The Memoirist
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The Memoirist


When Life Gives You Lemons, Drink Tequila, and Add Salt

Celebrate failures

Photo by Nomad_Soul (License purchased from Adobe Stock Images)

First taste of failure

When he had his first failure at school, Tez’s father took his entire family to dinner at the most expensive restaurant in the city. Everyone in the family was allowed to order anything they wanted.

“Dad, you understand I failed today, right? In multiple subjects,” Tez couldn’t resist but question the weirdness of what was happening.

“Yeah, I know,” Tez’s father answered.

“Then, why are we having a lavish meal at the most expensive restaurant in the city we have never been to.”

“We are celebrating your failure.”

“Whaaaaat? Who celebrates failure?” Tez thought his father took it pretty hard.

“Well, we do. From now on.”


“So that you don’t develop a fear of failure. I want you to remember this night whenever you find yourself in this territory again. Laugh at them instead of sulking in a corner. Celebrate your failures.”

Back in the familiar territory

It took Tez a few years to fail again until he was in college. It was the placement week, and various companies were at the campus.

On day one, Tez got disqualified by the first company. Why? Well! He forgot to put his name and candidate ID on the written test.

Two of Tez’s seven roommates got the job that day. They celebrated the night with a bucket full of whiskey. They poured eight whiskey bottles into a bucket, and drinks got served with a plastic bath mug all night. It was their thing.

The next day, Verizon was at the campus. Tez ensured the first thing he wrote on the written test was his name and candidate ID. He passed the written test, followed by an HR interview. Everything was going well until this happened.

HR: Let me ask you this. Say you are in the office working on an important deliverable, and suddenly you get a call that your son got admitted to a hospital in a critical condition. What will you do?

Me: I don’t have a job. I don’t have a son. I don’t know. Ask me in ten years, maybe.

Yeah, right. Smartass!

Anyway, one more of his roommates got selected that day, bucket drinking followed that night, and the next four nights when everybody got an offer letter in their hand.

Everyone, except for Tez.

Not that smart, eh!

But there was something different on the sixth night of celebrations. Tez was missing from the festivities. His roommates tried to call him multiple times, but he didn’t pick up the phone.

It had hit him hard. He was the best in the lot of eight student living in the duplex he used to rent. So, why was it he wasn’t able to secure a job yet while the others did?

The next day was the last day of placement, and given his performance throughout the week, he wasn’t sure he would taste any success.

He felt like a failure that night.

When he called his father that night to share how worthless and unwanted he felt, his father reminded him of a night from many years ago when they celebrated his last failure as a family.

Son, go and celebrate your failure with your mates. They are your family.

Tez returned to the duplex at around midnight with two bottles of the most expensive tequila he could find at that hour. Neither he nor his roommates had tequila before.

The whiskey bucket got abandoned, Tez was made fun of the entire night, and the celebration of success turned into a celebration of failure.

Tez’s failure. And a new tradition was born.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Drink Tequila, and Add Salt.

Did Tez get the job on the last day?

When he came back after the HR interview that day, he was hopeless. His roommates asked him to relive the entire interview and tell them everything. When he did, everyone felt confident he nailed it.

Everyone, except Tez.

Tez locked himself in his room. He hit the bed and asked his besties not to be disturbed. The mood was somber in the duplex. The hundred percent success rate of the household was on the line.

Curious and hopeful, Tez’s roommates went to the campus at around 10 PM, when the results were to get announced. As the placement coordinator started reading the names of the successful candidates, the seven boys from the duplex were pleading with the universe.

Tez Singh Shekhawat. Are you here, Tez Singh Shekhawat?

Their ears were ringing with the name of their friend. All of them stepped up, in their dirty pajamas, in front of the HR.

Sorry, Sir. Tez isn’t feeling well. We are his roommates. Can we collect his offer letter, please?

The HR smiled, shook all of their hands, congratulated them for being good friends, and handed Tez’s letter to them. And off they went, jumping and joy screaming into the darkness of the night to their sleeping roommate.

The tequila bottles they had bought earlier in the day, just in case they were needed, were waiting to be opened at the duplex.

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We publish memoirs, personal essays, and fictional memoir. Creative stories unpacked from the nostalgic hope chests of our lives.

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Gaurav Jain

Gaurav Jain

I have three TVs, two cars, and one wife.

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