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.