Saturday, April 12


‘BIG’ school in Bangalore,announces expected time of the departure of flight ENTRANCE EXAM.

All parents are requested to proceed for security check.
Fervent last min. checking of checklist before departure , for one ,last time .

"What’s 8 X 4??......what’s the format for the letter??……what’s Hindi for 'leave'?...I hope you remember all the formulae,we rehearsed this morning???” .The drone could match that of a big jet plane about to take off.Not very far away,a big family including grandparents, were trying to recite a last minute prayer,(more to calm their own frayed nerves).

"Don’t forget to check and recheck your paper,dear….and if time is still left…check it again O.K”.The busy corporate Mom ,instructed,checking her watch the tenth time, in the past 10 min.She more anxious about her office, than the exam.
I looked at my Sonnie boy,and he looked at me."What’s the fuss about?”we thought silently in unison. In one of those rare moments,he must have thanked god for,the right choice of mom.Despite that, the parent in me panicked

"Do you want to revise,anything beta?”very well expecting an expected answer.

" After this I’m free,RIGHT???”he questioned and I appreciated his attitude, just before the big T.I nodded and told him,"Just do your very best…the best that you can do,and that’ll be enough”.

He gave me a hug,something ten yr olds aren’t seen doing often……in public.

The flight is announced.Gates are thrown open.Faces are given a Kleenex wipe and the hair done up,the very last time.

"Say your good morning,stand straight,don’t slouch,don’t lose your admit card….get your things back….don’t talk too much…..attempt all the questions…..don’t leave any question….all the best….we love you ".....

Alas !!!! by the time, they said those three magical words, the kids had already reached the examination hall.
Whew!!! part I over ….now part II.Lucky one’s,who lived close by,went back home and those who had driven difficult distances, had no option but to choose the shades of trees,to wile away the time.Notes were exchanged and mothers boasted of triumphs in various entrance examinations, as if they were conquests of lands. The childrens’ present schools were denounced and criticized beyond repair.Apparently,"all the forces of education from the curriculum to the teachers,fellow students, and the management were out to conspire against their kids.”
I contributed heartily,for the past several years of being a parent and a teacher in the same school,had made me zip my lips.
You didn’t need a watch to tell you it was time for the school ‘to release the students’.The flurry of activity and the rising anxiety amongst parents,was an evident enough sign.We lined up,class wise,anxiously waiting to reclaim our baggage from the departure terminal.Anxious,to ask them,the contents of the paper,perhaps.Those moving out on the conveyor belt,were seen reciting the questions to eager parents ,mentally calculating answers and rechecking.

“I’m hungry!!!”blurted out my son, dashing my hopes and my questions and my chance to be a good parent. He finished his packet of Milano and his appy and gave me a dirty look and said,"No,use studying so much!!!!,they never asked anything so tough,ma!!!!”
I was crestfallen. All those precious no nap afternoons, and T.V deprived evenings,and late night studying and soaked almonds had been a waste then??!!!

“Tomorrow,we shall know,who has wasted whose time,betaji!!!”.There,I had said it. Spoken like a true modern day, over involved, 'i'm doing my bestest best,super anxious parent. I patted my back and bit my tongue and wished I hadn’t said that,at all.
Parenting isn’t easy and damn we just made it tougher !!!!!


thereddevil said...

are those illustrations by clive goddard????

im a big fan of his work

--xh-- said...

ha ha ha - too hilarious a take on teh entrance exam, Gazal. hope Anshul cracks it - i like his responses
"After this, I am free, rt? and I am hungry and they didnt ask anything so tough" :-D

parenting is not easy... and i am getting a firsthand pic of that from all the mom bloggers here :)

Guruprasad said...

we know we shouldn't be pushing ourselves like this... but we still do, no?

at least you made it sound like some regular commercial flight and not some jet fighters with the fighter pilots being readied for their sortie :P

satish said...

Read Freakonics.

satish said...

Freakonomics. Its no great book. But must read for parents.

thereddevil said...

I think every1 should read freakonomics irrespective of age

its an enchantingly witty book and anuder book that shuld b read it tipping point by malcom gladwell i think

Parul Gahlot said...

beautifully written gazal! Flows wonderfully and the humour is bang on!

dharmabum said...

what fun! the pathos of schools you've brought out through your apparent humour.

we deal with schools, so i know what the madness is like. recently, there was this parent admitting his kid in kindergarten, and wanted to know what the school (upcoming one) would be like when there was class XII - imagine, that is something like 14 years into the future!!!

Madhumita said...

Which class was this for? He sounded relaxed and am sure he did well.

I'm afraid I belong to the paranoid, overzealous set of parents who probably make their kids miserable with all the added weight of expectations. :-). Ah well ... knowing one's faults is half the battle won - right?!

Gazal said...

yup...i'll catch the book for sure.

i'm sure his HARD work will pay off.

the monotony of it all...i wonder who's driving whom??

Gazal said...

will do :)))

thanks...though at that time,the situation was anything but funny !!

parents are more bothered abt what the future is like...more than the it some kind of malfunction...??

@madhu is
we probably want the best for our kids...but some of us don realize how much good there is in it for our kids...and that's where the balace tips....

JudeTheObscure said...


Are you kidding me? I remember taking a train, and walking 5 kilometers to take my exams. That too alone :)

Prats said...

That was bang on!!! I have seen this scenario once too often...and my son is so similar to yours...he first asks me to give him some canteen money..:(
and all my questions left unsaid. But at least they are relaxed and happy, which is what counts

Suma said...

heh..heh...sounded very familiar...u sound like me...i fuss sometimes cos i think i'm supposed to fuss...else how else will we get teh exam feeling??

there is this school in singapore where we just went to take a look...'cos it was a bangalore branch..teh present school is too overcrowded...
well we look around and speak to te very nice director and mentally make up our minds to come back later for teh entrance test...and swaraj announces..."can i do the entrance test now...i like this school!!!"... and he went ahead

and got thru too...and teh principal says she likes his attiude!!!...

nice post...what entrance test was this?

Prax said...

heh u worry too much about the visa...

Gazal said...


there are still a lot of kids like you and sadly a lot of hyper paernts like the ones mentioned here.

yes...thank god for that

will you believe it if i tell you its the same school,both of us are talking about!!!!!

i shd have seen some of the parents there???

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padma said... gazal!!!
good1!! with a right touch of humour...!!!
parenting is difficult...but if you are aware about your own style, half the battle is done!;-))
How many parents say those Magical words "we luv u" unconditionally without associating it with any outcome??( good grades, beautiful painitings etc...) guess its good to ask how many times have i appreciated my child just for what s/he is being!!!

Gazal said...


so rite and you have been there and seen hme do it all....well almost all!!!

Shubham J said...

i am preparing for this phase to come, parenting, and over-parenting. but is it our own failure or anxiety which makes us, over-finicky and making fuss over simple things, or something beyond 'this'

Manpreet said...

Hahaha, it was great. So natural, such a wonderful flow of thought and action. Incidentally, a few weeks back, me and my ten year old had a similar moment to share. In case you feel like reading, here is the link, its a short write-up, with a big font :-)

Does it matter said...

Digging up an old post, but...

Re: "The childrens’ present schools were denounced and criticized beyond repair."

Really? I always thought the standard response is always "Yes its a great school", because no one wants to accept anything is average/ below avg, coz the next Qn is, why the kid is still there then??

Unless, maybe, because the fact that they are trying for a new one, makes it easier to admit somehow...(?)

Gazal said...

@does it matter

thanks for the digging...

well partly you are rite...its a case of everybody being dis satisfied with their present schools...the grass always is greener on the other side...

in my case i wanted both of us in the same school...but just got lucky..they din have any seats...