When a Part of Me Died and a New One Awakened

Lifechanging lessons I learned while facing adversity at a tender age

Abhimanyu Bhargava
7 min readAug 22, 2021


Photo by Anthony DeRosa from Pexels

Pack your bags and vacate the hostel immediately. I want at least one of your parents to meet me. Maybe then I will let you come back!

Fr. Augustus exclaimed as the two of us hung our heads in shame. His countenance was serene and resolute. But his words sounded harsh. We had broken a rule that he could not ignore.

I was a notorious kid in college, known for his penchant to do what is forbidden. “Rules are made to be broken” was my pet phrase. Raised in an open military culture where discipline was mandatory, and being courageous was praised. I probably got carried away by the definition of courage. There is a fine line between courage and stupidity. And I crossed that line multiple times.

The first time, I got temporarily kicked out of the college hostel for colluding with the seniors in ragging (or hazing) the newly joined freshers in the second semester. Yes, I was crazy enough to embarrass my batchmates for a momentary high. The next one was when I almost got permanently banned from entering the hostel because the warden accused me of instigating others to break the rules. In a way, he was right!

I felt stuck in an engineering college run by a Catholic institution, with absurd rules imposed in the name of discipline.

  • The hostel in time is 7 PM
  • After 10 PM, you are not allowed to roam around within the campus
  • Mass is mandatory on Sundays, even if you are not a believer
  • No outside friends in the hostel
  • Fixed meal timings in the cafeteria; after that, you do not get to eat!
  • Assembly and prayer every morning

The list was endless for someone who gave zero f**ks about rules. Naturally, I was a rebel kid!

One fine evening, I got caught in the act with alcohol inside the campus, lots of it. For a 17 years old teenager, it was not only unlawful but also off-limits on campus. The Managing Director (Fr. Augustus) asked the two of us to vacate the hostel immediately. The only way he would take us back is if at least one of our parents…



Abhimanyu Bhargava

I write about health, fitness, self-improvement, life lessons, nutrition, careers, Crypto and NFTs. Here to empower you! https://linktr.ee/abhimanyubhargava