“The movie Taare Zameen Par is one I hold close to my heart, for it unfortunately resembles the majority of my childhood. I was born into a humble, middle-class household, where studies were always the focal point. The problem, however, wasn’t with the learning but with the Indian format of education with score-centric examinations.
I would study extremely hard but still ended up failing a lot of my tests, and this went on for years. It spiralled down to the point where I was eventually recommended to consult a psychiatrist. That’s where the doctor diagnosed me with ADHD and mild Dyslexia, which eventually became the breeding ground for many struggles.
I had teachers constantly deem me unfit for their classes, while relentlessly suggesting that I switch over to a special needs school. Of course, their persistence worked and my parents gave in. Fast forward a few years, I hit an all-time low in the new boarding school I was enrolled into. The teachers there saw me unable to cope with the curriculum, and would beat me mercilessly during my time there. Days felt like years, and I still remember weeping to my mother daily, pleading to her to get me out. While my journey there lasted only a while, the scars I accumulated were enough for a lifetime.
From there, things took a positive turn only when I was shifted back to Chennai, this time into a more inclusive institution. Here, I had some wonderful teachers who guided me throughout. They even recognized my knack for debating and gave me the opportunity to participate in an elocution competition in Germany. The event proved victorious and so did my efforts thereon. I went ahead to complete an internship for the German government, finish a Visual Communications degree from a good college, and even get accepted into a Master’s degree of my choice with a 50% scholarship.
This is not to say that it’s been a smooth ride since. In fact, I had deeper troughs alongside these highs, but what mattered more to me was pursuing the things I believed in. Most people today are in awe of all that I’ve achieved. Now although that might seem successful, to me the real victories will be where I impact other kids going through a similar struggle. After all, life’s all about making a difference isn’t it?”