Life’s Little Irony
I have always wanted to go to Harvard University, USA, to study engineering and get practical training.
Last January, one day as I was browsing through some magazines in the library, I came across an advertisement in ‘Times’ magazine. One Mr. Potter, a multi-millionaire, had bequeathed a sizable fortune instituting scholarships for training young Indians. All the courses taught at Harvard University had a valid scholarship.
My heart palpitated. To me, it seemed a godsend proposal. This advertisement was just meant for me, I thought. I was elated. I requested the librarian to give me the application form attached to that advertisement.
That day while going back home, I felt the bus was not moving fast enough. I wanted to fly home with eagle’s wings. On reaching home I rang up my father immediately and gave him the good news. He also became enthusiastic. That evening there was an air of celebration at our house. Amidst all this joy, I filled up the form along with my certificates and mailed it the next day.
I started preparing arduously for the entrance examination, TOEFL and the aptitude test. I called on my old professors, sought their advice, borrowed reference books from the library and met some old friends who had already appeared in such exams. I burnt the midnight oil regularly, missed my meals sometimes, annoying my mother. I had stopped taking part in any entertainment, I did not even participate in the cricket matches of our college. I read the newspaper thoroughly and gradually gained conviction that I would surely be chosen.
One month passed and during that month, I had studied very hard. I eagerly waited for the postman every day but to my disappointment, no reply came. My enthusiasm was decidedly on the ebb. My interest in studies also declined. Then one day, six weeks later, I received the much-awaited letter from the Dean of Harvard University. I tore open the envelope with great expectation.
Alas! all my dreams were shattered. I let the letter fly from my hand and stood motionless. The Dean wrote that the scholarship was not meant for Indian students but for the original settlers of America, the Red Indians. I had had all my troubles for nothing.