Friday, May 27, 2005

I failed

I do not exactly feel like writing. And I do not feel like doing anything else either. Reason? Well, there are many. Foremost among them is the fact that my confidence in me has taken a severe beating recently. I am amazed as to how each time I think I will crack, I am left standing. Looks like I am growing resilient to... failure. Failure to do what, you may ask? This is where it gets complicated. Let's try to analyze this.

Yesterday, class X results came out. Boards... groan! I get a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, every time I hear anything about them. If you are thinking I failed mine... I didn't. Whew! But that's besides the point. One of my father's colleagues called to tell us that his son had got 93% marks. The boy, well I know him a little bit, has... a wild streak. So everybody is relieved that he has done well. Really, really well. Then I hear something like, "If he can keep this up in 11th and 12th, then he's ..." I do not want to hear the rest of that sentence. Why? Because the moment I heard that, I thought, "Poor boy! Now he's burdened for life. He'll not have a clue where his life will go during the next two years." Its like if you do well once, you have to keep doing well. Or if you fail once, you can never succeed again. If only the Sith deal in absolutes, everybody seems to have succumbed to the dark side.

Does anybody care how much work anybody puts into a thing? Suppose a boy who has studied hard all semester, fails to do the exam right. It can happen, I've seen it happen. Is it not wrong to label the boy a failure? What of all the work that he did? You might say that a stupid exam does not matter, and if the boy has learnt then nothing else matters either. That may be right. But ask that boy how he feels when he sees his marks. This is not about an exam, in case everybody is wondering what I am rambling about. Its about seeing something you gave your life to, broken. Broken by those, who do not have a right to break it, but have the power to do so.

The whole thing is skewed. Why am not what I am without any success or failure? Why am I not sure about myself? I hate being unsure. I hate the fact that somebody else's opinion of my work matters so much in my life. I feel helpless. This ought to crack anybody, ain't it?

Then why am I still standing? I am standing because I see around me people to whom I am me. Me, without what I know, without what I can do, without what I can achieve. Just me. I see around me people who still trust me, more than I trust myself. I see people around me who stand by me as friends and family. So maybe... maybe the light side of the force still has a chance.

I like this poem by Kipling. It says a lot better, what I would want to say:

If - Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream -- and not make dreams your master,
If you can think -- and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings -- nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And -- which is more -- you'll be a Man, my son!

I've been wandering all over the place while writing about this. And I do not know if I made any sense or not, but I know I am trying, And I'll keep on trying... trying sincerely, faithfully and with everything I've got. I do not know any other way to get over this.


  1. understand ur agony - every other day one thinks, "so what exactly have i been doing?" - that despite others' loud approvals at everything that you do. am i making any sense? now that i re-read it, i don't think i do.

    o well, kipling's poem is fantastic, spot on.

  2. i dont know if i make sense as well.. but i am constantly amazed at man's ability to form rules and regulations and systems to judge other men and with those flawed man made ways... we are all made to feel like losers...
    but you need to realise that you have not failed.. in the least... when people see that in you.. you are powerful...and so.. i suggest.. keep wandering ... but dont forget that.and in your constant trying.. you are a success.

  3. i think the entire perspective of our education system is askew.
    i pity kids who have interests other than academics.

    btw that poem by Kipling has alwayz bin a favorite of mine

  4. @stiletto: Confusing as it is, making sense, you are.

  5. @grafx: *hugs* My morale is up two points already!

  6. @swathi: Skewed perspectives are the cause of a lot of misery in this world.

  7. Very touching post....I am moved till the core...
    I just know this...
    "No defeat is final until you give up"
    Till you are IN, you are not defeated... :-)

  8. @mind: Oh... I am very much IN. In a lot of mess, but in nevertheless.

    btw I tried visiting your blog, and the url does not seem to work.