I graduated from college at the top of the School of Business, and completed my degree in 3 years instead of the regular 4 while I helped to further various extra-curricular organizations within the university. Without the intention of standing out, I did, and without the political need to be recognized, I was.
The Vice Chancellor of the small private university that was still trying to make a name as a credible educational institution was embarrassed that the selection committee had opted for a Valedictorian who had taken 6 years to graduate and had a CGPA that was 0.02 points higher than mine. Out of a desire to be fair, he asked me to contribute an article about my life at university, and it would be printed in the two-page supplementary the university was sponsoring to publicize their third convocation.
I was given a few hours notice to produce the article, while I was traveling out of the country. I remember writing it in a dinky little hotel room in Calcutta, and faxing it to my father, who had it typed up and submitted the next day.
When the news was published a few days later, imagine my surprise to find that my article held a far more prominent spot in the spread than the congested write-up on the official Valedictorian.
And the karma does not end there.
My future mother-in-law saw the article and decided that I might be a match for her engineer, inventor son. Finding mutual contacts from my workplace, she ascertained who my parents were, by-passed a match maker, and sent my future father-in-law to my father's office, with my future husband's resume in hand. An entrepreneur in business for a long time, and accustomed to strangers coming through his office, my father assumed that Mr. H was there to ask for a job for his son. My father simply underestimated the kind of job Mr. H had in mind.
We were introduced via email, communicated via phone and lengthy emails, were betrothed in absentia within 6 weeks of initial contact, married within 12 weeks with our first physical meeting 6 days prior, and moved to our home on the other side of the world within another 6 days. Since then, I have been on a journey of defining my new identity in my new home and country.
Sometimes we simply cannot anticipate where life will take us but somehow my words on paper seem to guide where I go. My article found me my husband, my emails found me his heart, my essays found me my next professional step and words, a glorious string of them, helped me to find myself again when I felt lost in an ocean of murky thoughts.
Looking back I realize life happens as it should. There are no accidents. We own our experiences even if we don't understand its significance at the time. The university article had seemed a balm to hurt feelings back then, but it ended up being the gateway to my unanticipated future. Having the words to interpret the transformations is a gift I embrace that allows a richer appreciation of my current condition. Life is not perfect nor rosy, but there is peace in the power of expression.
- mh (c) 2020