Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Life Lessons – Failure….or is it???

Dedicated to my brother Madhavan,
He is not my blood but through him God showed me, family tie need not be of blood alone.

(This paragraph is added on 1712/2011: I am linking this post to the writing prompt from Marcy's 'Scene from a memoir I haven't written yet'.Its about a time when something  did not exactly turn out the way i planned it too. And ... GATE is an exam Indian Technical students have to pass to be able to do their Masters in their respective fields.Indian Institute of Technology ( IIT ) are the most prestigious group of colleges here.)

I will never forget the day my second GATE results came out.I had got 96 percentile, the same as the year before. You might congratulate me, the way many did that day but it was not good enough for me.I wanted to do structural engineering and that too from the prestigious IIT’s of my country but for that I needed atleast 98 percentile and that too just to get a call for interview.I had tried the Year before but I had got only 96 percentile.So I decide to try again in 2007.I opted to work while preparing for GATE2007.Everyone said that if I went to work then I would not be able to concentrate on my preparation.Some said my interest would go and I would be happy with my Job.Some others said this was just a phase,in the end one is always satisfied with what one had.I wanted to prove them wrong.Most of all I wanted to prove that if one wanted one could try for something and get it too and try I did.Yes one thing was true. My preparation did suffer as my job was quite demanding but still I tried.I had never worked for anything in my life before.I had never any dreams before and even if I had dreams, I have never worked to attain them. This was to be my first time.

I still remember that day. I was in the office when the results came out.I was heartbroken and I cried and cried and cried.Everyone who did not notice anything congratulated me on my great score.Everyone who did notice consoled me but, even the well meaning words meant to console me were painful.To pretend to be consoled was more difficult.

Fast forward a Year. Joined a NIT for Structural Engineering. Outwardly I had nothing to complain. Wasnt I doing exactly what I wanted to do. Still, everytime an IIT would come in picture, everytime GATE scores were discussed, it would pain.

That Year my Thambi (brother) had attempted CAT. Just like me he had dreams to study in an IIM. But  he wanted to earn some money for his family first. He worked for two years, He kept trying  and then for the last time, he attempted CAT once agin. Results came and he had a high percentage BUT unfortunately not enough for an IIM.I could not talk to him the whole day and at night we called. We talked about the percentage, the options in front of him and then we talked about many more things.

At the end of the conversation , when we were going to keep the phone he asked me,
“Why did you not congratulate me?” and I replied “  how can I congratulate you  when I know you have failed”. I don’t  remember the exact words of what we talked after that but there was this perfect understanding between us. He did not have to pretend to me. That day, I think I might have been the only one who completely understood what he was going through. Maybe even his best friend could not boast of it. I don’t know.

And the moment I realized that I understood him , I knew why I had got 96 percentile the last Year.
If I had not got that 96, I would not have understood that feeling. Then I would have congratulated him.If not I would have consoled him. I would have pained him in one way or the other. That day I learnt a valuable lesson. A lesson to value other’s success and failures by their standards only and not mine. A lesson that sometimes just listening is the best way to console  and a lesson that everything happens for a reason. Somehow from that day on, I have never regretted that 96 percentile.I have not had that feeling of failure. The lesson that everything happens for a reason  made stronger with another similar incident is now one of my mottos and it gives me the strength.


  1. wow.. extremely well written!!..

  2. thanks yaar,Actually its a post which i also felt was good after a long time...glad you like it

  3. This was a very interesting story to hear your reaction at first and how your ideas about your test result changed over time. Thanks for linking up!

  4. Sharing that experience definitely makes you more able to understand his feelings. It's nice that he had you to share the disappointment with. Not easy for either of you!


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