I was a high schooler, until suddenly, I wasn’t.

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1:00 pm

7th May, 2017.

Oh well, no mathematician could explain, 3 hours= 4 years. Fair enough.

And trust me, I ain’t the only one. It’s a tradition.

I pinch myself. I’m done. But wait, not the end. It’s just the beginning.

 

Fast Forward.

28th May: I hammer out AIIMS-UG, AISSCE results out.

5thJune : JIPMER written

10th June: JIPMER Results out

15th June: AIIMS-UG Results out

23rd June: NEET-UG results out

The dates in between:11 engineering entrances, it’s results and the associated mishaps.

Medical entrance results: qualified all.

Future? All at stake (unless you have/get a guaranteed 99.9999999 percentile)

Couple of days into the India-wide chaos of rights,quotas, domiciles, study periods, eligibility criteria and by now, my Foggy Dream of Medicine …. I start Internet-ing (Not just google-ing).

Quite some amount of ground work (because ain’t someone who’s going to sit legs crossed) and all geared. Geared to fight the country , to fight myself, to fight my passion.

10th of July

Bags packed,tickets ready. All set for the first outreach.

Boarding 5pm, meeting the evening amidst the clouds. Didn’t pre-book my seat and there I landed between two pot-bellied men. The song topping the charts no more pleases my ear, tired of staring at the Indigo Fortnightly magazine in the ‘seat pocket in front of me’, boring fellow passengers and a 15 minute long turbulence.

Pretty good start, I land at Indira Gandhi International Airport.

[For the ones reading this article, I’m going to be your tour guide. Not just through my counselling process but through our Incredible India]

So, Welcome to the land of  pure North-Indian culture,street-side golgappas,big-fat weddings, to the capital of India, NEW DELHI.

Bad networkjam and I’mstill at IGI.Airport Wifi to the rescue. Document verification schedule of NEET for Karnataka downloaded. Checking my date,15thJuly.

With an unstable ground under your feet, even a 5-star room gives you no solace. Sumptuous meal and stay at Aerocity.

Destination :Agra

11th of July

Good Morning Delhi (:

Dutch pastries and Ola Outstation for a 3.5 hour journey to a boiling Uttar Pradesh. Heading straight to Govt. S.N. Medical College. I’m here for DOCUMENT VERIFICATION for admission to MBBS/BDS courses at UP through NEET 2017, I see huge crowd. Oh there’s a NEET hoarding over the gate. As I climb up the distinct smelling stairs and make way into the hall where ‘parents are no more allowed’, I find myself among 4 police and 1 NEET official. Followed by which, I show my UP registration-slip, NEET Score Card, ID particulars. Sign a sheet and I’m guided to a hall. Enter and have a pleasant seat among 300 odd people who have no idea what went on in the room.

2 hours in the queue, make some temporary non-domicile friends, get my verification done, catch a few glances at me “what’s she doing here, all the way from Tamilnadu?” type. Given a ‘DOCUMENT-VERIFIED’ slip. God, I’m done.

16:15 by my watch, the heat is scorching but not going to miss a view of the Taj. The memoir of love is a sure visit, I must say. 7pm already, Dad is busy finalising our next day schedule.

We’re flying to Kolkata tomorrow, next Document verification there.

Driving down to Delhi, as we cross Safdarjung Road, I see the mighty AIIMS New Delhi(a childhood dream of every Indian pre-med student). I am at the Hotel Café surfing the Net. The application forms for West Bengal is out today and I need to register to get an early date for doc. verification. I require two important certificates before I proceed. A domicile cert. and a Medical Certificate. I read the entire prospectus of NEET for WB. I download the proforma’s of Domicile Cert. ,Med cert. coz I need to get them ready once I land in WB.  I login to WB’s mcc site and register myself , pay fees, and I receive the date of doc. verif. as 14th.

Simultaneously I get all the ID particulars and printout of application-form ready for Karnataka (we had to be there on 15th).

I check the MCI website, tomorrow I need to lock my choices submitted for All India 15% and Deemed seats.

12th of July

12:10pm

Flight lands at Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata.

Sit at the airport, lock my All India Choices. Head to the District Magistrates’ office. Get my certificates attested.

14th of July

RG Kar Medical College

4 hours in the queue, document verification done.

Catch the next flight.

Next stop: Bangalore

 

15th of July

KEA Office, Malleshwaram.

Over 1 lakh students.From 8 am to  9 pm. Sitting by the streets,I now get to go in.

Nice 13 hour queue.

 

16th – 19th of July

I’m at home. Sitting in front of my laptop , viewing continuous lists of names in & out.  Not a single positive stroke for now.

21st of July

I am at Patna. Last hope, like people say.

14 hours in the heat and crowd ,my turn comes. Get in to find ZERO SEATS in the preferred college. What do I say?

Dad and I walk out. Run to catch the last flight to Delhi. Just to have a peaceful night’s rest.

1st week of August

Choice fillings, results for all India seats going on side by side. 2ndround , nothing upto now. Offline submissions done for TN and CENTAC counselling. UP seats lost due to payment of Rs. 2 lakh well in advance(even before I get a seat).

 

14th of August

Kolkata Medical College.

Mop up Counselling. Costs me a whole day in the queue along with 2 lakh other people.

Before my turn comes, closes at AIR 50,000.

By now, even feelings were no more.

16th of August

Again, I am at Bangalore for the manual counselling.

Testing my luck.

Nah, not this time.

 

26nd August

TN counselling kick starts. With the hope to fight for the private seats (apparent non-domicile even after life-long study here), I leave for Chennai.

Dr. MGR Medical University.

I am in the line to get my eligibility certificate. As I stand there with an almost shattered will, someone calls me: “No. 289! Come in please”

I come out with it and my phone beeps,” Results for All India Deemed University Counselling Results out.” As usual, having lost all hope, I open the list , to my not-so-surprise I find my name. I think my nerves had stopped sending signals to my brain by then. Even this didn’t excite me the least bit.

The inertia of failure had sent in so hard, trust me, I felt nothing,

 

28th August was the proposed last date and my TN counselling was scheduled for the 30th. Either leave the only option and wait for the maybe, or otherwise .

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7th May 2018.

I’m in my hostel room , with my cup of coffee and Norma Basalis staring at me. One year later and I’m on the other side of the story.

Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute , Pondicherry.

Yes, I’m living my dream. Yes, it’s MBBS.

I own my deserving seat and as a General Category, No Quota, No domicile applicableIndian, I’m amongst the top 60,000 students in the country pursuing this esteemed course and  I’m pretty proud of it.

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India tour? Well, it was one. I have successfully amounted to a huge profit to the Indian Airlines’, painful WAIT that I could only share by words and a JOURNEY that will never be forgotten.

Let’s say it wasn’t just a counselling to get into medicine. It was a counselling process for Life.

Take- Home message: It’s not always a tough process but IF IT’S FOR MEDICINE, IT’S WORTH THE CHASE !

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