A young girl with a bag full of homemade food, her favorite dresses and endless blessings of her parents and beloved grandmother, had just moved to Ahmedabad. The college which she dreamt of studying in had sent their acceptance a month ago. With great enthusiasm, Eva hadn’t slept during the last week. Also because her Nani drove all the way from Chandigarh to help her with packing and specially made her favorite dishes, all that just to pamper her granddaughter. Nani impeccably loved Eva and she was extremely proud of her accomplishment. But the thought of her moving away was heartbreaking for her. As she assisted with folding clothes, making space for laddo and amle ki chutney, Nani told Eva, “Life has bestowed an amazing opportunity for you dear. Use this to the full of your potential. Remember, you might fail at times but never stop working hard. Sooner or later it will payback. All of us very proud of you, and we are sure you will complete this degree with flying colors.”
As she hugged Nani and wiped her tears away, Eva knew she had to make her parents and Nani proud. Little did she know her patience and caliber was going to be tested over time.
Eva was a friendly and happy to go girl. It was no surprise she made friends with no hustle. Time flew and she kept her spirits high. As the final year approached she decided to make a difference with her thesis. Being a design graduate, she always questioned the principles of space with respect to the problems in society. Thinking on these lines she picked up a topic that made her burn the midnight oil. During her mid-term presentation, the professor ridiculed her idea. Truth be told, her idea of the study had made her work harder than other students. She subsequently lagged behind and eventually was scolded for her below-average performance. Meanwhile, she also realized, how low she performed as compared to her friends.
The incident came as a shock to her. Once a chirpy girl, now merely spoke to her parents. She was too afraid to speak to Nani because deep down she felt, she had disappointed her. It took months to recover as one day she realized, she couldn’t let one set-back define her. She had a lot more to offer and even though she had to work harder than others, she will prove herself as the most hard-working student.
The librarian of the university was familiar with Eva’s face in a matter of weeks, as she hadn’t seen any student sit for hours and study for her thesis as she did. Eva’s perseverance knew no end as she kept building up her work as the final presentation approached. She hadn’t seen her friends in months but that didn’t bother her.
It was the morning of the presentation, the sun never looked brighter for Eva. She wore her best attire and was in all form ready to present her work. With a throbbing heart, she started her presentation and took the jury by storm. Ever so confident, passionate and articulate Eva knew her work thoroughly. As the presentation ended, the jury had remarkable reviews about her. However, when the scores were announced she learned that she had yet not scored well. Eva was heartbroken. She felt like she had failed yet again. All these years she was told, marks define your academic capability and these scores would mean she was not a good performer. On the steps of the auditorium, Eva was sobbing and wondering what she would tell her parents. She felt a hand over her shoulder and turned around to see her professor, the same professor she who had marked her mid-term jury.
“Our star performer with tears? What happened Eva?”, asked the professor.
“Ma’am, did I actually perform poorly today? I wasn’t marked well.”, answered Eva.
“Marks are a formality Eva, you did exceptionally well. However, the marking indicated the overall performance during the semester. You hadn’t scored well in mid-terms, so it was reflected that way. Honestly, I was surprised to see your work today. I have never seen a student so well prepared for her work ever before in my career of 25 years. Don’t let the marks discourage you. I can assure you, this thesis will take you a long way. You may not see it today, in time you will.”, the professor explained.
It was as if the professor had predicted her future. A few months later, Eva received an invitation from a University in Germany, to publish and present her thesis work. Upon reading the letter, she couldn’t believe her eyes. With her eyes filled with tears of joy, she called Nani and thanked her for her blessings. She also called her professor, who believed in her and she herself didn’t.
The episode had a lasting impact on Eva and she learned two lessons that day, Hard work never fails and marks are just numbers, your true value lies within.
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