‘I had spent four years in dingy rooms of coaching institutes’
“WINNERS DON’T do different things, they do things differently.” I blinked my bleary eyes at the speaker, who had been a mentor to many successful candidates of the Union Public Services Commission ( UPSC) examination. As he rattled off clichés from Shiv Khera’s book, I wondered how to implement the already burdened life with virtues of patience, perseverance, and determination. A blow of hot air landed on my neck. The person behind me had exhaled deeply, acknowledging the magnitude of the quote.
The hall resembled a stuffed cattle shed, with 150 students jostling for space on creaky plastic chairs. The air conditioner was outcompeted by the determined firebreaths of aspirants who dreamt of becoming the “steelframe” of the country. I told myself I would not let these sub-human conditions snuff out my ambition of becoming an IAS officer. After all, Lal Bahadur Shastri swam two miles to attend school, Dr Rajendra Prasad studied under street-lamps and Madam Curie had fainted of hunger