This is a difficult post for me to write. That’s because, my life took a U-Turn from the glories of Xth Std where I had finished second in my class and fourth in my school. In 6-8 months, I found my rank slip to 25+ in XIth Std., and even worse in XIIth Std.
I always took academics seriously and my results reflected that. One thing changed in XI – I shifted from CBSE to the *dreadful* Matric system where one had to memorize even Maths problems (Millions are forced to do just that in India).
I hated this new syllabus and this new board. When I hate something, I hate it with all my heart. I was sitting before books in the evenings, but was not able to study. I mean memorize. Maths, from being my favorite subject became my worst nightmare. Not that other subjects were faring any better. Computer Science was an exception though.
The more I tried to study, the more I ended up not studying. For someone who has always been focused on academics, this was a disaster.
I even remember when my Maths teacher from CBSE met my Maths teacher from Matric and I happened to pass by. The CBSE teacher said how good I was in Maths, and the Matric teacher was wondering why because I was (by then) put in a special coaching for slow learners!
My situation became that bad in such a short time. The worst thing was, I was helpless. The final results in XIIth were fine actually, but it was nowhere close to what I aimed and I did not get an admission into BITS Pilani – the primary reason why I shifted to Matric from CBSE.
In hindsight, I think, these difficult periods are very important in life. Nature has its own way of teaching life lessons and I learned a very important lesson: Academics is not the only thing in life!
This bad academic performance continued throughout the rest of my academic career. That meant only one thing – I couldn’t take up a traditional ‘techie’ career that most of my friends got into.
Thank God I didn’t.
That’s why the difficulties I went through this period were so important. They forced me to see that there is life beyond academics.
These difficult times were the foundation for all the risks that I would take later on.
Because, by then, I was used to failing. And I was no longer afraid of it.