You should write NET, Sreelekha, said Vijayan Nair Sir, my favorite professor at Govt. Victoria College, Palakkad.
Yes, I smiled happy but shy, that was how I used to be then long back.
I talked to my parents about this exam, which was just introduced and said that ‘he even asked me to pursue, PhD’, sounding a bit unsure.
Pursuing doctoral studies looked interesting and intimidating to me at that time but I expressed my plan for life after post graduation to my parents.
They however, had other plans, and no time to listen to me or even consider my wishes, so they almost bullied me into marriage.
With low self esteem and lack of clarity about life, I succumbed to the emotional blackmail and regretted it immediately, until the birth of my daughter, who made life liveable and fun again.
Growing up with her, I almost forgot about the PhD, though at Indore in my early thirties, I made trips to Devi Ahilya Vishwa Vidyalaya in search of a guide.
In Calicut, my hometown ,I would go to the Calicut university and meet professors and share my desire to continue studies.
I was told that PhD was very expensive and that it was impossible for me to pursue it with the earnings I had at that time.
I don’t know why but I easily believed what was told,( for avoiding conflict at any cost was a pattern in my behavior )and did not contest such opinions.
Perhaps my brother’s steady deterioration of health weighed me down and my parents were too broken emotionally to discuss anything and friends I did not have any.
But life was good and to have a blessed happy kid like my daughter was a joy and I put aside my thoughts and focused on the task of parenting plus teaching at school was demanding and interesting as well.
As years rolled by the pressures of earning, to fund my daughters education and living in a metropolitan city ,pushed me out of the comfort of school teaching to corporate, then to college and finally to university.
I laughed at myself at the long winded course life took to get me here.
I enrolled for the PhD program in my forties, and fought tooth and nail for the guide of my choice, a lady of great learning and an unquestionable dedication to research.
As we started off, I was aware of how I will have something to put my mind to something when it will be time for my daughter to leave home for higher studies.
It was timed well, so now I think as I am left with time, loads of it, I can read at my will or write as I want to.
My guide laughs when I say that had I put up as much fight and thought in finding myself a life partner, things would have been different, but the learning is in the knowing of making informed thoughtful decisions about life. Besides, it is what it is. It is what it was meant to be.
As she sometimes scolds me or pushes me a bit harder, I thank her for her care, it is good to be under the care of a strict task master. You know that she means good for you.
Little things we do, add up to a whole, sometime, someday, so just keep at it.
Well, a little guy always advised ‘write NET, Chechi’, as if it was a magic mantra for all joys.
So, there I go, back to books!