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Life doesn’t end if you don’t get 95%, you can still study in DU, reinvent yourself

A 63% in English in CBSE’s Class 12 is not the end of dreams. A model, jewellery designer and writer writes about survival and living a fulfilling life

education Updated: Jun 23, 2017 09:27 IST
Nikita Chawla
Nikita Chawla
CBSE Class 12,CBSE Class 12 Board exams,Delhi Admission
Be patient if your scores aren’t close to 90% and wait for second or third cutoffs of colleges. Chances are you will get a seat . Ensure you continue to follow your passions through your college years and lay the foundation of a fulfilling life. (Sourced)

“Just 63% in English? CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) Boards? Ab kyha hoga tumhara?” Curiosity laced with generous doses of sympathy poured in from all quarters as I numbly stared at the computer screen looking at my Class 12 Board scores from Delhi Public School in Vasant Kunj. I had written a book in Class 11 titled Tiger Boys Don’t Cry, a collection of short stories against animal abuse, had been the editor of the school magazine, columnist with an international pet care magazine. What had gone wrong?

“Looks like her hi-fi English didn’t pay off”, was one comment. “We told you! Improve your handwriting,” was another one. My heart sank with every passing comment from friends, teachers, relatives, uncle and aunties of the colony and people who hadn’t called me in years. Suddenly everyone developed a morbid interest in my life and the number of calls I received surpassed even the ones I got on my birthday! My future was doomed and the atmosphere at home definitely was as gloomy as a funeral house.

In the words of my classmate whose sentences in English sounded something like “ I has been to market,I came on car” ,“I freezed and didn’t knew where I will gets admission.” Even he had scored a 79 and I couldn’t look him in the eye for the longest while. I gave my paper for revaluation but, as expected, nothing happened.

I planned to pursue a bachelors in journalism and there was an entrance exam for the top five colleges in Delhi University (DU). However, they had a base criteria, 65% in English (Oh! The value of 2%)!

IIT,IAS,FRCS,MCH.I come from a family of super achievers with fancy degrees and, needless to say, great things were expected out of me. My self esteem was in tatters and I contemplated going abroad to an average journalism college to salvage the same.

However, instead of going into panic mode, I waited patiently and soon managed to get through to Gargi College. Then when the Jesus and Mary College second cut-offs were announced for political science honours I migrated to the latter. Not getting the desired course and college was a setback but I did not let that define me.

I worked on myself in the three years at JMC. I interned with TV channel CNBC under well known journalist Shereen Bhan, worked with HT City as an intern covering Page 3, continued to freelance as a writer, worked with local NGOs (It helps if you want to pursue your master’s abroad), honed my skills as a speaker in the debating society in JMC and organised the college fest in my senior year. I used the three years to work on myself. I cleared another level of German from Max Mueller Bhavan. After graduation I did a master’s in journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication,Delhi. A foundation course from the Indian Institute of Gem and Jewellery led to my own jewellery line.

Life has been pretty good, I have networked to seek work, which has led to Scoopwhoop videos, public service ads, ads for brands such as Nokia and Urban Clap, modelling for online clothing lines ,fashion shoots in national magazines such as Womens Era, Femina and Grihshobha. In fact, my first assignment was a shoot where I posed for my own jewellery line. They wanted certain pieces of jewellry for a shoot and chose me as the model.

I came to realise that in the larger scheme of things what matters is the effort one is willing to put into forging themselves.

So finally kya hua humara? I became the Jill of all trades, and master of some.

Long story short, I not only survived but thrived . You will too.

The author is a jewellery designer, model and writer.

First Published: Jun 17, 2017 15:47 IST