Flashback from school time: I was one of the toppers of Class 10 from my school. Rather, I’d say country. The marking scheme had been changed recently and hundreds of students had scored a perfect 10. I was one of them.
I had just taken my first step towards seeing a dream when the journey seemed much more farther than I had expected it to be. I was a school kid- full of hopes.
The society had conditioned me to prepare for victory. (Not much has changed in all these years.)
If you get good marks in school, you’ll get a good college. A good college means a good job. A god job means a good life. But life doesn’t end at a god job. Life never settles.
Everybody around me was hustling to get a good life. There was an unseen pressure from everyone around me. Their expectations, their hopes from me.
Wondering why the pressure is termed ‘unseen’?
Her cousin scored this much in class 12! That neighbour’s son got into into college! That distant relative is working abroad! That person is earning so much!
What if I’m unable to live up to the expectations of my parents? What if I don’t fulfill the society’s hopes from me?
The questions resulted into fear.
No one realised that I was scared. No one saw it. If anyone saw some uneasiness in my behavior, they called it normal. They calling it ‘normal’ conditioned me into believing it to be true.
The fear reached it’s saturation level. The thought of not being able to secure a good life for myself scared me so much that I did not even want to try. I wanted to give up even before trying.
Do you call that normal?
A school kid who was full of hopes wanted to give up. Is that normal?
We prepare ourselves for victory but not for loss.
Fast forward to 2018:
“It is a race. Let’s see who comes first.”
By saying this, my sister-in-law prompted my nephew to drink his glass of milk. I was competing him.
It’s a common tactic used by parents to make their kids eat, drink and study. In return, they are promised cartoon time, chocolates, games or other things.
I ended up finishing it first. I think I was more hungry than him. I told him that I had won and he came second. However, he wasn’t ready to listen. He gulped down his drink in one sip and began cheering for himself, “I came first, Bua (aunt) lost.”
No matter how hard I tried to convince him that I had won, he stated otherwise.
He does not understand what it means to not win.
Today: I did not top my Class 12 exams. But I did much better than I expected after all the fear and pressure.
I did not graduate from the best college in the country. (But which is the best? Everybody calls themselves best.) But the world did not collapse.
I did not land in my dream job straight out of college. But I’m alive.
Why are we not told what will happen if we fail that exam? Why are we not told that it’s okay lose? Why are we not told that we won’t be losers all our lives? Why aren’t we told that there are other options? Why are we not told that we will still be loved? Why aren’t we told that our lives would not be worthless?
Here’s one Indian mother who’s trying to make learning easier for her son. I’m proud of her!
In response to Let it Bleed 32