August 21, 2012

Taking that first step…

Posted by Pavithra at 8:56 PM
(image courtesy: Google)
As I enter the world of blogosphere, making my thoughts and writing public for the world out there to hear for the first time, I begin to muse over the different phases of my life, where I’ve had to take that first step forward, to make a new beginning.
It didn’t matter what my age was or what the big leap was, on almost all those counts I nearly turned my back. It was not always the case of lack of self-esteem or confidence. It was mostly this fear of letting that one single step define my whole life. What I failed to foresee was that though that moment did make a significant impact in my life thereon, my life didn’t have to depend on that singular incident unless I let it happen. Let me explain.
From the age of 7 (that’s as far as I can remember), the single most question that I hated and apparently the only question that people who met me had to ask me was this: ‘What do you want to become when you grow up?’
And I always gave them a blank stare in answer. And people were always surprised that the child who was constantly her talkative self, who would go on and on chattering about all that she knew about, speaking a mile a minute, would go all silent, blinking at you when you asked that question. One simple question that all the kids her age would have a ready-made answer for.
As a child, I was very bright (I still am :P). I learnt very quickly, and I always did very well in school. I excelled in academics, took music lessons and impressed my super-strict teacher (thankfully I have a good singing voice, which according to my mom, I am wasting away), mastered 4 different foreign languages by the age of 13, won all those quiz competitions. And my parents weren’t even the over-driving types, constantly badgering me to excel on all fronts. It was me. I wanted to do it all, learn them all. Why? I was scared. Scared that I didn’t know what I really wanted to do with my life. Confused as to how people were able to answer you “Engineering”, “Medicine”, “Sciences”, “Journalism” with such conviction that you thought they had it all figured about life.
The one thing I was sure about was I would never become a Sportsperson. I always fell on my face in any running competition, thanks to my wonderful hand-leg coordination (On retrospect, I should have ruled out Dance as a career as well, but the fact that I loved attention never let me eliminate that possibility, I guess :P) and always stood last in any other sporting event as well. When I read Harry Potter, the best thing I could relate to was Hermoine’s constant fear of failure. Only my fear was what if I failed to decipher what I really wanted to do with my future and made the wrong choice.
So when it came to the first important turn of my life, entering senior school and picking up a group of my choice, I turned to my Chemistry teacher for she and I had a great rapport. She was someone with whom I could talk about the million questions in my head and not worry about sounding like a nutcase. We decided that I would take Biotechnology (CBSE had just introduced Biotech in the curriculum for Class XI and XII and mine was the second batch) not because I had a flair for Biology but because I couldn’t choose among any of those groups which had been around for years, which everyone else was taking up. I was glad that I still hadn’t closed out my other options, for I couldn’t be pressured to take entrance tests for Medicine and Engineering like my Biology and Computer Science counterparts, but I could still do them if I wanted to. I also had this thought about pursuing my quest for learning languages and making a career out of it.
In Senior School, I did well. So exceptionally well in Biotechnology that I topped all of CBSE. What next? Naturally everyone expected me to further my studies in that field and make something out of myself. But I thought otherwise. Just because I did well in something, it didn’t mean I could do the same for the rest of my life, is it? What if I failed, when everyone expected me to shine in a field that they knew I was already good at? I turned away and decided to get a degree in Physics instead. Yes. A random choice, just like that with no basis or no real interest in Physics either. But fate has this wonderful habit of steering me in the direction of something I turned away from. Some random uncle had sent an application for a reputed Engineering college that offered Biotechnology and I had simply applied to it and forgotten about it altogether.
One week before my classes in the other college for Physics, I got a call from this Engineering College offering me a seat for any branch I wanted. Now this college was located in a different city, so it meant I had to stay at the hostel. They had me there. Bags were packed, goodbyes were said and off I move to the hostel, err the college, to get an Engineering degree in Biotechnology.
Four years of college whizzed past in a blur (like it happens to everyone) and I would say it’s been the best four years of my single (umm, single = in a relationship but not married) life. I did do well in College but I still wasn’t sure if it was what I wanted. And I again based my decision on random chance. My then boyfriend-now husband went to the US to get his Master’s degree and there I go. I followed him here a year later to get a Master’s degree too – this time in Chemical Engineering!
By now most of my extended family began to think that I was getting a bit crazy for they didn’t see where I was going. How could they when I am still figuring that out myself? I finished up my Master’s and started working as a free-lance designer for a reputed Fuel Cell company. And I love what I am doing. The nature of my job has very little to do with what I learnt in four years of undergrad and two years of Master’s but I love what I am doing. While I have a job that I love to support myself financially, I am still deciding if I should get that MBA in Finance (no, really :P)

(image courtesy: Google)

As I finished up my degree, my parents insisted I get married.  Enough to get me panic-stricken. What if I fail? What if this man who has been professing his undying love (okay that’s a bit too dramatic, even for me) for me for over 5 years now suddenly realizes that I am not good enough? What if he thinks I don’t take care for him like his mother did? What if he thinks my cooking sucks? What if he thinks I sleep too much?
Though I hated the idea of getting married at 24, I couldn’t help but relish the entire wedding preparation (through Skype of course) with child-like naivetĂ©. I enjoyed the glamour, the sheer material pleasure of jewelry and silk and basked in the attention – in the 3-week span I was in India for my own wedding.
What I did fail to see was that I was married to a man who was in and out thoroughly supportive of me and my decisions. He completes me in a way I can never explain in words. He never complains if I feel too lazy to make dinner. He cooks for us both or we end up watching a movie with an ice cream. He gives me a hug and takes me out for lunch when I complain about being bogged down by work. He patiently hears me out when I go on a rant about my fight with mom that morning and tells me that my mom was probably right. I have been married for only 8 months now but I already am sure about one thing – though I wasn’t sure if this is what I wanted from life, now that I have it, I know this is what I would have yearned for if I knew in the beginning.
You will never know what you will really want. Life is just a progressive journey of you realizing your wants and desires and passions at each stage and then you follow it. You later realize you’ve grown out of it and you follow something else. Some of us make that kind of a hop-hop from one thing to another only in our passive hobbies. We listen to one genre of music and then we get bored and move on to another. And for some like me, it happens throughout the life – a process to identify oneself.
I keep testing myself, constantly trying to stretch my limits. My aspirations and dreams change and the quest for learning and the search for knowledge continue. And I have my constants too – my husband (it still feels weird to call him that :P), my family who always stand by me when I am at the crossroads. Taking that first step towards something is always difficult but when you give it your best shot and more, you will never regret it. Noone but you can define your own success and failure.
PS: My parents are visiting us next month and mom is bringing me my electronic shruti box so I can resume some singing. She still thinks I should have become a classical singer :D
PS 1: That post was TOOOO long for a first post I guess. I hope you don’t belt me for that :P
PS 2: Thanks for making it until here. The post already gave you my life’s biography. Nevertheless, let me make it all formal.

I am Pavithra, 25 and am a full-time wife and Engineer. I take the daughter+daughter-in-law avatar over weekends on Skype J First time blogger, though I do write often otherwise. I’ve been following DOV for months now so I decided to give blogging a first shot here J


Anisha Pradahn on August 21, 2012 at 9:37 PM said...

Your life sounds perfect!
Someday I too want to be able to to make a career out of something I love and not just based on the subject that I'm graduating in (Biotechnology! co-incidence?! :p). I've always been unsure if this subject is my niche but I'm just trying to go with the flow and see what options will be out there for me after I graduate..
I love your post. It is inspiring to some level :))

❤Not Just My Allegories❤

aks on August 21, 2012 at 9:38 PM said...


Pavithra on August 21, 2012 at 10:09 PM said...

@Anisha: Ha ha ha.. Yes, co-incidence indeed.. :) I am definitely lucky that I have the liberty to make random choices in my career. Credit goes to my parents though, they only wanted me to excel in whatever I pursued.. They've never pressured me into anything :) Hope things pan out for u soon :)

Thanks :)

@aks: Thank You :)

geeth on August 22, 2012 at 12:54 PM said...

That's a great start into blogging :)

maithili on August 22, 2012 at 7:43 PM said...

Welcome to blogworld and I m absolutely delighted you made a debut on DOV. No really! I m quite surprised writing didn't feature on your list so far! There, I give you another career choice ;) I once met a man who told me his dream was to earn so many degrees that whenever he gets his own cabin, his door wont suffice to write his degrees :) You reminded me of this person :D :D

Pavithra on August 22, 2012 at 7:47 PM said...

@Geeth: Thank you so much :)

Pavithra on August 22, 2012 at 7:54 PM said...

@Maithili: Wow, thanks! Let me tell you, you are the reason why even started blogging - as in, I stumbled upon your 'one such story' and then from there, I got here. And got hooked. And I thought I'd blog too :)

I decided much early in my life that I wouldn't pursue any form of art (or literature) for a career, as I knew I'd never be able to unleash my creative best when I am forced to do it, as in for money.. Which was why I stood firm against picking music for a career.. Today, I sing and write - for myself and at times for my husband... And I thoroughly enjoy doing it..

I am looking forward to a different experience blogging here... :)

Sunitha on August 23, 2012 at 8:57 PM said...

@Pavithra: Sorry for the long comment , but I have to say it. You are sooo me.. When I was reading your blog , it felt like I was rewinding to my own past. I was good at studies , bad at sports , had an excellent rappo with chemistry teacher, toyed with the idea of bio technology for a while , was so crazy with it that I started writing a Sci Fi novel. Had no idea what to do , Every one wanted me to for Electronic Engineering or become a doctor, But I ended up doing a Information Technology Bachelors and getting a job and a family I absolutely adore. And your reply to Maithili echoes my views too, I would never have been able to pursue writing as a career because of the exact reason that you mentioned. I have never met somebody as similar to me as you are... Enjoy your time here and do continue writing.

Pavithra on August 24, 2012 at 12:43 AM said...

@Sunitha: Wow, from now if anyone calls me crazy - I am going to tell them I am not alone :D That's really surprising how many similarities that you and I have.. I mean, down to the rapport shared with the Chemistry teacher is just too much :D Nice to have met you here and yes I do intend to enjoy myself here thoroughly :)

meoww on August 30, 2012 at 12:45 PM said...

i wonder why i didn't comment on this one before.
DUDE !!! What are you..?!! Oh boy do i love your way of life..! Welcome to the blogworld. Reading what you have written, i can say one thing for sure, you are multi talented indeed. a wifey at 24..!! Now thats a very bg brave bold step (for me atleast..since i cant really imagine getting on the marriage bandwagon,though i am of your kudos to that ! :)
Now that you have made an excellent start here..i am really gonna look forward to read more :):)
keep writing and enjoying life as you have always done.

PS-I love the name pavithra. I had given that name to my cat since she was snow white.
YES you read it right.

Pavithra on August 30, 2012 at 6:07 PM said...

@Meoww: Wow, thanks! :) That's definitley encouraging! I was kinda worried that the post might sound like I am boasting about my 'multiple talents'.. 'Cos it's not that.. I was trying to prove a point to myself and all along I felt so insecure that I didn't really know what I was both good at AND loved to do, on a day-to-day basis.. But only after realising that the very same factor could well be a blessing and tht I actually have the liberty to choose too, I started feeling good abt the whole thing :) though i STILL haven't figured out things 100%, I am happy where I am :)

@getting married at 24: I had the same qualms every one our age would have.. but then life definitely is more beautiful than it was before.. well, my husband is now only 26, and he is not complaining either :D that IS something :D

@your cat Pavithra: he he he... i should tell my bestie abt tht.. she loooves cats and she loveess tormenting me.. so if she were to have a cat with my name, well i am going to have to ask her if tht would be any reason for her to show SOME kindness towards me too :D

Smita on September 3, 2012 at 10:26 AM said...

nice long post :-P as far as the post is nice....i can read a whole novel length post :-) welcome to DOV :-)

Pavithra on September 4, 2012 at 11:10 PM said...

@Smita: Thank You :)

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