A student’s reality check

I sat with a pen and paper and wrote down my problems. Problems with my father, problems with my mother, problems with my boyfriend, problems with my friends, and at the end I came up with 35 problems.

Khushboo, 23 years, Student, Ahmedabad

Interviewed by Anuj Khurana

When we interviewed you on parenthood, we realized a lot of other things were bothering you. So what’s going on?
I am the eldest child. My father is 53 now. He is a contractor by profession. He can’t do too much running around now. I feel so bad…Do you know what are our fees? It is 2 lakhs per year just for me. And my sister and my brother are also in similar fields. My parents need to spend so much on education so I try my best not to be a burden on them.

For the last 6 months I am earning money through photography. I don’t know how I am making ends meet. You know, when I was relying on my parents for money, my monthly expense was 13,000 rupees, and now I manage my expenses within 5000-6000 rupees. I don’t ask for money anymore. My father is willing to give me money, in fact he forces me to take the money, but I don’t. I try not being a burden on them.
Another thing is I am dropping out of college. I am not going to continue. It is very depressing. I can do so much in that time.

Have you shared this with your parents?
No. When the right time comes, I will. I have studied enough. I have been doing a 3-year course for five years. The college has been flunking me so I think it is practical to be an entrepreneur and work with my boyfriend. His dad is a builder; we have worked out a plan. Right now I am earning money through photography. My boyfriend has money crisis at home so I am not letting him ask for money at home. I am managing for both of us and I am paying EMI for the laptop I bought couple of months ago. Until now, I was responsible only towards my family. Now there is my boyfriend’s family I feel responsible towards.

About 2-3 days ago, I was thinking I am not the same girl I was before. I was a free-spirited girl, I used to go anywhere, and wear whatever I like. I used to go to CCD, Crossword…I love reading, and I love books. I made a three-feet revolving book rack for my books, but I told my parents to take it away because I didn’t have the time to read books.

Is it tough?
Of course! I am constantly looking for work since I haven’t established myself as a photographer yet. I want to work, but my parents don’t know I have stopped studying. They don’t know I have dropped this semester. They think I attend lectures. It is very depressing. I think I can do so much beyond studying.

What would you do earlier that you don’t now?
I have lost so much…If I sit down to remember what I did, I go like, “shit I used to do this, I used to do that.” There is so much I used to do that I don’t do now. In the middle of the night, I used to take my blanket and go out to wake up people sleeping on the road. It made me happy. Now I get so tired, I go to bed by 11.I used to go out to take pictures at Law Garden in the hope of finding some love birds, and capture some cute moments but now I am so wrapped up mentally with other stuff…

Don’t you think this will only get worse with time, and perhaps you should set aside some time for yourself? Are you taking life too seriously?
I have been doing this from the start and I think I have lost many things. You know my impression about people is that they think I am so perfect. I can’t make mistakes. And when I make mistakes, my life gets screwed up. Just 2 days ago, I was thinking about my problems. I was very depressed. I sat with a pen and paper and wrote down my problems. Problems with my father, problems with my mother, problems with my boyfriend, problems with my friends, and at the end I came up with 35 problems.
But somewhere I do care about what people will think of me if I don’t fulfill my responsibilities. As I talk to you I realize I should not think about people. I should just throw the world in a dustbin and live my life.

(ALSO READ: A Father’s Worst Nightmare)

What does love mean to you?
I don’t understand that word right now. I am managing so much and because of my schedule and responsibilities I have completely forgotten that word.

How about love for your boyfriend?
He always tries to protect me. He knows about my likes and dislikes. Just today he took me to Crossword so that I could relax. I went crazy at the sight of so many books. He is very supportive. He is the best part of my life.

So support means love to you?

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Categories: Education

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