The Turning Point

It was my Mom’s decision to send me to a School in Puttaparthi. She, being an ardent devotee of Bhagwan Sri Satya Sai Baba, always dreamt of sending me there. Whenever we visited Puttaparthi, she used to look at those children longingly. She was awed by the discipline and the atmosphere in which the children grew. It was absolute divinity and their faces glowed in that divinity. She wanted to see that glow in me.
I wasn’t as devoted as she was. But I wasn’t against going to that school. The only problem was that I would have to stay away from home. I knew that we weren’t financially well off and that Mom was struggling to make ends meet. My schooling was very costly and if I went to Puttaparthi, since the education was free, it would lift off a huge weight from her hands. And so, I agreed to go.


I needed some last minute things and my parents went to buy them. They came back, we spoke for a while and in the veranda of our school, my new school, we parted. I still remember turning and just walking away. I didn’t turn back, not once. It would hurt her more than me. I walked up those stairs until they couldn’t see me anymore. I don’t know if she expected me to turn around. I never asked. I knew that she would cry. But it was a while before I knew that she cried all the way back home.
I remember how scared and sad I was. Each hour seemed like years to me. I remember thinking;

A day is not over. How am I going to live here for 2 years?

After a week, I remember saying;
It has been only a week. I have many more weeks like this to spend here.
Somehow, 2 years passed. All my friends had decided to join the sister institution for their degree. I wasn’t sure of what to do. This time, my Mom did not say anything. They said it was my call. I could go back home, do degree elsewhere or I could continue there. And I made my decision.
That was the bold step I took. I decided to continue my studies there. It was the best 3 years of my life. It wasn’t a co-ed, it wasn’t a college with occasional strikes, fights or ragging. It wasn’t a college were we bunked classes and went for movies. It was different. Many wouldn’t understand, but you can enjoy a college without any of those cliched elements.
This place truly changed me. I was basically a fun loving and jovial person. But I had suppressed that part out of fear of being teased. It wasn’t necessary anymore. Here, I was accepted as I was. I changed from that shy, timid and scared little girl to a strong opinionated person. I wouldn’t say that it was extremes of a change, but it was quite visible.
We were purely driven by the Love for God. Our days were packed with studies, prayers and activities that we did not have time for any worries or fears. We were allotted to rooms on random basis. When I went to my room on the first day, there were 2 Telugites, 2 Nepalis, 2 Keralites (including me) and 1 from Jamshedpur. Every room had a mixture of 1st, 2nd and 3rd years. We were cared for like little kids. There was so much of warmth and love, and soon our room was known to be the noisiest, funniest and happiest. 🙂


There was no reason for fights or ego. Region and language did not matter. Time just flew by and within a year I had made some good friends. By the time I was in my final year, I had so many responsibilities, in-charge-ships, too much to study, too many things to organize, I had begun to voice my thoughts. I had become more open, frank and was willing to face situations with my head held high. The best part was, my friends were agreeing with the tiny rebellions that I was involved in.
I realized that I was barely accepted in my school when I was a child. It might be because of the complexion or the weirdness. I tried a lot to fit in and finally gave up. It was different here. I was myself and they liked me that way. They thought that I was humorous and fun to hang out with. They taught me that I did not have to ‘try’ to fit in and that I could voice my opinion.
At the end of my college life, I finally had some friendship memories that I cherished. With the newly found confidence I stepped into the ‘real world’ and sure enough my outlook had changed. After this experience, the graph has only gone upward. I discovered more about myself. Most importantly, I realized that being accepted isn’t important. What was important was being yourself.
Now, when I look back, I realize that it was the first bold step I took. The one that changed me from the person I thought I was to the person I am today. 🙂
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  1. christybharath

    It’s amazing how decisions that seemed difficult end up being the best parts of our lives 🙂

    1. Ranju

      And funny how we try to avoid such difficult decisions 🙂

  2. theonlysup

    someone who doesnt accept you the way you are will never accept anyone else the way they are . so yeah be yourself however corny it sounds .

    1. Ranju

      I agree completely. It just took a while for me to realise that. 🙂

      1. theonlysup

        And look at u now. U have grown into a confident talented girl.

  3. parulthakur24

    Lovely post and these are called decisions that shape us and make us who we are..

    1. Ranju

      Agree Parul. Thank you 🙂

  4. ANooP

    Lovely post. It’s really hard to move away from home the first time but then I longed to live away from my family, for the want of freedom. Apart from the food, I was happy at the hostel.

    1. Ranju

      Oh yes. I have longed to stay away once in a while too. After experiencing the freedom and fun, sometimes I wish I could go back to that. But ultimately, home is home and nothing can beat that,. 🙂

  5. Keirthana

    Nice post and the step you took was really great to hear. I always loved hostel life and the freedom it brought with it. I started hostel only when I went to college and enjoyed it fully well.

    1. Ranju

      I agree Keirthana. Hostel life teaches us a lot and is actually fun. 🙂

  6. dilip

    I am so inspired to read how you honored your mom’s wish and stayed on course with determination. And now you are an accomplished and confidant young lady. Wish you all the best in your future too. Cheers Ranju 🙂

    1. Ranju

      Thank you Dilip 🙂 Well, Im still in the process of being accomplished.
      Cheers! 🙂

  7. ShethP

    Aw, am glad everything worked out so well for you. 🙂 Sometimes, I feel it would be so much easier if all those clichés you write about never existed.

  8. Vaishnavi Rao

    Dearest sister(this would make u go back to those days), after reading this blog, this very moment i miss our heaven ATP so much that i fall short of words to express. Thank u so much, coz i relived so many memories through this 🙂 Sairam and sister love to u 🙂 <3

    1. Rangelz

      Sairam sister, I am glad that this stirred so many memories. I am always afraid that I’d lose those fragments of memories that I save from our Atp days and these write ups could remind me about them down the years.
      Now, I realise it could remind many others too. I am planning to write more about ATP this year. Thank you for the encouragement and that personal note on Fb. 🙂

  9. Akshmala Mengji

    Sis may I know which batch u belong to??

    1. Rangelz

      2006-2009 batch. You? 🙂

      1. akshmala

        2012-2015 🙂

  10. Ganesh sai

    I have studied two years in the divine institution for my 11th and 12th.. I think that was the best decision I hav made in my entire life! Now I’m again coming back for mba to sssihl and want to regain that divinely experience. Its not just abt college and academics.. its a lot more about friendship we receive from one another in the hostel.. I guess it makes sense now that EACH ONE LIVES FOR THE OTHER AND ALL LIVE FOR GOD!

    1. Rangelz

      Absolutely Ganesh! When we narrate our experiences to people outside, they think it is only academics and discipline. But we know it is much much beyond that. This is one institution where students become indisciplined because we are running after God. The feeling is, one of a kind that no one but us understand.
      You are very lucky. In fact I feel teeny bit jealous that you are going back. Enjoy those years to the fullest. Thanks a lot for dropping by and for the kind words.
      Sairam 🙂

  11. Rangelz

    Absolutely. No matter how hard we try to avoid those strange things, they happen and soon we realise it wasn’t what we feared 🙂

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