I grew up in a government colony located in a village called Kiloi,
on the outskirts of Rohtak city. In most small town middle class
neighborhoods those days, families whose kids secured admission
in engineering or medical college were accorded extra izzat. And in
rural Haryana, if the kid could speak good English then that family
almost had celebrity status. 🙂

My school was deep inside the city so I had to cycle 15 km
everyday to attend. After I got into 11th standard all my classmates
started choosing their subject streams – I chose engineering. I had
to choose it as due to societal pressure there were only two options
available and I was sure I didn’t want to be a doctor. I was a very
average student so nobody really thought I could become an
engineer. But I had a strong desire to do it for my family’s izzat and
not being considered good enough only increased my desire to
win. I studied much more hours than brighter students perhaps
would have had – also because I didn’t have tuition facility because
of where I lived. When the results came, I managed to land a seat in
a decent Engg. College.

This experience helped me learn a valuable lesson in life – (1) If you
can find a reason to fuel your desire than even an underdog can
win any prize he sets his sights on, notwithstanding the
competition. (2) Fighting as an underdog is fun.

And yes, while I became an engineer, English bolne ki koshish abhi
bhi jaari hai 😉