I have never failed an exam in my life.
Does that mean I am super brilliant? Heck no. That just means I haven’t taken up enough challenges in my life. It means that I have stayed in my comfort zone , doing things I have been sure about. I had even registered for some exams, and chickened out at the last-minute thinking I am not prepared, I am sure gonna fail. Hence there was no exam which I took and failed. But there is a major flaw in this system. It restricts my view of the world. Though not blatantly, but in my head it makes me think “Oh, I am quite cool”. And there goes that.
When I gave my Chartered Accountant (Indian CPA) exam, luckily for me, I cleared it all in the first attempt. But what if I had not? Would I have had the guts and the patience to take it again? or would I have chosen another career path? Would I have excelled far better at something else or become a sloppy worker, just going through the day? There is no way to know.
In school whenever anyone asked me “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I always answered heroic professions like a criminal lawyer, a journalist etc. And apparently, I answered with such conviction that even now when I meet someone from school, they are shocked to realize I did not pursue law or journalism. How and when accounting profession came in my life is kinda fuzzy in my head. I just registered for the first exam because I think everybody in my college was doing so, and cleared that exam, the next and the next and here I am.
Don’t get me wrong, I am mighty proud of my profession and the security a valued degree provides me. But as I said, it put me in a comfort zone I am reluctant to get out of. But sometimes, I get a strong urge in my heart to do something extremely challenging. Something which I have an equal chance of failing at. Something which will make me sit up and be scared about. Something which brings out the edge in me.
My brother is currently taking entrance exams to get into the MBA colleges. In one exam he scored 99 percentile, which means he is better than 99% of the population taking the exam. You would think that life is set right? No. The day and age where we live, the college admissions are closing at a whooping 99.4 percentile. How can you beat that? It is so fucking crazy, that I feel I am luckier having passed all that and be here. So there is no room to complain, but there is this feeling of insufficiency in my heart. It feels I can do much better, I need some push. To do more.
But I also feel there was a time and stage in life to do all that. Now I am 28, married for 3 years and wishing to take personal life to the “next stage”. Yeah, yeah I know that shouldn’t change anything, considering how liberal and encouraging my husband and in-laws are. But it does. That does not mean it is lost on me. May be I will do something which will (pleasantly) surprise the hell out of me. But for now, I wonder “what would I have done had I failed in the CA exam?”
P.S : Do you ever wonder what you would have done, had you failed in one of life’s important stages and how different life would have been? Do write in the comments section, I would love to read.
Mango Cupcakes with Mango frosting:
Mangoes are back! Summer in India gets extremely hot, but it brings the luscious oh so sweet mangoes and hence I am not complaining. The color, the fragrance, and then the eclectic taste. Last year I made the no-bake mango cheesecake, and this year the vibrant super soft mango cupcakes.
What you will need:
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 3/4 cup castor sugar
- 3/4 cup ripe mango puree (about 2 mangoes pureed)
- 1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoon milk
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- a pinch of salt if using unsalted butter
For the frosting:
- 1 and 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 2 tbsp softened butter (not melted)
- 2-3 tbsp mango puree
What to do :
- Preheat the oven to 350F / 170C. Line muffin pans with paper.
- Beat butter till it is pale in color and then add the sugar. Beat till light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time and fully incorporate.
- In a separate bowl, take flour and baking powder. mix it well together, to prevent biting into a chunk of baking powder.
- Fold the dry ingredients with the butter mixture.
- Add the mango puree, grated ginger and milk. Continue whisking till it is fully homogeneous.
- Pour it into a pan and bake for 20 minutes till a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- To make the frosting, mix together icing sugar, butter and mango puree. Add more icing sugar if you want stiffer frosting and more mango puree if a smoother frosting.
- Pipe the frosting on the cupcakes and eat. 🙂
- The cupcakes stay well at room temperature in air-tight container for upto 4 days. If keeping in the refrigerator, slightly heat in the microwave before eating.
- You can skip the ginger, but it brings out the mango flavor beautifully.
- Canned mango puree can also be used to make the cupcakes.
Wow, the east meets west–Mango Cupcakes! Knew this was bound to happen. Great photos 🙂
Thank you, and why not right?! 🙂
Hey darling, you are 28! Sigh, that makes me think thoughts as fresh and possibility-filled as these mango cupcakes.
My theory is, 1) If you’re having these feelings, you’re either hormonal or on the best possible track in life (or maybe both). Because you won’t live your best life if you don’t continuously question the life you’re currently living. 2) These are questions only those who have the potential to excel at multiple things will ask.
Both things are gifts- rare and precious gifts. I’m glad you were blessed with them, because in you I can see them being used to their fullest.
Many hugs and deep breath, there is much brightness ahead!
I look forward to being even more pleasantly surprised by you.
I think hormonal seems to be the case. But yes, if you say, I will believe that continuously questioning the current life may not be that bad. But you know it feels inadequate. And at the risk of sounding cliched, thank you for your faith 🙂
Many hugs and deep breath.
Tried the mango muffins today they turned out very well.Thank you so much Rutvika.
You are welcome Adeline and thank you for writing in 🙂
These look wonderful! About how many cupcakes does this recipe make?
Thank you. These make about 20-24 regular cupcakes.
Hi, if i want to try these cupcakes without the icing should i increase the quantity of sugar? And, will any variety of mango work? Thanks in advance!
No need to increase the sugar, they are perfectly sweet without the icing. And yes, any kind of mangoes will do.
Hi…i tried the cupcakes…they were yum!!
I made them 2 days in advance for a gathering, and though they were still good,they had settled down a bit and on pulling a cupcake apart it was stringy…did i do something wrong? Or, was it the Delhi heat?
I made these today with Hayden Mangos which is what I have in my backyard in South Florida. Wow!! The recipe is absolutely delicious!! Will be making more!!
Super, thanks for writing in.
I just made this as a bundt cake and it worked out great! I baked it for 30 mins at 350 and it came out perfect. Thanks for sharing!
Awesome. This one is a very versatile recipe.