We two are sisters - Anu and Akku. Oh, Sorry. That's what our friends call us. Our full names are Anushka Bhattacharjee, that's me, and Akanksha Bhattacharjee. Actually Akku is elder to me by two years but we are the best buddies. We have always shared our secrets with one another and like many girls of our generation, we too have Big Dreams. One of our common dreams was to be an IT expert befitting an age which is completely dominated by Science and Technology.
After my secondary schooling in the neighbouring country of Bhutan, we sisters, along with our Ma, came down to our native place, Kolkata, for higher education. My sis has always been a topper. I was also like her in studies till the lower secondary school. Then I was admitted in the high school where my dad was a teacher. Despite the care and support of my friends and the teachers in the high school, I missed my Sis, who, by then had been admitted in a school in Kolkata. Most of the days were so lonely. Dad was engrossed in his own world of studies. When he lost his cool, how terrified I was. How I wished my mom and Sis were there to seek comfort from!
That's how the dip in my performance happened. I had no heart for studies. I missed my mom. I missed my Sis. I couldn't talk to them as often as I liked. On Sundays, dad would let me talk to them through Skype. The mere sight of them made me sick to my tummy. Loneliness was eating into my very soul.
That's when dad started warning me of sending me down to Kolkata if I didn't study hard. My mom had to agree with dad. I was to go down to my home town in July and get admitted in the school where Akku was studying. I can't tell you if the news made me happy or sad. I loved dad but I got frightened when he got into his moods. He was a completely different human then. Anyway, my mid-term performance was a big blow not only to my dad but also to myself as well.
I got admitted in CPS, a reputed school in Kolkata. Though I went for private tuitions, things didn't really brighten up for me. The Maths syllabus was as different as was the History syllabus. There in Bhutan, I had been studying about the Monarchs and their contributions, while in India, I had to study about the Mogul Empire, the British Raj and all. I was so lost that my parents nearly gave up on the prospect of my doing well in the ICSE Board Exam. Surprisingly, I managed to get through!
While on one side, I was making a mess of my life, my dependence on my mobile grew rapidly. Initially, I used to listen to music but later on, I started chatting with complete strangers. The less I talk about those chats with the imagined Prince Charmings, the better it is. Ma started receiving threats from unknown callers. My mobile addiction was the blow that shattered the trust my parents had in me, completely. The more they shouted, the more stubborn I grew. It was on those days that mom used to cry like there was no hope for me.
I have already told you how fortunate I was in barely getting through the Board Exam. My mom's pitiful cries and desperation made me determined to do something positive with my life. There is a saying that goes like: Fortune favours the home-comers. (I know how the proverb goes but as it was a kind of homecoming for me, home coming in the sense that like the biblical prodigal son, I was coming back home by trying to put myself back on the right track. Somehow at around this time, I could make use of an unlimited Wi-Fi connection. How? I really don't know. Perhaps God wanted to be kind to me. I grabbed this god-send opportunity and started solving past papers. I also started searching the net, instead of chatting or fiddling with my mobile, for the subjects I could study in Stadard-XI. I didn't want to take Maths, Physics or Chemistry any more. Nor did I want to have anything to do with History or Geography. My first choice was English followed by ICT. But due to my poor marks in Maths, my desire to study ICT wasn't fulfilled when the ICSE result was finally out. Some people, I guess, learn about Life the hard way! So I opted for English, Journalism, Sociology, Psychology and Nutrition instead. The new subjects are not any less harder. But my determination to work hard has grown over the years. I have also become the family ICT specialist, on my own. I can fix minor problems with dad's laptop or mom's mobile on my own. No knowledge, if you will let me, ever goes in vain.
God willing, I will try to go for a Major in English or Journalism. I'll also do a course in my lifelong love, Computers. I am sure, with His blessings many new avenues will be opening up for me. London, New York, Paris and Tokyo won't be all that distant any more. I will not let my parents or sis down any more. There is a vast, new world waiting for me.