XII changed my life. My dreams washed away like waves on the sea shore. I did not score well to secure a seat in the Medical or Engineering colleges in Gujarat.
I remember this verse from the Bible when I was upset with my XII score, “Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.”
At college, I was popularly known as “Einstein”, apparently because of my fascination with Physics.
I used to go to the library regularly. I never studied subjects related to my course. Most of the time, I prepared for the Medical entrance exam but in the final days, there was a clash between the BSc and Medical entrance examination dates. I risked losing a year, which I didn’t want to take. At the last moment, I made a turn around.
To make up my lost time, I did combine studies with my college friends. Time was precious. With so many subjects to study, I studied previous years’ examination papers. When the results were declared, I was pleasantly surprised to score first class. Praise God for that.
I started attending the Mount Carmel Ashram, a Catholic Church, near to our colony. Every Sunday morning, at 7 am, I would attend the mass. I liked the Catholic Church service more than the Jacobite service. I loved the beautiful worship songs by Nuns. It was during this time, I started reading the Bible.
In the Second year BSc, 1996-97, we had Chemistry and Maths. I didn’t pay much attention to my studies, thinking there was much time to prepare, but it was a costly mistake. I scored only 52% in the second year.
In order to join MCA or MBA, I had to score atleast 60% in the BSc final year.
In the BSc third year, 1997-98, we had about 7 papers in Physics. I remember studying at the Hansa Mehta library. During this time, I started preparing for the MCA/MBA Entrance examination using the IMS coaching materials. In the BSc final exam, by the Grace of God, I scored 62%, because of which I was eligible to give MCA/MBA entrance test.
During my college days, I used to visit the Shrine Church, once a week, at Fatehgunj, and pray there in silence. The church was located at a serene place and was open throughout the day. Anybody could come in and pray silently. Before appearing for exams, I used to do my last minute study there.
It was during BSc final year, Princes Diana and Mother Teresa passed away.
I remember a 3-day crusade by an American preacher at the Polo Ground in Baroda. Thousands of people had come for the meeting. There was a man, who couldn’t walk, brought in an auto-rickshaw by his family members. At some point of time, the Hindu fanatics, VHP/Bajrang dal, started to disrupt the prayer meeting. They came on stage and attempted to attack the preacher. People were instructed not to panic. Later, police took control and arrested the trouble mongers. The meeting ended before time, with prayers for sick. Few people came on stage to witness the healing miracle. The subsequent, second and third day meetings were cancelled at Polo Ground, instead they were held in a Christian School compound at Fatehgunj. I attended the meeting both the days. There were truck loads of security personnel. It was during this meeting, I received a Prayer Request card with Name, Address, and Prayer details. I wrote my prayer request, for admission in MCA course, and gave it to an Usher. That prayer request card changed the destiny of my life. It went to Pastor Babu Samuel of the Sharon Pentecostal church in Fatehgunj. Seeing the address, he visited my house and prayed specifically for admission in MCA in Baroda itself. Mom and I were impressed with his prayers.
I also remember attending a crusade in Ahmedabad, by Brother DGS Dhinakaran. We attended the last day meeting with Subodh and his mom. Although, they came from a hindu background, they had a great respect for Brother DGS Dhinakaran. On the day of the meeting, there was a huge crowd of people, probably in lakhs. Most of them were non-believers. Brother Paul Dhinakaran first shared the message, followed by Brother D.G.S Dhinakaran. He called out names of the people during the prayer time. The atmosphere was charged with God’s power. After the service, there was a beautiful Alleluia song by a choir of 100-200 people.
I remember the day when I gave the MCA entrance test in the M.S University of Baroda. It was a highly coveted course in 1998, with only 35 seats available, out of which 25 were for General Category.
On the day when the MCA results were declared, I was in my room, with my face on the study table, in a very somber mood. At that time, Deepak Gupta came to our house and shared the news that my name was shortlisted for MCA. The news was like an oasis in the desert. I went to the college to confirm. I saw my name, listed third in the list. Praise God for this miracle I also passed the MBA entrance test that I gave in Ahmedabad but I decided to join MCA.
To be continued….