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Friday, March 6, 2015

Looking beyond the worst case scenario

If you were ever asked about a worst case scenario what would your reply be? It would of course be linked to an event, experience, situation or relationship one was going through at that period of time. In other words worst case scenarios are not static but change in tune with our change and movement ahead. Also, when one thinks of such a scenario one thinks of the worst that can happen. But what happens if events hurtle beyond one’s imagination of the worst case?

 By now the whole world, my whole world, knows that I am not to be disturbed. This knowledge is but a natural corollary of my chant uninterrupted for the last 365 days or so. Yes, for close to a year I have had only one sentence spilling out of my mouth, “I really can’t. You see it’s the son’s 12th”.

So, when at work I was asked to handle an extra assignment I trilled happily, “really can’t-it’s my son’s 12th”. Then my sister rung up to say that all of us- sisters and husbands and kids should take a holiday together. I opened my mouth to say the idea was pretty neat but what came out was,” really can’t….” Elder sisters are known to pull no punches and my elder sister gave me an earful of how I was obsessed, how I made her nephews ( my son) life miserable, how considering it was only May with full 9 months to go for the boards I was being absolutely unreasonable etc . Now, the point is I knew I was being silly but being ticked off only makes one compound one’s silliness. So I stuck to my guns and my chant of it being the year of the 12th.

Then early July the maid announced that she wanted to go on leave. I was honestly taken aback and surprise made my voice quiver when I said,” how can you do this now? You know it is the year of the 12th”. The maid, equally clearly taken aback by the sheer force of feelings in those words nodded and mumbled something about not realizing the gravity and tottered off to pour her heart out to the other maids in the park.

This saga continued for almost the whole of 2014. Museum visits were put off, garden society meetings skipped, blog neglected, and my favourite 9 p.m movies sacrificed…. I could see the husband and daughter confabulating in muted voices and the son himself all irked and clueless about ‘how to tackle mom’ but with the fervour and zeal of a born again evangelist I plodded on in my mission of ‘I have to put my best foot forward in being a good mom and doing my best for the 12th’.

Just a few days before THE exams the husband came and sat next to me ( normal) and smiled( still normal) and said that he had been thinking( not so normal) of how the Indian education system is so flawed and so skewed ( not at all normal for him to spout such strong views) and how we really should not expect much from our son- after all how could anyone blossom and perform in a system that sucks so…I  heard him out, nodding at all the right moments and not one to be left behind in the moment of enlightenment said that he was absolutely right and so on and so forth. The husband, clearly relieved at forestalling his worst case scenario (of my breaking down when the results came out) went off but left me ruminating on my own worst fears.

The day of the exam arrived with a sky that had flung its arms generously outwards to allow rain full access and liberty to Delhi. The exam centre is about 30 minutes drive from our place but being no stranger to  traffic snarls in times of rain it was decided that departure time should be an hour and a half  before the start of the exam. The father son duo left home and I gave a sigh of relief that chalo, now that the exams are starting they will soon finish and I would be free to do the various things I had put on hold. Just then the phone rang. It was the husband. There was a mother of all traffic jams and there was no chance of it clearing up.

Worst  case? The worst case I had been thinking about the whole year was the outcome- the marks. The possibility that the son  may not even reach to give the exam? Nah, never ever thought of that.

Well, the son did reach – almost on time. The family chipped in in a big way and all but airlifted him and dropped him. But I have finally come to my senses and realized that spending  one’s life in dreading outcomes and fearing the worst is a no brainer because ‘worst’ is also a very subjective and relative place to be in. Bottom line- savour and live every minute.


  1. Ah, Anju!!! I am so glad to see you back..and enlightened, too! :)) Please stay this way, come what may!