It took me considerably less time to decide where I wanted to study than what to study. For one thing, I knew that I wanted to move out. I wanted to test my theories in the "real world". There were things I wanted to find out about myself that I knew would only be possible to find out only if I was out of my comfort zone.
Till then, I had been in a school run by my grandmother's student. I had gone to a college where my mother taught. Both those times I had made people proud. I did the best I could and all those who had ever taught me, had loved me. But there was always this nagging feeling. This doubt that kept poking around in my head. Was this because of what I did, or who I was? The only way I could be certain was if I chose to move someplace where I was a complete stranger. Where I had a clean slate.
There were also other things to consider. Like the work culture of that college. How well it was known. What other architects thought about the students that passed out of it. What kind of architects had passed out from that college. Its history and ideology.
As usual my father didn't exactly say anything about anything. He left the digging to me. The only thing he did say that wherever I went, architecture meant a lot of work. I argued that that would be the case with any field I chose. At that time he only smiled.
My mom on the other hand started looking at the best colleges in the country. (At least, the ones that were the best during her time). We came down to CEPT, Ahmadabad, J. J. College, Mumbai and SPA, Delhi. They are still among the top institutes in India. But it was my dad's friend that told us about the ground-reality about colleges and architecture education in general.
He was the first one that pointed me toward Rachana Sansad. He said it was now on its way to becoming one of the top institutes in the country and the advantage it had was that most of the faculty were practicing architects. This gave the students an edge that was not there in many other institutes. Also, it was in the heart of Mumbai. This would expose me to a much larger picture than most other cities. All in all, it seemed like the place to be.
So, after giving all the exams and going through a tedious and harrowing admission process spanning three months, I found myself in the Principal's cabin of Rachana Sansad's Academy of Architecture sealing the deal.