Life is run by deadlines, yes. We have a deadline in front of us every day, every hour. There is a deadline for the assignment in college, a deadline at work, a deadline to pay the bills, as if not all this was enough, and we have our own mental deadlines. I must be in college at 18, I must have a job at 21, I must get married at 25, I must become a parent before I turn 30, and the list goes on. Jeez, relax, we tell to ourselves sometimes and take a break, but then we get scared, we are scared we would fall back in the race, in this mental race with every other human being our age and we start running again. This is a very usual statement, yes. However, its impact has now grown tremendously. Kids at age 14 have started to plan their lives for the next 20 years. 14, really, when most of us were glued to Power Rangers. We have heard success stories, we have read listicles, which said “Successful people who chose their passion at the peak of their career”, we no longer have these successful people, because everyone is scared to choose their own path. Choosing one’s own passion seems risky and dangerous when compared to the plans put forth for us, so most of us let our passion take the back seat and ride away on a path we never chose.
You know it’s funny sometimes when people say I do this particular job to earn and my passion is there in a side, waiting for that long weekend, for me to go have a look at it. So passion is a hobby now? Seriously? Passion is not a hobby; you can’t change it or take it up whenever you like it. It is this burning desire, thirst, and hunger inside you, which unless not done, watered or fed, will burn us from within. If you have not felt any of this, then you are lucky, because you are not in this trap.
There are many of us out there, who see a camera, a bike, a nice article, or a brilliant doctor with yearning in our eyes, with this feeling, “Couldn’t that be me?” But most of the times, we just look back and walk into our assigned life. We can call it quits and follow our passion, but there is this big devil called society, which would never shut its mouth.
It has something to say for everything. It’s because of this very society that now we have lost a 17-year-old girl who dreamt of becoming a doctor. Now for those of us who know what passion is we can understand how hard this girl worked.
She hailed from a financially backward family with challenges half of us cannot even imagine. She did not have the luxuries we had. But none of it stopped her from following her passion. So, she worked hard, she was told by the society that the marks that she scores in her 12th standard would decide her future, it would make all her dreams come true if only someone told her it was all a big fat lie. Don’t we all by now know that the marks that we got in 12th are nothing?
Maybe it helped us get a seat in our desired college, but what after that? Our entire dreams came true?
The small girl didn’t know she had more to fight. She didn’t know there are people who are trying to get this common entrance exam called NEET in her way, she didn’t know that her curriculum did not train her for that entrance exam, rather trained her with incompetent knowledge, she did not know there is no one to fight for her, so she did it herself, but she did not know that nothing now is done without sensationalism, and when she fought no one cared, but when she died, the headlines flashed,
“Dalit girl hangs herself to death”
If only someone told her, you can take a break, take a year off and prepare, if only someone told her, you did a great job fighting and gave her the recognition she so truly deserved, if only someone told her, this is not all, there is so much more to life. But none of us told anything, and there is no point in putting status that asks her to Rest in Peace, she was never in peace.
A government job, a sum of money, some kind words and a better argument is not what we need, we need better syllabus in our schools, syllabus that teaches us to fight, that teaches us it’s okay to lose, that teaches us to clear any competitive exam. This is not the first time we are losing a child; we lose them every year after the results come out.
Let’s fight to stop NEET, but in the longer run, let’s teach our children, it’s okay to have a setback, it’s okay to not win, let’s teach them to try, to try till they get what they yearn for.