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RL Rundown - Ajay

Having dreamt of pursuing a Masters degree since grade 10, Ajay was just one of two Indian applicants who received a scholarship from the Northern Territory Government to study at Charles Darwin University. This was the start of his journey to Darwin and becoming a part of IHD and the broader community.

Ajay is set to graduate in November 2019 and hopes to pursue his professional and creative goals.

“My goal was to become a filmmaker or a software engineer,” Ajay said. “Both involved creativity and innovation. I had a lot of interest in writing programs in my undergrad. I developed applications for Android devices. I found enjoyment in creating things and solving problems.”

“In my undergraduate years, I acquired a strong background in the fundamentals of computer science. I realised the knowledge I gained so far is inadequate and I need practical orientation. I think this Master of Information Technology (Software Engineering) will help me to make a strong foundation for my future. I am looking forward to completing my degree and fulfilling my dream of becoming an engineer.”

Just 23-years of age when he first arrived at IHD, Ajay found the transition between home and on-campus life a shock; not to mention the huge environmental and cultural differences between Darwin and his hometown of Hyderabad, India. However, he has found strength in friends and motivational figures to move beyond those struggles.

“Being away from loved ones, cooking your own food, taking care of yourselves and studying all at once is not easy,” he said. “At home, my mother took care of everything and I helped her. Suddenly moving thousands of miles away from my family, friends, and comfort zone was as drastic as possible. Luckily I had friends at IHD who were experiencing the same situations. We shared our hardships and helped each other to get through.” 

“An inspiration for me is Yuvraj Singh. He’s an Indian cricket player and his contribution to the Indian cricket has been outstanding. He’s a superstar and referred to as the ‘Prince of Cricket’. Yuvraj is the only player to hit six sixes in an over in twenty overs cricket. During the 2007 World Cup, he developed a tumour in his heart and lung region. Despite this, he continued playing matches and performed consistently. During a semi-final match with Australia, he was spitting blood while batting. The umpires asked him to leave, but he didn’t and won the match for India which won us the world cup after 28 years. The fighting spirit of Yuvraj inspired me.”

Ajay now has his own legacy; he’s a 2019 Resident Leader. His character among the IHD Community stands strong, and he hasn’t been afraid to step-up; attributes that are key when it comes to filling the shoes of an RL.

“Resident Leaders are responsible for inspiring the community and act as a support system,” Ajay said. “Having such responsibility forces one to step up in many situations and handle the responsibility. Developing these skills are very important for professional development and personal growth. I also find joy in helping others.” 

“IHD will be one of the best experiences in my life. I’ve had the chance to meet wonderful people from all over the world, learn their culture, and share my own. I still remember my initial days in Darwin. It was a roller-coaster of emotions. I was missing my family so much. But the participation in IHD events, trips on the Jumping Crocodile Cruise, to Litchfield Park and the beach walks, have helped a lot to get out of that zone. I believe that my time in IHD has been a rewarding experience and I’ll cherish these moments for the rest of my life.”

My go-to tune... most of the songs I listen to are melodies from Indian movies. But one song I would like everyone to listen to is 'Beast' by Rob Bailey. 

What I do for fun... I enjoy playing cricket & table tennis. There's a whatsapp group for sports at IHD. We decide in the group when to play. We're playing cricket at least three days a week. I am also very passionate about photography. I bought a new camera two weeks ago. I'm excited to learn new tricks with my camera. If I get too bored, I take a bike & go to the beach & spend some time walking on the beach.