“Undisciplined, demotivated and downright lazy” was a phrase whose frequency I had gotten quite used to hearing; being used liberally by a string of teachers from past institutions to communicate their displeasure of having me in their classes. And if that wasn’t enough to add to my already lengthy string of troubles; my parents began to seek “professional help” from some rather questionable people at a time I would not look back to in search of fond memories.
We reached a point where the administration of my then school, promptly decided to detain me on the grounds of failing a single subject, and that did not sit well with me or my parents. But surprisingly, even at this dark and lonely juncture, where one would have given up hope and courage, a ticket at redemption, without considering and in perfect timing had fallen quietly into our lap- Ananya.
A decision was taken to exercise trust rather than logic, after which there was no turning back. And from grade 7 onward, a team of faculty I can only describe as having immeasurable patience and boundless love, had began to almost surgically cut and shape me. My personality, my quirks, my habits, my senses- nothing was spared. They vetted out all that they saw was not required or was unworthy of, and in place installed knowledge and values for a better future. I began enjoying subjects that I had detested strongly and even discovered that the person teaching that subject was all that was needed to make a significant difference in my attitude towards it.
By some miracle, I with my modest abilities and little imagination had managed to grow out of my shell and was now ready to embrace all the challenges the world was about to throw at me. The first being a collective decision to return back to conventional education. After completing grade 10, I was placed in Lady Andal at the recommendation of Ananya for the remainder of the two years of my higher education. This gestation period was necessary to set the track and tone for building a character and personality that was required of me, in order to repel my naturally ingrained introverted nature. It allowed my mind to expand in creativity as well as concentrate on what was necessary.
I had for some time now, informally involved myself in a handful of summer internships that would play a major role in setting the foundation of my career. Working in multiple fields in the creative industry was a crucial trial and error process to get firsthand experience on what was to be offered. I had worked over my summer holidays with a publisher, an advertiser, an architect and an interior designer. Design was not a traditional choice since my family was from a predominantly business background. Nevertheless I was given the freedom to have my pick and was openly supported by my parents.
Upon completing my schooling, I was enrolled by merit to the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore, where I completed a year’s foundation course in Design. Subsequently, I joined the Raffles Institute of Design in Bangalore to specialize my under-grad studies in Interior Design for the next three years.
Even during this period, my internships continued. My correspondence and interactions with my facilitators drained them off their knowledge and energy. I was a dry sponge willing to soak up anything that was in front of me. The midnight oil was burned and my commitment to perfection in every project to every last detail was considered exhausting by many. It reached a point where campus security had to literally beg me to leave for the night, and still I spared nothing and no one.
Graduating with a Bachelors of Design degree and the blessing of parents and teachers was a celebratory moment in life. I had come a long way and was humbled by the thought of a long and open road still ahead. A couple of minor speed breakers later; I landed a job with a prominent architect in Chennai, and completed the execution of a handful of large luxury homes thereafter. I have also taken up freelancing architectural and interior design consultancy under my own brand, parallel to my job.
I believe that opportunities in life come by aplenty. We take the ones that are considered to be logical; the ones that tend to please the people around us and the ones that we consider may come in favor to us in the future. We like to secure ourselves in a bubble that allows us to see so little of what the world has to offer.
There are so many possibilities beyond that horizon. If we could only pierce that bubble and look beyond, to the multitude of opportunities that are placed so easily within our reach. For what is there to lose? A choice is an adventure waiting to be explored. We can only gain strength from every fall and that makes us steadfast when the world lashes out at our shortcomings.
I ask of all who I reach; what are you willing to do for yourself alone? To what extent are you willing to go to in order to see your will and vision done? Where and to whom will you turn to in order to achieve it all? Take a stand now, Listen to the whispers of the heart and follow it so long as the mind allows you to concentrate on it. Take pride in your decisions and be humble in your opinions. Pray, dance, laugh and live; and when your golden ticket comes by, embrace it with all your strength. For a wise person once said- “when the iron is hot- Strike”.
Children with dyslexia are stronger than we know, they fight the battles that most will never know.