Hello everybody, hope everybody is doing great. End SEM fever is raging high. But for engineers, ALL IZZ WELL. Well after my two blog posts on love, this blog post is to narrate the two years of my higher secondary school life. I have a very bad habit of not sharing my woes with my friends. Friendship is all about sharing be it happiness or grief. But I haven’t been sharing the latter of the two. But, in this blog post I will share everything that is within me, about how I faced the biggest downfall of my life till date. Without much ado, I begin..
The New World:
It was 11th standard then, July of 2008, the first day of 11th Standard. We all had passed our 10th board and we had to choose our stream for the future, and I chose science. Science for me was an uncharted ocean; science for me wasn’t a passion but just a mere medium to reach IT Engineering. I was never enchanted by the laws of physics, chemistry compounds or the curve tracing in maths.
So, we entered the gates of our heaven, our school on July 26th 2008. For the first time, Rebecca, Ritika and I after 3 years were standing in queues of different divisions. All throughout the prayer time,the three of us kept looking at each other letting each other know about our nervousness and excitement through comforting gestures.
It was just the first day and I felt like an alien in 11th A. I felt as if I was on some different planet in spite of Jagrut and Prathmesh just sitting in front of me. Reason being, I wasn’t in my world. The definition of my world since 3 years had just been 2 girls- Rebecca and Ritika. My day would start with them and end with them. Without them my every action would be incomplete. They were my oxygen. And on not finding them with me in my new world, I was emotionally abashed.
But sitting on the last bench just beside the backdoor of the class, I could manage to exchange a few hi hellos as 11th C was almost diagonally opposite to 11th A. Whenever I would exchange a HI with them, I would feel as if I have exchanged a HI with God himself. After the school got over the first day, we 3 met down. Becky and Riks had lot to speak about the new world, but I was dumbfound. The thing was I was just not able to accept the fact that my new world didnt comprise of the two most important people of my life. I realized that this was the thing which was hampering and I couldn’t overcome it. This case continued for days together. I wouldn’t speak in the school, nor at home, I couldn’t concentrate in the class, would just keep looking outside either to see my High School Teachers(whom I love a lot) or to see Rebecca or Ritika. I was missing terribly those people who were the most important constituents of my world- My High School teachers, Rebecca and Ritika. The only close ones I had were Jagrut and Prathmesh. This was the first step to my downfall, somewhere deep within me, my downfall had begun.
The Academic Fallout:
This was the main factor which constituted my fall. Since 3 years in my 8th, 9th and 10th standard students, all 2 years junior to me and 2 years senior to me, had heard only one guy- Anish Desai coming 1st repeatedly exam after exam year after year in the “A” division and also in all four divisions at times. (Sorry, if I am speaking too high about myself, but I give all the credit to my Lord for my achievements). Same was the case with my teachers and parents. They had stopped congratulating me for my 1st ranks after a while because my getting first rank every time had become a too ordinary deal for them. But little did they know about the disaster that was going to vandalize their son’s life completely.
But after I came in 11th I don’t know what affected me, I couldn’t perform in studies. Doubts in studies were something which had never occurred in my life before. Till 10th standard there wasn’t a single thing that which I wouldn’t be understand or grasp. But it started happening since 11th. The very first day at Toshinwal teacher’s classes illustrated me about the ordeals I was gonna face in the coming two years. All physics lectures at Toshniwal teacher’s class would absolutely go bouncer to me, point blank, sharp over my head. I wasn’t even able to understand a small fraction of what teacher explained. I would then just aim to mug up the things thoughtlessly and unwillingly. Saurabh Sir’s chemistry too was average for me and to top it over Mandani Sir’s challenging questions made me morally weak. And all this took a toll on my performance. My marks and class tests, mock tests were all time low-either average or below average. Most of the times I wouldn’t show such marks to my parents (for the first time in life, I was hiding my marks from my parents). And the test papers which I would show to my parents, on their questioning I would just reply “This is just a test, I will score in exam.” Somehow this sophistry of mine to my parents didn’t do any good to me. It was the month of September 2008, the first terminal exams of 11th commenced. My parents were still under the impression that by hook or by crook, their son would get the 1st Rank as always. But this was not something destiny wanted.
Exam got over, results were out and 1st rank to was miles away, I came 8th in the class. Yes 8th. A fall from 1st Rank to 8th rank! After the marks of PCM were revealed in the class, when dad came home that night I told him “Dady result aai gyu che, pan marks kharab che.” (Meaning: Dady result has come and my marks aren’t good). He was like-“Hmm, pan rank to 1st j che ne?” For the first time, I was in such a situation that my tongue and my mind were both betraying me. I was constantly turning up to my mind and tongue to make them answer my dad’s hope filled eyes and ears awaiting to hear “1st Rank”. But how? I had never learnt lying to my parents. So, somehow I gathered the courage to speak “Na, first rank gayo. 8th rank aavyo che”(Meaning: First rank is gone, I have come 8th). And Mom Dad both were shocked. That expression of theirs is still afresh in my mind. My mom was just standing with her hand on her heart, trying to digest just what she had just heard.
The situation got no better since then. I again came some 8th or 9th in the 2nd Terminal exam. I remember somewhere after the 1st Terminal results in the 2nd teaching phase, I had scored just a 6 on 40 in Toshniwal teacher’s test on Rotational Motion. I came home and informed Mumma about the result. Mumma inturn informed Dady. And I remember that night, I was finishing off English fair book, when Dady slammed the door of my room in angst and broke in. He was like-“ 6 on 40, are these called marks? You don’t want to study right? You know what, note down my words, you are not gonna become anything big in future. You’re simply gonna do B.Sc and do a 5000 bucks worth slavery in a small firm, note it, you get that?” These were his exact words. And I didn’t argue, because I had nothing to speak in my defense. I barely knew what was going on with me, what would I have said then? I knew my father was not angry on my getting less marks, I knew he loved his son more than his marks, but he was angry on the fact that his capable son wasn’t able to score. He was angry on destiny that had made his son fall.
The next day morning was a holiday. That afternoon, I was sitting with Mumma, she was like-“You know beta for the first time in 20 years of our marriage, I have never seen your dad not being able to sleep peacefully at night. Your dady was asking me yesterday night that Bantu nu su thase, e bhanse ke nahi(Meaning: What will be our son’s fate, will he study well or not)”. These words pounded my heart into pieces. I feel so rankled that, I felt like “what am I alive for”. I was a reason for my parents’ insomnia. If I couldn’t give any happiness to them, I had got no right to become a worry for them. My dad who has never been tensed due to any damn circumstances, an excellent performer and a stress handler like him, who is a role model for his sub-ordinates, co-ordinates as well as seniors in his office, such a man had been subjected to worry by me. Remorse had eaten up all the courage within me to bounce back. And I never bounced back. Neither in 11th 2nd Term, 3rd Term nor in 12th standard.. I never could regain the 1st ranks in two years.
All these scenes would repeatedly flash in front of me even today. I wasn’t able to forgive myself then for not matching up to my parents’ expectations.
And I was then in what world calls DEPRESSION. Anish would who chatter all the time with people around, had stopped speaking then. Even, when I would meet Rebecca and Ritika, I wouldn’t speak, I would just gaze their face with null expression on my face. Rebecca did ask me a couple of times on phone ki what was the matter, but I was too stubborn to share all this with her. I used to manage a fake smile temporarily and a few stupid jokes to make her laugh till the phone conversation lasted. But I know she might have known all this in some corner of her heart. Ritika was too busy in her own world to see me suffering. She was least anxious to know about what I was going through. And when at times I would want to share a pinch of this to her, she would end up uninterestingly saying “Kya dukhi aatma banta hai, mast rehneka hota hai, ho gaya na”. I understood, she had no interest in knowing the hell I was in. So I stopped sharing even that pinch with her.
Prathmesh was too busy with AIEEE and his new friends to look at me. And to one extent, I didn’t let him know about my state. Same was the case with Jagrut, he too was busy in the new world enjoying the new life and it was my fault too as I never turned up to him to share my woe. Sukun and Aditya were friends too new to bother with such depressing things of life. With a long distance friend like Priyanshi, I felt not bothering a girl with all this. So I never let her know all this. I used to talk on phone being absolutely normal, talking as the same Anish whom she had met her in 10th standard end. Only person left in my close ones was Shrushti, my only friend in Science who had been the strongest pillar of strength for me since the past 2 years. Without my speaking, she would know all I was going through. Without talking about it, she would keep my spirits up, she would make me realize and try to revive the old Anish that the world had lost forever. She would keep on telling me indirectly ki yes I could do it. But again, I never let her know all this. I never made anybody realize I was in depression.
My teachers (High School Teachers) would often tell me that Anish you’ve changed. You have become so quite, what’s the reason. But again, I would just lie saying that, “It’s nothing, but I am just missing you all in Higher Secondary.” To add up to the depression, I had RTW crashing twice after its launch and continual problems from the former webhost to snatch shalom from my life.
To sum it up, I had nothing good left in my left. I had lost almost everything. I didn’t have friends knowing about my awful condition, I didn’t have good results, I didn’t have my parents happy face, just nothing. I was left all alone in the world in some corner of the world. Who so ever wanted, kicked me and leaped ahead. Describing more in the next section….
Mocking and kicking the Setting Sun:
We had a poem titled “Sayankaade”(Meaning: At the Sunset) in 10th standard Gujarati textbook by poet Dalpatram. One of the verses of the poem had these words:
Puje Jano Sau Ugta Ravi Ne
(Meaning: People worship the rising sun only)
When the poem was being explained in the class, I didn’t pay much attention to this one and I remember Anjum teacher said “These are the lessons of life. Its better you learn in the class today else you life will teach them to you practically tomorrow.” And she was so very correct. Little did I know that time that, I was going to be the setting sun soon.
Anish Desai who held a very exalted reputation amongst 11th standard people had suddenly become ZERO for them after the 1st Terminal Results. I remember being ridiculed by my competitors in the B division. Before a month, every person immaterial of knowing me personally would at least have the courtesy to exchange a smile or a HI when he/she would pass across. But things had changed drastically after results. When people came to know that Anish is no more a 1st Ranker, they had passed the verdict Anish is now TRASH. So, people started taking me for granted. My own classmates reduced contacts with me. Not only classmates, but also some people whom I considered as my decent friends didn’t bother to talk to me without work of their interest. Shekhawat teacher always used to tell us “Isaan ko apne sacche rishto ki parakh uske padhti(downfall) ke samay mein hi padti hai” Same was with me I realized who was mine and who wasn’t. I realized which relations were real and which were fake. To reveal to you the magic of CHANGE, a girl (my classmate, I don’t want to reveal her name), she used to tie me Rakhi on Rakshabandhan and a Friendship belt on friendship day since 3 years. But since I lost my 1st Rank, I have never seen her turning up to me even for a HI. Amazing na??
When I would stand in group with my pals (I, Sukun, Aditya, Jagrut, Prathmesh, Shiv, etc), some people who came across, would exchange a Hi with my other pals but not me even if they saw me. Its English so I am going round and round. I will use my friend Keshu’s language. Suddenly from “Bade Log” I was classified into “Chote Log” by the people. Some people, who had been calling up or messaging me regularly since past 3 years, had reduced communication to negligible. I was no longer a difficulty solver to many. I was no longer a scholar to many. I was no longer a SAHEB to many. To many I was “Arre Anish, E to havaai gyo che.” Or “Arre Anish, E to kyan Fenkaai gyo have.” (Meaning: Anish is a wasted cracker now, Anish is thrown away far off now).
Not only this, when I was already down on the ground, there were people who even tried to dig the grave for me. Continual attempts were being made to isolate me from my friends (Sukun, Aditya & Jagrut) I had in science stream. As Aditya names them, Anti-Anish would always approach them and dig at me. And yes, they also became successful at one instance in end of 11th standard. But God is Great, for he gave me my friends back just in a span of a month since when Anti-Anish started influencing them. Remember this one Aditya?
But again God didn’t leave me stranded. He had made me capable enough to make a mark for myself in the world. Though I had lost the academic 1st to my name, I had never lost the interschools. I kept myself up for the sake of my school’s name. Prathmesh and I have faced all interschools together barring a few. In all interschools, he and my God is the witness that I have remained indifferent to all poignant occurrences happening in my personal life, I have always given the best shot on the stage and left the stage making the people applaud over whatever God passed through my tongue. If God had snatched my academic 1st from me, he continually made me win all interschools that came through these 2 years. He had kept me in the news and he had kept the people aware of my survival. In about 6-8 months, I had gained all the attention and respect back due to my interschool triumphs that I had lost due to my academic fall. I am happy about the fact that my identity in the school doesn’t owe its existence to my 1st rank but it owes it existence to the person I am, to the being I am made by God.
By the end of 11th standard I had lost the attention that I was getting these years as a 1st Ranker, but with this loss was coupled a gain. God made a new identity for me. Anish-the orator and Anish-the host of events. I regained all the attention and public respect in just couple of months due to my consecutive triumphs in various interschools, and those people who had cornered me few months ago, were again talking to me like- “Anish, tane to yaar kehvu pade.” Its then I knew ki its important being diplomatic in the world. It was then I knew what you mean by worshiping the rising sun.
But till that, world continuously made me conscious of my comparative low academic status. The world taught me that a person is esteemed in public just because of his academic, financial or job status. World doesn’t respect the person for the person he is, but respects for the status that the person holds.
The only positives:
In all this hassle, there were a few things happening positive round the corner. In such circumstances even a small positive appears to be an enormous one for a person facing depression. I had lost my academic status and I had realized it by the end of 11th standard that I am not going to regain the momentum that I had lost. I am not going to regain the 1st rank ever in my school life. It’s not that I had accepted the defeat and succumbed to the downfall, but it was all about accepting God’s commandment. God was teaching me lessons of life, he was making me gold from cheap tin, and so I had to comply to his will. But at the same time God showed me some positives hidden in all these. I will enlist them one by one.
Though my friends knew barely anything about my suffering, but they never let me left me to nature fury. I had Shrushti, my strength always by my side. I had my closest of friends then Jagrut, Sukun and Aditya with me in all up and downs. Misunderstandings did come, but they got cleared as soon as they came. They made me realize that they had befriended me and not my status. Even after an enthralling speech, Adi would tell me “Stage par kya ghutur ghu karke aaya bhadue” . A mastermind like Sukun would peacefully listen to my stupid aruguements over Physics numericals. Prathmesh was always ready to tolerate me when he was free from his other priorities. Rebecca as I call her my Angel, I was the same Anish for her whom she had re-met in 8th standard
(being in the same class till grade two). We continued to have the hour long phone conversations in the late evening. Becky I miss you. Priyanshi, to turn up to at the end of the day forgetting all this happening in life. With such great guys in my life, I didn’t feel anything incomplete. All these people remained indifferent to my academic status, and I therefore I saw a God in them.
After constant low scores, my parents had judged my problem. Mom, as always was the divine being who never lost her cool. She was so supportive that she actually made me see success in my failure. Dad though reluctantly, had started accepting the stark reality that his son was no longer a 1st ranker. He too like mom started seeking his happiness in my dwarf achievements.
All in all, the two years were the worst academic years of my life with the worst results. But God made me see all this with me in his arms. I was so safe in his arms that these things couldn’t shatter me. Never in those 2 years did I cry, because I knew I was in safe ends. God is the witness that, though I had been burning the two years, I didn’t let the smoke out of me to let the world know of my fall. I had either kept quiet or had spread the smile. I never had put a glum mask or let the demure expression hold a grip over my face. I had taken utmost care that the people around me always remain happy because of me. I didn’t want to bother anybody due to my suffering.
I had been burnt in the fire to be made gold, I had been rubbed against the rocks to be polished. I had been buried to rise, I had been charred to reconstruct. Today, I am back with the same vigor, without regrets of the past, back with academic form.
Here I end my blogpost The FALL. I hope you have liked this ultra long blogpost. Please excuse me if I have been boastful at places, I give all the glory to my Lord for whatever little prowess I bear within me.
Love & Regards,