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I do not know at what moment I decided that I wanted to pursue a doctorate. I wanted to be a hardcore journalist. But fate had other plans for me. During my master's course, I did not once give a thought to further studies. I was very certain to take up a job like any other post-graduate. It amuses me that when we are in college we are dying to jump into the professional world though when we actually land up there; we wish to return to the world of studies. The story of me doing Phd is not at all usual. I come from a field where academics is not taken very seriously. It is all about learning on the job. I always found myself disagreeing to this view. I felt theory was as important as any other training or internship that you did. When I studied the basic fundamentals of research in my subject, it was a pleasure to know that so much more still lies to be explored in it and more and more professionals should engage themselves in research in the field. After finishing my Master's exam I tried my stint at giving the National Eligibility Test popularly known as the UGC NET which is conducted by the government for providing scholarships in research and eligibility in teaching. Before appearing for the exam, I hardly had any idea about it. I did not even know why I was appearing for it. I just knew that I had to do something after getting my degree. I couldn't sit idle. It would not sound good to my friends, family, classmates and in a recession period it was tough to get a job. So, the NET exam gave me the way out. I told people around me that I was preparing for it. Only I know the truth though. It is an exhaustive exam that lasts almost 8-10 hours. You pour your 2 years of study effort into it. It is know to be tough nut to crack. Nevertheless I was not bothered as I was supposed to be giving it just for time pass.

But incidentally this time pass turned out to be a decisive point in my career as well as my life. To my pleasant surprise I cleared the exam. I must thank God for it. Because clearing such an exam in the very first attempt added a lot to my merit and can be called a lifetime achievement. I realised that putting it in my profile would be a booster. By that time I had realised that I could not be a hardcore journalist because my interests lied somewhere else. I realised that teaching and academics could give me more satisfaction than writing for some newspaper. I think I took the right decision. Though its a sad fact that very few people from my field opt for a full time academic career. I visualise that in a few years from now, the need for mass communication teachers would be overwhelming.

Its been an year now that I cleared the exam and I am still hung into doing PhD. Some logistic problems let me down. But I was determined not to give up. When God closes one door on your face; He does open the other one. More so when you are determined. Inspite of limitations, you can always explore the choices and get your way. If someone would ask me to synonymise the word PhD...I would say its patience. If you are patient, you get through this 3-4 years of research. If you are not, you get stuck and might even have to leave it in the middle. Thankfully, my own experiences taught me a lot before I began my PhD and this has made me only more determined to complete it at any cost. I beleive that the pure joy of doing a PhD (for those who want to pursue it seriously) is not just attaching a doctor in front of your name or merely getting a higher qualification to get a safe academic job...the joy lies more in doing good, quality work in your own name! A work which you own and for which you are responsible. A work which you create and shape. A work which adds to your knowledge and a work through which you will in some way contribute to the knowledge in your field. I think nothing can be more gratifying!!!

Now that I am about to begin my PhD formally in a short while, I hope God bestows me with the right amount of patience and perseverance to sail through it!!!


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