I had just completed my M.A and B.ed.,degrees and took a teaching position in a local school. I always wanted to go to England to study. Financially I was not solvent to be able to study there.
My only hope was to see if I could get a scholarship. I was never sure it was possible to get one. I did not stop dreaming. One day I was reading a newspaper which I did frequently to look for opportunities to get a better job or maybe something about scholarship. I was very secretive about my quest, one my colleagues may discourage me or if my siblings found out they’d make fun of me, these were the two things which stopped me from telling anyone.
To my absolute joy I found exactly what I was looking for. The British Council was offering scholarships to study in London,England. I was happy I’d get a chance to apply. It didn’t mean I’d be successful. I was told there were thousands of applicants. Out of that number, they pick only one thousand. I was getting this news from my colleagues who knew nothing about my application. They may have suspected, I certainly was tight lipped about it.
My secret did not last long, the secretary called my principal and told him I was selected for an interview. He of course wasn’t thrilled to know this, he discouraged me,he said they (the school) was planning to send me in a couple of years. I told him it’s only an interview it doesn’t guarantee anything. Inwardly my joy knew no bounds,I was cautiously optimistic and that was all.
On the day of the interview I was nervous, I sat outside the door of the conference room and wondered what kind of fate awaits me.When I was called in, I walked in slowly, I could feel my heart beating, I was told to sit,which I did. There were about seven gentleman sitting around the oval table. I must have looked somewhat puny in comparison to them.
The barrage of questions started ,I could barely answer one and another one was asked by a different person. This kept on going for at least thirty minutes. When they told me that was all. I couldn’t imagine what the verdict would be. I was glad to be out of that room . I tried to take my mind off from this interrogation and consoled myself by saying, not everyone is lucky and I certainly could not count myself as belonging to that group.
My luck ran out when I lost my Dad at age twelve. My mother always encouraged us to be optimistic. It was probably why I applied for the scholarship.
Two weeks after this I received a large envelope from the council,I was afraid to open it first,then I said to myself, maybe they’ll say they are sorry they couldn’t select me. When I opened the envelope, the tickets fell out, I could not believe I was selected. Next few days were spent getting ready. I did not mind it, it was the best day of my life!!