“Rita bhabi had called up, Nisha has got through NIFT”
“Oh, that’s great!”
“But bhabi said that she will do engineering”
“That’s great too”
“Even you could have done it, if only the media craze did not bite you”
“Mom, dinner please”

As I laid down that night I was taken back to the phase at my house around this time last year. The drama that unfolded then and when late night discussions were quite common. When I was not too sure of what I was going to do in my CBSE Physics boards and an IIT form had already been brought home, filled up and all I had to do was sign. So was the AIEEE form and my tuition teacher reiterated to my parents “bahut mehnati bacchii hain, iska DCE mein toh ho jayega aap chinta mat kijiye!” When no one bothered to ask me what I wanted to do. When I was repeatedly asked not to worry and give the entrances. If I didn’t get through, I can always take a drop and try again. And when all I used to think was “What will happen after boards and by chance if I end up getting through some engineering college, then I will have no other option but to do that”.

I don’t blame my parents. My dad it seems wanted to be a doctor; my grandfather forced him into being an engineer. My mom did Political Science (incidentally the same as I am pursuing now) but she made sure she told me this that there is hardly any scope in any Arts field. I had been a pretty good student all my school life. Yes it does mean that I was among the topper’s (it is India that is how you are evaluated). But what I never understood was why I was always said “beta, you have to make your Maths and Science strong”. There were seven other subjects that I studied. Why my teachers congratulated me for my 97 in Maths and conveniently overlooked my 95 in Social Science. Wasn’t that also a main subject? My only fault probably was that I was pretty good in every subject and everything I did. These were questions which got answered one fine day when I decided that I would shift from Science in graduation. It was a crime I committed by not taking up the legacy set in my family. All my cousins are doing engineering, how could I even think of doing B.A and then Mass Communication (What is that when compared to engineering) especially when I have been doing so well in science!

Well that same crime did change my life forever…..

Yes, I was thankfully allowed to take up what I wanted to (of course, after loads of drama and tears)

July 21st, 2010…..IP College, DU -:

In a Political Science Honours class there are at least ten students who are from Science background! Surprised? I was….and was told “this is quite the case every year”. I was relieved I am not the only poor soul. Most of them had similar stories to share.

It’s been a year now and as my university exams near, I can conceitedly say that this has been the best year of my life academically, I have never been so happy studying what I have in the last one year. The initial few months were full of excitement so much so that I used at least 8 books for doing my first assignment on Nationalism. I have looked forward to every day as a new day in IP. Late night assignments, dozens of projects, reading extra, continuous classes, travelling quite a bit to college…..nothing seems a burden anymore! No more cribbing about the pressure, the expectations…..Life no more seems to be a set stage for me where I am enacting what multiple directors are asking me to. All I am doing is following my heart. Life now seems to be a challenge, a challenge to prove myself right in the years to come.

Yes the questions have definitely not yet stopped. Out of the many traditional questions by the relatives, one has been “Angana was so intelligent how come she did not do engineering”. Oh yes my lord “I am the dumbest person you will find on earth now that I am doing Political Science honours”. I am in no way saying that I have set an example by refusing to take up a tried and tested field in my family. No, I have not yet become the next Barkha Dutt or Nidhi Razdan but I have surely set an exemplar for myself if not for anyone else. I know what I want to do in life. I am at least aware of where I want to see myself in the next five years.

There indeed is initial struggle when one decides to break out from his/her family legacy and do something different but the end is surely rewarding. Initially you do feel devastated with no one standing by your side when you decide to try something new, but eventually you are so confident in what you are doing that you do not need anyone to be by your side. As my friend Aishwarya says “Coming from a family filled with engineers, belonging to a scientific niche, I could never have imagined that Political Science would be so appealing and interesting to study till I took it up in graduation, there is no field which does not provide you with a bright future today, it is up to you to look beyond the conventional, just like I did”. “Don’t want to be an engineer?” Cool enough! Life doesn’t end for you there! Don’t go for IIT coaching because your IIT pass out cousin brother did the same! Don’t do so, be courageous and follow your heart. The world will be yours. There is plenty of scope. Believe me there is life beyond engineering and medicine.

What you become in future depends on how you frame your present. Future is uncertain for everyone. If you are happy in what you are doing in life, you are certainly building up a confident future if not anything else. In every student’s life comes a time when finally you need to decide what you want to do in life. Everyone is good at something or the other; you just need to spot your talent! Two years back I was myself stuck in a wrong stream, not that I wasn’t good at it but I knew that I would be better doing something else. And now that I am doing what I wanted to, I can without doubt say that I am at my best! So if I can, even you can!

@Sajal Choudhary : Thank You buddy, for the title suggestion 🙂

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