I and Maths

In my school time, I could hardly pass in Mathematics each year. Maths was certainly not an important subject for me and I wondered why does everyone say that it is the most important thing to score only in Maths and Science compared to rest of the subjects.

In my mid-school, my parents even took me to the doctors and insisted them to give me syrup for increasing memory. Yes, I took those placebo kinda bitter syrups. Funny thing is my parents never taught me maths.

My parents hardly ever attended teachers meeting and whenever one of them did, they told teachers that I am not like other students. My mom always informed teachers that I am the weak student and I have memory issue. That’s the reason I cannot score good in Maths and Science. Every time teachers replied, she can’t be weak because her performance is good in other subjects and she is a good student always. Yet, parents had made it a fact that their elder child is the smartest and the younger one is the dumbest. With these every year struggles, they convinced me well, that I am the weakest person and I have some memory issue.

What is the truth? Was I really the dumbest and weakest child?
The whole class went for Maths tuition including my sister did the same. But, I did not until the 9th grade . Although, 9th grade was not planned ,it was mandatory to join for enrolling 10th grade classes. In those days, 10th grade was hike, compulsion for everyone to join coaching classes for Mathematics and Science.

Upto 8th grade, I lacked sources to learn and I eventually began to be scared of Maths because my mind has accepted that I am weak. The teachers who taught maths in school were not teaching well. Rather, mathematics and science teachers- both were not at all good at teaching. Instead of parents complaining to them to change the teachers, they made students join outside for tuitions. The textbooks were there but the guidance to format questions and answers was not there. In the primary and high scool age, students do necessarily need guidance throughout the year.

Being treated as a weak child and being told often actually programmed my mind that my memory is weak and maths is not made for me. I believed which is not true. I believed what was put into my mind.

The institute where I learned 9th and 10th Maths was not that helpful, it was all about branded Institute. But, it did improve my skills in both science and maths which helped me to show better marks on the result marksheet card. One fine day, I found a book in the market. This was the best book. I found another book from a different institute. This helped me in doing self study. For the first time, I was studying with interest not for scoring good but I was studying curiously because the books were detailed and interesting perhaps, very easy to learn. It was like for the first time, I found the magical source and that’s there I learnt Maths is not difficult. People have just put the wrong tag on it.

Good teacher and good guidance is indeed important. When there is no teacher, good book comes handy. Moreover, a good book is written by none other than a good teacher cum writer.

There was one girl in my class, who was so not good at studies. I once went to her home after the school and her mom complained to me. She complained how this girl does not remember things and is not good at studies. They already had other problems in life and having one of the child doing bad at studies in 10th grade became the frustrating thing for her. I promised her that I will teach her daughter. Without even second thought, I did because I had learned everyone is capable of learning if they are taught in the right way. She had join tutitions but she could not do well. We were not that close friends. But, I could see some pain in her mom’s eyes and I wanted to make sure that I help them out.

Everyone including her thought that she is not good at studies. No, all she needed was a different method of studying. All she needed was the right amount of guidance that could make her easier to learn this so called hateful mathematics.

Each and everyday I started walking few kilometers to her house only to teach her. Yes, I had problems in my family but I did not stop going there. Without fail ,I went there. We sat in the the corridor or on the stairs of her building and studied together. There were times she did not want me to come. She hated studying and since we were not that close. That’s why she did not want me to visit daily. We were running out of time, so I continued teaching her.

On the 10th grade board exam, we both were in different classes. Unfortunately, I fell off sick on the exam day. I slept off on the desk. My mind did not work at all. I just attempted random easy question. As an attempt , I did not even solve. I just wrote question or any rubbish thing and slept again. When I came out, I saw everyone celebrating. All of them were happy and saying that the paper was easy. There were different sets of paper. Some were hard and some were easy. This girl came to me and was jumping happily saying : she will pass the exam and score good. I had tears because I knew I will fail. It was embarassing how all are enjoying and how I am gonna fail badly. She repeated often that she will pass. She was so over confident.

On the result day, I should be thankful to whosever was the examiner , the one who checked my paper. Because that person passed me, with just passing marks. I just knew this girl also passed. We did not cross much again in the next year. As a friend, I thought why this girl does not meet me. But, somewhere I was happy , even though my hardwork did not work out for me, it worked for her.

In the later education time, I moved from the metro city to a small city . I had to give one extra subject by doing self study because of inter state rule of changing college. I was not happy with my life anymore. I was staying in the outskirts of the city and was living a dreadful life everyday. (The reason of this will be shared in another chapter.)

The professor were not behaving well with me and other student. We were mistreated as bad students coming from metro city background. Everything in life going in wrong way was putting me into depression state at the early young age of 14-15. Once again, just a simple Maths subject which should not be a big problem became one of the things that needs to be tackled upon.
The professors were not teaching well. I did not have previous syllabus background due to inter change state issue. One of the professor was also the prinicpal of the college. He had signed a form which mentioned only I will be the student learning one extra subject.

I scored high even in self study for extra subject. I was being called as unique student. No one knew it. I was being called often in the staff room and was asked who is my guide and how I do things different than four divisions. I did not have any guide for other subject but I had my technique of learning now. Even one textbook per subject was enough. I was not just writing textbook things. I had methods of studying and methods of representing that surprised my examiners.

As maths became one of the hurdles again, my uncle taught me few chapters. My uncle knew me as the weakest child because he heard it from my parents. All my relatives also thought I am the weakest kid. At the end of the lessons, uncle told my parents: She is better than all other students I have seen so far. I am not saying because she is part of this family. But, I have seen other students and she is different. She is not at all a weak child.
Unfortunately, my parents did not believe it. Because for them only the eldest child is the best one.

Prior days of board exam day of next high grade level, I had argument with the Principal. He hosted a meeting with all professors. I won the argument. He said I should have never learned 7 subjects . I should study same like others. When I showed him the proof of his sign and how I spent whole year studying extra and all of you took my exam but never told me not to back then. Everyone realised what went wrong. I cried a lot for two days as the type of heated arguments happened and my hall ticket was not even confirmed. On the same day, while going back home something worse happened with me (Will share later in the chapter)

At the end of the grade, I wanted to leave this small city. A city that gave me only nightmares. I struggled so hard but my parents did not let me go. I was back to the same place for my higher education.

The education was professional but people around were not. Some teachers were too good and some were not. One day one of the teacher called me up separtely and asked, ” Why did not you become leader of the class.” I was confused. I said, how can I be? She said, ‘you are name was suggested by the Principal of your earlier education grade. We already had discussions and we wanted you to be the leader of the whole department. When we asked students interested to be leader stand up, we were waiting for you.” Later on, I was told,”.. even if you don’t get the status of leader , you will be handling some of the reponsibilities. “

Throughout the three years, there were inside staff room discussions wherein I was being called. Due to some known professors and other high people’s children in the same class, staff was forced to favor certain students. Every time, I was told you deserve it but we can’t pick you up until you ask for it. Even if they score high, my marks mattered more. I was not interested but still knowing how much value I am getting and being reminded who I am was indeed a satisfying thing.

During these years, I was able to meet my old principal once in a while in the same building area. There he was greeting all by himself first. Coming to me happily and talking to me. There was a time when I was hating him because of all the trouble I felt during the earlier grade. But, then when he got to know me personally as a student, he respected me. Even though he was old, he treated me like I am someone important. My perception towards him changed. I heard others saying he is strict and I experienced too. He is irresponsible, somewhere I experienced it too but somehwere I experienced more that there exists good side to him.

He was again my professor and once again as my Maths Professor. This time I was no more a student who did not know something. He gave questions in class and I solved within seconds. He gave questions that needed few pages to be solved , I did within minutes. He was surprised and happy. He was always proud of me.

During one of the company interview, I was one of the topper among the city. But, I lost the final seat and reason was partiality. I was broken how long will the partiality will win everywhere. Why people can’t favor the hardworkers?

For other reasons, I left city and moved to some other metro city.

In the new city , I was forced to study for bank exam by my family member which was not my career line. I joined some coaching center but the tutors were not good men. After giving many exams, I gave up as the cut off marks were in favor of reserved seats and references. Somewhere I realised I don’t want to do something which I am not interested in it. After giving 15 different bank exams, I left it.

After 10 years, on one night at the airport outside area in the dark. There was someone calling my name from far. I was surprised to see it was the same Professor. I reached to him. He was so proud of me. I went there to drop someone but he assumed I am going abroad. He knew what flight is there next so he thought I am going by that flight. He said:” I am so proud of you. I always knew you would do something great.”
When I told him,” I am nothing ,Sir. I became nothing.”
He was disappointed. He replied,” You can’t go wasted. Why are you speaking like this? ”
I told him ,”…due to personal reasons, I lost my career line. A lot went wrong in life and I can never be someone great. …”
He replied,”…Ok, but I am proud of you and you will be someone great someday. “

Seeing him being so happy to see me and recognise me even in the darkness that too with my changed face. As I don’t look same like before and I was fighting with some sickness still he recognised his old student. People find it difficult to remember my actual name but he remembers it well. I could not be someone great but meeting such people who say something beautiful is what makes life bit achievement kind.

6 years later my 10th grade friend texted me on social media.
Her, first message was thank you for helping me to pass 10th grade. You saved my life. We were not again very close friends but we tried to be in touch. We were out of touch again.

After 15 years, I spoke with few of our other common friends on video call. I saw some of them for the first time. After 9 years , we(me and her) were in touch again through this call, there she was instead of saying : hello , how are you?
She said: “Everyone wait, I want to say something.”
She said, “I will never forget this girl. She worked hard to pass me. I passed 10th because of her. The only person who helped my life and saved my life.”
That 10th marks certainly helped her in some way and reason for her and mother to be happy for her.

I felt so good. Especially, while living consistently through the rough times and this call was fixed on one of the rough days. When I sacrificed big things for some people and they were ungrateful to me but, in the same time hearing such beautiful thing unexpectedly actually, gave me the reason to live.

Some people are thankful even after ages. Some never forget help and some are ungrateful. Be happy with the ones who are thankful to you.

That little me cried whenever I checked those low marks or promoted sign.

That little me cried knowing someone passing because of me but how to tell anyone that I am gonna fail.

That young girl in me was frustrated and hurt when saw the partiality in the interview.

That decisive girl in me felt this is not what I want, even if I could do better in it , I don’t want to do it.

Only time I will connect back, when I have to ever teach anyone ever again.

I did not know my worth until others told me. Until others recognised me and made me realize how far I can fly. πŸ˜‰

Believe in positivity and not the negative comments. Everyone has the ability to learn skills. It’s all about finding the right methods and tricks of learning. Grades don’t always matter, what matters is the journey that shapes us , that creates us. πŸ™‚

There is more inside stories connecting to this story which I will complete it, I will connect them later. πŸ™‚

Thank you for reading πŸ™‚

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