As a child, I always had good grades in school; it lasted however till class 7. From then on my actual struggle started, as science subjects just went over my head. My grades started falling drastically, and my report card got adorned with many red ink in many subjects.
I faced umpteen humiliations, when my other relatives and friends discussed about grades. I refused to attend any family function where there was any faint chance of this topic being broached.
Comparisons started happening not only with other kids of my age but also with my brother. My brother was a scholar on the other hand, never stood second in his entire life. I started hating him, because he was the cynosure of all eyes. Every relative who came to our house always appreciated his class records and then seeing my lonely face also gave me a complimentary praise “O your daughter is also good…both her good’. My jealousy and insecurity made me feel like telling them ‘I don’t need your certificate for that’, but this anger I had to slowly gulp it down.
One day, I realised that what am I doing? I am jealous of my own brother’s success. I realised the level to which I was drooping…With time and self correction, this feeling slowly swept aside.
By this time, I was standing at that crucial stage of my life, where I had to decide which stream to take up for my high school.My grades didn’t permit me to take up science, yes commerce was an option, but maths was something which I always had a phobia for. I wanted to take up arts, because sociology and political science interested me. It was almost a next to impossible task to get the final approval from my family. My mother has always been there in all the decisions of my life and she was the one who insisted that I will only be able to flourish if I take up arts.
In spite of the introduction of many courses and many options opening up, this baisness towards science subjects still exists in our society. It only kills the enthusiasm and the spirit of the young budding talent.
I got through one of the best colleges in India; it’s a pride to be a part of such a heritage. It’s a dream of many to get through this college. Those people, who were speaking behind my back, got silenced all of a sudden, only the well wishers came and congratulated me for my success. There were many who came and told my dad-lucky you, being a part of this college, will fetch her a good husband in the marriage market.
It was quite alien to me, because at that time, I was just fresh from school and was more enthusiastic to study in a co-ed college after fourteen years of missionary schooling. This part of my life, broadened my knowledge –not only because of the education I received here, but also I came face to face with the outer world. People here made me aware of my dusky complexion-the colour shades to complement my skin tone…I learnt the harsh reality here that money speaks louder than words.
After I completed my post graduation and landed myself with a job one fine day, my parents created an account with one of these matrimony sites. This forum was another platform, where I was made to realise the different criteria which I was required to pass to get my soul mate. I faced numerous rejections because I am an Arts graduate and the son is looking for a fair and beautiful engineer, a criteria which I don’t fit into. In spite of having a job and being in the profession where I had always wanted to be, I am still being made to hear, that it would have been better that you would have taken up science.
My question is that- what would have happened after that? Out of the faintest chances I would have become an engineer right? Then what? Since, I have the engineering degree; it would have fetched me a good salary…right? Then what? All these proposals which are getting rejected wouldn’t have happened right? At the end of this entire sojourn, I would have become everyone’s favourite by killing my own identity.
But I am happy dad, I am happy…That I am mediocre…I am happy that I never stood first in class…I am happy that I didn’t get through science…I am happy that I am not an engineer…I am happy with what I earn…I am happy because I breathe every fresh air…I am happy with my brother’s success…I am happy in travelling in a local train also..I don’t need a chauffeur driven car…I am happy because I want to be happy.