Saturday, May 13, 2006

What’s In A Number?

I’ve been unable to write anything for a long time now. These days, I am all busy getting and setting things to see me in the US. This whole episode of making it to the US has been the cynosure of my thoughts of late. I can’t help but think of all the effort I’ve put up the last two years to shape up this dream of mine. For this was not something like one fine morning I decided to leave for the US, took GRE dates, cleared the exams and there, started packing my bags. This has been one of the most complicated phase of my life I have ever faced. My struggle with things started the day I applied for my passport. Ever since, I have been running around from pillar to post, with 6 hours of spine numbing study at the USEFI library everyday, knocking the office doors of my recommenders, getting dollar drafts done, sending courier posts worth thousands of rupees, and the rest of the time motivating myself to see me through the process. In brief, this particular dream has meant and cost a lot to me. Naturally, people sometime tend to get superstitious with stuff that matter a lot to them. Yet so many episodes the last few months have reiterated the fact again and again that superstition and baseless assumptions have got nothing to do with fate. What’s destined to happen will happen.

It started the day when mom asked me not to wear black.
It’s your TOEFL. Why do you want to wear black?

Oh ma, do you believe in all this?

No. But I don’t want things to go wrong for you.

Oh, don’t worry ma. Things would go fine anyway.

Somehow, I knew she was not happy with my sartorial tastes on the day of my examination. But some stubborn mulish genes in my chromosomes just wouldn’t let me change. It’s not that I had deliberately worn black. But once I did, I did not want to change just for some baseless superstition (superstitions were baseless anyway). My TOEFL scorecard with the haggard looking girl with haunted eyes and a black tee shirt staring back at me (yeah, that’s my snap on the scorecard, the exhausted look due to all that tension and sleepless nights) still makes me smile. The scores actually make me grin. As I said, it’s not in what you wear, but how you perform.

Now I’ll come to the main content of my post, that is, the various instances when numbers otherwise feared and apprehended have proven otherwise for me.

Episode 1

So when have you taken your dates for GRE?, a friend asked me.

The 17th of August, I said.

Ummm.... 17? Did you consult a numerologist before deciding?,
she asked.

What? Are you crazy? Why would a numerologist decide on my examination date?

I chose the 17th simply because it’s a Wednesday and I want to watch the Chitrahaar peacefully, I wanted to tell her. But the days of Doordarshan have long evanesced, and it wouldn’t work. So I told her the simple truth.

It’s a randomly picked up date.

She stared at me as if she had seen a ghost.

But this is so important an exam. Even I have consulted a numerologist.

Good luck to you then, and may God help you, was all that I told her in my mind. I wondered if my scores could be influenced by the lame predictions of a fortuneteller.

Episode 2

I had applied to 13 schools in the US. My mom was not happy with that. The huge number of schools had nothing to do with her unhappiness. She wanted me to apply to either 12 schools or 14 schools.

Can’t you find another school where you can apply?

Oh mom I have gone through the research interests of all schools. There are no more to apply.

So why don’t you cancel one?
It took me a while to convince her that there was nothing unlucky in the number 13. It was all in the mind. But somehow, she wasn’t convinced.

One by one, the decisions were made. Those were the four most difficult and mentally torturing months of my life. Some schools accepted me while some rejected me. Some that accepted me with funding were not so good. Some that were very good didn’t fund me fully. Some asked me to wait while I made some wait. Overall, it was a mess. I’ve never felt more uncertain in life.

Then came the 13th reply that made my life. I had made it to the school of my dreams, with a great financial package. And a lovely city too. What more could I ask for?

This was the 13th reply I got. And I am definitely going there.

So you see, it’s not in the numbers. Things are achieved by sheer hard work and a little bit of luck, but never by superstition. All you need is a loads of positive attitude and confidence in your abilities.



Poornima said...

A very nice post indeed. Glad to know about your success.

Raam Pyari said...

wagon ho to umreecahhhh!!!

Restless said...

wish u all the best 4 future..

Scorpion King said...

Congrats Lass...
U made it finally , well hardwork and patience pays.

Hey 1500$ Thats more than sufficient salary , Well u can easily send money back home .

So when are u giving treat ???

But u didnt mentioned the name of University you are Joining ??

Now dont forget to write blog after going to US. And we wont forget to write comments ..

Good Luck , all the Best.
have a gr8 future..

Scorpion King .
P.S : I think u r next post will be on "Instructions to you from Your parents for going to US "

its me said...

hey good for you. COngratulations and ALL THE BEST!!!

preeti said...

Congrats sunshine...
ya u r absolutely right about superstitions and lovely way of narration...
do tell us the details of univ later..


COngrats for your success. 13 is also my luck number. My office computer number is 13. My roll number at school was 13 for 2 years. I always had been the 13th man in our cricket team. See the day you posted this post is also the 13th day of this month. So 13 is not unlucky it is in the minds of those who follow it.

Babu Moshai said...


Joe said...


We are happy sunshine.

Also, I liked this statement of yours. "All you need is a loads of positive attitude and confidence in your abilities."


kaho pyare said...

hay, 13 and 17 are lucky for you. beleive me, i am an numerologist.