I was standing on the top floor of the R-Mall. Everything seemed to be clear; not just the crowd around and below me but also my past, 22 years of my life ……

and my future. In about half a day, I would be joining Larsen and Toubro Limited. I was thinking about it and everything was crystal clear: the day my school teacher said – “the country needs people like you”, the day I stood in merit, the look on my parents’ faces then, the days of the INMO training at the HBCSE…… I had been a merit ranker, an olympian (as my friend used to put it); a winner, a winner for 17 years of my life. And then something changed.

Not suddenly, or I could make it out. They (rather, I) say – you lead life holding a string in your hand. Sometimes there are different paths leading from the string. They lead to different events in your life. In fact, the strings lead to major events in one’s life. (All strings do not end at destinations; they end at death. But it is the path that decides one’s life and not the destination of the path) When there are multiple strings attached at a single point, we make a choice – the choice of deciding the string. Some people call it destiny.

My destiny has taken a U turn. I cannot decide at what point I chose the wrong string, but something is missing. There is something wrong. Is it the time I chose to go all the way to SIES? Is it the time I lay sitting studying for the JEE? Is it the time I chose VNIT? Is it the time I chose VNIT rather than drop a year and study at some IIT? I cannot say. But something is amiss.

I decide to choose the right string now (going back to the point of choice in the past was what I wished for, but that is beyond me) But which is the right string? The one which passes through LNT Powai? Or the one that goes all the way to the US? Or the one wherein I become an MBA, earn for 20 years and then retire to study and teach mathematics? Which is my string, my destiny, my future?

How do I decide? I need time, man, some time. How much – I cannot say. 15 min to decide the future, 1 day to decide for LNT, 3 months to prepare for the GRE? The best option would probably be that I was at VNIT studying and attending classes but still would end up with 12 free hours in a day. Nagpur, I miss you!

I lay in my bed with such thoughts in my mind……

and the alarm clock rings. Time to go to LNT!

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