A , B , C ... T ... I checked that list twice, thrice but my name was missing. There was no 'Sujata Tawde' in the passing list of Para Social work-entrance exam.
I don't remember how I returned home and collapsed in the arms of Aai, how she comforted me and made me sleep. I did not want to get up ever and face the cruel world. I wanted to die and that's that. But life is not that easy. It demands living, death can not be ordered on Flipkart.
I had studied like a zombie for that exam. Every day I got up at 4 in the morning, so that I could study and reach office at 10 a.m. As soon as I returned home at 6.30 p.m., I would eat Varan-Bhaat and continue studying till 11.30 p.m. I had lost the sense of the world. It hardly mattered to me what's happening around, while I was preparing for the exam.
Next morning, after that horrible results, Aai handed me the news-paper and asked me to read a SC ( Single Column news ). It was about the Mass Media course conducted by XIC. ( Xavier Institute of Communications)
Mass Media - Journalism.? Well, I always had immense respect for the journalists. Right from the Lokmanya Tilak , Aagarkar to Madhav Gadkari, Kumar Ketkar, Narayan Athavale to Sanjay Raut, all have been my idols. I wanted to imitate their writing style. I wanted to be a part of the social empowerment, which is possible mostly through the newspaper.
My mother knew my ambition, my dream better than me. She encouraged me to apply for the mass-media entrance test. "No, never. I will fail for sure. How would I pass Mass-media Entrance, when I could not pass Para-Social Work entrance.?"
Mother being mother, she had full faith in my abilities as well as talent. I was shattered, my confidence had gone berserk. My mother boosted my spirit by telling me tales about my childhood. How I always achieved, whatever I wanted through sheer talent and smart work. "Now is the time to prove yourself. You can win. On your marks ... Get .. Set .. Go." I am 100% sure, all mothers have the same blood group, B+ve.
Mother reminded me the story of 'Shyamchi Aai'. How Shyam's mother pushed the reluctant Shyam into the well, how Shyam almost drowned but then learnt to swim, how Shyam loved his mother even more after that "PUSH". 'Shyamchi Aai' is my most favorite novel. I always compared my mother with Shyam's mother. I am proud of my full-on optimistic mother and worship her like Shyam did.
To cut the long story short, I did appear and pass the entrance test for Mass Media. Next I continued to get A grades in almost all the modules and achieved 1st rank in the final exam. It was such a heady feeling. On the very 1st day of joining electronic media, I got the unique opportunity to interview the Police Commissioner of Mumbai.
The obstacle of failure in Para-Social work entrance exam seems like a blessing in disguise. Had not I failed in that exam, I would have never become the journalist, the award-winning at that too. The credit of this as well as the future awards goes to my Aai.