Dear Pooja – you didn’t win this one, but you will always be a winner in our hearts!

A few days ago, we lost a shining star, one of our students, Pooja, who had appeared for CAT-19 and was aiming for CAT-20 now. She was diagnosed with leukemia in February this year. Words fail me as I struggle to express – and I wish I never had to write such a mail. But I will share at the end as to why I am still forcing myself to do it.

Losing a student at the prime of her life is a nightmare for any teacher or institution. But our grief is small in comparison to that of her parents.

This is how her mentors at MBAGuru expressed their emotions:

“Less than a month back I had posted in a few whatsapp groups about my need for an ICU bed for my father. You were yourself in hospital but reached out to me offering to assist in connecting me with the hospital you were at. Such was your soul! That you were concerned about my father and me while you were yourself ailing. You came to the center once with your laptop just so that I could make an informed decision about what I was planning to buy. You once offered me a lift in your car even if it meant taking a detour.

Even when you were fighting a scary battle, your spirits were high. In our last conversation 2 weeks back you said of this battle that “I have to win this” and were waiting impatiently to just get discharged and get on with your life and pursue your dreams which were all about creation and creativity.

It is so painful to see a student go. I can’t say that I feel the same pain as your parents do, but I can sense their pain from where I stand. You were so full of life and energy. I hope all this weren’t true. I hope this be a bad dream and I wake up next minute to realise that. But I know that won’t happen and you are gone forever.

Rest and Rejoice you lovely girl :-)”
-Lokesh Sharma sir

“Pooja was an extremely lively person. In spite of having a pure non quant background ( English Hons plus Pg in communication from Xavier’s Mumbai) she was extremely tenacious in her attempts all throughout her sessions last year. She is also the student who took highest number of DCS in and outside class(through calls/WhatsApp) and tried her level best.

Even when she could not get a grand score in CAT 19, she did not give up and gave a solid try for MICAT and XAT. She thoroughly analysed her papers and failures after that and was determined to give a try again this year and was in constant touch with me till Feb end when the leukemia was diagnosed. Even from her bed ,she was continuously sending positive messages, showing interest in my theatre posts, trying to get bed for the father of Lokesh sir and obviously showing her resolve to come out stronger and happy. Her happy posts in Instagram was actually a highlight of my day everyday for last 2-3 months.

We also continuously talked on various issues ranging from theatre, life, CAT studies through WhatsApp and I was continuously trying to keep her motivated. 7 days back she stopped replying to my texts completely and I sensed something wrong. I had no other contact and as such after 6-7 days I contacted a fellow student of hers and the center team where she studied to check if they could help me get her parents’ number. That evening itself one of her sisters and my ex student Aishwarya put up a post announcing we lost her. This is the first time I lost a student so close to me. I am still not out of it.”
-Dhruba Sir

Small little nuggets about how that girl, like most of you, was a beautiful, positive and helping soul. While none of us can perhaps control life and death, but we can decide and define how we live ours. In that sense, Pooja will always remain a winner in our hearts.

Also a perspective on how small most of the things we usually worry about are. And how each breath is a wonder in itself, and each day a miracle to make the most of.

Finally, I hope you will take a few moments right now just to pray for her soul and her family. I don’t know how that helps, but I truly hope it could make a world of difference in a different world.

– Deekshant

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