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Window of opportunity


“Dear, Opportunity spells like O P P O R T U N I T Y. Please correct it. Else, your answer is correct.”
“But sir, I strongly feel it’s O P P U R T U N I T Y. How about seeing the dictionary?”
You had smiled and taken out the Oxford English Dictionary from the stack of books and handed it over to me. There wasn’t a hint of irritation or disgust on your face. I looked through the pages and tried to find my triumph in it. You were watching me calmly and my friends were silently criticizing me for my audacity to challenge a teacher. That day I proved myself wrong and you proved that scaffolding is the best teaching method.
There are a few words which deeply impact our lives. During the half yearly exams of Class 10, an OPPORTUNITY landed in my mother’s hand while visiting a relative’s marriage. It was an opportunity to grab a secure future for her child. An application form to appear for RRB exam for selection of candidates in Vocational Course in Railway Commercial (VCRC). After completion of 2 years of Senior Secondary Board exams, these selected candidates were to work for Indian Railway as Booking Clerks and Ticket Checking staff. Normally, children are expected to draw an imaginary future projections for themselves as soon as they complete the standard 10th board exams. I had none. I only aspired to wear a suit someday. This opportunity changed the colour of the suit. A white astronaut suit was accidentally churned into a tumbler filled with blue dye and it emerged as a blue Booking Clerk suit.
One of my VCRC friends stated that his was not a case of natural selection. But, mine was. Initially when I filled up the form I thought, not everyone clear an RRB exam so easily. I have seen one of my elder cousins struggling to crack dozens of such exams over years without much luck. Moreover, selection procedure in Railways was tainted with rumors of corruption. When I was called for the interview, I had faith in my introvert self that I won’t be able to hold my nerve in front of so many unknown faces and answer their questions properly. And yes! please don’t get the wrong idea I am introvert not proud.
Few months back when my family was struggling with finances, I had prayed to GOD to help me. Clearing all the stages of RRB confirmed, GOD listens to my earnest prayers and resolves them at lightening speed.
When I met the other time traveller for the first time at Rourkela Booking Office, a doubt surfaced my mind, “Is he also someone whose prayers were misunderstood”? The excitement on his part was due to a chance meeting with another VCRCian.


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