|Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar's resolve in 1914.|
In 1914, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar had at first enjoyed the social side of campus life in New York, but then one night made a firm resolve, and started studying in dead earnest.
When Bhimrao got the opportunity to go abroad, he decided that he would study very hard. But when he went to New York he forgot about this resolve. When he was in Satara and Bombay, he could not mingle with other students; he could not even join in games with them. In New York, he was able to live and dine with other students. Indian and American students got along very well, and lived on friendly terms. Without any hesitation, Bhimrao participated in many pastimes. The students danced together, and played tennis and badminton. Sledding was an especially favored game.
In this and many other entertaining activities Bhimrao spent the first four or five months. He thought that the M.A. and the Ph.D. could be achieved while also enjoying life, so why should he trouble himself too much with study? Accordingly, he would stay up till 2:00 AM talking and amusing himself with friends.
But one night, after wrapping up all the chit-chat around 3:00 AM, he lay down in bed and began to ask himself, "What am I doing? I left the loving members of my family thousands of miles away and came here to study--and I am just sidelining my studies and amusing myself--and that too, on the Government's money! If I make good use of the opportunity given to me, then I will be able to achieve a greater name and fame for myself. Just getting degrees is of no use in itself."... At 5:00 AM he sat up in bed and made a strong resolve that henceforth he would dedicate his life only to study, not to amusements.... His friends teased him, but he stuck to his resolve. At night, when students in the room next door laughed loudly and made a ruckus, Bhimrao would shut the door and windows of his room and put balls of cotton in his ears, so he could sit and study.
* Passages from Changdeo Bhavanrao Khairmode biography (Marathi) of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. These have been translated by Rohini Shridhar Shukla.