Rida Chowdhury


The experience starts with a fierce shove of failure. A trip rapidly progresses to a tumble and launches into a freefall. Plummeting down, darkness penetrates the mind with reminders of insecurities and incapability, voraciously swallowing any ounce of pride, dignity, and self-respect. Disparity, doubt, and degradation intensify. Thousands of miles deep in the pit of self-esteem, aspirations are beyond reach. But in the hazy distance, a gleaming, golden rope flames with brilliance: confidence. Grasping onto it, a strenuous climb peruses. I believe I can. A faint whisper in the ear crescendos to a heavy chorus beating in the soul. Self-doubt blossoms into self-worth, transforming desire into determination. The rope guides from the lowest of depths to the loftiest of heights where the will to achieve flourishes and dreams are conquered. Self-confidence is the rope to success. This is my belief.
Strolling through the garden, melodic coos and whistles of mating doves and sparrows float in the wind as a mellifluous tune. The rocking boughs bend in a low creek, creating a beat. The whoosh of the fall breeze and the gentle, soft rustle of leaves contribute a balanced countermelody. Together, melody, beat, and accompaniment interlock in a rich symphony of life. Inspired, I start to sing quietly at first, a thin sound intertwining with the tunes of the trees. Realizing no one can hear me, I, with a widened jaw, concentrated breath, and open throat, start to belt. But the lyrics fall short. Scowling in disgust, another attempt pursues but in vain. Trudging back indoors, disparity and discouragement are throbbing kicks and punches raining down on my shoulders, hammering in that improvement is beyond grasp.
For years, the garden was my stage, so a voice that only met shame could not be heard. Nevertheless, a zeal for vocal ensembles continued to swell through participation in school and afterschool choirs. Adoring the twisting of pleasant harmonies and the talents of soloists, attaining a beautiful voice remained a dream— just a dream. Incapability and lack of improvement succeeded in pulverizing my confidence into a pulp. Too shy to even sing in front of family, my sole audience remained limited to a few friends and a garden teeming with life.
As a sixth grader eagerly walking into choir class, enthusiasm for new choir songs gleam. Sitting down with upright posture, my voice is ready to tackle our warm-up exercises. Instead of diving into solfege practice, an announcement is made stating that the school is offering an advanced choir elective the next year. Being an advanced choir with a required audition, I am quick to ignore the offer, resolute that my chances are low. But then a horrifying realization launches a spear to the chest. To continue choir in middle school and fit everything in my schedule, auditioning for this advanced elective is absolutely necessary. Not auditioning will mean years without the magical experience of listening and contributing to a blend of rich, soothing tones. Unwilling to give up such a loved class, I reluctantly force myself to sign up for an audition, petrified at showcasing a disgraceful voice to the choir teacher and tremendously dubious of my chances.
Disparately crying out the situation to Mother in the car ride home, anxious thoughts sloppily roll off my tongue as salty tears plop down and splotch the audition sheet music. My middle school years without choir. A shudder rattles my bones. Meanwhile, Mother, taking in the sight with a sparkle of amusement in her eyes, bursts into hysterical laughter. Bewildered by her reaction, my head whips around, only to see her rocking back and forth giggling in the driver’s seat.
“Aurpa mamuni, how can you say such things before you have even auditioned?” Words struggled out in chokes in between the laughter.
“Mother, but I know I can’t do it! I’m a terrible singer!” Incredulous, my attempts to make Mother understand are failing.
“Aurpa mamuni, all you need is confidence. If you believe you can do it and really want to do it, you can.”
Ignoring the advice, dubious thoughts slash and gash at self-esteem like vicious claws hungry for emotional turmoil. A forbidding darkness clouds the mind as my consciousness drowns deeper into the depths of disparity. Entering home with hunched shoulders, insecurities are bulldozers hailing on my soul. But then a soft ring begins to reverberate across the vast, somber emptiness: Mother’s words. ‘Confidence… believe…want…you can.’ Singing is my passion. If I believe, I will succeed. A chorus of uplifting thoughts caress my soul, elevating it to the rope of confidence. A flickering flame of hope and belief kindles.
Securely locked in the garage with audition material ready, singing practice pursues. Fueled by that flame, I determinedly go over parts repeatedly, the ultimate goal engrained in the brain. All the while a grip on confidence maintains a focus, urging a will to persevere and stimulating immense effort. Faltering on a note, the rope gently slips from the tenacious clench of my fingers, degradation coming in as a bashing blow. Increasingly engulfed by the darkness, Mother’s words of encouragement gently resurface, serving as reminders of my ability and worth. What was once a flame of belief is now a blazing, dancing fire of self-esteem, love, and respect. With dignity rousing determination, I easily grasp and pull, heaving my consciousness above doubts.
With a blend of nervousness, doubt, and excitement bubbling, the walk to the bulletin board itself is an anxious experience. The audition is over; I thought it was mediocre. Today was the day that all members would be posted. Unable to contain a rising tumult of emotions, frantic eyes quickly scan the list. My name is printed loud and clear. Relief came in like a wave, washing away the taunting darkness. I succeeded. Squealing in pure ecstasy, I bolt out the door home bound.
Through this quest for singing success, the sole ignition for the ambition and efforts put forth for achievement was a spark of self-confidence. With an unwavering belief in myself, transcending impediments of deprecation was fathomable, for self-confidence reassured that I had the ability to conquer dreams, conjuring hope and stubborn willpower. It was in Mother’s words from which the realization of belief’s incomparable powers struck, bolstering the climb up the rope of confidence.
This experience has implanted in me a dogma that continues to flower firm will and efforts to excel. To accomplish, a seed of belief must be planted in oneself. From this confidence sprouts stems and leaves of determination and tough work to reach a goal. Finally, a rewarding flower of success blossoms. These blooms of achievement germinate more seeds of confidence which get dispersed, laying foundations for more plants. An ongoing cycle of success is established. In the face of failure, believing that one has the capacity to shine motivates a will to put forth substantial efforts to do so. Once aspirations are attained, pride only blossoms more of this self-belief, which in turn rouses more accomplishment. Without this self-confidence, any attempt will seem unnecessary, for excelling will appear unfathomable. Thus, self-confidence is a trait vital for making dreams a reality. Realizing confidence’s inconceivable power, it continues to ignite a drive to embark the treacherous journey to the top. I kindle it to battle any doubt, whether it is in singing abilities or passing an exam. Certainly, my quest for singing confidence is not complete. To this day, struggling to grip onto that rope to find my voice has not ceased. However, with growing esteem engendering a determination to improve, I am slowly becoming more ambitious with this voice and more willing to open it up to the world.
Overwhelmed in a fast-paced society where competition is ever-increasing, one can naturally become lost in the midst of turmoil, discouraged by the accomplishments of others, failures, and insecurities. Self-deprecation serving as an intimidating blockade, venturing the climb from trench to top often seems a daunting task. But it is crucial to realize a simple change in mindset can turn the tables. Incarcerated in this state of desolation, self-confidence is the key that emancipates the consciousness, guiding it to success. This was the case in my journey; before belief’s liberation, any achievement in singing appeared unreachable. But afterwards, accomplishments in the field were beyond expectation. It is remarkable what a glimmer of belief can do but also incredible how easily one forgets its significance. Thus, taking it from my experience, one should make the effort to remember to maintain a solid hold on that rope of confidence through the bumps, slopes, and twists the capricious pathway of life decides to partake. With this anchor, no impediment can hinder a quest for glory.

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The experience starts with a fierce shove of failure. A trip rapidly progresses to a tumble and launches into a freefall. Plummeting down, darkness penetrates the mind with reminders of insecurities and incapability, voraciously swallowing any ounce of pride, dignity, and self-respect. Disparity, doubt, and degradation intensify. Thousands of miles deep in the pit of self-esteem, aspirations are beyond reach. But in the hazy distance, a gleaming, golden rope flames with brilliance: confidence. Grasping onto it, a strenuous climb peruses. I believe I can. A faint whisper in the ear crescendos to a heavy chorus beating in the soul. Self-doubt blossoms into self-worth, transforming desire into determination. The rope guides from the lowest of depths to the loftiest of heights where the will to achieve flourishes and dreams are conquered. Self-confidence is the rope to success. This is my belief.
Strolling through the garden, melodic coos and whistles of mating doves and sparrows float in the wind as a mellifluous tune. The rocking boughs bend in a low creek, creating a beat. The whoosh of the fall breeze and the gentle, soft rustle of leaves contribute a balanced countermelody. Together, melody, beat, and accompaniment interlock in a rich symphony of life. Inspired, I start to sing quietly at first, a thin sound intertwining with the tunes of the trees. Realizing no one can hear me, I, with a widened jaw, concentrated breath, and open throat, start to belt. But the lyrics fall short. Scowling in disgust, another attempt pursues but in vain. Trudging back indoors, disparity and discouragement are throbbing kicks and punches raining down on my shoulders, hammering in that improvement is beyond grasp.
For years, the garden was my stage, so a voice that only met shame could not be heard. Nevertheless, a zeal for vocal ensembles continued to swell through participation in school and afterschool choirs. Adoring the twisting of pleasant harmonies and the talents of soloists, attaining a beautiful voice remained a dream— just a dream. Incapability and lack of improvement succeeded in pulverizing my confidence into a pulp. Too shy to even sing in front of family, my sole audience remained limited to a few friends and a garden teeming with life.
As a sixth grader eagerly walking into choir class, enthusiasm for new choir songs gleam. Sitting down with upright posture, my voice is ready to tackle our warm-up exercises. Instead of diving into solfege practice, an announcement is made stating that the school is offering an advanced choir elective the next year. Being an advanced choir with a required audition, I am quick to ignore the offer, resolute that my chances are low. But then a horrifying realization launches a spear to the chest. To continue choir in middle school and fit everything in my schedule, auditioning for this advanced elective is absolutely necessary. Not auditioning will mean years without the magical experience of listening and contributing to a blend of rich, soothing tones. Unwilling to give up such a loved class, I reluctantly force myself to sign up for an audition, petrified at showcasing a disgraceful voice to the choir teacher and tremendously dubious of my chances.
Disparately crying out the situation to Mother in the car ride home, anxious thoughts sloppily roll off my tongue as salty tears plop down and splotch the audition sheet music. My middle school years without choir. A shudder rattles my bones. Meanwhile, Mother, taking in the sight with a sparkle of amusement in her eyes, bursts into hysterical laughter. Bewildered by her reaction, my head whips around, only to see her rocking back and forth giggling in the driver’s seat.
“Aurpa mamuni, how can you say such things before you have even auditioned?” Words struggled out in chokes in between the laughter.
“Mother, but I know I can’t do it! I’m a terrible singer!” Incredulous, my attempts to make Mother understand are failing.
“Aurpa mamuni, all you need is confidence. If you believe you can do it and really want to do it, you can.”
Ignoring the advice, dubious thoughts slash and gash at self-esteem like vicious claws hungry for emotional turmoil. A forbidding darkness clouds the mind as my consciousness drowns deeper into the depths of disparity. Entering home with hunched shoulders, insecurities are bulldozers hailing on my soul. But then a soft ring begins to reverberate across the vast, somber emptiness: Mother’s words. ‘Confidence… believe…want…you can.’ Singing is my passion. If I believe, I will succeed. A chorus of uplifting thoughts caress my soul, elevating it to the rope of confidence. A flickering flame of hope and belief kindles.
Securely locked in the garage with audition material ready, singing practice pursues. Fueled by that flame, I determinedly go over parts repeatedly, the ultimate goal engrained in the brain. All the while a grip on confidence maintains a focus, urging a will to persevere and stimulating immense effort. Faltering on a note, the rope gently slips from the tenacious clench of my fingers, degradation coming in as a bashing blow. Increasingly engulfed by the darkness, Mother’s words of encouragement gently resurface, serving as reminders of my ability and worth. What was once a flame of belief is now a blazing, dancing fire of self-esteem, love, and respect. With dignity rousing determination, I easily grasp and pull, heaving my consciousness above doubts.
With a blend of nervousness, doubt, and excitement bubbling, the walk to the bulletin board itself is an anxious experience. The audition is over; I thought it was mediocre. Today was the day that all members would be posted. Unable to contain a rising tumult of emotions, frantic eyes quickly scan the list. My name is printed loud and clear. Relief came in like a wave, washing away the taunting darkness. I succeeded. Squealing in pure ecstasy, I bolt out the door home bound.
Through this quest for singing success, the sole ignition for the ambition and efforts put forth for achievement was a spark of self-confidence. With an unwavering belief in myself, transcending impediments of deprecation was fathomable, for self-confidence reassured that I had the ability to conquer dreams, conjuring hope and stubborn willpower. It was in Mother’s words from which the realization of belief’s incomparable powers struck, bolstering the climb up the rope of confidence.
This experience has implanted in me a dogma that continues to flower firm will and efforts to excel. To accomplish, a seed of belief must be planted in oneself. From this confidence sprouts stems and leaves of determination and tough work to reach a goal. Finally, a rewarding flower of success blossoms. These blooms of achievement germinate more seeds of confidence which get dispersed, laying foundations for more plants. An ongoing cycle of success is established. In the face of failure, believing that one has the capacity to shine motivates a will to put forth substantial efforts to do so. Once aspirations are attained, pride only blossoms more of this self-belief, which in turn rouses more accomplishment. Without this self-confidence, any attempt will seem unnecessary, for excelling will appear unfathomable. Thus, self-confidence is a trait vital for making dreams a reality. Realizing confidence’s inconceivable power, it continues to ignite a drive to embark the treacherous journey to the top. I kindle it to battle any doubt, whether it is in singing abilities or passing an exam. Certainly, my quest for singing confidence is not complete. To this day, struggling to grip onto that rope to find my voice has not ceased. However, with growing esteem engendering a determination to improve, I am slowly becoming more ambitious with this voice and more willing to open it up to the world.
Overwhelmed in a fast-paced society where competition is ever-increasing, one can naturally become lost in the midst of turmoil, discouraged by the accomplishments of others, failures, and insecurities. Self-deprecation serving as an intimidating blockade, venturing the climb from trench to top often seems a daunting task. But it is crucial to realize a simple change in mindset can turn the tables. Incarcerated in this state of desolation, self-confidence is the key that emancipates the consciousness, guiding it to success. This was the case in my journey; before belief’s liberation, any achievement in singing appeared unreachable. But afterwards, accomplishments in the field were beyond expectation. It is remarkable what a glimmer of belief can do but also incredible how easily one forgets its significance. Thus, taking it from my experience, one should make the effort to remember to maintain a solid hold on that rope of confidence through the bumps, slopes, and twists the capricious pathway of life decides to partake. With this anchor, no impediment can hinder a quest for glory.