I still can’t get away with the memory of that day. When my mother had to face insulting comments by the principal. I failed grade four, and life really took a turn since then. It was a regular day, the sun jingling from behind the lustrous clouds as I stood in utter confusion outside, restricted from being a part of the conversation.
A clueless boy, innocent of his deviance could only think of eavesdropping in that very moment.
It was like I lost all cognitive abilities to react in a situation I’ve never been part of. The principal’s voice crept through the door as it lingered all over me like a childhood nightmare that haunts one from even shutting their eyes closed and the silence of my mother’s embarrassment echoed in my ears. I was halfway through wondering and struggling to make sense of what’s happening with a mind blank as my exam papers; that the office door screeched open for me to get in as if it’s time for a hearing.
The admin guy stood gallant with complete silence and a lifeless expression gesturing me to get in. It was just the two of us blandly looking at each other, I could relate. Fiercely the lioness glared at me right in the eyes, all set to hunt. I was welcomed in absolute despair and the entire room was filled with nods of disappointment.
Ultimately, the outcome didn’t support my hypothetical expectations and I was introduced to the somber vision of my reality. My little arms hugged around my small chest and my head simultaneously bowed down in shame without even knowing the whereabouts. I suppose that’s the rituals designated to that room.
“Mr Sarim I’m afraid you’re going nowhere in life with this mark sheet, would you like to take a look?”
She torpedoed me with remarks and questions bringing a ten-year old’s fragile ego to complete debris. The affirmation in her tone and the despondency of her words left me helpless. “You have failed in all subjects, ridiculously, and you have failed us and your parents.” I stood before her, feeling the least I’ve ever felt of myself as she darted her stern face at me. She was right, it was a white sheet inked in blood-red all over. The next thing I knew, I didn’t want to cry in front of her.
A tear rolled down my mother’s cheek. I could sense her tired and exhaust penetrating through those hushed cries as she served me lunch. She avoided any conversation with me, but like all mothers, nothing in this world could stop her from caring for me and stuffing me with food to the top. Neither could I eat nor could I sleep. I felt like the most useless and unnecessary person and son to exist, as cliché as it sounds, but it felt like there’s nothing left to strive for anymore. There was something yet; something didn’t let this boy give up.
We went through that day in pin-drop silence.
We exchanged looks where my existence yelled an apology as I tried to meet mom’s eyes but she would look away. It was eleven in the night, the neighbourhood dogs’ howl and the lilt of crickets within the hefty gushes of wind making music with the crunchy trees nearby, made me shiver on the inside.
Mom sat beside me waiting for me to sleep as I duck my face in her arms and the distinct pleasure of a mother’s scent was all the healing I needed in that time of life. She didn’t push me away, a soft hand patted over my left shoulder as it took me under its wings and rubbed my arm in comfort. I was asleep that very second.
The next morning brought something strange with it. Some spark within erupted and pushed me ahead and this time I went harder and faster than ever. Maybe it was that tear, her silence, her acceptance hidden amidst the little irate she displayed. I was determined for payback to my principal. Or maybe it was the instinct and my intuition which roared at me reassuring that yes, I can.
I got back on my feet from that fall and focused myself to compensate all the displease I brought to my mom.
It was this phase of life that taught me to treasure the significant people in life. Nonetheless, it made me realize how unjust it is of us with ourselves when we regard failure with incompetence, completely ignoring the charm of learning and growth it brings to us.
The moral of my entire discourse is that it is of utmost importance for each of us to come to terms with ourselves in the first position. Furthermore, we as an act of individual responsibility accept ourselves and then attain realization of the self, in order to empower the self.
Secondly, we must sustain our lives over the agreement that failure is not a fear; it’s the courage to carry on.