A few months ago, I started taking admission tests in different universities after my HSC exams were over. The first one that I faced was the one for the business faculty of Jahangir Nagar University. It was on 10th September this year. I checked my seat location and it was at the Old Arts Building. So I reached the campus within 12 pm, and the exam was due at 1:30 pm. But the gates opened only 15 minutes ahead of the exam and as the line was really long, by the time I entered the building, it was 1:25 pm. I started running to and fro about the building looking for room no. 214, which held my seat. And guess what, there wasn’t any room 214 there. I searched and I searched, only to get more and more tired and I started thinking if this was really happening with me. By the time when my watch read 1:35 pm, I was sure something was wrong, terribly wrong. I ran out of the building, frantically asked a student who was standing there that I couldn’t find my room and what to do then. He ushered me to gigantic notice board. As I approached the board, it seemed it was a detailed seat plan. I rechecked my seat. And guess what, it was in the New Arts Building!
Those of you who have ever been to the Jahangir Nagar University know how vast its campus is. One building to another is a rickshaw distance of at least 10 minutes. I grabbed a rickshaw and shouted, “New Arts Building! Quick!” The rickshaw puller had one look at my face, and started paddling at breakneck speed. I reached the New Arts Building at 1:42 pm. I jumped off the rickshaw, don’t know what note I threw at him, and raced against time into the building. As I found and got inside room no. 214, my watch read 1:44 pm. In an exam of 1 hour, I was 14 minutes late. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and dug into my paper.
There’s not much left to tell. In an exam where over 24,000 students took part, I, using 46 minutes out of the allotted 60, stood 4th in the merit list.
Why have I shared this story with you? To brag? To demean those who took the test alongside me? Nah. Read the story again. Is there any word there that tells you how I was feeling in those moments? When I was running from one end of the long corridors to another, hoping against hope that one of the number plates on the rooms would read 214, and neither did? When I was on the rickshaw, and had nothing else to do but to look at the seconds tickling by on my watch? No, there isn’t. Because that’s what I’m going to tell you now. And trust me or not, I didn’t feel tensed. I didn’t feel worried, and I didn’t feel restless.
Do you know what I was telling myself? There must be a reason for this to happen. I don’t know it yet, but I will, in no time. And when I will, I will feel lucky that it happened. So I just need to wait. Just wait and see what happens next. So I just played on with what was happening. And I didn’t feel unlucky, nor did I curse my fate. I knew in my heart, nothing’s wrong. I got only 46 minutes and the rest examinees got 60. But so what? I have less ammunition than my enemy; does that mean I have already lost the battle? No! It just means I have to fight harder, and make up for my lower hand. Which may be tough, but not impossible. And come on, if you want every single challenge in your life to be easy as a pie, you probably shouldn’t be reading my blogs.
Life isn’t a straight road. You can’t see what’s ahead before you reach the next turn. So just wait till the next turn comes before you get frightened of all the mud under your feet and stop walking. You might, and I assure you, you will, miss the wonderland that lies ahead. Take my case for example. I was 14 minutes late, and wasn’t it a blessing for me? Would I get the same euphoria that I got after the results, if I hadn’t been late? Would the same pride surge through my veins if I didn’t know in my heart that I beat about 24,000 students using 14 minutes less than them? And would I get this opportunity if I had lost my nerve then, and panicked, and failed to utilize the 46 minutes that I still had?
Nothing is wrong. Never. You just need to wait till it looks right.