Common App Prompt A: Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have face and its impact on you.
It was 23rd August, 2005.
We had just moved into our new home and I had developed an intriguing passion for creating a jet engine. I must confess that it was selfishly motivated: It was to enable me to outrun all my friends by being miraculously faster than them in weekend bike races. I was what my parents called 'restless', my teachers describes as 'hyperactive' but I believed 'pure genius material.'
I drew out rough sketches in two days. The construction, though, took me four weeks. By the time I completed the project I had my homemade version of a jet engine: a steel cylinder with a bulging center that still smelt of diesel, characteristics attributed to its earlier job of a fuel pipe, plastic propellers (courtesy of my toy windmills) which were propelled by three batteries (a favor from the innumerous electronic cars that my dad was so fond of gifting). And then there was the (literal) fuel injection system. I had read about them and I knew that there was no way I could procure one. The best alternative was to make one: I made a hollow sphere of clay and punctured it at two places. One was connected to a tube in which I 'injected' fuel with a syringe, while other bore straw to let it out. My innocent face was a great aid in tricking the gas station employee.
It was the day of a magnificent failure.
Needless to say, the first trial was quiet awesome (as I see it) and terrible (as my parents see it). I had tied it to my monster truck and I was ready to BLAST OFF when everything went haywire.
To start with I had dropped a burning matchstick to light up the fuel. The fuel did catch fire and so did everything. For the two seconds which I choose to believe it worked, it raced across the porch right into my mother's garden (she hates anyone touching her flowers). It was as if it had suddenly become a little me: doing all the things that were a strict NO. By the time, I doused it with a bucket of water; it had totally destroyed two of my mom's best rose plants, left the west wall scorched except for the two white outlines which perfectly matched the roses and nearly half of the perfect lawn charred. (I called it pest control)
(It just dawns on me that I am meant to be an innovator).
I made many different versions; all failed. At the end, I was left with four blown engines and a spark to go beyond the limits and innovate. Michael Jordon's, "I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." decribes the change that i went through
P.S. I still mourn for all my toys who volunteered to sacrifice their lives for science.