And even though this may be a very last minute blog post, it has taken my me centuries to collect my thought and actually write this out. the reason I chose to talk/blog about my journey, if probably out of a deep sense of appreciation that reigns my present circumstances. Having gone through not the most easiest of times, this journey is the one that shaped me. .

Hailing from a time when I have been a high achiever in school, I remember how everyone would constantly talk of my brilliance and how “awesome:” I would actually turn out to be. This appreciation often drove me to a zone, where I would be absolutely complacent, almost ruining all the brilliance with a casual and caref-free attitude.

Being a dreamer intrinsically it wasn’t very difficult to glide through times, doing nothing concrete. Live in oblivion to be exact.

High school soon changed to college and stared at me in my face. But the oblivion still continued…

Hence, after entering college I stopped studying, fell into company that distracted me from my studies and I even stopped attending college. I was a sophomore when disaster struck.
I was diagnosed witha rare back disorder Spondylolisthesis. My life succumbed to being in bed for nearly half the year, I hit rock bottom. I had reached a point where I could no longer connect with who I essentially was. I stopped studying and scored a mere 43% in my second year.

This was exactly the time where the following words encourgaged me, almost taking me by my hands and leading me to better future.

“People with a sense of mission, a clear awareness of their purpose are strong. Having a great mission means that you will encounter great challenges and trials, but that also means you can develop yourselves so much more. ” by Dr. Daisaku Ikeda.

I clung to these words and strived the hardest I possibly could. My life became my mission.

I graduated with a mere 53%, but I knew, how much I had struggled to even get there.
In the second year I applied for a summer internship program with the Centre for Civil Society- a non-profit, research and educational organization in New Delhi, to gain firsthand experience at research and field work. My research topic- “Adolescent girls in the lower economic strata of society and help-lines” led me to Rajiv Camp, a resettlement colony in New Delhi. Here, the plight of adolescent girls forced into prostitution for a square meal a day deeply moved me.. This project and experience became the very basis for what I am today,convincing me that I needed to implement my studies for the benefit of societyand eradicate predicaments of disadvantaged sections of society.

I stuck to my deepest desire to do something for the benefit of society and even rejected offers from some leading banks and companies just to work in my area of interest.

It was just a couple of months back, in October, that I went through a deeply challenging time, both in terms of profession and a personal challenge. I, yet again faced a deadlock in my life. I had almost succumbed to self doubt, when thanks to all the encouragement and guidance I received from very close family and friends, I mustered my coruage and struck right back. I knew I had no choice but to forge ahead. I applied for a Fellowship Program that came my way. And even though the average age of those who get through the fellowship is 28 years and only 16 get selected all over the world, I, for the first time, didn’t doubt myself. I applied with all my heart.

I kept qualifying tests and interview rounds, and everything was, what they call ‘easy breezy’. I continued to strive harder in my daily life. Really pushing my limitation and getting clearer about what I needed to do with my life. Despite several obstacles, like a torn ligament, issues at home, I managed to beat them all.

With a plaster on, I went to office on the 8th of December, 2011. I was dying of pain, I challenged to go and encourage some friends who were going through very tough circumstances. Realising that these are moments where one actually/literally looks beyond onself, I dived to helping me.

It was on the 8th when I came back, that I received an email, which said that I had made to the Atlas Service Corps Fellowship . I get to work on Urban Housing Policies and projects on Sanitation, exactly the kind of work I have been indulging in.

Being overjoyed and reminding myself EVERY day of the struggle I undertook and how much I have grown ever since, I embark this new journey as a Fellow and uh.. well, a first time blogger!

PS: The next one is worth waiting for, cause it is about the brand new life in beautiful DC. 🙂

2 thoughts on “How it all began…”

  1. Aparna says:

    Can’t wait for your next blog post!

  2. madiha.shafi says:

    This is a catch one ! I love it

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