The prompt for today’s post had me stumped. My curriculum vitae boasts of exactly one and a half years of work experience–and while it was fun, I did not exactly achieve anything of earth-shattering significance during my job-stints. Bringing up kids, when I am not even doing an exceptional job of it, is hardly an achievement worth talking about.
But then, having to think and write on something you’d rather be an ostrich about is what a challenge is all about, right?
Right. So I gave it some thought and went into flashback mode, trying to fish out an ‘achievement’ from the recesses of my memory, and the following was the first thing that came to the mind.
The year was 2004 . We had shifted recently to Lucknow from a hill-city , which, while being much more livable than this town, still had pretty rudimentary educational facilities. The transfer to Lucknow was, therefore, much awaited as it would afford me the chance to go for higher education after a gap of five years.
I applied for a B.Ed. from Lucknow University –we had, fortunately, happened to arrive in Lucknow right in the fortnight when forms for the coming session become available. A number of people told me that the tests were really tough and very comprehensive. Over fifteen thousand people from across the state appear every year for about eighty seats, and people from outside the state could only ever avail of four seats out of those eighty.
“Never mind.” the husband assured me. “You prepare for the test as well as you can and take it–if you get through, well and good. If not, you will at least get an idea about the pattern of the questions and prepare accordingly for the text year.” Next year? No way. I wanted it THIS year.
Husband brought for me a stack of books on logical reasoning, mathematics and current affairs and I began preparing in the right earnest in the fifteen days that I had. I was also required to brush up on my graduation and post-graduation subjects on which I was woefully out of touch.
All of this while being the sole caregiver of an active, demanding and frequently cranky two-year old. I wouldn’t admit it so many words then, but frankly I didn’t give myself much of a chance in the circumstances.
In the event, I did well in both parts of the tests, but I had no idea how well was well enough. I could only hope to get through somehow. The day the results were out, I went to the University with much trepidation. I skimmed the list once in a hurry and didn’t see my name. My heart sinking, I was going through the list another time when the husband shouted–“You topped!! OMG, you topped! Look all the way up, that’s where your name is!”
There is something about finding your name at the top of a list–it makes you feel like you are on top of the world 🙂
During the course of that year, as I came to know my classmates, I saw how very bright and hardworking most of them were. I felt honoured to be part of that batch. I knew it was no mean feat to have scored better than them. It is an achievement– if at all you can call it that– that I still hold close to my heart.