She conjured the silly numbers on and even sillier piece of paper to rise and chase her dreams, her desires, that she now watched disappear. He stared at his knuckles, that shed tears in pure red as he punched the poor wall feeling powerless to dream for himself. Wrists were slashed as ambitions shattered. Eyes grew numb as dreams disappeared. The souls now wandered empty and lost. Young minds aged overnight knowing that their fates just slipped out of their trembling hands. Now, books appeared evil and fantasies seemed strange. Now, friends looked foreign in this never ending rat race.
The first day of June, warm and humid imbibed a tang of cruelty of its own kind. A bitter flavor of regret, of dying ambitions, deadened the summer air for thousands all over the subcontinent. The Board results have just been out.
In the crowd of happy hearts, among the thousands who have done very well, hide the faces of those young hearts that have failed, again. In the loud cheers of those rejoicing, I can’t help but not think about the unheard wails of those many hopeful hearts, slowly , miserably, crumbling down into naked dust. Little do these brave hearts know, that these numbers don’t define a thing. I wish I could let them all know how meaningless that result really is. Those happy smiles and hopeful hearts will soon fade away once the college cut offs come out. Nothing is ever enough in this faulty world of ours.
For those who are shedding tears of happiness, for those who are happy andhope to get into the college of their dreams, I want to congratulate you. I am happy for you. However in a month or two, if the college cut offs sadden you, if you behold your hopes shatter and die, if the sudden realisation of cruel competition keeps you awake at night, do not cry. This is going to be just another time when reality bursts a beautiful balloon that you spend years blowing. You don’t have to get into the best of the best, you don’t have to shy away from disappointing yourself . We all do it, we all survive. You will make it too. The paths to success wind up from all sorts of places. Getting into the best college DOES NOT guarantee success. Getting into the fourth best college SHOULD NOT instil inferiority complex. You have done well. You gave your best. You cannot control everything, and it is okay. It is your talents, determination and sheer motivation that will lead you to success. Believe in yourself.
Here is a call out to the ones disappointed, no amount of tears and heartache will ensure you a stable career. You must get up and fight. Fight against your fears, fight against the future that your marks have designed for you and sketch out one of your own kind. There is a world beyond this never ending rat race , find it, believe in it. If you let these numbers consume you today, you will be stuck in this spiral of disappointments. Live for yourself. Today your marks might not permit you to find the college of your dreams. Today your parents might taunt you for being average all your life. Today if you are planning to hold back and wallow in self pity, you must know there is a little piece of heaven for everybody. Get yourself into a course that you might be even slightly interested in . You never know how and when you fall in love with that field. You haven’t seen the future and neither am I good with predictions but there is one thing I am certain about, if you put your heart and mind into something, you will find your way to excellence. Do not give up. Recognise your strength. The dust of yesterday’s fallen dreams will instil the fuel of fearlessness in you and before you know it, in a year or two, you will be walking on the road to success.