‘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 !!!!!