Farha Hussain wanted to be a doctor when she was a little child. As an adolescent, she dreamed of winning a beauty pageant but studied law and became a criminal lawyer instead.
But she didn’t stop at that.
On Tuesday, the 26-year-old became the second Muslim from Rajasthan to crack the Union Public Service Commission’s (UPSC) civil services examination in her second attempt.
“I studied the five-year integrated law course at Government Law College in Mumbai and was the only one from my batch to find a place in the team of one of the country’s top lawyers, Mahesh Jethmalani,” she says.
Farha got 267th rank in the exam and is waiting for allotment of service before she decides if she will take another attempt to better her rank.
She wrote the mains of civil services examination in 2013 but didn’t get a call for the interview round.
Farha’s is a family of administrative officers - her father Ashfaq Hussain is the district collector of Dausa, her uncle retired as an Indian Police Service officer and another uncle is a joint secretary in the state government.
“My uncle and father were promoted to the all-India services from the state cadre,” she says.
Farha has an elder brother who is a practising lawyer at Rajasthan high court. Two of her cousins are Rajasthan Administrative Services (RAS) officers and her sister-in-law is awaiting her RAS results.
Farha belongs to a minority Muslim group Kayamkhani that is found mainly in the central and northern Rajasthan districts of Sikar, Jhunjhunu, Churu, Nagaur and Bikaner.
An alumna of Ajmer’s Sophia School, Farha opted out of a coaching institute she joined in Delhi.
“I feel coaching is a waste of time. I realised that in a month and ejected,” she says.
In 2007, Jaipur’s Aslam Khan became the first Muslim from Rajasthan to get into the all-India services. She is posted as the additional deputy police commissioner in Delhi.