In order to clear one’s tenth grade in India, one needs to appear for an examination dubbed the Public Examination. After a whole ten months of rigorous preparation, sleepless nights and weathered books, it finally came to pass. But what came after was the agonizing wait for the results.
Expectations and hopes exceeded the height of the firmament in my family, but I wasn’t all that confident or brimming with enthusiasm. I knew that I had performed decently in my eyes, but I wasn’t going to bag some laurel that would have eyes looking, ears hearing, mouths talking and faces going green with envy.
The day of the results, May the 23rd, 2014, finally dawned. Larvae seemed to have metamorphosed into butterflies that were fluttering about in my stomach and provoking little beads of sweat to dot my forehead.
Keying in the required details, my eyes flew to the centum I had scored in Science, but was disappointed with my score in English, the subject I was most passionate about. Math was as I- but not the others- expected. Hindi was the only subject to not hit the ninety plus mark.
“What’s your total?” asked someone in my household.
“Four hundred and seventy-three on five hundred,” came my casual reply.
“What?” said the same person in complete disenchantment.
That was all I needed to fathom that I didn’t meet expectations that were set before I could hold a pen or comprehend alphabets.
Now, why do I say all this and how is it relevant to the theme at all?
Here’s the answer to that question.
In the face of this external and internal anticlimax, there was nothing to resort to other than calling someone I trusted would make me feel better. So, punching her number that I knew better than my Math formulae, I waited and then we spoke. Her first question was about the trending topic of the day (and probably the rest of the week).
“Hey, how much did you get?” she asked me.
“That’s not something I want to tell you,” said I, my voice breaking like a hot glass that had icy water slay its surface. “But that’s precisely why I called you.”
After a little persuasion, the score came out of my mouth as the tears came out of my eyes.
And what she said immediately after metamorphosed my sadness into sweet happiness: “Even if you’re not happy for yourself, I’m happy for you.”
That gave me reason to be happy for myself as well and it was then that I realized that it’s not just the people who make you happy that matter. Of course, they matter much, but those who turn your sorrow inside out to make it ecstasy, they matter the most.