I am Rupsa Roy, currently pursuing my Master’s at the Department of Statistics and Applied Probability at the National University of Singapore. I am living my dreams and following my passion.
Through this story I attempt to articulate how I grew out of my comfortable cocoon and walked into becoming an independent woman. I was born and brought up in the City of Joy, Kolkata, India. Being the only child, my whims and fancies held parlance in my house and I was royally pampered while growing up. Although, the protective guards would shield me from the ‘bad world’ as I was warned at every step. Everything was going fine till I graduated from high school with flying colours and entered college. I graduated from the University of Calcutta, which still had the yearly examination basis at that time. And yes, .it was just two days prior to my 1st year final exams that I was informed that my mother was diagnosed with stomach cancer at its 4th stage. I was eavesdropping a conversation as it was not a suitable time to inform me. On the eve of my exams, my parents, accompanied by some relatives took off for a month-long treatment of it to Mumbai as it was acclaimed to be the best cancer hospital. I was made to stay back with my grandma and cater to her needs. Undeniably, the news had taken a toll on everyone, especially my father, grandma and maternal grandparents were left distraught. And the exam? Well with a supportive familial structure, professors and peers I could gather some strength and give them. Meanwhile, I saw my mother’s health deteriorating with passing time. The wheels of time seemed to get rusty day by day for our family. We all had our own battles to fight and it was tougher for all of us to even glance at her with all the IVF stands and rice tube dangling from her nose. But she still smiled and hugged me every day despite the unearthly pain. Those eleven months were not easy for any of us and I gave my final exams amidst it all. She was no more, she left us and that’s when I saw my father break down for the first time in my life. I think it explained all that each of us went through. Still, life had to go on. I knew I had to stay strong and focus on my remaining exams. I tried to distract myself from any negative thoughts. I visited my grandparents, spent time with my father and grandma, while I struggled with my career and the aftermath. By God’s grace, everyone’s support and my will power, I was able to graduate with a first-class honour and finally, after coping with many other uncertainties, I applied to NUS. The overwhelming joy and pride in my father’s eyes made me feel like a winner. I remember how pursuing my Master’s here initially scared me and simultaneously held me in awe on exploring the campus. It felt surreal, a new experience and to be honest I felt quite alienated until I came to know some people and made some friends. Right from 12th of August when the classes began until now, I have enjoyed and learnt so much. It was never easy to head home for the first time, in a new country and come to terms with how I should grow out of the comfort zone. I see myself now as a grown-up woman who can independently take charge of uncertainties. Also, apart from the wonderful academic modules offered at NUS, I’ve learnt the art of coping with life unhesitatingly and undeterred. My message to the grad society: 1.) There is no one dearer and more valuable than your parents; they are the reason you are here today. So, make them happy and proud always. All they need is you by their side. 2.) Each challenge is neither the first, nor the last challenge of one’s life. The tougher the challenge is, the more satisfaction you get on conquering it. So, remember that no challenge is more powerful than you.