In the early 1950s of India, it marked the final year of school studies before students obtained the SSLC or Secondary School Leaving Certificate. Unlike today, where students confidently declare aspirations to become doctors, lawyers, astronauts, engineers, and the like, most students of that era didn't pursue college studies. Instead, they typically followed in their fathers' hereditary professions.
Back then, students rarely vocalized their career ambitions; rather, teachers often predicted a profession they deemed suitable for the student. These forecasts were not always complimentary or encouraging. There was a particular disruptive student, whose father was a lapidary. When the teacher inquired about his post-graduation plans, the student nonchalantly mentioned that he might follow in his father's footsteps. The teacher, however, retorted, "You are the most disruptive student in my class, throwing stones at others. My prediction is you will probably end up as a stone breaker at construction sites."
Taking the teacher's remark to heart, the student vowed to himself that he would rise above such predictions and make something more of his life than becoming a mere stone breaker. The son of the barber chose to apprentice with his father, as did the carpenter's son.
Upon leaving school, most students ventured into diverse professions such as fishermen, wage earners, rickshaw pullers, masons, and shop owners. However, one day, a seventy-year-old man bid farewell to his doctor. The doctor, addressing the elderly man, asked, "Sir, do you remember me?" The patient admitted not recognizing him. The doctor then revealed, "Sir, I am the son of the lapidary, the disruptive student who threw stones. You predicted I would be a stone breaker. Well, I am now a kidney specialist who broke your large kidney stone into many pieces. I hope your recovery is full and complete. Wish you well. By the way, your prediction came true."
In those days, patients didn't have benefit of modern machines for ultrasonic lithotripsy, a method of breaking kidney stones using sound waves without surgery. In contrast, the lapidary's son defied his fate, refusing to become a lapidary. He pursued higher education, excelled in pre-med, joined medical school, graduated, and eventually became a kidney surgeon in his town.