An Untold Story

An Untold Story

9 mins

Deepti Jha.

That's my name.

And the only driving force in my life is my hunger to do something.

I realized this at the age of 14 when puberty had just hit me.To be divulging, I was born in the small village of Darbhanga in 1989. Having one elder sister and followed by two younger sisters, I grew up In Bokaro and completed my schooling there. Any college of repute cannot guarantee ingestion of knowledge and I am the suitable example for it. I did not go to any famous institute or college yet I managed to inculcate values and developed an extreme behavior. Basically, I belong to an orthodox family in a conformist society where a family deprived of a male child is deemed to be incomplete. Although I don't have a record of any instance where my mom suffered contempt from my paternal family for not having a son, having four daughters is proof enough that a son was hoped for.

We moved to Bokaro when I was 2 years old. I got admitted in an appropriate school. Both of my parents were teachers. My father taught Mathematics while my mother imparted Sanskrit. Both of them worked in different schools. If there is one thing I realized from the very beginning then it is the fact that I needed to be a brother for my sisters and a son for my parents.

I remember when I was hardly 9 years old, my father announced my elder sister's wedding at the tender age of 13. Academically, she was in eighth grade then. She got married in the month of January in the year 1998 with one of the students of my father. It was an arranged match. Since I was merely 9, I failed to understand the purpose behind it. All I knew was the fact that the parents of both, the bride and groom decided it.

Later on, I completed my 10th and got admitted for 12th in a college with science stream at Bokaro. I cleared with third position in boards and was asked to score the 1st position in further study.

With God's grace and my hard work, I managed to get the expected rank. The very same year, I appeared for the medical entrance and scored a considerable position. I vividly remember the gratifying moment as if it happened yesterday that my father came with a newspaper, courtesy to the narrow scope of technology. Everybody in the house gathered around to witness my feat with broad satisfactory smiles on their faces. I waited for a month to get an acknowledgement letter but it was only later that I became aware that for medical (MBBS) entrance examination, an age constraint was introduced in July 2005 enforcing a limitation on students below 17 years of age.

In the month of May, I was supposed to be admitted for further studies. But time seemed to be slipping out of hands and I couldn't wait to stand up on my own. I wanted to start earning and carving a niche for myself. Since nothing was brought to execution, I began doubting my caliber. I thought differently than an average 16 year old. Indeed I had a stretch until I work towards financial independence but my mindset didn't sit well with the stagnancy. I had a burning desire to prove my worth, to just do something.

Since I cleared the pre-test, my parents saw my passion and hence asked me to prepare for one year till I cross 17 years which would make me eligible to crack the final exam. A proper guidance is an unavoidable criterion and therefore I was going to be associated with a fitting institution. My father and I went to an institution named Sachdeva in Bokaro Steel City for admission in Medical entrance but due to financial inadequacies which did not permit an expense as much as 60K for a period of 6 months, I had to drop the idea out.

Instead of despondency, I did some mind work and calculation to take some constructive decision. Meanwhile my college days for intermediate training concluded which led to one of my friends named Robina meeting me.

All the students of my batch were decisive to plan their next foot forward, be it career or marriage while I was having a difficult time in contemplating the direction I needed to head towards. My only target was to settle myself down with a career option with minimum inputs and maximum outputs.

Robina proved to be a torchbearer in the darkness of uncertainty. She informed me about a friend of hers who was pursuing a year long diploma course in Textile Designing. It guaranteed secure placement opportunities and Robina was thinking to follow her friend's footsteps. Hailing from a middle class background, outstation studies seemed like a faraway dream as it surpassed the liberality of my parents but that didn't stop be from comparing it with the medical stream. The criteria which formed the base revolved around affordability and the surety of employment in the respective fields. If I hate to informally list the parameters then-

1) Eligibility for admission

2) Course Fee

3) Course Duration

4) Occupation

5) Stability

Though I had an average command over English, the fact that I was a quick learner always came to aid. I did my schooling in Hindi Medium but opted for English in my intermediate education. Belonging from a small town and a middle class family makes it easy for one to assume the lack of exposure in my life. But I have had enough experiences in my life that have brought an awareness of the appropriate and the inappropriate. The right and the wrong. One such fragment of it happened during my college days and since it was the first time, I was left flabbergasted.

I was in my classroom when one of my batch mates came and called me over.

"Hey Deepti! Akash Choudhary wants to meet you in the adjoining classroom. He has something important to discuss." She said.

"Why?" I benightedly questioned.

"Just for a moment, please." She dragged me outside my classroom and took me towards the adjoining one.

"NO! I won't go in. Ask him to come to me and speak whatever he wants to in open. I won't meet him privately." I vehemently denied.

She relented and went to spoke with him about the same. As I saw them discussing, thoughts went haywire in my mind by thinking of the possibilities of the subject he wanted to talk with me about.

God forbid if he had something bold and inappropriate in mind. I was getting anxious with each passing moment and before I could completely lose it, my class mate approached me.

"Just meet him once, he is insisting. I will come with you." She said and held my hand.

I went inside the classroom and saw him standing near the blackboard. My classmate stood diagonally between us.

"What did you want to talk about?" I rudely asked. He looked up at me and that was the first time I really did see him. His eyes were bloodshot red and he held an expression which made me regret my loud and rude tone for a fleeting second and his gestures indicated that he had been nervously waiting for me.

His silent response to my question made me forget my scrutiny and angered me more.

"Be quick! If it is regarding our studies then I will discuss. I am not interested in anything else." I sternly said.

"I know but there is something I want you to know. After that. I will let you go." He requested.

I could sense the direction towards which the conversation was heading. Refusing to acknowledge my fear in front of me, I became all the more agitated.

"I have come here only for studies. I carry the expectations of my parents on my shoulders and I cannot afford to let them down. Make it quick or else I will go." I warned him.

"Its my mistake. Its my fault that I love you and if I hadn't come clean about this, the burden would have killed me." He said it in one breath.

My feet refused to support me, voice left me all alone and my heart was crying. I felt insulted in front of my other classmate.

"Don't disturb me, I come here for studies and I am sure you are here because of the same reason. Don't waste their hope and money. Dare you do this again." I said.

I left the place and went to my classroom. I wanted to cry as I never felt this humiliated.

That was my first proposal story.

November 2005, I geared up for my further studies in Delhi after somehow convincing my parents by taking Robina's help. I was enthusiastic and fearless for any challenges that were in store for me. My train was scheduled at midnight. While on the way to the station, tears started flowing as I realized just how risky this deal is. I am stepping out of my comfort zone for the first time to try my luck. I wanted my parents to be proud and I could only pray for the courage required for it.

When I stepped my foot on the New Delhi station, I felt an adrenaline rush. I was finally on my way to fulfilling my dream. Fortunately, I had a relative settled in Noida.

I was accompanied by my father and his student. It was 10.30 in the night and we couldn't visit our relatives so we planned to spend the night at the station. As the night turned darker, soft snores of people sleeping around sounding like a lullaby played but sleep was lost for me. I was experiencing each moment, scrutinizing my opportunities. I couldn't afford to lose these moments, the determined feeling, the pace of my dream fulfillment to something as trivial as sleep.

According to Mark Twain, the two most important days of our lives are- the day we are born and the day we find our purpose of being born.

And that night while the world rested, I had a surge of jubilation as I finally witnessed the two most important days of my life. I found a purpose.

My elder sister got married at 13 and I am in Delhi at 16 to chase my dreams was enough to make me proud of my fruitful efforts.

Next morning. my father and I were dropped to our relative's place in Noida by my father's student. We stayed there for a week and I planned to remain stationed there for my studies but unfortunately, the idea never materialized. The relatives were unwilling to take a responsibility of a girl in a city like Delhi which is prone to atrocities towards women. So we came back to Bokaro after my admission procedure. In December, I went back after assuring my mother of my well-being multiple times with the help of Seema, Robina's friend. I had to appear for my entrance exam and an interview to complete the selection procedure. January 3rd, 2006 was my interview date. Things were smooth for me until then but I was proved wrong when Seema refused for any communication.

That was the first betrayal story.

But that is what life is all about. There will be moments where everything you have believed in and worked hard for come crashing down in seconds. You lose everything. You hit rock bottom.

But, that is the worst that could happen. The more downwards your graph falls, the more scope it leaves for you to scale higher. Just like life, all we need to do is keep moving. Keep dreaming and keep working. But most important of all, always have the audacity to hope.

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