This is my story. This is a story of four years of agony, frustration, anonymity, and helplessness. There is also a certain take-away from this story, a moral of sorts.
There is also this very little part in which I am happy, and a ray of hope shines through the dark clouds of despair.
Yesterday, I wrote the last Math exam of my life. I have no clue how my love affair with Math ended like an unprecedented disaster. In school, Math was like a best friend. English was like a friendly shoulder to cry on. English could be relief upon. When every subject betrayed me, English stood by my side. It came naturally like it was my mother tongue. I never studied for an English test. I’d just go through the grammar lessons.
I knew all the prose and poetry lessons well enough to create my own answers. I used to top the English class. Math never allowed me any freebies. It made sure I’d have to work my backside off before I could get good grades. But in those days, even solving math felt like partying.
The music would be turned on and I’d sit and solve book after book of math. When the grades came out, that success used to taste sweeter because I had had to work hard for it. Unlike English math didn’t come naturally to me. I had to conquer it.
In College when I opted for an honors in Math all of that changed. I started faring badly. I understood all concepts but I couldn’t perform in exams. The pattern of Math now was a departure from the pattern I was good at. There was more of rote learning.
You are required to memorise and memorise lots of stuff. I’m very bad at that and it started to reflect in the grades. When someone isn’t doing well in College it starts to reflect in his personality and his social position.
Teachers started ignoring me as the dumb kid, my classmates used to make fun of me for being dumb. A person who was used to being a star for all his life was suddenly reduced to a last bencher.
This transition was difficult. I tried to live a low profile life. The Department of Mathematics taught me how to live anonymously, as a number not a face. In those days, I used to wonder if I was suffering from multiple personality disorder.
I played different roles. One role would entail the personality who was on stage, with his band and MCing for shows. Another role would involve the introvert who sat on the last bench, and looked down to avoid eye contact, one who would skip classes to avoid seeing some faces that had disdain smeared all over.
I played both roles well. Though I didn’t perform exceedingly well in Math, I did enough to keep my boat afloat.
Then things stared to change. I took up blogging, rediscovered my flair for English, met a lot of people to whom I owe a lot now.
Things started to look up by the end of 2012. The blog was my only source of self esteem in my dark days. I found a bunch of people who would care to read my opinions and love the person in me and not scoff at me for my grades. Thanks!
I also found a media house that believed in my writing and was kind enough to offer me a writing job. This was the turning point. I’m indebted to them. Those who had made fun of me are unemployed now.
The moral : fishes should never try to climb trees. I was always a fish and now it’s time to return to the water. That is where I belong. Bon voyage!