It was 2015 when I got the year back in my Engineering. The situation back then was not like now. VTU used to announce results without any delay on time. So it was holidays, and I was enjoying vacation and waiting for results. I honestly thought I would fail in 2 or 3 subjects and get entry to 3rd year of Engineering as I had no critical subjects. Because having backlogs became a matter of fact and I was not worried at all.
But that didn’t happen.
VTU gave me a sweet surprise, and I got the year back with a whopping eight backlogs.I felt sad and fainted, just like anybody would have. So what after getting the year back? That was the first time I ever got failed. I was shit scared. I couldn’t sleep the whole night. How many days can you hide it?
Told parents about my results the next morning, dad didn't even utter a single word. Mum was scolding me. Maybe he was scared that I might commit suicide. I got a bit of relief as dad was calm and not mad at me.But he wanted to listen what my HOD say about this since he had no idea about this “YEARBACK” scheme. He took me to college, and we went to HOD office. Though I never got close to my college faculty, I thought nothing bad would happen as they had no idea about who I was. Because I never attended any of the events organized in college like college day, ethnic day or fest or blah blah blah and also irregular.
As soon as we entered the HOD office, he understood why we were there in an instant of time, and I don’t know what rage he had on me, he asked my dad
“Inthornella enakri karkond bartira engineering ge, sumne dudd waste, hogi enaadru kelsakke haakolli”
Translation: Why do you people bring these type of guys to college? Please make him quit and employ him for some other work.
Dad was shocked to hear that, he thought I had some good impressions from my lecturers at least. Maybe HOD was frustrated about everyone’s results as most of the students got the year back at that duration, and I was Bali ka bakra.
HOD started to show my attendance, and obviously, I was not that regular and one of the lead bunkers of class. Hmmmm now dad is angry. After some chit chat with him, we came to home angrily, and he started to scold me. Because now he was sure about my future that nobody would hire me and my whole career was gone. I knew what was going to happen next. Both mum and dad would involve me in daily therapy sessions and do mangalarathi. Since I had no wish to stay in the home for the duration of one year, I rejected the whole year results straight away and took the re-admission to 3rd semester.
Well, that was such a bad decision, because most of my friends suggested me to study in home and write backlogs subjects at the end of the semester so that it would be just eight subjects instead of 16 subjects from 3rd and 4th semester again.
But I didn't wanted that.
Just to escape from the reality of one-year long vacation, I made this choice. And this opened the door to hell later. Just keep reading. From the beginning of engineering, I had very very very fewer friends with whom I used to talk due to my introvert nature but now its time:
*To sit with juniors whom you never know.
*To get mocked by lecturers as a role model of failure.
*To get scoldings every day from parents.
*And Most importantly everyone will start noticing me because I’m a year back student.
Initially, I thought I could get away somehow with all these, But slowly I started to realise that I fell into a trap by taking re-admission. Studying same subjects again from 3rd and 4th semester though I already passed half of the subjects! Duh!
Sitting with juniors whom I never knew! They would inevitably look at me like a real loser. What a humiliation! All these insane thoughts started to haunt me in real time.
I felt, worst days of my life started. I never wanted any of these. I cried when my father made me join Engineering. I never wanted to study this. I wasn’t interested. Because I liked arts too much. Distinction in SSLC made them trust in my academics so much and push me into the science stream and later this Engineering.
Let’s get back to classes.
Even though classes began for 3rd semester, I felt too bad to sit with juniors. As classes started to get on the phase of routine, slowly I began to bunk those readmission classes too. Because I was frustrated and not in a situation to sit in class and listen to those lectures anymore. Travelling 70KMs a day from home to college alone became a big burden and I started to get stressed out.
Wake up at 6:00 AM
Leave home by 06:45 AM
Reach college by 08:30 AM
Spend time in classroom or friends PG till 04:00 PM
Come home by 06:00 PM
Go to bed by 11:00 PM.
Keep thinking about the things which can’t be undone whole night.
Mentally I just wanted to put an end to all these. Coming to college alone started to be a real torture, and Engineering classes became the worst thing which could happen to me in my whole life. I used to have nightmares, Like, getting failed again and again and all my friends used to laugh at me. Different dreams every day. I was tired of interpreting them. Some dreams used to lift me up and some made me lose all my confidence and took me to rock bottom. Day by day I started losing my patience and began to think where it wrong and then comes a day of getting into depression. Most of my friends near my home got passed and went to 3rd year. Whenever someone asks me which semester you are studying in, I used to get confused and lie them. Then come home and feel bad about it and thinking about the ways of getting out of this mess.
I didn’t want to study these subjects anymore. I was so tired of all these preachings and scolding every day. Nothing hurts more than that moment when you are being compared someone with your ability. What worse could happen?
Dad and Mom used to mock me every day and compare me with my neighbours. Mum was tired of washing my college uniform again and again it seems. Obviously, they were worried about my future. Because we weren’t THAT RICH to make a living without a degree. Bro understood the situation at home, and he used to score not less than 90% throughout his academics including engineering. And here I’m, totally messed everything and couldn’t even pass subjects with just 35. All my relatives already started to laugh at me; they used to say that
“Tamma enu prayoyajana illa, Anna sari chenaagi odtaane, chikkonu bari hoda putta banda putta.”
Translation: He is literally of no use, his brother is very good at academics, but smaller one simply roam here and there
Even mom used to say that I failed whenever someone asks about my current semester. Relatives, neighbors, and whom not? Only dad was maintaining a secret that I got the year back without telling anybody.
Despite all these drama and frustration, slowly I started losing interest in studies. Scoldings from parents became a hobby, and I started to get used to it. Initial days I used to react and say something against them because I felt I wasn’t wrong and this circumstance which I’m fallen into happened without my consent, and they were the real reason for it. That’s how I felt. But after a while, I was so tired of everything and whenever they shout at me and say something, I felt like I’m a real loser and I started to give up. The worst thing which can happen to you is this, losing your courage to face the odds and accepting that you are a loser and nothing but a piece of trash.
I never had a slight idea that something like this would happen in my life. A guy who was enjoying his life playing GTA and watching funny pranks on YouTube got the year back, and everything is changed now. I had no idea why people were mad at me. Maybe they thought I’m simply pushing days without doing a thing and burden to my hard working parents. I started counting days. I was waiting for exams to fail again so that my parents would somehow make me join some other courses considering me as I’m truly unfit for Engineering.
And meanwhile, I had lots of time. Read it months. Since I took readmission, most of the lecturers who used to teach me the previous year were asking about the PROGRESS now and then and warning me about the situation I was facing. They continued with the syllabus.
I didn’t care.
Even after considering myself as a loser, whenever I was alone late nights, I used to sit and think, am I that bad? There was something in me, which used to whisper that good day ahead, and I badly wanted to prove to everyone that I don’t deserve this torture. I badly wanted to show what I’m capable of.
I had no idea.
Suicidal thoughts were as usual at circumstances. I even confessed my brother that I would commit suicide as soon as I saw my results. But what happens after death? I love my life so so much; I love my parents and bro, I have no idea about getting a rebirth. I’m a guy who loves this life so much, and I just don’t want to die.
All it would take is 5-10 seconds to end a life. But nobody can undo it. Thank god I didn’t commit suicide. Maybe I was afraid of death. Meanwhile, I was stuck in financial crisis. I used to ask my parents money whenever I wanted. But the situation has changed, and that’s not the case anymore. Even for 5-10 rupees, I started to starve and ask my friends. How many days can they give you? Even they started to ignore, and I began to understand what is happening around. Money was playing an important role everywhere.
You go to the hotel- You pay, you get food.
You go to store- You pay, you get things.
You go shopping- You pay, you get clothes.
The list goes on.
Everyone consider money as a factor to measure your credibility, ability and reliability. I thought I should make money. No matter what, I should make money somehow. There must be a way.
I had no idea.
The only thing which was in my mind was that I wanted to make money. A lot of it. So that people would start respecting me. Kinda cliche. But all I knew was how to make Maggie in 2 minutes and eat it in 60 seconds. As I told earlier, I was an amateur guy who was enjoying his life without any kind of interruptions with zero skills. But I badly in need of money. At least 50-100 rupees to balance the expenses.
I started to research seriously with my old class blackberry. Started digging out Google, though I found some guides, those seemed like too complicated for me to understand. When I was browsing Facebook, I had seen some groups before, where people used to sell one-time passwords for 10-20 rupees for different apps. I thought to give it a shot and started to join those and sell OTP’s. I had 2-3 SIM cards, and I started making some 50-60 rupees every day by selling these OTPs and sometimes learnt how opposite party is making money using these app rewards.
That was like an oasis in the desert.
Earning 50-60 rupees per day made me feel that I’m not that useless and It filled me with little confidence. I thought let’s make it in large scale and bought 20 SIM cards by collecting five identity card from friends. 1 ID card for 4 SIM cards. I started to make real money now. Not thousands apparently. But every day 100 to 200 rupees depending on app offers and OTP buyers. While doing all these, I was still feeling so sad, and for 100-200 rupees I had to change SIM cards all the time and work whole night to get buyers. Sometimes I used to work till 2:00 AM searching for buyers.
How many days can I do this?
Even if I make 200 rupees a day, it would be 6,000 rupees per month. Yeah, that sounds good. But does it worth it? Nope. What can I buy in that 6000 rupees? I became tired of it so soon. This can’t be done for a long term. I understood that.
Then comes a black hat method of making money.
Since I started to know how these apps work while rewarding for refers, one of my friends created a simple PHP script, and we made over 6,000 credits in a single night from done things app. After that day got a call from the company for fake referrals and also a case from cybercrime.
Dropped the idea of making money using black hat methods that day itself. So did their case. They forfeited all referral credits, and we gave out a vulnerability. So I was back to my previous situation. But I had saved few thousands. I wanted to do something using my calibre and full potential and using the money I had as an investment. While doing these app loots and OTP deals, met a guy named Rupinder who just started his website in 2014. And his age was just 13. He suggested me the same and asked me to buy hosting and domain, and he will teach me what to do and how to set up a website. Well anyhow, I had nothing to do other than this OTP crap.
I had already started saving money and thought let’s invest in this because I badly wanted a change in my routine. But I had no idea about on what topic I should start a website. Since I was clueless, the first thing which came to my mind was VTU, so this university ruined my life. So why not start a blog on this and provide study materials to all students and help them pass?
Great idea though.
We bought a domain named VTUsouls.com and set up everything. He taught me what is Wordpress and what happens at the backend and introduced to some of the groups where they share paid courses for free of cost to help other bloggers. So now I have got some serious stuff to do. It started. I pushed books away. My hands starting clicking keyboard to explore the world of websites.
I started to love it. The concept of the website was so fantastic in my opinion. With just a click of a button, you can express anything to the whole 7 billion people via the internet. I started to learn things from my heart. I used to work on VTUsouls till 2 to 3 AM in the morning writing posts and doing search engine optimisation. Because I loved it. Experimentation and applying your knowledge in practical things was the key source in SEO.
It didn’t work in the beginning. It took me months to rank well in search engines. I worked for almost a year without earning a single penny helping students. Because I knew that hard work pays and helping someone is worth doing without expecting anything in return. Search engine optimisation became my passion. Playing with Google algorithm and understanding how they are ranking websites opened me the door of wonders. Later learnt how I could make money with websites by monetising it and got Google Adsense publisher account approved.
That moment when Google sent a letter to verify the pin! I felt like I was working for Google. Developed many sites for small-scale companies and schools. Money started rolling in. But still, my parents were mad at me. They had no idea what I was doing. They started to think that I’m addicted to mobile and begun to scold me more. Well, I didn’t care. Because I had a path in front me. I just wanted to run and run to reach my destination. It wasn’t easy to rank in the top for VTU in search engines. There were hundreds of websites targeting vtu results, and vtu souls were not even in top 100 sites even after three months.
It took me one year to rank, and Since I started to optimise VTUsouls properly for search engines, traffic began to flow. And I began to make some money. This motivated me even more. Built some niche sites and made real cash. This time, not hundreds. But in thousands. I also started to write content for other blogs and learnt the in and out of digital marketing world. Meanwhile improved my fluency in English. Became a good writer for many tech projects and concentrated entirely on this. Though I made lakhs from all this, there was something waiting for me.
Two backlogs from the 3rd semester. Three backlogs from the 4th semester. Whoa! Shit. A year back again?
My parents, they were not angry this time. Because they felt it was their mistake to make me get into engineering. They finally realised it. And dad didn’t say a word, and they knew that I would secure my life in another field. Bro suggested to quit it and do something else. I had nothing in my mind except my blogging. I wanted to quit it.
I don’t know who suggested my dad regarding this revaluation thing, he just took me to college and applied for all five subjects. I was damn sure. THAT IM NOT GONNA PASS ANYWAY.
Continued my work silently.
Revaluation results announced: I was passed in FT.
24 to 35.
I had No idea how the hell I got 24, but now35?
So classes again! But this time, all my crew was back at bay. All of my friends who got the year back got entry, and they made a separate class for us. Good old days were back! And I started to study now to clear those backlogs. Successfully cleared two critical subjects.
Still, I have five backlogs.
Two from the 4th semester.
Three from the 5th semester.
Nothing much has changed.
*I used to make 1000 per month back then, and still it’s 1000 per month. The only difference is 1000 rupees to 1000 dollars approximately.
*My parents won’t scold me now, they adore me just like how they treat my bro.
*Dad started to trust in my career and before he used to scold me whenever I open a laptop. Now he will sit beside me watching a real time of my sites.
*Mom used to scold me before, but not now. I get whatever she wants.
*And hey, there is an iPhone6S in the place of blackberry and notebook is replaced with my iPad.
*Every month there will be a payment mail from Google.
All the previous days just flashed through. Felt like penning this down. For a second, take a deep breath and think. I never started to work to make money. A pure thought which originated to help students is making money itself on automation.
That’s what I call a fruit of passion.
*Plant a seed called an idea.
*Pour a water called hard work.
*With the sunshine of love.
It will grow.
It will become big, and gives you fruits for life :) I know this might not be an achievement, Money just may be a piece of paper. Even if it’s just a 10K per month, I would still do what I’m doing because I have a self-satisfaction. I’m working on improving myself and my skills. I’m boss for myself, and I’m not working as a slave for someone else from 9-5. I’m happy about that. Never underestimate the power of the failed student. We might get the year back academically. But we can achieve things. Better than a topper. And I will be looking after my friends who scored FCD’s and mocked me for not studying well. Let’s see how well they do with their life. I’m curious as ever.
Remember this all the time.
Let them judge you.
Let them misunderstand you.
Let them gossip about you.
Their opinions aren’t your problems.
You stay kind, committed to love, and free in your authenticity.
No matter what they do or say, don’t you dare doubt your worth or the beauty of your truth.
Just keep shining as you do.