[A short story that can help students take their failures as lessons and as a positive hope of succeeding in future. This short story all-in-all is one that teaches ‘failed’ students that failures too can be positive.]
‘Oops! I failed again’. Failure had become my anthem. Every day, without giving a miss, I failed at almost everything I lay my hands on.
“Hello is this Kiara?” spoke my telephone set’s receiver. “Yes, may I know whose calling?” and then I could not believe the words that were spoken to me. I was shocked. I could only end up saying, “Okay, I’ll be there.” What was it? Did I actually hear what I had heard? Or was I day-dreaming? “The caller-id would confirm the caller, let me check,” I spoke to myself….
A young girl with dreams, I was no different. But I was different from the different. When other girls would smartly achieve what they’ve worked for, I would be the one who would be at the loser’s end even after strenuous days and nights. I would always fall short of something or the other. I would keep asking to myself, “what went wrong this time?” and like always I would never find an answer to this regular self-questioning of mine. I was so accustomed to ‘failure’ that I started taking my failure’s quite casually, it seemed very normal to have failed. Failing was like packing my school books in ‘next day’s routine order’.
Dad got me a video game, I wasn’t much fond of video games but this was a new toy and I wasn’t planning to let it go without playing a game or two in it. Guess what, I played all the different games installed in it and I just failed, yet again! Initially I crossed the first few levels, but, as I tried crossing the second last level, to reach the final level, I failed. I was disgusted at myself and made up my mind never again to try playing this game.
Those were my early days to womanhood, when a girl’s body goes through a lot of hormone changes, and that turned me into a fat girl. I could not understand these changes that my body was going through but all that I could ‘gain’ was not just body weight but also a nick-name by my classmates: ‘moti’ (the fat girl). At first I was very annoyed, and then I decided that I would prove them wrong, that I would start exercising and would reduce my body weight. Need not guess again, the result was the same: I failed again. This failure was my first that I had accepted with a loud laugh. Yes, now I had started taking failures a little lightly.
As I grew up I faced many challenges like all do, nothing different, but the result to my facing these challenges, always, came out in the negative. At times I did succeed, but then Time would fail me. When others would have achieved their goals and would have started working towards new goals, I would have to smile and thank god for letting me survive the initial levels and reach the door-step to the final level of marking my first win.
I was quite okay with the way things were turning out to be. I started taking out different ways to survive a difficulty. My classmates, who used to tease me by calling me names, now became my friends, but the ‘moti’ name remained with me throughout school-life. I used to enjoy this nick-name and would react positively to it, as it was the first time ever when somebody had called me by a different name which wasn’t my formal name: ‘Kiara’. When they saw I wasn’t affected by their ‘name calling’ and was, to their surprise, enjoying it, they too shrugged off their devilish tone and then it became my ‘nick-name given by friends’ that I’d cherish forever.
I was the only girl child in my family but instead of being pampered I was strictly checked on. ‘Restrictions’ was another barrier that accompanied ‘failure’ in my life. I don’t know how and why, but I was quite fine with the way things were. I started taking these barriers as challenges in a game. I used to enjoy getting a way out from all odds and difficulties. ‘Life’ started changing, or may be my way of dealing with problems had changed.
One day, I received a phone call and it changed everything. I was shocked. I could not believe my ears. I checked the caller-id and checked it again and again. Yes, whatever I had heard was true. For the first time ever, I had not failed. All my life I had sat amongst the audience and had cheered and applauded for others’ achievements, but now it seemed that Time whispered to me, “it’s TIME to return the favor!” I had stood first in my Honours paper. I was the only one, in my college, who had secured a gold medal in this particular paper and so I was invited by my college to attend the Annual Function Day of the college, to be honored by the dean of the university that our college was affiliated to. That day marked my first victory.
My story doesn’t end like any ‘happy ending’ cinema. Failure is still a very important part of my life. I fail every day. I am an ‘average’ girl, who is not ‘good-looking’, who is fat, who does not have the best job, who has to struggle every day in trying to convince her parents with her approach to life, but, there’s a minor difference to Kiara from earlier times and Kiara, the girl today. Today I play up the failures of my life, in a hope of receiving yet another call from Time to announce “girl, it’s your turn now!”