I had literally forgotten that I had an examination to sit for. And it was just two days back that this hard reality dawned upon me. Writing an examination at this age is more of an excitement for me rather than a burden and I always look forward to it. But this time it really was a great experience. I asked for the books from one of my friends and opened one of them sitting on the roof. I was so preoccupied with so many things that I could not just read leave alone study this book! And I was so absent minded that forgot to bring the book inside and yesterday when I should have been studying that subject, I was searching for the book in the entire home. All cupboards, racks, were searched thoroughly but the book seemed to have been vanished in the thin air. I went to my office room and searched it there as well but the book was nowhere to be found. Exasperated I just gave up. In the evening when all the children of the block came to play hide and seek on our roof, I just enquired them of having seen a book and imagine that within no time they got that for me—completely torn and weathered pages, somehow held together. The condition of the book made me cry as it was not in a condition that it could be enjoyed studying. It seemed that the kids had thought it to be a useless book and had used it as material to make kites from. The probnlem was not that simple as the book was in Hindi and I write my papers in English, translating the ideas having imbibed from the book. It was too much at this stage to give a cursory glance to whole the syllabus leave alone study it and then attempting to translate the ideas into English. My kids were really amused to find me in that stage and I could see them muffling their smile. Thank God, they smiled! Putting on a brave front, I opened the book but all that I read went over head. Whatever I was reading, I was trying to relate to happenings in our life and this made ame angry with my own self. I simple closed the book and decided whether to sit for the examination or not and in went to sleep wriggling in this dilemma.
The exam was to start at 2 pm the next day and I had still not decided what to do? My kids expected me to back out at any stage and were agerly waiting for this defeating action from their fighter mother. But being a crusader, in order to set an example, I rushed to the centre having taken curd and jaggery for its time tested impact. I found many youngsters busy pouring through the books and memorising the points. I had nothing to fall back upon. Putting up a brave front, I entered the examination hall and searched for my place to sit. Thank God it was near ro window and the cool breeze coming through it gave some relief to my nerves. But "The open Window" agai nbrought me back to a stage of restlessness. Cursing silently, I tried thinking of so many things except the subject that I would be tested for. How could I think about the subject as I literally knew nothing of the subject. Waiting for the question paper to be distributed, I was just blank. There was neither fear nor excitement in my mind. I was like Sanyasi of the Gita, above all such things htat make us worldly. It was first time in my life that I was sitting for an examination for which I had not studied at all. I had to do 4 questions in all carrying 25 marks each and if, god forbid, I would not be able to do one single question it would mean to have lost 25 marks. I was suddenly worried. I felt like a student at this stage and was happy to be normal once again.
The question papers were distributed and with trembling heart i glanced at the question paper. I opened the question paper and found that I was able to attempt almost all questions. Now call it anything or blame it on the way the question papers are set, but I did attempt all the four questions completely and was more or less satisfied with my performance. I thought that had I studied whole of the semester, what difference it would have made to my performance—nothing at all. The examination system really needs a revamping as it is the “one night stand” before the examination that has come to be counted more and more than the norm of studying throughout the semester. I’ll definitely be waiting eagerly for the result of this paper and am hoping to get 60% marks in the paper.
May God have mercy on the educational system of the country!