I love patterns.

At school, I learnt math by trying to identify( copy) patterns from one problem to another. In fact a mathematical formula is actually a pattern. The issue is how to fit a formula to a question and find the answer. We work in reverse in math actually. The math question reminds us of a certain math problem we have done before or seen our teacher solve and we start thinking of whether that method could be applied to our problem. Voila ! The pattern.

I love crochet and knitting because of the patterns. I like to test the patterns of experienced crocheters and see if they work for me.

In life too, I have come to identify patterns. If I behave or do things a certain way, I am sure to get success. If I do things a different way, I would most likely meet failure. Having burnt my hands many times in the past, I have learnt to avoid “fire”. Call it the survival instinct.

Most things in life, I have found- fit into patterns.

One thing that evaded any definition of a pattern was my mother’s dual cancer diagnosis two years back. We have had no history of cancers for as long as anyone can remember. She had been a very active woman, eating her greens every single day, doing all housework and even gardening herself. Yet, she had cancer. For two years, now I have been trying to think of why she might have had this dreaded disease. She is a known stress baby. If there was something to worry about, she would worry about it. If there was nothing to worry about, she would worry about whether something bad would strike the family because things were going just too well. Now it seems as though all that stress must have taken their toll.

Last year, my visa application was rejected by the US embassy. I needed a student visa to reach the States for my Master’s degree. I seemed to have done everything “right”. For the life of me, I could not think of why my application was rejected. People I met often tried to analyse why it might have happened. Notice the pattern here ? Some said, its because of the policies of the Trump administration, where they do not encourage older people to go to the US as they think they might stay on and not return to their native countries( I fit that description maybe). Some others said it was just not meant to be- after all, who has ever heard of a near-50 year old woman going back to college, just on a whim. The degree would not benefit me in any way, they said, as I had already reached the pinnacle of my career graph. The only way from there was down and so–. My university couldn’t figure out the pattern either. They encouraged me to apply again but by then the first day of the course had passed and there was no scope of joining the course late. And so I deferred my course, not wanting to re apply again for the next year. Somewhere in 2018, my husband told me to try once more and see if we could try to think of every reason for a rejected visa and see if it could be tackled before it was raised. I refused as the first time, I had had a very bad experience at the embassy and I had a fear psychosis of facing the same “visa woman” at the window. Again, I see a pattern here- fear of being rejected made me think there was a pattern there and my visa would be rejected again. My husband on the other hand saw another pattern- he thought if we think the rejection through, maybe- just maybe, we could get past the “visa woman” and get the visa approved.

I search for patterns every where- it seems a way of life for me now.