“From MBBS to Engineering…” by Madhuri Varma

November 13, 2013


“And here’s your birthday cake.” said Ananya, wishing Palvi a very happy birthday. Palvi bent and blew the candles. Just then, Ananya’s phone rang.

“Yes Mom?”

“Did you have your lunch?”

“Yes. I am fine Mom. Don’t worry.” said Ananya.

“Ok. Well, I wanted to inform you something.”

“About what?”

“Your name has been displayed in the list of students who have been selected at the Grant Medical College of Mumbai for the dentistry course.”

Ananya went numb as she heard this. Finally her dream of being a doctor was going to be fulfilled. Everything that she had gone through in the past three months came across her eyes like a rewound movie.

3 months earlier…

It was midnight when Ananya’s Mom woke her up saying that her MBBS entrance exam results had been out. She was too deep in sleep to even realize what her Mom had said. In a sleepy tone, she asked, “How much did I score?”

“168/200” replied her Mom in a low voice.

“Are you sure??” she sat up with shock.

“Yes. It has been displayed online.”

Ananya’s heart thumped as she had fallen short of just 2 marks to get admission in a government college. Her sleep withered away. She looked at her Mom only to find her sadder.

“Go to sleep,” said her Mom and switched off the lights.

Ananya cried herself to bed, and her Mom couldn’t sleep the entire night, worrying about what would happen of Ananya’s admission.

The next day Ananya went to college with her Dad to collect her score card of the entrance exam. Yes. 168/200. It was there in her hands in black and white.

“How could this have happened with me? I had tried my best.” said Ananya in a low voice. Her Dad pressed her shoulders and comforted her. “We’ll see what is to be done.”

She met all her friends and everyone had scored enough to be admitted in a good engineering college. She felt bad for herself.

A few days later, the engineering admission forms were out. Ananya’s father suggested her to fill the form and keep engineering as a second option. With her engineering entrance exam marks being 146/200, she could have easily bagged a reputed college at the first trial itself.

“I won’t do engineering at any cost. I’ll repeat the exam if need be, but not engineering!” replied Ananya in a firm voice.

She did not fill up the form. She and her parents counseled a professional and got advice on how they should be prioritizing the various government colleges in Maharashtra so as to get admission in any one of them. With all the help that was provided, they filled up the medical admission form and listed the colleges in the order suggested by the professional. Ananya looked at the form one last time and submitted it, hoping for the best.

Three lists of students selected for admission in Maharashtra’s medical government colleges was to be declared. She waited an entire month for the first list to be put up. During that period, most of her friends had got admission into engineering and were all set to join college.

Finally the first list of students for MBBS admission in Maharashtra’s government colleges was declared but Ananya couldn’t locate her name in it. She broke down but didn’t lose hope. She was determined to wait for the second list which was displayed in a few weeks after the first list. But this time again, her name wasn’t included.

All her hopes were on the last i.e., the third list which would be declared. She visited many professional counselors and government officers to know the exact procedure by which students were selected for admission but all in vain. All her friends’ engineering colleges had commenced. She was the only one still left with the admission. She had stopped moving out and meeting anyone. Slowly she lost interest in everything and would spend most of her time in her room, all alone. Her parents were very concerned about her and did everything possible to cheer her up and motivate her.

The third list was declared in a month’s time. Ananya was unfortunate this time as well. Her name wasn’t there. She cried her heart out and had lost all hope.

The next day Ananya’s dad took Ananya with him to an engineering college and spoke to the Principal regarding the admission.

“Well,” said the Principal, “all the rounds of engineering admission have been done. It is sad that you hadn’t filled up the form for the same. So at this stage, you can either get admission through the management quota, by paying a donation of 6 lakhs for the Computer Department; or fill up the form for vacancy round.”

“What is vacancy round?” asked Ananya’s dad.

“Government allots each engineering college with a particular number of seats which can be filled only through centralized admission. So if some seats remain vacant even after all the rounds are done, they are filled up on the basis of merit through vacancy rounds held by colleges individually. For this, you’ll have to fill up our college’s form, and from among all the entries that we get, whoever has the highest marks, gets the seat.”

Ananya’s dad filled up the vacancy round form as Ananya didn’t want him to pay even a single penny as donation. Donation for admission, according to her, was an insult to education.

“They have only one seat left for Computer department and there is just one girl who has scored more than me.” said Ananya on their way back home. “So if she chooses Computer, I won’t get admission in that department.”

“You can go for Information Technology then.” suggested her dad.

“No. It’s either Computer or nothing.” replied Ananya determinedly.

The vacancy round was to be held the next day. Ananya didn’t want to take a chance this time. She called up at her coaching classes and informed that she would be joining the repeating batch for MBBS admission exam soon.

The next day Ananya waited for her name to be called as she sat in one of the many classrooms of the engineering college where the vacancy round was being conducted. Her mom hoped that the girl who had more marks than Ananya doesn’t arrive so that Ananya could get admission in Computer department. And as she had wished, the girl didn’t show up and Ananya got admission into Computer department.

Present day…

“But all three lists of MBBS had been displayed right? My name wasn’t there in those. Then which list is this?” asked Ananya to her mom in a choked voice.

“This is the fourth list dear. Nobody knew that a fourth list too would be displayed. I was just surfing through the site and found the list.”

Ananya’s happiness knew no bounds. She could now become a doctor, be it a dentist alone, but a doctor in the end.

Ananya asked excitedly, “When do we have to leave for Mumbai for completing the formalities of admission?”

Her mom paused for a moment and replied, “We can’t go dear.”

“Why??” Ananya asked with surprise.

“We have crossed the deadline. The last day of reporting was yesterday.”

Ananya couldn’t stop blaming her luck. Earlier when she wanted to get admission to MBBS, she wasn’t selected, and now that her name was included, she had crossed the deadline. Tears rolled down her eyes as girls around her happily sang the happy birthday song for Palvi.

Ananya is now a successfully graduated Computer Engineer and has a respectable job which earns her a good amount of money. But even today when she sleeps at night, she doesn’t get peace of mind of having done something which makes her happy.

As a child, everybody dreams of living a life with a career of their choice. But not all get there in the end. Even when in one field of study, you never know when your life gets transferred to a different field of study. Ananya, who had once very firmly said that she won’t do engineering under any circumstance, studied engineering even when she wanted to be a doctor.

At times, you never realize the serendipity of everything that happens around you. Sometimes you just need to accept situations, do what your life demands and surrender your choices to situations.

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