Thousands of sleepless nights and hundreds of disturbed days, yet I see no direction in front of me. Someday I pondered over Riemann’s Zeros and someday whether P is equal to NP or not. That’s not all. Open problems in physics still continue to haunt me. Occasionally, when I sleep during nights, I wake up to dreams that demand to work harder. Someone advised me, as you grow old, you need to pick a subject and narrow your concentration towards it. Trust me, I tried following the advice very sincerely but it didn’t work out. I don’t have a kind of brain that would be disciplined enough to focus on a narrow field. It’s rather like a free bird that wants to explore as much as possible. There are days, when I get overjoyed with new ideas, I feel like the king of this world and there are days when I find myself alone in the dark corner of the room, isolated and lost.
Few days back, I was at International Congress of Mathematicians at Hyderabad. It was an experience of lifetime. Watching 3000 mathematics and their enthusiasm for advancing human knowledge was absolutely inspiring. When the Fields medals were announced, I clapped like a little kid and cheered for heroes of mathematics. There was something special about that moment. I can’t describe it in words. Four gentlemen who received the Fields Medal stood there with honour and pride… not many people in the crowd knew who they are and what they have done but all of us knew, they had done something exceptional and profound. While the 3000 people clapped, there were tears in the eyes of some of the family members of the Fields Medallists. Truly, without them, those Fields Medallists wouldn’t have been there. Behind every monumental work done by the researchers, there are sacrifices of the family members. I don’t know why I had the tears in my eyes too. I felt somehow connected yet isolated.
A month back, I turned 24 according to the conventional calendar followed across the world. Years have passed by at a rapid pace and the dreams still remain as dreams. I had complains for everything in life. My ideas are being rejected by journals, my hard work isn’t producing results, the girl I am madly in love with, might get married to someone else … nothing in life appeared going according to the plan. I questioned God… will my ideas ever reach out to the world? Will I ever be able to discover anything that will advance human knowledge? Whether am I destined to accept that I can’t marry her? I felt weak and terrible. I felt lost. I felt like giving up to the fate. I felt like a loser.
Then suddenly, a thought occurred. Why am I giving up? Just because few papers have been rejected and few ideas haven’t worked out, doesn’t mean its end of my research. Just because I haven’t discovered something phenomenal doesn’t mean, I am not going to discover in future. Just because, things are not working out between me and her doesn’t mean, things are not going to work out in future. The fact that, she is still unmarried is itself an indication that God’s is still on my side. May be, God’s help is on its way. There is always the pain in the initial stages of the life of an achiever. Why am I feeling like a loser? Why am I feeling weak? Why am I losing confidence? Why am I giving up?
Giving up is not an option. Let there be defeat. Let there be days of pain. Let there be years of isolation. Let there be tears of love. But someday … God’s help would arrive and it will bring victory. There is a verse in Holy Quran that says ‘Ijaza a Nasr 'Allah hi val fatah’ which means, ‘When there come the help of Allah and victory’. I shall wait for that help of Allah…I shall wait for the victory that Allah grants me.