At 58, I’ll finally fulfil my dream of studying Law!
At 18, she dreamt of becoming a lawyer, and after overcoming several hurdles, she will finally fulfil her dream at 58. In a month, she’s officially going to be an LLB graduate!
“When I was a child, I was average at studies, but my innate desire to excel in whatever I do never wavered. While my father wanted me to become a doctor, I dreamt of becoming a lawyer. But, when the time came to pursue my dream, things changed at home. My father turned into an alcoholic and the financial situation at home worsened. So, I decided to pursue English literature in the hope that my improved proficiency in the language would help when I’d pursue Law.
With time, circumstances changed at home and by the time I was in my final year, my mother wanted to marry me off. However, I was determined to study further. To do that, as soon as I graduated, I moved to Vellore for further studies as a 21-year-old. I enrolled for a Masters in Psychiatric Social Work because if I’d chosen to study Law, I’d have to stay back in my hometown. While doing my PG in social work, I came face-to-face with the harsh realities and I realised I wasn’t cut out for social work so I discontinued the course.
However, leaving the course meant going back home, so I decided to stay back for more opportunities. As luck would have it, my friend encouraged me to pursue a Secretarial Course in Chennai that’d guarantee employment. It turned out to be a good decision because I did manage to get a job after completion of the course and worked for four years in Chennai before getting married at 27. It was a love marriage, and my husband & I relocated to Dubai but soon, unforeseen circumstances in my husband’s business forced me to return to Kerala, my home state, with my kids. Relocation with children without my husband was painful but I had to do it for my sons’ education and their future.
Growing up two boys alone is difficult, but I stayed strong. To create a study environment at home, I would sit and read with them when they studied and soon enough, it became a practice. I revived my love for reading that my father had instilled in me as a child. In a few months, I developed an interest in psychology and hence, enrolled for a long distance PG Diploma in Psychological Counselling at the age of 42. It was a unique experience, studying at this age and giving exams… while it was challenging, I passed with good grades and that strengthened my resolve to keep learning! It opened up a whole new world of opportunities to me and encouraged me to pursue another course in Psychology at a University.
That’s when my children reminded me of my dream to become a lawyer. They pushed me to resume from where I had stopped… and while my children always supported me, my husband was a bit wary because he came from a different background and didn’t understand my desire to educate myself. However, seeing my kids support me wholeheartedly, he came around, too.
Next thing I knew, I was enrolled for a full-time LLB course. Learning at the age of 52 was a completely different experience for me, what with keeping up with court work, managing college and home simultaneously, working hard on assignments, and what not! Life happened, and I faced several hurdles, but despite everything, I managed to complete my course, with just a few theory papers yet to be cleared.
Those hurdles only encouraged me and my resolve to study law was strengthened even more. Today, at 58, after years of hurdles and breaks, I have cleared all the papers but for the last one. In October 2022, I’ll be a law graduate! While I was average in my capabilities, I always worked hard to achieve what I wanted to, and that has paid off!
Humans of Bombay is all about bringing you extraordinary stories of ordinary people. On World Literacy Day, we bring this story to you with the hope that it inspires you to follow your dreams, no matter what, and not let the hurdles get to you! If you’d like to read more such stories, check out our book and dive into the diverse tales of a country with billion beating hearts!