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By Shameela Yoosuf Ali

A number of years back I stood at the entrance of Peradeniya University with endless dreams. Coming from a devoted and affectionate family, and being modest and reserved I was my parents’ daughter. I was not encouraged to enter the University as my family feared that Ragging culture prevalent at the University would leave a permanent scars of hurt and injuries over my hypersensitive heart.

But I was determined to make a change within the university premises. As I walked out from English examination I was in the seventh heaven though the University seemed like an indefinite ocean floor to me. The trees hijabed with blossoms of diverse colours mystified my core. I was sleep walking in my dreams until they were abruptly aborted by some strange voices. A bunch of guys were ordering me to go to ‘Polannaruwa’-A specific place at the University where long stone posts lay lateral. I was stunned and horror-struck, hearing the filthy language which fell out from their jaws recklessly. Then at Polannaruwa more unbearable procedures cropped up and still even after several years, a shiver runs through my spines whenever my mind roams there.

As the day died in the crimson horizons, I had started to realize merciless, Inhuman, and cruel traits hidden under the well dressed ,fine-looking individuals.

I had to make choice, A choice between my dignity and my dream. Indeed it was a hard choice for a girl like me who had brim over ambitions.
I left the University for good. I bid goodbye to my dreams, hopes and ambitions.

Back at home I was happy and contented for some time writing and dreaming. Then an offer came. I was asked to tackle the Women’s page of Engal Thesam- A Tamil Socio Political Fortnightly. I didn’t have any Qualification to hold that post except my passion for writing. At the same time I was actively involved in an voluntary organization. I had just finished a one year Course in Pre School Education at the Open University and immediately started a Pre School –Flowers of Paradise - with my Sister. We also organized a few crash courses and workshops in Pre School Education. Subsequently, I got married to a wonderful person. Well, everything was settled and life seemed tranquil for a while.
My husband was still at Medical faculty when we were married, and suddenly I was feeling blue about leaving the University. Out of the blue, all my dreams returned to me, this time more poised and unbolted, making my life, every minute of it, miserable and wretched.

I was not happy, I was not contented, I was melancholic.

One day, when we had an important discussion in the voluntary organization, I was asked to precede a summit of professionals. Then a person in the committee objected saying that a Professional would suit more than me to head the summit. I was devastated and the world was spinning out in front of my eyes.
I came home, and scribbled up on my wall “It is never too late”

I put on my track shoes and stood on the starting line.
On your Mark,
Get Set,
Ready and

I completed my external degree and then I did a Post graduate Diploma in Journalism at the University of Colombo. Then a Masters in Mass Communications and Journalism from MK University…And at last I stood once again at the entrance of prestigious University of Peradeniya this time as a postgraduate student. I could dwell in the University Main library for hours, which is marked as one of the best in the world. Thanks to my Lord, I could contribute to the society and humanity in a more rich manner. My quench is not yet satisfied; The Race is not yet over.

But now, I could turn and smile back at the hurdles once seemed tough and risky.

True it is NEVER TOO LATE to achieve your DREAMS.

Steve Jobs co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc ,who passed away recently has always fascinated me. I think his statement below match up precisely the cravings of my unsettled strings.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”


9 November 2011



Nusrat Ara's picture

All the best! looking forward

All the best! looking forward to read more from you.



shamee's picture

Thank you

Thank you for the encouraging words Nusrat.

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