When I was in grade 8, I failed Mathematics mid-term exam. To be specific, my marks were 32/100.
It did not matter if I had scored over 80% in the remaining subjects. The red line on my report card came as a lightening thunder for my Father. We were at a dinner when he was told and immediately his face went expressionless. A smile replaced by a grim, sour line across his mouth. Like, he was in utter shock. In denial. He did not say anything and yet conveyed his sorrow. Emphatically.
It was the worst thing to experience as a 12 year old especially when your father is your biggest source of motivation. I remember that feeling. He was hurt and I felt like an amateur criminal, guilty as charged!
My father’s entire universe revolved around his children and continues to do so. He would never spend a penny on himself but ensured his children attended best schools, ate at the most famous restaurants and gained international exposure through frequent travelling.
So….what did I do to make up? I went to school from 8 am till 2 pm and then took private maths tuition which lasted from 4 pm till 9 pm. I would sit in the tuition academy and practice every single Maths question – text books, past papers…everywhere! I did this for the next half term.
Exhausted brain, aching finger joints, blurred vision, constant yawning were now my new best friends.
I kept pushing myself and reminding myself that life indeed begins outside your comfort zone. My final exam result was 90/100. Even till today I am baffled where did the remaining 10 marks go 🙂 but oh well…Thank God!
Maths and I had never been on good terms until my father came along. Everybody was astounded by my spectacular performance and there were accolades coming in from everywhere including friends, teachers….but I just remember one expression, the smile on my father’s face which glistened with pride for me. The smile was back.
A girl who couldn’t even solve a simple maths problem, ended up taking Additional Mathematics in O’levels (grade 9,10,11) along with normal Maths and eventually scored A’s in both.
That’s how my father inspires me. He has taught me time and again, things worth having in life don’t come easy. If they were easy, then their worth would erode away, simply evaporate! And yes, failure is the first step towards success. Literally in my case! 😉
Happy Birthday Papa!
10th April 2013