GOOD LUCK . . . FOR THIS EXAM!

Whenever my husband is really stressed he gets different versions of this dream . . .
It’s his school final exam . . . He is late . . .  And try as he might he is not able to reach on time…

Or he reaches the venue and realises that he has prepared for a different subject and exam is of a different subject…

The most hilarious one is that he has prepared himself completely to cheat in the exam but in the examination hall he cannot find the parchees (the small chits of paper used for copying). Next day morning we have a hearty laugh on the struggles he faced in his dreams. This way or that he says my struggle with exams is not getting over even decades after I have given my last exam.

There is another one . . . If everything goes well the question paper is out of syllabus.
I believe it’s the same with life. It’s an exam but the syllabus is not provided so the questions are always out of syllabus and we have to use our thoughts and experiences to ace it.

Another quote that Google gave me and I completely agree with is –
Life is the most difficult exam..
Many people fail because they try to copy others
Not realising that everyone has a different question paper..
Yes we all are giving a different exam, fighting mini battles at different fronts. Winning some and getting wounded by some. That’s how life is!

I once commented to someone that my life is pretty ordinary nothing extraordinary in it. Its like a straight path. I had this fairy tale notion that it should be like a wave with crests and troughs. Of course at that time I had been thinking only about the highs and not the lows. And life took my words literally with only a minor change. My wave began with trough rather than crest and I hit rock bottom. About two and a half years ago my husband lost his job and that taken for granted salary at the end of each month suddenly vanished. Since then it’s the biggest exam we have ever faced as a couple. During this time we have had many new experiences – struggling to keep a business afloat, looking for a job, fallout with friends, worrying about the big expenses cropping up suddenly in life. I was not prepared for this at all. I have led a rather sheltered life till now. Worrying about money was never on my agenda. Okay, we were not millionaires but there was enough to go buy. Looking at others I used to despair. Why am I facing these hardships while others are enjoying? (looking at your FB newsfeed its very easy to assume that everyone is having a gala time in their life). 

It took me some time to come out of my self-pity but then I realised that its not only me; each and every one of us is giving an exam. Only his or her question paper is different. They may not be struggling in the areas as us, but they are surely fighting the battle on a different front.

These exams / struggles / troughs do change you. I think I am a more confident person now. Gone is that scared girl who used to turn to her father and now her husband at the first sign of problem. I think I can handle things better. Even though the peak of my crest is a long long way away. I really think that at least the ascent has begun.

Wishing Good Luck to everyone for this exam…

P.S. : Since we are on the topic of exams just wanted to share that we as a family are entering that crucial year when both my children would be facing a Board exam at the end of the coming year. And all of us who are familiar with the Indian education system know how stressful it can be. So, keep my kiddos in your prayers and send your good wishes.

Tough circumstances do not necessarily mean
that the worst is soon going to be over;
they are preparations for tougher struggles.

Don’t waste time, you won’t get it back.
Don’t waste money, it will get back at you.

The struggle is inevitable,
only options available are less or more of it.

HE, WHO NEVER LOOSES HOPE ALWAYS FINDS HIS WAY OUT …

Once I met a young boy on a train. He was selling breakfast, I was surprised to see how hard he was trying to sell the breakfast. He was left with the last two parcels, when I decided to buy both of them. I asked him if he had breakfast and he responded with a “No”. I gave one of those packets to him, he refused to take it.

Me: “Now that I have paid for the breakfast, you can have it..”

Boy:  “You brought it for yourself, not me”

Me: “Not really, I cannot eat more than one of those, the food may get wasted. You have it”

Boy: “If you cannot eat them, why did you buy two ?”

Me: “I wanted to help you complete your sales, so that you can go back home”

Boy: “And what would I do after I go back ?”

Me: “I don’t know.. What do you do in general ?”

Boy: “I sell breakfast in the morning and snacks in the evening along with tea. So, I am free until evening and in no hurry to get back home.”

Me: “The breakfast is very tasty…”

Boy: “Thanks so much.. You are the very first one who ever appreciated it. I am getting better”

Me: “Did you make this breakfast ? I thought you were only selling it”

Boy: “Who would make ? I lost my parents in an accident. I live alone and make a living with this. I used to go to school before this and I wish I could continue it, but cannot.”

Me: “How do you manage everything alone ? “

Boy: “I miss my parents a lot. They were my strength, I had everything I wanted. Life changed so much after them. I was thrown away from my aunt’s house, because she was feeling that feeding me is waste of money. I had to live. So, I started selling food. Initially I didn’t know how to cook, I joined a hotel for cleaning the tables and learnt making some dishes, after which I could start this on my own. Of course I had only the tea stand to start with. I took a bicycle on rent to sell tea, then I bought my own bicycle, now I rented a place where I live that also serves as kitchen for my business”

Me: “What do you want to become, owner of a big hotel one day ?”

Boy: “Aren’t you restricting my capability of growth to the skill I currently have ? I may become anything I love to do in future. Struggle is a part of life, only hope and hard work can make us move forward, rest everything is just an external factor that may or may not aid me in getting to my goals”

Oh Boy!! What a broad aspect of life and thoughtfulness … That young boy has a view of life that many fully grown up individuals lack. 

That boy knows a little about societal pressures, may be that is why he had less fear while facing situations that were challenging him at times. His hope never dies because he is seeing an opportunity in every problem and tackling it by nurturing his talent. He never gave up. Loosing his parents, being thrown on to the road, not having skill or experience. Imagine a 12 year old fighting his way through life…

Do you see the difference? Often when we know what other factors can contribute or hinder our hopes, we tend to fall prey and loose hope. Without hope there is absolutely nothing in life. This is where we need to find our balance back by holding ourselves. Everything that happens, every situation we handle has to make us more stronger and prepare us for our future struggles.

A lot of times , with many of us it so happens that everything seems to be going against us. Each and every step we take turns out to be creating more and more problems. In the constant quest to make the situation better, we keep trying different ways – all this is nothing but hope and our determination to make things better. 

We don’t need another person to give us hope. Every one of us have a glimpse of hope in ourselves ….  We just need to keep going !!!

AFTER THE DARK NIGHT THERE IS A BEAUTIFUL DAWN AWAITING

Butterflies are things of beauty. But there life starts with a struggle – when the butterfly tries to break through the cocoon to enter into this world its a fight of its life; it has to break its way out. But its this fight that helps it get stronger. When it breaks the cocoon with its legs it makes its wings stronger and this makes the butterfly more agile.

As my brother mentioned in his article, ‘What does not kill us makes us stronger.’ And that is true. Everybody has to face a time of trial and tribulation. They have to go through that period of inevitable change. Because as they say “Change is the only Constant.” 

The thing which we need to do during this is persevere and believe that when we come out on the other side as survivors we are stronger – that we have evolved into a better version of ourselves. It’s our troubled times that keep us grounded, that makes us validate the existence of a higher power at work. Yeah! You are right… I am talking about God. And that thought keeps us humble and human.

A transition also helps in keeping the faith alive that everything that is happening is for the best and that after this dark night there is a beautiful dawn awaiting … And its going to be the best …