Tech student, isn’t it?” asked Mr N while looking at Mr S.

Mr S threw a pillow on Mr N while we all laughed out.

“What will you guys do if you fail to pass tomorrow’s exam,” I asked anxiously.

“My parents will kill me, man. I will catch the train to Delhi” Mr S said.

“And then,” I asked.

“From there, He will catch another train to Pakistan” Mr N quipped again and asked me “By the way, Mr worried, What are your plans if you fail again this time”.

“I will go with “S” until Delhi and instead of Pakistan, I will go to the Himalayas”.

“I knew this guys. That’s why I always insisted him not to read that “Staying with sadhus” or “Living with light beings” book,” Mr V said, “See, what kind of thoughts our Mr worried is conjuring.” We all laughed heartily while preparing for the next day’s supplementary exam on C theory in May 2012. 

The thought of travelling to the Himalayas felt humorous just a few months ago. But right now (November 2nd week of 2012), in the absence of my friends and the situation I am stuck in, it’s terrifying with a coupled effect of myriad emotions and million worries. Just a week before I was perfectly happy with my life and now I am emotionally at the bedrock. I said to myself that running away to the Himalayas is the only choice I am left with. I chose to ignore my inner voice when it suggested that this approach is escapism from facing the reality. I became emotionless and checked on the internet and came to know that there is a train to Delhi on the evening of the next day. So, I have decided that I will board that train and felt a complete lack of emotion. I lay down on the bed placed on the floor and looked absentmindedly at the wall behind the fan and recalled the series of events that happened in the past week. 

I have reached my college 4 days before the date of counselling for PG admissions in our state. By this time I have cleared all of my backlogs (arrears), yes, including the C theory (during my 4th attempt. please don’t laugh). To attend the counselling, one of the essential prerequisites is the consolidated marks memo or provisional certificate or a degree certificate. During my college days, we were receiving our marks memos roughly a year after the examination date. I knew that we can apply for a provisional certificate only after receiving marks memos of all the semesters (or years). So, I was naive enough to think that the college delays providing the certificate and hence it’s the responsibility of the college to let me allow me for the counselling. However, I came to know that the provisional certificate of UG degree is mandatory to attend the counselling for PG admission.

Firstly, I (along with 2 more friends of mine from other departments) requested the person (professor from our college) who heads the counselling procedure, to allow me for the counselling without the provisional certificate. I promised him that I will submit the certificate within two weeks of time after the counselling. He didn’t agree to it. I requested the professor to consider me quoting that if I can’t attend the counselling, a year of time will be wasted in my career. He said in a straight forward way, “If you have the certificate no one will stop you to get in. If you don’t have one, no recommendation can help you get in”.

In the meanwhile, I approached the administrative (admin) section to provide me with the 1st year marks memo with the C theory as a pass so that I can apply for the provisional certificate as it was the only certificate I am short of. However, I came to know that according to the rules of my university, the administration issue marks memos first to the final year students and then to the third year ones and so on and so forth. This means they can issue my first year marks memo only after they have received the corrected answer sheets of all the subjects from all the professors of the college who taught at least a single subject. In our college, there are 6 departments, each department consisting of 40 students and each student takes roughly 6 subjects and 3 labs per semester and there are 4 batches. So firstly, the admin has to receive the answer sheets. Secondly, they have to enter the data into the computers. After that, the marks memos get printed, signed, marked with the official seal and then issued to a student. In summary, to issue my certificate, roughly 72 faculty staff has to correct 8640 answer sheets of 216 subjects and submit the same to the admin in 2 days time. After calculating this, I felt numb, my heartbeat raised and the reality that this is close to impossible dawned on me.

When I explained my situation to the people in the admin, they showed empathy and gave me inside information that they have received answer sheets from only half of the faculty members (Mann, still 36 faculty staff has to……… Ohh Ohh, I hope you can do the math). Even this felt impossible to me being aware of the pace at which things happen in our university. They further added that they can only receive the sheets but can’t approach the faculty members until they get instruction from the higher authorities. 

I understood that the only way to attend the counselling is to get the certificate. So, the only thing I thought I can do at that time was to approach our Head of the Department (HOD). After listening to me, our HOD said that he has the authority to ask the faculty members of our department to submit the corrected sheets. However, as he can’t ask the faculties of other departments he asked me to reach the principal’s cabin. Once our HOD spoke to the principal on behalf of me, the principal looked at me and said, “People make the action of plan 4 years in advance. But, you took 4 years to pass an examination. It clearly shows that you are the epitome of negligence and the personification of irresponsibility”. He added that he can’t help me in any way (“then, why did you give me Gaalis (scolding)”). Following the unsuccessful meeting with the principal, my HOD suggested that “Approach the Vice-Chancellor, he is the head of the university. Only he can help you out of this situation”.

Unfortunately, he was on leave for four days. So, I couldn’t attend the counselling. It’s been two days since the counselling. I lied to my family members and to my elder brother that the counselling was over. I told them that I will be receiving the transfer certificate by tomorrow and reaching home day after the tomorrow. I didn’t know how to convey the information that I didn’t attend the counselling. I didn’t have the courage to say the truth that I have failed few times (they didn’t know about my backlogs at that time). I didn’t know how to show my face to them. On top of it, I was extremely guilty for letting them down and for cheating them by hiding the truth. I was extremely fearful anticipating how to spend a year at home as a failure in life. 

With a sudden beautiful cooing sound of a koel, I came to the present moment, looking at the ceiling fan while lying on the bed. The hypnotic movement of the ceiling fan coupled with the soft cooing of the koel slowly made me drowsy and I slept.

In the evening, I woke up and turned sideways while lying on the bed and saw a pile of books on the cot. I sat down and took an orange book in the middle and turned it to read the gist of it. My eyes laid on a sentence,

How far can you go for your loved ones”. 

How far can you go for your loved ones”.

How far can you go for your loved ones”.

This one single sentence changed the course of my life. I read this single sentence multiple times and it suddenly brought me back to the senses. I thought about how my grandparents, my parents and my brother would feel and react if they came to know that I run away to the Himalayas. I further thought that If I run away, my parents will definitely search for me. It would cost them a lot which will be an additional burden on the financial side. Moreover, it might an emotional turmoil for everyone in the family. After a few minutes of contemplation, I experienced a mad rage and confidence and I said to myself:

I will disclose the truth to my family members the first thing in the morning“.

For my loved ones, I will face the situation instead of running away from it“.

“Instead of boarding a train to the Himalayas, I will try to get my certificate before the second counselling, which is about to happen in two weeks of time”. 

“If I get the certificate, I will attend the second counselling, go home and later on join for PG. If I can’t get the certificate, I will go home, take their scoldings and later on join for PG in the next year. It is OK to waste a year. In fact, I can try for an internship in one of the IIT’s or NIT’s and join there until next year so that it won’t be considered as a gap in my CV. Before that, I will try till the last minute to get my certificate to attend the second counselling, which is about to happen in two weeks time.” 

To know what happened in the next two weeks of my life during the month of November 2012, please wait for two more weeks (Just kidding).  Until then, 

How far can you go for your loved ones…….

The next part is here

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