Monday, March 2, 2015


While into the WhatsApp group of my alma mater yesterday, I saw a lot of messages that were wishes for the children appearing for their board exams. It was a nice feeling for all the parents, to get those warm wishes and blessings. I even saw many children receive blessings from elders this Sunday too, while at Church for our worship. For many of us in our WhatsApp group, it was difficult to believe that 29 years had fled by since school, as while we were together, we could still smell and feel everything of school in the air, although we were just hanging around in WhatsApp :))

My thoughts trudged back to my days at school and how my frame of mind was during those examination days. Except on very few occasions, I don't think there was even one exam where I was relaxed while entering the examination centre. It was the same while at the normal exams at school too, when I entered the examination hall. The same thing continued while I was into college and even so for my post graduate studies. Being cool before the exams was just not natural in me.

The first person who comes to my mind when I talk about being relaxed before approaching an exam is my classmate Amarnath, while we were in the  XII  std. I am not sure if this relaxed demeanour in him was because he had shifted from a CBSE school to our school which had the Tamil Nadu State Board syllabus. On some days, I would go through the street where his house was and he would join me on the journey to school, on our cycles. I have seen him spend time reading magazines, while waiting for me at his house and when I would ask him whether he had completed the studying for the exam, he would reply saying "I ran through it thrice and felt bored. In fact I finished it yesterday night itself. I have been reading these magazines, since then". I would really feel a chill run down my spine, when I heard this, primarily because all of us were competing for top ranks:))  This was more so because, in the XI and XII standards, no one really enjoyed being in that top spot for more than one occasion. In the very next exam, he or she would be knocked of from the throne, as the competition was that stiff.

I often keep telling my daughter, to try and reach that state for any exam she takes i.e to try and be so prepared that she can relax and do something else she really enjoys doing, while approaching the examination. It's a different feel and I really wish she is able to do the same, at least a few times.

While at college, I had another classmate Aby Joy. He would come with a plaster on, somewhere on his face, hands or legs and tell us that he had had some injury or that he had had severe vomiting and that he just could not study anything, the previous day. I remember him once saying "Man, you know, a dog bit me." In fact, he had shared the same dog story, to different groups of friends on different occasions with such an intensity that they would almost feel that he was studying out of a kennel:) But when the scores came, they would find that Sheby had scored well :) It was fun to watch him react to a barrage of questions he would face from the classmates, who would be stunned seeing his scores. Of course, Aby could not sustain the demonstration of his raconteuring skills beyond the first year :))

Like many parents, I also joined my little one to school and saw her off at the front gate. Then I heard that the bus taking them to the board exam centre, was leaving from the rear gate. And so I went all the way behind the school and waited and finally saw her going into the prayer hall. The students were about ten metres away from the gate. We waved at each other. It gave me some sentimental happiness. Some parents consider this as too much of a chaperoning, as children are expected to manage themselves. In fact my little one is really cool, but I did it for my own happiness. I saw a few other parents too, wait there and wave to their little ones. One parent in particular sensed that his son was about to enter the prayer hall without noticing him, and he really stunned me when he hollered :) His son waved and that made him happy too.

I have to admit, that it is this stage play that parents including me keep doing, that drive the children to feel that the board exam is some thing of a celestial calibre. Little do these little ones know that when they are into jobs, it's not just the marks that matter. They are so innocent of the fact that tomorrow they will have to battle it out with mundane people who literally live out of bakeries, buttering their superiors :)

I will have to keep talking to my daughter soon about how she should remain cool and find a way to perform, when these creatures are around :) Until then I have left her to focus on the scores.


Raj said...

Very good narration of those previous school/college exam days. we need to build that cool attitude to the young ones at home...Great writing...

Mathan Anto Marshine said...

Nice one.

Roy Cherian Cherukarayil said...

Dear Mathan and Raj,
Thnx very much for the feedback. Our children have to be trained beyond books :)




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