That morning I thought that my mother had changed my alarm tone (Meanwhile my heart stopped, thinking had she been messing with my phone? Hmm). What really happened was that every possible communication device we had in our house was ringing, from the landline to the Facebook Messenger.
The class XII CBSE Board results are out!, shouted the TV. There were many sleepless nights before my Class XII board result, but fortunately, I came out in flying colors. We didn’t need the alarm to get up.
What I basically had to do to prepare for these exams was to gobble up every word out of the book and vomit it on the answer sheet and keep my logical mind and views at abeyance. Who cares if what is written in the book was printed in 2006 and the literacy rate has risen from 65.4% to 74.04%? I have to memorise 9 year old data and what I get marks for is cramming up and filling up 5 sheets per answer in a beautiful handwriting. My power to cram will determine my success in life, mind you!
When the students didn’t score well in maths this year, the Hindi teacher next door cribbed that not only attempting the paper was difficult, even the checking was not easy. She couldn’t distinguish mathematical beta from her own Laadla Beta (You’ve read it right people! The Maths papers were checked by Hindi teachers, probably because the symbols that come up in maths like α and β are similar to Hindi Akshars क and घ attributed to the beautiful handwriting),
And just so that you don’t think that the children in Bihar were cheating, it was clarified that they were revising notes between their papers, while their parents were hanging from their windows for moral support wishing them the best of luck.
The girl living in my building got a pat on her back from almost everyone for scoring 98 in English, despite the fact that she pronounces ball as ‘bol’, no wonder we are always confused if she wants us to speak or wants the ball, when she says “Bol de.”
You are considered good at English if you score 92, even if you don’t know the spelling of psychoneuroimmunology, which doesn’t matter because the teacher in the rural school who checked your paper doesn’t even know how to spell ascent, while my English teacher told me to substitute ‘glad’ with ‘happy’ as the examiner might not know what glad is. (What?)
These exams will determine my success, my salary. And my salary will determine my character, because ‘the rich are the learned.’ (Please ignore the Tehelka editor harassing his employee, Mr. Rahul Gandhi for his insightful comments and several other wealthy astutes at this stage).
Not a class XII result, but an assessment of our skills of cramming; not thinking ‘out of the box’ but follow the book; and not saying what I want to say but what the examiner wants to hear.