Thursday, August 30, 2007

Education Vs Romance

My husband was born hearing but lost some of hearing in both ears at 1-1/2 years old after taking antibiotics due to high fever.

Taking speech therapy helped a lot that he got by throughout his childhood, not having to tell people that he was hard of hearing. However, he still had to lip-read the teachers a little by sitting in the front. He was a hard worker and managed to pass the classes.

He considered his
father as a role model. One day, he asked his father what would happen if he did not do that well in school. His father, a patient man of few words, pondered for a moment and then pointed out the window.

My husband glanced outside. A poor man was hunched, tiredly pulling a cart behind him. His dad replied, "You could work like that."

That comment scared my husband enough to gather all of his energy and focus intensely on his school studies.

When he was 15, he looked much older than most boys in his pre-college classes. (In India, there is no "12th grade". Hence, my husband finished high school at 15.) He worried constantly about the future and if he would be able to obtain a decent job.

He majored in mechanical engineering. (He later switched to working in computer/software field, hence never experienced working in engineering field).

My husband was, and still is, nice looking. There was a pretty girl who took a liking to my husband. Every mornings and every afternoons, she would muster her courage and walk up to him at the college entrance to say "hi", hoping to possibly start a conversation.

But my husband constantly curtly nodded and walked past her, ignoring her greetings. He was adamant and set on establishing a successful future in job. He was not to be 'swayed'.

This went on for months until the girl eventually gave up and stopped greeting him.

Several years later, after my husband obtained a good job abroad in other countries, he started to mature since he did not socialize much earlier. He made friends, went out to eat, etc.

He eventually realized what that girl wanted. He felt so bad he did not treat her well that he decided to apologize to her.

During his hiatus in India, he set out to find her. When he finally found out where her folks lived, he became elated and set out to visit her place.

Unfortunately, he was too late.

That girl had died of cancer.