A Dream Deferred
Hello, I'm Simran. I was born with the aspiration to make a difference in society, a goal that seemed perfectly aligned with a career in civil services. However, life had different plans for me. After marriage, moving to my husband's family home in Old Rajendra Nagar seemed like an ironic twist of fate—the neighborhood itself is a hotspot for UPSC aspirants, yet my dream seemed farther away than ever.
The Wall of Resentment
In a traditional household like ours, a daughter-in-law pursuing a competitive exam like UPSC was frowned upon. "Who will take care of the household?", "It's not a woman's job to get so involved in such stressful activities," were just a few of the statements thrown my way. The resentment was palpable and my dream felt like it was slipping away, until one day, my husband, Ritesh, sat me down for a talk.
A Ray of Support
"Simran, I know you're passionate about UPSC. I can see it in your eyes when you walk past those coaching centers and bookshops. What's stopping you?" he asked.
"It's not that simple, you know how your family feels about it," I replied, hesitant to voice my own yearning.
"And what about how we feel about it? What about your dreams?" he retorted.
Laying Down the Groundwork
From that moment, Ritesh became my rock. We began by setting up a study schedule that allowed me to juggle household responsibilities with my UPSC prep. Ritesh took over chores that he could manage before and after work, and even faced some snide remarks from his family for "letting his wife neglect her duties."
A Two-Person Team
He also helped me sift through the myriad of study materials, online resources, and mock exams. We would have our study sessions, where he'd quiz me on various subjects. Every time I felt like giving up, a look at Ritesh's hopeful face kept me going. He was not just my husband; he became my study partner and my motivator.
Defying the Norms
Though our actions did not sit well with our family, we pressed on. The struggle was a two-front war, battling both the rigorous UPSC syllabus and the conservative mindset that sought to stifle my dreams. But the more I delved into my studies, the more confident I felt about changing the latter.
Standing Up, Speaking Out
As the months passed and my first UPSC attempt drew nearer, something amazing happened. Our family began to see the sincerity and hard work I was putting in, and the walls of resentment started to crumble. Slowly but surely, they began to respect not just my choice but also Ritesh for standing by it.
More Than Just an Exam
The UPSC exams are now just around the corner, and I feel a twinge of anxiety mixed with excitement. Yet, this journey has been about more than just preparing for a competitive exam. It's been about breaking barriers, defying societal norms, and above all, having a partner who stood by me through thick and thin.
While the UPSC result is still an open book, in my husband and our journey, I've already found my victory. Regardless of what happens in the exams, I know I've already won, and I couldn't have done it without the unyielding support of Ritesh.