Almost four decades ago, in a sleepy town of Haryana , a boy was born in a government hospital on a pleasant day of October whom the parents lovingly named as Aditya. While undergoing his graduation , my father who had a great interest in Vedic scriptures ,happened to come across one gentleman , Prof. Aditya.He got so fascinated by the name that he allocated a kilobyte space of the brain to this name for his would be son after the marriage. And rightly so , I too am proud of this name given by him .
Growing in the era where Black and White TV was the only colour of entertainment and the apparently boring classical melodies were played and enjoyed by all the elders in the family together. Another bulky piece of pride occupied the centre space of the house which they used to call the radio to tune in to get the hourly update of the news. Once in a while , some friends of my father would bring in a mini version .. pocket transistor whenever Indian test cricket team used to don the white uniform and play.While the khadi kurta pyjamas were seen glued to the radio , the back pocket of the jeans used to carry the pocket transistor as a status symbol in the bus stops and railway stations . But one thing remained common ..the audience around will meekly go mute whenever there used to be disturbance in the frequency signals and the only one whose auditory wavelength matched with the broadcaster , was allowed to stick his ears close to the speaker . Once the noisy signals settled ,he would announce loudly the missed speech after which the crowd around would either go crazily wild or go mute with a loud “ohh”.
Our playstore to download the games would be the cemented floor where we would draw the Ludo , tic – tac – toe or even the boundaries of all athletic games lovingly with a white chawk or a piece of red brick .Our “Subway Surfer” would be the real railway tracks and the underconstructed buildings would be a perfect spot to play hide and seek games . The “ Candy Crush” would be an ice-cream vendor of the street who would leave only after getting the tongues of all children laced with the shades of orange , mango and chocolate with his colourful candies .The family vehicle would be a two wheeler where a family of “Hum Do Humare Do” would very happily be accommodated . The technology grew rapidly and faster than the rate of my height gain in adolosence .The sheets of innocence and bliss of ignorance soon were shed and the clothes of ambition and desires were worn as I entered adolescence.
The obsession with the field of medicine and engineering permeated the entire generation of parents and kids alike . I was more inclined to the humane touch than the fascination of the machines, still I appeared for the multiple entrance exams of both these fields for the graduation course.I must have scratched the entire grey mater of my brain in these exams but the results showed me lagging behind by a couple of points in each exam .
Then a stage came when only one exam in each of these fields were left for that session. I took the first of these exams for the engineering graduation with little hope and preparation . I went so unprepared that I didn’t read the instructions given and arrived at the examination hall with a coloured ball pen instead of the desired lead pencil . I was stripped of my colourful possession at the gate and took the seat in the examination hall practically empty handed . While the students around me got busy scribbling soon thereafter , I managed to convince a fellow sitting next to me to break half of his pencil and share it with me . His half broken pencil proved a lucky charm to me as I got ready and took the driver’s seat . I safely negotiated all tricky turns and twists in the questions and steered my way ahead of all others in the final mark sheet once the results were announced in the newspaper .I had made it.As I rushed through the corridors of my house holding the newspaper and announcing wildly , all my enthusiasm evaporated as my eyes caught hold of my father’s mood in the balcony. He muttered.. “ I always wished to see you as a doctor”.
That very moment I realised … Sadness is more infectious and happiness has little immunity . As one dream castle was broken , I must build another with the only last chance left .I didn’t join the engineering college with the offer letter in my hand . I was ridiculed by many for the stupid decision .I had to prove my worth now for the bigger task . I literally burnt the midnight oil and the Sun was visible only at the dawn and dusk as I slept the lion’s share of the daytime . The only light apart from my table lamp to give me company was the refrigerator’s door light . I needed to munch something after every hour of mental exercise .I owe all my hardwork to the absence of smartphones those days . My face used too be buried deep in the books till the dawn – after which it rested on a pillow till the dusk. After many of these facebook sessions – the D day arrived when I had to appear for the last medical entrance examination of the season.
I clearly remember I had to take the exam in two sessions separated by the lunch time . I had done well in the first part and was getting focussed for the next one when some suspicious looking guy approached me and my father and offered some help in a hushed tone.I got up and moved away but my father got interested to know that his associates inside the examination hall would assist me in lieu of money. Before the man could go any further , I shooed him away from near us.In the ensuing conversation between me and my father , I told him I had full faith in the Almighty and don’t want the strong buildings on the weak foundation .
He turned his face away from me , but not before I could see tears rolling down his eyes ..those were the tears of a father’s pride for his son , I realised immediately and I have to respect the worth of those pearl drops throughout my life.The days rolled away in the sweats of anxiety and the results were announced before the full moon could turn into the last quarter crescent. I had bettered all my previous results but could just manage a tie with the last seat available securing the same marks as him . I lost the tie on the age criteria and as the top 70 students of the state were picked from a list of thousands and given the entry to the medical college .
Ironically, I finished as the first in the list of unsuccessful candidates. I became the subject of ridicule in my city as I had surrendered my entry to the engineering college earlier and had missed my ticket to the medical college. But strangely , I was not shattered . I gathered myself and slowly started padding for the second innings the following year . But a divine voice kept reassuring me . I would very vividly visualise myself sitting in the auditorium of the medical college , donning the white apron , studying medicine with my friends . Something , somewhere I always had the feeling – if not me , who else ? Though I joined coaching classes for the next season, I had this constant delusionary feeling of my name entered in the register of medical graduates. Strangely , I had grown more faith in the divine power while I kept preparing in full swing . The days rolled into weeks , weeks rolled into months and months into the year , the divine voice inside hadn’t dimmed even a few decibels.
As the brochure for the next season examinations was to be announced a fortnight later , a strange news arrived . As the Govt of India had announced a nominee seat in each of the medical colleges , this seat was left unfulfilled by the university authorities inadvertently last season . Out of the blue ,they decided to rectify the mistake and gave me a call to join on the condition of a lot of paperwork signed by a number of government authorities within two days . The list of documents to be signed by the snail paced government officials translated into a month’s period . The divine forces kept me and my papers alive and a strange dramatic turn of events saw all the government officials involved signing the volumes of papers within a day .
We rushed to the medical college a 100 miles away riding a two wheeler with all the necessary documents and submitted on the forenoon of the last day allotted and after scrutiny of all the files , we were asked to deposit the fee for the previous season .
The currency notes were getting wet by the tears flowing from my eyes as I counted them at the counter and deposited with the cashier . He counted them all, got up from his seat , spent few minutes in the cupboard behind him and came back with students register of the previous season .He took the sparkling ink pen from his pocket and saw the father – son duo hugging each other across his desk as he entered the last line with my name in Bush script MT – Dr Aditya Rattan.
The SECRET of Rhonda Byrne was revealed to me that day in 1992.