SOME THINGS I LEARNT WHILE GIVING MY BOARD EXAMS
Boards were for some people a very tough period. For me it was a period of fascination and wonder because of the sheer changes it brought in my life. Here is a list of the things I learnt along with trigonometric ratios and co-ordinate geometry……….
THERE AREN’T ENOUGH VERSIONS OF “THANK YOU”:
10th graders suddenly discover that the world is filled with well-wishers who have your success in the exam foremost in their minds. But the downside to this is that it all gets far too repetitive. I was amazed by the sheer number of people who called to say best of luck and the sheer number of times I said thank you in the merriest possible note. Disgusted by my own repetitiveness I checked the thesaurus for some versions of thank you. But when I started using ‘much obliged’, ‘many thanks’ and ‘much appreciated’, it sounded weird and ungracious even to my own self. In the end I stuck to ‘thank you’ ignoring how much I had come to detest those two words.
10TH GRADERS HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE GRUMPY, IRRITABLE AND DEMANDING
I blame this particular phenomenon on the madness surrounding 10th. Students start harbouring queer notions that scoring moderately in boards is an unpardonable crime and that being buried into a book for several consecutive hours is the key to cracking the exam. This makes them unpleasant to the extent that one starts understanding why scientists are said to be so temperamental and cranky. I always maintain that keep a drunkard and a 10th grader side by side and you will be hard pressed to guess which is which for both mumble rubbish which no one can make sense out of, both go into a rage at the slightest provocation and both start believing that their wish should be everyone’s command.
Here is a story- I was in 8th std. and was playing happily with my friends. Mr. Somebody no.1 who lived in my colony, was passing by the road. He smiled at us and asked, “In which std. are you all studying?” “8th,” we all chorused enthusiastically. His smile turned into a wide beam and he said, “Two years are left for 10th then.” We nodded politely and he left. When I was in 9th once again playing happily with my friends, Mr. Somebody no.2 asked us, “In which std. are you all?” “9th,” one of us replied. With a smirk Mr. Somebody no.2 said, “Is that so? Then a year is left for your 10th” and went away. When I was in 10th, coming home in the evening, tired and red-eyed from the 3hr class, Mr. Somebody no.3 smilingly approached me and enquired, “Sukanya, in which std. are you?” “10th,” I replied with a forced smile. With uncontained relish he said, “My dear, now you have to study hard. Computer, playing, television abhi sab kam kardo.” On observing his obvious delight upon me being in 10th, I came to know the meaning of sadism.
GRANDMOTHERS ACTUALLY WORK HARDER SOMETIMES:
From praying diligently to God every morning and evening, feeding the child badams, glucose, pistachios etc and staying awake till whatever nocturnal hours the child chooses, grandmothers indeed undertake a very grueling task. God suddenly finds his portrait garlanded every day instead of once in three days. The pharmacist’s profits are increased by the purchase of various tonics and intelligence enhancing oils. Where the child would have had to travel to the kitchen every time he wanted some tidbit, he would suddenly find everything placed right in front of him by the grandmother who has taken upon herself to be the most efficient delivery service.
BOARDIASIS- This is an unregistered disease that only affects mothers whose children are in 10th. I would like every doctor to make a note of it because there is an urgent need for a cure to this disease. AIDS, cancer, leprosy, obesity can all wait as far as we 10th graders are concerned.
If you see a mother with a frown on her face and an air of dejection about her sometime in the months of June, July, August, September, October, November, December, January, February, March ( and sometimes April and May) you can place a safe bet that she suffers from ‘Boardiasis.’ There are 3 stages to this particular disease. They are:
1) The advising stage: Mothers suddenly get it into their heads that their children are really very ignorant. Food habits, whether you keep your nails cut and cleaned, whether you wake up every morning at exactly 5 minutes to 6, can all affect performance so a lecture on each of these issues is absolutely essential.
2) The nagging stage: Mothers realize that all their advice is not being heeded to by their offspring. This considerably hurts their pride and they begin to irritate them. If you drink 9 and a half glasses of water instead of 10 then according to your mother you have committed a crime which cannot be ignored. The sweet, patient mother is replaced by an unrecognizable person who is constantly emitting high pitch and high energy sounds which aren’t really making much sense. The sounds all have beginnings which are variations of ‘Why won’t you listen to me??????’ This stage however lasts till the last week of March.
3) The scared-stiff stage: The symptom for this stage is when mothers start having various nightmares concerning the exams. Its either images of a certificate showing ‘FAIL’ in bold red letters, the child arriving late the venue or falling from a 20 storey building ( how the child has gotten on a 20 storey building is a mystery but not very important as far as she is concerned) or the child developing an as yet undiscovered disease. Poets who called mothers fearless, calm and composed might consider rethinking their opinions after seeing the mother in this stage.
Every little thing becomes a cause for worry. The height of this worry is when she scrutinizes the child’s breathing because it has become somewhat uneven since a few seconds back!
Don’t know if you will agree with me on all this but I sure observed all these points. Please feel free to mention any more things that may occur to you.