Ad Astra Per Aspera


This beautiful Latin line roughly translates into “A bumpy path leads to the stars”. My bestest friend who has been roughing it out in the US of A for about sixteen months has been the inspiration to this post.

The exhilaration that follows a long struggle, the quiet slightly unbelievable relief after a series of attempts is precious. It is not just about accomplishment but the journey of discovering yourself and your capacity to endure. These moments show you what you are actually made of – they don’t teach any new lessons, just facilitate to uncover chapters of your personality.

Where is the fun if one leap brought you face to face with your desire? If a regular progression opened the doors to the very opportunity you have been waiting for? Is it truly a pure victory if all you had to do was take a stroll and hop over a few bumps? Where is that sense of “I have arrived!”? They call it luck and there are always people who have that knack…. Till a while back I was one of them except for this one phase which changed everything I had ever taken for granted.

But this is about my friend. And her determination, perseverance and faith over the last ten years to make her dreams of practicing medicine come to life with vibrant colours. She is one of those geniuses; her brain has a Midas touch. She has been almost flawless in her academic performance, almost unparalleled to anyone else I even vaguely know. But on a personal front, she has had her share of demons. Some of them may be uncalled for and of her own making but they were there piling up like a jenga stack. And one mistake had the whole thing crumbling down.

And she made me understand that the struggle is real – they make a great story but play havoc as it is being plotted. They inspire mostly in retrospection. There are days when you want to throw in the towel and give up all your dreams. Where you start questioning the sanity of your goals and check each of the seventy seven thousands steps you have taken to get there. There is a knife stained with defeat hovering over your head that becomes a predominant part of your nightmares. And of course, there is always the trap of seeking comfort in unwelcome and wrong arms. Mistakes are great but some turn in catastrophes where you lose your faith, confidence, self-respect and even a sense of identity. It is a deep well where no sunlight reaches and making your way out takes up energy, hope and courage.

I saw her go through this and emerge with happy tears, exhausted mind and a thankful heart.

Is she unscathed? No.

Is she recovered? No.

Is she victorious? Not exactly.

It was not a battle where a victor emerged. She is a survivor who got eliminated the battle. And finally she is on a smooth track where the destination is closer, clearer and friendlier. She is being real about it – given a choice, she would want to cut down on a few mistakes. She will prefer a slightly easier way of learning the lessons that came her way and not all at one tight go!

What is her plan now as she takes a moment to take stock and look at her little worn and bit torn self? To keep breathing and to keep moving. With a few glasses of wine, Netflix and some good company.

After all… Priorities.


14 thoughts on “Ad Astra Per Aspera

  1. It’s all of those bumps on the road that is life, and how we handle those bumps goes towards defining who we are, or who we become. I’m happy for your friend, Prajakta. I’m happy that she’s persevered and conquered!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It sounds like she’s taken a worthwhile journey in inimitable style. I’m sure her struggles and scars only add to the person she already was to make her even more of a force to be reckoned with!


  3. I love reading this. I could relate as someone who has a history of being smart academically (though no where nearly as smart as your friend) but making some unexpected emotional mistakes. Roughing it in the USA reminds me of the book, Wild. Maybe your friend will write a book some day, or let you write it. I’m glad our roads are smoother now, and we have grown.


  4. Ah.. the intelligence.. reason
    oh.. the heARt.. FeeLinG
    and sAdLY wHere
    most uSnoW
    live wherever
    First World Problems
    rule.. the reAson
    Sun of Life..
    away from
    feeLinG.. mY
    FriEnd.. Prajakta
    and sAdly as iS a
    story of life so long
    away from feeling
    and closer
    to reason
    wHere smarT
    loses the heARt
    of Life.. iS a journey
    aWay from what is REALIST
    In bEinG hUman aT aLL.. spoon
    fed this from birth.. it truly can be
    hard to get back to arms iN comfort
    of BeiNG hUman as.. as Nature trUly
    goes.. the gift of Love that iS iN innate
    altruistic Nature oF truLY wiLd and
    Free human
    iS a
    Book oF Love
    where the true savage
    can be the books.. the
    school.. the work.. and the
    green and other colored paper
    and metal stuff that ruins aLL oF
    That wHere the pasSiOn and Love
    of hUman is the TRUE GOLDEN RULE
    OF THE TRUE liOn hUman either iN the
    Jungles.. the Savannah.. the Forest or Beach..
    Mountains.. meadows.. etc.. etc.. liVing
    away from
    dead caves
    and books..
    words.. and
    other symbols
    like paper money
    and print that takes
    uS away from Love
    iN fearless end and beginning
    of story In livinG more than just
    Survival.. iN liVing fearless magic Love..
    with roots that defeat entropy and apathy
    of living
    friend.. Love
    Spreads without Fear..
    Tree of Life over

    Liked by 2 people

  5. nothing tops perseverance… Loved how you have talked about your friend in this post. I wish her and you all the best in your en-devours and have fun darlings 🙂


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