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Saturday, 13 December 2014

How I conquered my fear

It was my last year in college. I was very happy. I was not happy because I was passing out. I was happy because I had been offered the job of  an anchor for a news channel. It was a glamourous job.

I passed the general knowledge test conducted by the channel. I was called for the screen test. Layers of makeup were poured over my face. After a wait of half an hour I was summoned in the studio room. The cameraman asked me to speak something. I spoke a few words and he adjusted his equipments. He told me that he had locked me into a frame. He asked not to move and remain within the frame. I read the news on the scroll.

After eagerly waiting for two weeks, I received a call stating that I had cleared the screen test. I was summoned for the final interview. The channel had also offered me return air ticket for the final interview. My joy knew no bounds. I was so close to my dreams. My friends were more than happy that they were going to see me on television.

I flew to Hyderabad. I went to the sprawling office of the channel. The panel comprised of three men. I entered the interview room after seeking the permission of the panel. The moment I ensconced on the seat, the panel asked me if I had a degree in journalism. I said no. The advertisement did not say that a degree of journalism was a must to apply for the job. I did not say the same to the panel. They asked me if I had given a screen test. I replied in the affirmative. That meant the interviewers had not even seen the screen test. Time and again they asked me if I had a degree in journalism. If I recollect correctly they asked the same question thrice every time differently worded. They asked me if I was ready to sign an agreement whereby I would bind myself to work exclusively for the channel for three years. I politely said no. Then came the most important part of negotiation. The pay check. They asked me what was my expectation with regard to the salary. I quoted the figure which I had in my mind. They offered me peanuts in turn.

I returned home. I was in a fix. I did not know what to do if I was selected for the job. The job was glamourous. But I was offered peanuts as a salary. Moreover I was required to stay in Hyderabad. That meant there was no scope for career growth. Had it been Mumbai, my career would have grown by leaps and bounds. I remember I had sleepless nights that week.

However, the call that was expected never came. What came was the time-table for my final year examinations. I was so busy with channel interview that I had little time to study. The examination was just a fortnight away. I was afraid that I would fail. The fear of failing in the examination was eating me every moment. I was an intelligent student. My failure would be a biggest blot on my career. Avoiding the fear was the only solution. So I decided that I will not appear for examinations that year. I decided to drop out from the exams.

However my decision did not go well with my mother. She asked me to appear for the examination and write whatever I knew. She compelled me to do so. I wrote the exams reluctantly. The anticipated results gripped me with fear again. The results were declared. I had passed with flying colours. I had learnt an important lesson of my life. You can conquer fear only by facing it point blank and not by running away from it. 


  1. True, we have to take fear by its horns and deal with it openly! Glad you did just that!

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