Read the first part here.
The priest asked me , “What do you think will happen if you don’t do well in the entrance exam?”
Now if you’re born to Asian Parents, well this isn’t really an option. No one really gives you a choice. No one had ever asked me that. I had never envisioned otherwise.
I wiped my runny nose with that icky nylon dupatta which wasn’t very good for wiping mucus at all. “I don’t know“, I mumbled. “I’m very scared.”
He said “Nothing will happen. You will move on. You will do another degree. You will find a job, you will get married, have kids and you won’t remember any of this.”
And it was like the first ray of logic amidst all the insanity.
After that, he went into priestly mode. He asked me to say a few Hail Marys as penance. And I moved on.
I never saw him, my phantom priest, after that. But I got through that day, that ordeal of subsequent classes because of him. Those words didn’t lead me through just the struggle of entrance exams. It got me through many situations later in life where I felt stuck and I asked myself would this really matter 5 years from now? And more often the answer was No.
In 2001, I did secure a decent enough rank at the Kerala entrance exam. I graduated from a great college, finally lived at a hostel where I learnt to laugh instead of cry and made some good friends. As the priest predicted, I got a job, got married, and had kids. The much coveted engineering degree didn’t really dictate how much happiness I found in my life. My parents might beg to differ though 🙂 They were pretty excited about my rank 😉
Have you had any such defining moments in your life?
I would love to hear about them!