Ever wondered why we live on a planet that is spherical? My philosophical logic is; so that we can chose any path we like to reach the same point. Oh! So I am philosophical. Yes, I guess so but then what I think is true to some extent too. What do we want from our life? We all desire to be happy and satisfied with what ever little or more we have. We all live on same Earth but we follow different paths in our lifetime to try to be happy, it is a different issue that some attain the goal and some just don’t seem to find the right path to reach there. There comes a point in our life where we find ourselves standing at a junction that leads to many paths to the same common goal; money, happiness and satisfaction. While standing on that crucial juncture of our life we expect to draw inspiration from the pool of experience around us but we find it nothing else than a part of vast ocean that is water but cannot quench thirst. People give us number of advices and end the discussion with, “but it’s your life son, you have to decide it after all.” Of those many options that we have to chose from, there are some that are highly favoured but something within you tells that it is not what you want to get and then you slowly decide to tread the path overgrown with shrubs and grass. And as you begin to walk you find that there is no going back. There were people advising all around you but now you don’t find anyone and all you hear are some cackles of people you left behind; they laugh on your aptitude and sense of farsightedness. I know this happens as this happened to me seven years ago when I passed my senior secondary school and was to decide a course that would give me happiness, money and a respectable life. I had engineering, dental sciences, ayurvedic medicine, and fisheries science to chose from. I asked people around me and got two options to chose from; engineering and medical sciences. Some even said that studies are not for me and I should better start looking for a job. I knew I was not made from engineering and medicine is what I would do very bad at. I would do some job but that age of 18 was perhaps too less for me not to explore and follow my interests. I was interested in biology but what then. I have a habit of introspection and I probably understood my capabilities. All of a sudden I announced to go for fisheries science! ‘Fisheries science, what would do in it? Catch fish? You need a license to do it and not a degree’, was the kind of expression I got from everybody around me. Till then I had just seen fish on my plate as a food item and didn’t even know what that fish is called. But, I knew I had to do it. I packed my bags, attended a counseling session and was enrolled, by chance, in one of India’s best Fisheries colleges under a University reputed for highest academic standards – no other University in India has minimum 70% passing marks for Bachelors degree programme in agriculture and allied sciences (fisheries is a part of it).
As the professors kept teaching us I kept falling in love with the aquatic world. The films that Discovery channel and Nat. Goeg. channel show is just an enigmatic world for others but it is what I was a part of. Understanding fish and knowing their biology became fun for me. First semester exam result were to be announced and we all were tensed. The results were displayed, grade point average was calculated and I was just stunned to find that I had topped the semester exams with GPA far ahead of second topper. I was happy and so were my parents. A child who was just an average student just had topped his University semester exams. The cackles of people that were watching me from the junction had lowered their voices. Another semester exam results were published and I topped them too. Cackles lowered further and some sounds of appreciation began to be heard. Exams kept on coming and all the eight semester results that my Bachelor degree requires us to pass kept giving me the highest marks. At the end I was declared University topper and awarded with a gold medal. In addition to this I scored a GPA that no one ever had scored in the history of our University since external examination system began. By the end of the course I was in love with the world that draws its life from water. I appeared for an exam where all the professional fisheries graduates compete for the title of “Best Fisheries Graduate of India”. After four grueling rounds of the exam I was fortunate to be awarded with the honour for the year 2010. By this time the negative comments had stopped and all I heard was appreciation. But the real force behind me was my love for the aquatic kingdom and the confidence of my parents that I had earned. I qualified an all India examination for Post grad studies with just one week of preparation after being away from books of fisheries science for six months. I received full funding for my studies and a Junior Research Fellow title. I passed my Master’s degree from the only of its kind Central University in India that teaches only fisheries science. I happened to top my department there too and earned “Best MFSc student (junior) award” in 2012. Soon after passing from there I scored first rank for Ph.D. entrance examination conducted by the same University but declined the offer as I was awarded with MEXT-Japanese Govt. fellowship for Ph.D. in Japan. Thereafter I was also awarded Indian Council for Agricultural Research-International fellowship for PhD in any country abroad.
Today, I am happy as I understand that I would have not done better in any other field. I do not regret to chose the option least suggested, in fact, not suggested at all.
Today, after staying away from home for almost seven years (with very few visits numbering 3 or 4 of just a week each at home) I stand again in a similar junction where I have to chose from a multiple options. This time the game is many levels above as time constrain has been added to the factors. The decision has to be bold and I hope I make right decision again.