I’m a B.E. first year student in NSIT, Delhi. I’m an aspiring writer and
spend my time listening to music and writing stories. Being a part of a
dramatics society I’m always up for new ideas be it for stories or
experimentation. Besides all this I also pass my time by watching food
shows and try to replicate it in my kitchen with a twist.
Pursuit, a simple word used to identify a chase undoubtedly defines
the subject, life, which has countless interpretations. Everybody I saw
around me was running after something or the other. Some of them
had achieved a lot while some couldn’t even think of reaching their
levels. None of them seemed happy until that day.
I was a staunch believer of the fact that success comes to those who
work hard. But this gradually faded away as my life moved forward
and knocked me down with utter failures. Money wasn’t a priority in
my life. I wouldn’t even say that I wanted to be famous as much as I
wanted to be well known only in the field, which I suppose I was good
Surviving in the education system of India has always been difficult if
you don’t belong to a backward cast but I still got myself enrolled in
what people think is the most prestigious science and technology
college of this country. Though I didn’t get the branch of my choice,
which was a pretty disturbing factor for me, my life all of a sudden
seemed to have taken a happy turn. I had always wanted to study
mechanical sciences and then pursuit robotics. It seemed as if life had
planned something else for me. A year passed and everything went
well. The next thing was that I had to study biotech.
“If you got a dream you gotta protect it. Don’t let the world decide
what you want.”
It wasn’t necessary for me to go to my regular classes and attend the
lectures. I realized that I could easily sit in mechanical sciences class
In the beginning everything was very smooth. I could understand
everything that the professors used to teach. Other students noticed
me for I was a new member of their class. But the respite was that
none asked me any questions about it. The teachers noticed me as
well for I was a crazy enthusiast.
The main problem came when my mid term exams were around the
corner. I hadn’t studied any of my actual subjects which led to poor
“Hello mother. How are you?”
“How was your result?”
It was as if she knew that I hadn’t got a double-digit score in any of
the subjects. I told her about it. She was furious. Soon my father
called and bashed me to the fullest. They gave me an ultimatum. I had
to score good in the final exams.
Now it felt as if as soon as something good is about to happen with me
life says, “Wait! That. Cannot. Happen.” I gave the entire situation a
lot of thought. I never wanted to disappoint my parents but I had a
dream to conquer. I forgot all about what they said. I wanted to do
what I felt like doing for a change. So I continued.
“How much did you score in your mid-term?”. My applied mechanics’
teacher asked me once in a corridor. I knew why he was asking this. I
was the only one who could understand what he taught so perhaps he
was intrigued. I lied. “16, sir”. “That’s very impressive. What’s your
name?” a chill ran down my spine for my secret would now be
revealed. I said “friends call me Gopu” and I ran. Now that teacher
couldn’t see me any more. Whenever I would attend his lectures I
always sat on the last bench with a pair of spectacles and kept my
head down most of the time. The behavior seemed rather odd to
others but I chose to do the same with the rest of the professors as
The horrifying end semester papers approached soon and the same
thing happened again. This time the result was a tad bit better than
I wanted to but I couldn’t lie to my parents about my result. I had
failed in 3 subjects.
I was at home during the holidays and was riled by my parents’ angry
taunts. This time they played the money card. “If you don’t score
decently in your finals we are cutting you off. You’ll have to earn on
your own and pay the fees.”
This was one thing that I wasn’t much worried about for I was sure
that they could do anything but this. The next thing I knew, I was job
“If you want, we can lend you some money with a very little interest
rate.” That’s what they offered me. I refused and carried on with my
life. The only way I could get their money was that I score well in the
After days of hard search I finally found a job as a part time cook and
car washer in two houses and a newspaper boy. I could now earn Rs.
6000 a month. It wasn’t enough so I had to resort to stealing. The
workload was now immense. In order to complete my course in 4
years I had to study biotechnology and do household chores for others
and myself and discretely attend mechanical science classes. All this
It took me 6 years to complete my engineering. I had lost a lot of
weight and a lot of time. The only recognized thing I gained was a
degree with a very less score. The score wasn’t enough to get me
placed in a good university for further studies. By now my parents had
completely disowned me.
The old applied mechanics’ teacher met me on the graduation day. He
recognized me. I had no choice but to tell him the entire story. Out of
pity perhaps he offered me a recommendation letter. My bachelor’s
degree didn’t qualify for robotics.
I was again stuck with biotechnology in a university outside this
country. I couldn’t get a scholarship so I signed a contract to pay my
fees in installments.
I had to work again. This time, I was a pizza boy. No pharmaceutical
company was ready to give me job owing to my scores.
What I earned wasn’t enough. Stealing here was not an option so I
started selling my blood.
One could complete a 2-year course in this university in just a year if
you could earn all the credits.
I was determined that from then on apart from sneaking and studying
in robotics’ lectures I would study biotech as well.
Selling blood twice a month, doing an exhausting job and studying 2
courses one of which was nothing but an alien language to me, felt like
a burning hell. Just the thought of completing all this in one year
scared me. The time of mid-yearly had come. In someway or the other
I got passing marks in my subjects but they weren’t enough to
complete my credits.
Even the 2-year period seemed short after the results of the final
exams were out. Failing in my exams had become a normal thing for
I forgot all about it and continued with the robotics’ lectures. Another
year passed and my robotics’ course was complete. The university
kicked me out for I had scored zeros in all the biotech subjects. I
didn’t have a place to live or a proper job or a decent degree.
Time to live on the streets now.
I had those crazy ideas going on in mind regarding the mechanics of
artificial intelligence. I started doing my research by sneaking into the
laboratory at the university. It was a hard time for me. I used to have
only one meal in two days.
After this harsh period of 4 months I finally completed my paper.
I took my paper to my university professors who liked it very much
but weren’t keen enough to publish it with my name for I didn’t even
have a master’s degree. But after a lot of persuasion I finally
convinced them to do so.
I thought that now I will taste the sweet candy of success but my life
had planned a bitter disappointment for me.
Soon after the paper got published I received a lot of criticism. Though
my findings gave a completely new dimension to robotics, to a layman
it all appeared very dangerous. Science hadn’t but the normal people
had completely boycotted my idea.
I came back to India. I had no one to go to except Mr. Khan.
I waited outside the classroom where he was giving a lecture. He
noticed me through the window and called me in.
I was introduced to the entire class as the ‘Arjun Khurana’.
Everybody stood up and clapped. There was hooting all over the place.
Before exiting they came to me, shook hands with me and
congratulated me. I didn’t know if I should be happy or not for it was
my first time ever.
After the students had gone Mr. Khan came to me and gave me his
antique watch. He didn’t say anything. His proud and happy face was