January 6, 2005

Ashwini and IDP

Ashwini, third and most important – who materialized my dream which
otherwise would've remained as mere dream. This is actually
interesting part. After deciding and choosing Australia, my biggest
worry is Money! I am damn sure that if I was not given a scholarship –
there will be no one to help me in reaching out. I wrote in my
personal notebook, 'my immediate dream is to get admission in an
Australian university with full financial aid – only air fare should
be from my expenses.' (I will show you, if you want! Then, I broke
into steps – how to go about). Everything fell in place at the right
time – Interview with Australian professors – so, I handed over my
applications with them – not even spent a paisa for postage ;-) –
getting the desired IELTS score – 7.5 well almost 8. I was reluctant
to do MS by research – as attend classes – write exams – forget and
enjoy holidays – was my usual mantra! So, I applied to Melbourne,
Queensland for MS by Coursework. I mentioned MS by research at Univ of
Adelaide. I pinned my hopes on UniMelb (MS by research as first
option, coursework as second option), who mentioned I just fell short
in meeting the criteria for making it to MS by research. Queensland
offer mentioned about 26 lakhs fees for 2 years. Adelaide, also
mentioned the same amount in the offer letter. Only silver (or
Golden??!!) lining was – Adelaide was considering my application for

I would've been the first to close the file (at IDP), if I had not
asked the advice of Ashwini. I would know, no one of my relatives or
my father are in a position to sponsor - forget the studies.. not
even my travel ( I can't blame them, I have been working for almost 4
years – I don't have savings either!). I said 'it's tough Ashwini,
forget it'. I didn't ask any bank, didn't fill my PVA form, with so
much reluctance – I asked her to withdraw my VISA deposit Demand
Draft. Ashwini asked me to write to the universities to provide me a
tuion fee waiver. I wrote to them, got a prompt "NO" replies from
Melbourne and Queensland. I never got a reply from Adelaide, as usual!
Thus, I closed my Australian Dream. I started considering my next
preferred destination, UK. Asish (another 'A') – was my colleague,
decided in a week time – that he is going for study in UK – within a
month's time got his admission, VISA everything – as he had his
sister's (who is living there) sponsorship. I applied for British
Chevening Scholarships 2005. Also, I applied for UK Commonwealth
Fellowship Programme 2005 – which covers tuition fees, living
expenses, travel even cloth expenses! (Only condition is, I need to
return to INDIA once my course gets over – not a big deal – as I am
100% prepared for it – I have dreams for my country too!) I was
confident of getting it through, since Satellite Remote Sensing (a
subject where the images / photos taken by satellite is analysed for
finding out earth's resources for agriculture, water resources
development etc.) was an exclusive category. Expectedly, I got
shortlisted for interview at Delhi on Dec 12th. As I was thinking of
preparing the documents, I got the call from Ashwini saying the good
news – a full scholarship to Adelaide!

I have seen in my life, God opens to me only one door at a time (much
to my relief!) – shutting all other options firmly. I could not attend
the interview, as I had to submit my original certificates here to

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