Thursday, March 21, 2013

Board exam-who is appearing for it,anyway?

Folks, This is exam time and 12 th standard CBSE exams are going on.Yeah! the same mother of all school exams. Until your kids reach this level or your kids are well past this level ,there are all worthy reasons to give this exams a royal neglect. But if your children are appearing for this exam then I am sorry to say that you may damn, cuss,rant against this exam and, if you are particularly feeling flustered you can generally mix up your feelings about this exams and about  Kapil Sibbal, (you will feel a lot better to have a  human face to crib against ),but Heck NO! you can not neglect these exams. At least  for the whole year ever since your child passed his/her 11th grade exam and is promoted to 12th grade you are doomed to be obsessed with the 12 th standard .
The entire year of 12 th standard exam preparation goes like-
When a mom calls up her daughter whose kid is appearing for XII standard CBSE exam  and asks the daughter  to visit her ,the loving daughter replies like this-" I am sorry Mom I can't .you see Rahul beta is in 12 th standard now. I can't leave him alone."
When a friend asks the mother to join her for a picnic  she says" I am sorry sweety I can't .you see Rahul beta is in 12 th standard now. I can't have any fun this child is afterall working so hard."
when the boss of the mother asks her to accept the promotion she says" I am sorry Sir  I can't. You see my child is appearing in 12 th standard exam this year, I can't afford to be busy since  my presence and moral support is required to him."
When the husband after coming back from a stressful day's work   proposes to his wife in the night like," shall we , errrrrrr, ummmmm.............?" the dutiful and beautiful wife instead of saying - not tonight sweetheart I have a head ache says inadvertently " not this year  sweet heart ,our son is in 12 th standard"
Horrified husband asks her " you mean , emmm , errr , uhhhh , ummmmm like the whole year? "
to which the wife replies with a  no nonsense tone -" yes he is in 12 th standard  for the whole year and if he does not get good marks he is considering repeating in 12 th standard next year."
Husband is speechless and  secretly counts the number of days for the exams to be finished.
The entire year can be called an year of denials. Parents decline invitations to parties, deny the guests who intend visiting, forgo TV  watching, forget dining out, postpone tours, in short they deprive themselves of every  lively moment in their lives.The usual life is completely stalled. Rahul baba    beta and Ishita beti who are appearing for the exam  feel the pressure of parental sacrifice and work even harder. The parents feel as though they are only studying in 12th standard with a minor difference that they do not have to study and do not mercifully  have to  appear for exam.
The mother applies a long leave from her job, wakes up with the kid , sleeps with the kid, gives him a healthy breakfast, hot hot lunch , dinners at any ungodly hour when the kid demands,sits through the night with her beta/beti for the company sake, forgets her own self and gets focussed on exam and result no less than the  mother goose sitting on her precious eggs.
Since the mother is all consummed by the 12th board exams ,she naturally starts losing appetite, she has given up partying,entertainment,socialising and every conceivable fun possible  from an already slim list of fun ideas  an Indian mom of grown up kids is allowed to have.To kill time she resorts to pining about her kids career , pooja path and mannats at every temple and giving regular reminders to her kid to work hard for 12th board.
Daddy dear however is going through the standards of the day and time to time reminds mom to remind kids to work hard as he would not like to  pay for kid's mobile and petrol bills all his life.
Following the advice from her husband mom takes up the job of giving reminders gentle or otherwise.
when kid demands a pizza ,she says " yes but you promise to score 95% marks in board exams". When  kid asks for going out with friends ,she says" yes if only you study for 23.5 hours in a day"
when the kid asks her to hand over the towel in bathroom which he/she forgot to carry she says" yes darling I will get your towel if you promise to be in the merit list of board exams" . The kids are flustered less with umpteen books and  scary numericals than with infinite expectations.
Parents are systematically investing in their children's careers lives.Some day when these kids grow up and want to have their way which might antagonise the parents , a  cliched statement like- how could you do that to me , I carried you in my womb for nine months? can be replaced by -how could you do that (read- marry inter cast/reject a job in USand take up one in India/ leave your job to pursue your hobby/ stay independently.......) ,I carried the burden of  your 12 th standard year and exams.
Once the exam date is declared , the scenario changes entirely. The kids are into their own world, studying , revising,memorising,calling up friends and discussing problems online.Parents are just left wondering if they have any role  to play in their kid's career.
In front of exam hall , all 12th grade examinees gather.They  discuss problems, reassured to see each others and geared up to sail through exams while parents are on needles and pins ,clueless and petrified.Kids are looking forward to exams and parents are thanking their stars that  they are done with their school pass out exam loooong back.Since kids are busy with their exam preparation parents are left to fend for their own worries and woes. To fill in the vacuum parents check up the time table again and again.Middle of the night a sweaty mom would see the calendar and time table to make sure that there is no goof up in dates. She has nightmares that her kid's physics paper was yesterday and she by mistake sent him on next day.
After a series of exams and results , the kid has gotten into a good college. Mom has just heaved a sigh of relief  and daddy dear is boasting to all his friends and colleagues about his kiddo's great achievement.While the kid is sent to college with a great sense of achievement ,father relieved to have a normal life resumed ,guests happy to be welcome once again , other members in the family overjoyed to reclaim their TV watching , in short everyone is feeling  just like kashmiri people would be  feeling after a long drawn curfew lifted .Its only the mom who looks at her empty nest and secretly counts the days for her kid's first vacation home.


  1. been there done that as a kid..and dreading the year when I have to do that with as a parent!!

    1. I wish we had a less competitive and more humane exam system for our kids.
      Thanks for visiting here shooting star.

  2. As shooting star, above says.. :)...been there done that, as both kid and parent, and still doing it each year, to a less obsessive degree, as a teacher :D
    I love the way you write of this state we put ourselves in. Now with Sibal's 100 days wala programme of CCE (I guess you've escaped with just a little bit of battle scars there :P ) , introduced 4 years ago, parents say they don't have a life at all. Teacher don't. Period.

    Enjoyed the read :) Empathy :)

  3. Oh ! what an ordeal it is ,now I know. Even I used to teach to 12th graders but never experienced this anxiety first hand until this year when my son reached 12 th grade .As you said ,I had experienced it at a less obsessive degree being a teacher.
    The CCE thing is a complete torture. I would not vote sibbal ever although I did not have to face it much.
    I am glad you enjoyed reading the post.

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