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A Job-seeker's Diary: I Am Worried Sometimes, But It’s Part Of The Process

Man Singh Gurjar is preparing for the Rajasthan Eligibility Examination for Teacher (REET) in Jaipur

A Job-seeker's Diary: I Am Worried Sometimes, But It’s Part Of The Process
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Washing the dishes

As I enter my room, my eyes are drawn to the unwashed pressure cooker. I cooked a potato dish last night. It was tasty. Now it is afternoon but the cooker is unattended, nobody washed it. But I will. When you live far away from your family, you do things as per your convenience. Thankfully, I don’t have many utensils—just a pressure cooker, three plates, five-six spoons, a tawa and a parat (a bigger plate). I have been in Jaipur for the past six years with my brothers, away from our village and our family. I don’t often cook, my younger brothers do. Sometimes I help them wash the dishes. I am older, I can order around. But jokes apart, I don’t dodge my work. Work is work. You have to do it, whichever way you do. In student life, you are responsible for yourself. Nobody is here to care for you. I once thought of hiring a maid, but she asked for a lot of money. So we thought, why don’t we do it ourselves, it doesn’t take much time to cook. But washing dishes is boring. You can’t do it with much interest.

Walking back to library

My room is within walking distance from my library. It isn’t far away. There are various shops and juice corners. Everything attracts me, especially juice. But I don’t often drink juice. It costs Rs 30, the cost of one meal. Why would one spend this much? Once in a while I buy fruits, which is a better thing, according to me. Walking back home, or walking to the library, both are important tasks in my life. Yesterday, I gave two shirts to the washerwoman to wash and press. I generally wash my clothes myself, but I had to go to a function and I didn’t have time. I call that washerwoman bhabhi (sister-in-law), she is very nice. I seldom talk to her as her stall is just outside my home. So, whenever I go to the library or come back to my room, I see her. These are ties you make with people when you are staying far away from home.

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Man Singh Gurjar

General competition

Competition is very high. Everyone is studying. Everyone is working hard but the number of vacancies is limited. On top of it, repeated delays in exams add to frustration. I am confident that I will clear the REET. But the problem is everyone is preparing for every exam as there is no guarantee that the exam you are focussing on will even be conducted. However, I enjoy my time here. I have friends, we walk around these lanes in the evening. This whole exercise of going to the library and coming back to the room is part of my life. I am not sad. I get worried sometimes. But all this is part of the process. I don’t take it seriously.

Shared joy, shared sorrow

The owner of the library where I study is a friend, so I can spend the whole day there. He is also preparing for an exam. His name is Balvir Singh. He is a nice guy. He offered me 24-hour access to the library for just Rs 500 monthly. All students study there peacefully, we often do group study, discuss topics and when we get bored, we go out to have tea and snacks. In the library, we have a lot of fun, because everyone understands each other. All students are preparing for different exams. Some students are preparing for nursing, some for administrative services, some for group D jobs, some are preparing for all the exams. It becomes easy to share notes, discuss problems with each other. It becomes easy to get to know about new notifications of any exam. Unlike the libraries we know about, these libraries are different. We do not get books here. But an atmosphere to study. We gossip about each other. There are love stories, heartbreaks, depression, happiness, everything. We celebrate birthdays, we share grief. This is our world.

(This appeared in the print edition as "Job-seeker's Diary")

(As told to Mayank Jain Parichha)

Man Singh Gurjar is preparing for the Rajasthan Eligibility Examination for Teacher (REET)

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