During a most disgraceful incident, it was proven beyond doubt that I am human! I was dreaming of my grandeur as usual before I was rudely yanked back into reality. And all this in full view of no less that 50 pairs of eyes that belonged to a corresponding number of people.
It all started with my signing up for a PhD. I thought I would just cruise through it and graduate at the end but less than a year into it, I have discovered that I have to actually work hard. As if that is not enough, I have to occasionally embarrass myself by speaking in front of large groups of people and try to convince them that I am not a complete idiot.
The incident I referred to earlier, was one such occasion when I had to tell a bunch of learned human beings that I too was learned. No sooner had I opened my mouth to speak, than I forgot half of what I wanted to say. My eloquence became a figment of my imagination as I stuttered and mumbled, forgetting any of the academic sounding words I had jotted down in my note book.
I almost reverted to my mother-tongue because English failed me. A volley of questions soon followed my poor presentation which gave me the impression that I was gasping for my last breath of air before finally drowning. Even as I visibly exhibited the attitude of an extremely frightened student, my oppressors (fellow students and professors) did not relent.
A few minutes later, my stupidity was confirmed when the verdict "your work is not as good as the others" was issued. Even those who felt sorry for me and tried to save me with encouraging comments were too late. I was at the bottom of the stormy sea.
I am surprised I did not wail afterwards. I accepted my failure and hoped that next time I will try harder.
I mastered only enough strength to walk back to my seat and once more I was grateful for my dark skin. The only thing that could have made that situation worse, would have been my turning red.
Labels: Failure, PhD, Prose, Research, Trying