Saturday, May 3, 2014

In An Instant

One second.

That's all it takes for your life to change.

For the weight on your chest to dissolve, for that choke-hold on your windpipe to loosen, to drop out of the paralysing limbo between will you and won't you and let gravity take you down, down, down... to reality.

For once, not the grim kind.

Yes, I have good news! The scream-out-loud, oh-my-god-WHAT-IS-AIR kind of good news.

For a person who posts at least once a month, I have been noticeably absent from the arena for some time. Well, the culprit was an entrance exam I'd been preparing for - the Humanities and Social Sciences Entrance Examination (HSEE), on the basis of which students get selected for the Integrated MA (English/Economics) course at IIT-Madras. The exam was held on April 20th... and ever since, well, I've been a wreck. A well-disguised wreck, though.

*Elsa voice* Conceal, don't feel.

After nearly two weeks of nerves, panic, freaking out and generally curling up into a ball like a terrified porcupine - with brief Zen moments of relax, you'll be fine and even if you won't, you can try next time - the results came out yesterday. The actual announcement date was supposed to be 14th.


8th RANK. I got in with a freaking 8th rank. I got in.

I will spare you all the typographical variations of the same words, even though that's what it feels like - like every cell, every pore in my body sounding akin to a broken record, varying in frequency and volume. I got in. I feel like I've been doused in a bucket of cold water. I feel everything and nothing all at once.

This is too good to be true.

(Which is why I'm opening the PDF for the umpteenth time, to reassure myself that my name is still on the list, it hasn't been magically wiped off, and it definitely isn't a one-month-late April Fools prank.)

I can't believe this. I'll be moving to Chennai in a few months.

Wait, what? I'll be moving to Chennai in a few months? Oh. OH. Oh. 

One second.

That's all it takes for your life to change.

For the weight on your chest to solidify, for that choke-hold to return with even greater force, to be paralysed again, to drag yourself on, on, on.... only to arrive at a crossroads.


  1. Congratulations on your selection and wishing you the very best for your future.

    Keep Writing.



  2. Congratulations Zain!!! :D
    Keep writing and scaling heights hon :)
    All the very best :)

    -Suhana :)

    1. Without you, this wouldn't even have been possible. I owe you everything. Thank you, hon <3

  3. Congrats Zainab and wish you all the best in life and in the hereafter. What course will you be joining to? English MA?

    1. Thank you for your wishes and prayers :)

      Actually, for the first 3 years, we'll be studying both English and Economics, after which the class will be divided into two based on internal assessment, our own aptitudes and the remarks of the faculty. I'd (obviously) go for English!

  4. Congrats Zainab.. :) and all the best.. Keep writing.. :)

  5. congratulations!! and best wishes :)

  6. Nice work Zainab...keep wishes..