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Every Time I Fell, Writing Helped Me Get Back Up

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Editor's note: Youth Ki Awaaz has turned 12, and this post is a part of #WhyIWrite, a campaign to celebrate Youth Ki Awaaz users who have spoken up about issues that matter to them. If you'd like to share what motivates you to write, publish your story here!

I was born on 7th of August 1995 at Gevra in the district of Korba. I completed my schooling from DAV Public School, Gevra and graduated from NIT Raipur batch 2013-17. By profession, I am an unemployed engineer and by choice a satisfied writer.

I run a page “The Spare Heart” and that will be the name of my book which I hope to get published in the coming two-three years. I’ve already published a book previously, named “Tamanna”. It wasn’t a success, but definitely a step towards it.

What I have learnt through all these years is that it doesn’t matter how much you earn or in which cabin you sit to be successful, what matters is the person you are and how much you have the calibre to give something to someone. Here, that ‘something’ refers to an emotion, a material a thing, that brings at least a single positive change in someone’s life.

As I already said, I am an unemployed engineer. I admit I am still struggling to find a job that lets me live my dreams but the thing I am happy about is that I have learnt to smile in failure. I am someone who dares to write what she thinks and what she does.

My father is PA to a Chief Medical Officer and my mother is a teacher. As their only child, I have had to learn to be by myself while they are at work. But both of them have worked so hard for me, to get me where I am today.

In class 8th, I found a porn CD in the desk of one of my friends. I didn’t know what it exactly was at that time, but was aware that it was a bad thing. So I complained to my teacher about it. I don’t know what happened, but somehow, all the blame got shifted to me. For the first time, my father was called to the school and was questioned about my upbringing. It was a surprise to me that he never asked me even a single question about it. It was his trust in me that helped me continue with school.

I was marked as a “bad, characterless girl”. No one wanted to be friends with me. It was a tough time for me. I was only in class 8 and had no idea how to carry on.

But I survived!

My parents got married when my mother was 19 and has just finished school. It was my father who let her complete education (BA + double MA) and got her the job.

And that was my first inspiration!

What I have learnt is that education, knowledge and experience are the only things that let you be independent, let you survive, and fight.

I was an average student, but after the incident with the porn CD, all I could see was “study”. Yes, I missed having friends, having lunch with the group, to have someone who craves my company. I cried a lot, but I didn’t quit.

In class 8th I was among the top 20 students, in 9th among the top 10, by 10th I scored a CPI of 9.8/10; in 11th I topped in my section and ranked third in the school. In class 12, I topped the whole district and broke the school record with a 95.6%.

This graph is not about the marks I secured, instead, it shows the improvement and the way I polished myself in these years. And yes, I admit that writing was my strongest companion. ?

After school, I got admission to NIT Raipur and a new journey started, with a number of new challenges.

In the second semester, just a few days before exams, I was operated for appendicitis. I became so weak that my parents and the doctors suggested me to drop the semester and take proper rest. But I refused. I came back to Raipur and somehow completed my assignments and started preparing for exams.

I had three cuts on my stomach (two minor and one major). In the hostel, I had to dress my incisions every day. I used to wash my clothes in the basin as I wasn’t allowed to sit. There were times that I became so numb that I forgot the spelling of my own name. It took a lot of effort but I managed to clear the semester with average marks.

If I had stopped at that time, I wouldn’t have been able to see this quality in myself. I wouldn’t have realised my strength and just how far I can go.

And writing through this journey has added a fuel to my strength and confidence.

Then in 2015, during vocational training at Rourkela’s steel plant where we had to walk at least 8-12 km every day, I got injured on my leg. A doctor had to cut that wound daily to drain out excess water from it. He told me not to walk unless it gets dry.

Even though it was just vocational training, I was serious about it and wanted to complete the project. I figured out ways to get a lift to places and completed the project without further damaging my leg.

I have joined various groups on Facebook where there are around 6000-1Lakh members, but I get to make my voice heard among them. And that is what made me feel that I am close to the people’s heart, my stories resonate with many others. And each day, I improved.

Then came 2016 with another big difficulty. I had sent over 200-300 mails to secure a good summer internship. After about 7-8 positive replies, I chose IIT Madras. Everything was going good, it was my 10th day there and the date was 24th May. I was stepping down the stairs and I just slipped (I still don’t know how it happened ). I was sure that it was just a muscular sprain so I walked around 200 m and went to my room on the fourth floor. In the evening, I couldn’t walk. After I was taken to the hospital, I was told that they had detected a major fracture. I was plastered from foot to knee.

My parents ordered me to return home but I just told them, “Papa mera dream tha IIT Madras, continue karne do, jab nahi hoga mai aajaungi (Papa, IIT Madras is my dream. Let me continue. If I feel that I can’t carry on, I’ll return).”  I was lucky to have a good and understanding guide. He is a Professor and a gold medalist and very talented. Just to fulfil my dream, he used to come to the Girls Hostel and sit with me in the garden on the grass or sometimes on the bricks to teach me.

When I returned home and went to the hospital to get the plaster removed, I got the news that I had another minor fracture. I had already missed college for about 15 days, because of which I wasn’t allowed to sit for placement for the company I had actually prepared for.

But I didn’t stop. I kept moving on. I did manage to get a job through placement, but I left it.

 

The biggest misconception I encountered is that if you get into IITs or NITs , you have to pass with a good package”. Hey people , that’s not true !

Engineering is a platform to learn, to innovate, to build strength and to dream freely  It’s not a platform to just earn money. It’s your choice whether you want to have a job, whether you want to be an entrepreneur, whether you want to be a farmer, whether you want to switch from core to software. It’s all you.

When I portray my feelings through writing, it gives an immense pleasure to my soul.

Live life like it’s your last day, work hard like it’s your last salary, write like it’s your last conversation with your soul!

You must be to comment.
  1. Deepanshu Pandey

    Just keep fighting and moving through this. I am hopeful that, one day you will be living your dream or better than that! Atleast you have a dream which is powerful and giving you energy to work towards it!

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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