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Charting her own course

By Akhila Seetharaman



Ayna Tamton — Photo: K. Pichumani

CHENNAI, DEC. 1. "Are you serious? Are you sure you are not wasting your money," asked the man at the registration counter when Ayna Tamton wanted to register for the chartered accountancy examinations.

She seemed to him, as to most other people, an unlikely candidate. The chances of Ms. Tamton, married at 18 and a mother at 21, clearing the infamously difficult examinations appeared remote.

The challenge only seems to have spurred the Kozhikode woman on."I knew I would have to work harder than the others to compensate for my family responsibilities. I did not think about the results," she says.

The results vindicated her quiet confidence. She passed the second intermediate exams in May at the first attempt with an all-India rank of 29.

Ms. Tamton learnt the value of education as a home-bound mother fresh out-of-college. While her friends pursued higher studies, she found it frustrating staying home and not studying.

She attributes her success to a husband who stood by her without a demur. Her two-and-a-half-year-old son too is used to his student-mother.

Her father gave her a lot of independence, teaching her to drive at 15 and even allowing her to manage his shop, she says.

Ms. Tamton says that chartered accountancy was not as difficult as it is made out to be. "The only thing is that you have to put in time and effort."

She is in Chennai preparing for the C.A. finals.

"I don't believe anyone needs to sit at home and waste her life. It is possible to manage a family and career," she says.

"And if I can pass these exams, anyone can," she adds.

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