Dear Zaleela Apa,
I’m in the seventh year of my four-year B.A. degree. If I pass all my exams next month, I might finally graduate. My whole family is looking forward to it. My mom says she’ll make sujji ka halwa and send it to the entire family, even to the phuppo she conveniently ‘forgets’ on Shab-e-Baraat. My dad is already getting his tailor to measure for a special sherwani he will wear to my convocation. He had given up hope and this will be as unexpected for him as the birth of my youngest brother.
But I’m afraid. Afraid of passing. What will I do after? My friends will get on with their lives and we’ll lose touch. My pocket money will stop as soon as my dad takes off his tailored sherwani. My girlfriend will get married to her older cousin who is completely his LLM. And on Eid when the relatives visit and find me at home, the question will go from “Beta still studying?” to “Beta still not working?”
I look at my GPA and it’s somehow lower than before I started university.
But who will hire me? My only work experience is opening the gate for the maid and fetching towels for my dada when he showers every third Wednesday of the month. Sometimes I think I’ll apply for a M.A. so I can delay all this for another year or two. But then I look at my GPA and it’s somehow lower than before I started university.
What should I do?
– Failing at Life
Dear Failure to Graduate,
I sympathize with the mental agony you must be going through right now. But rest assured, your problem is neither new nor unique. Statistically, every fourth child ever born in our households turns out to be a forgettable disappointment to his parents, community and country. Back in the old days when it was considered unnatural to have less than 13 children, this was the child whose age, name and existence fathers used to forget. This child had neither the smarts to be the family MBBS, nor the daring to smear the family name and be the reviled yet memorable black sheep. This child—lacking in wit, personality and character—is you.
Statistically, every fourth child ever born in our households turns out to be a forgettable disappointment to his parents, community and country.
I don’t mean to put you down. But you can’t go against statistics and God’s will. My advice to you is accept what you are and look at the bright side of your mediocrity. Shahrukh Khan, B.A. Economics, and perhaps the greatest of living actors, once said, “Success is not a good teacher. Failure makes you humble.” Your life has been one constant humbling experience. Stick to what you know best and without hesitation fail the finals again.
Zaleela Apa is the Daily Fikar’s in-house expert on life. Her only passion is advising people on how to deal with life issues and maximize their happiness. Send your questions to Zaleela Apa at firstname.lastname@example.org.