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The Midnight Call

By Hiral Kothari

I can only hope that no-one goes through the same gloomy path that I went through. But this is impossible, I guess. Once you board on the plane to reach the planet Earth, there is no ease in your endeavours till your last breath. When I was young, I heard it right. Life is a roller-coaster. As true as that is, so is the fact that it is not for a cow-hearted. And its not that you will not survive the ride, it is just that you will not enjoy it and would be miserable.

The reason why I painted this weird picture as prefatory, is because I hit a reality patch a few weeks ago. My name is Jerry and this is an anecdote from my life in my 20s. Late at night, I was swotting my tax lectures and preparing for my upcoming CS Professional, when suddenly, my mobile rings. Its my best friend; Tom. He says, “What’s up dude? What is going on?” As I start to ramble upon my stress for completing the course on time, in the flow of the conversation, we switched from CS to our individual futures and then, to the marital phase.

Oh my God!!! It suddenly struck me hard that by the time I complete my Company Secretary degree, including the on-site training period, I would be 26 or maybe 26 and a half. When am I going to talk big bucks then? Were would all my dreams of becoming a successful corporate go? When would I be able to support my annoying little brother and payback my father, the education loan as I promised I would. It seemed as if all the dreams would be languishing in some dark corner of my brain, because being the daughter in a conventional Indian family, I would be heading towards the sacred institute of marriage by then.

If I talk about a woman in general as a person, in an ideal world, it would be just; an uncomplicated life. Live and let live. No responsibilities, no pressure to rise to family’s expectations, no worrying about the possibility to lose one’s independence, no anxiety to lose one’s freedom. But head up people! This is planet Earth, and fortunately, my existence for the last 24 years has been in a place called India, where the conventional life phases are never simple, expectation less or less dramatic.

Oh, by the way, the collywobbles do not end here. I am a law student, if I forgot to mention before. A carefree law student in her final year, who, firstly, did not take the placement procedure in college seriously. Secondly, I have no impressive GPA, to brag about. No connections to college clubs and absolutely no certificates in extra curriculars. And yes, of course, no first-rate internship experience.

It is not that I did not have a plan, but just that I was naïve to think that my plan was actually, a “PLAN”. After the horrifying experience in lockdown period, numerous people got comfortable at home and free and easy regarding their work and career. I consider myself the queen of that kind. I thought to myself, that there is no need for me to sit in the placements and waste time, instead, I would concentrate on clearing my CS professional and complete the degree. And by the time, I have BBA/LLB and CS with me, I would apply for the job. But as I mentioned, by then it would be too late.

Being a home person, I was unaware of the difficulties in securing a good job, especially, with the kind of resume and experience I had. It may not seem so, but I was clueless. Completely covered in dark. Interestingly, the irony is, dark emotions never dwell in dark environment literally. You can easily be sitting outside on a bright sunny day and still feel lost in dejected pitch-black thoughts. On serious terms, I would have never considered depression as an original state of mind. But now I do.

I would be sitting in my bedroom and living room at afternoon and still be oblivious of my surroundings. Just the thought that my friends have already got a job and are going to be independent soon, thrashed me hard mentally. But a girl’s got to try. I prepared my resume and cover letters and send it to almost every litigation and law firm that I came across. I would send desperate messages to my friends asking for leads and vacancies. I would have welcomed any kind of legal opportunity with open arms then.

Days passed by, weeks passed by, but there was no reply. Every single day, hours were devoted by me, in search of work, internships, just any. As time passed by, my spirit of hope dwindled. I started losing sleep. At nights around 4 a.m., I woke up to my worst nightmares and stress for future ventures.

And then, merely after 16 days, since this pressure train begun, I got a call from one of India’s leading litigation firms. “Am I speaking to Hiral Kothari?” the lady spoke. The moment she said that she was speaking regarding my internship, there was a smile on my face, so big, that it could not be accommodated there. A mixture of a lot of emotions, fear, excitement, nervousness, was blasting off like a volcano.

I got engaged in the process of moving to Mumbai for the internship period. I started looking for nearby cheaper accommodations, booked train tickets and obviously started preparing a list of the things I would be requiring in Bombay.

In a nut shell, it was just a short snippet of how I got my first break in the legal world. I feel I faced the dead end and yet somehow figured how to work around it.

But the learnings from this short phase is the crux. Probably not the most unique lesson but something that affirmed my faith in the saying- “Keep Going.” During this period, I researched on the legends who never gave up even in the harshest conditions. I came across the basketball champion, Michael Jordon. The man who missed more than 9000 shots in his career, who lost 300 games, who missed the winning shot several times. Nevertheless, he proudly says, that he failed over and over and over in his life, and that is why he succeeded.

Another marvellous learning that I added to my experience basket, was the fact that it is impossible to live without failing at something. That is why, do not think of the large picture, don’t think about where you are going. Pull yourself together, and just take a step again. Make it excellent. Then take a step again and make it excellent too. Before you know, you would be striding through an excellent journey.

By Hiral Kothari

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UK patel
UK patel
Jun 27, 2023

Amazing 🤩

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