Life mein two times hi kyu? I think, one should sit for board ex­ams ev­ery five years. Don’t judge me. Logic hai

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Time Out - Sonal Kalra is fondly re­mem­ber­ing her board exam days. Mom would make cof­fee all night, dad would can­cel of­fi­cial tours. The whole fam­ily was united in ten­sion. Is yours too? Mail her at sonal.kalra@hin­dus­tan­ or face­­al­kalraof­fi­cial.

Stand up. Don’t think, just stand up. Walk up to the near­est mir­ror. Look at the face that stares back at you. Does he or she seem like a dimwit mo­ron? No? Then, why does life treat you like one, yaar? Note: All the lazy ones who have now sat down in the wash­room to con­tinue read­ing the pa­per among, err… other ac­tiv­i­ties, have lost the right to an­swer this ques­tion.

Com­pe­ti­tion, they say, is one of the foun­da­tions on which hu­man race thrives. We need to com­pete with each other to bring out the best in us, and grow in life. Fair enough. But that sounds like a good, happy rea­son, while the man­i­fes­ta­tion of com­pe­ti­tion in our lives is such that it brings buck­et­loads of stress and ten­sion from an early age. Ab mu­jhe hi dekh lo. At such a young age (ha!), I’ve been buried un­der this stress that my col­umn con­stantly needs to com­pete with oth­ers, and to prove its worth, it has to fo­cus on — no, not what I want to write about — but top­i­cal is­sues, like board ex­ams, and that too in a ‘pos­i­tive’ light. Arrey bhaad mein gaye board ex­ams. They used to give me grief sev­eral years back, and they are giv­ing me grief even now.

Just re­al­is­ing that my brief is to talk about things in a pos­i­tive light, I must add that de­spite the mi­nor ir­ri­tants of de­pres­sion, ner­vous break­down etc, board ex­ams are a great way to judge our ca­pa­bil­i­ties in life. So much so that hu­man race may just cease to evolve and grow if we didn’t have them.

How to fight the stress

In fact, I de­mand that we have board ex­ams ev­ery five years in our lives, till we turn 65, af­ter which they could be held ev­ery two years, be­cause, you know, life ex­pectancy etc. Why should the plea­sure of this life chang­ing con­cept be re­stricted to the 17-year-old brats who don’t even value its worth and in­sult its in­her­ent good­ness by end­lessly call­ing helplines to seek psy­cho­log­i­cal coun­selling. Morons. Here, let me give you psy­cho­log­i­cal coun­selling. Do this.

1 Go up to three peo­ple you ad­mire in life and ask…

Oye, I don’t mean ‘ad­mire’ in that sense, you id­iot. It’s not the Valen­tine’s Day col­umn, we are talk­ing se­ri­ous stuff here. You ac­tu­ally de­serve to give boards ev­ery year. Okay, com­ing back to the point I was try­ing to make. Go up to three peo­ple you ad­mire and idolise. Could be your par­ents. Should be your par­ents.

Ask them to rat­tle off their sub­ject wise marks in board ex­ams. They wouldn’t know. Some of them may boast of an ag­gre­gate per­cent­age etc, in which case you have my sym­pa­thies. This is just to tell you a sim­ple fact. To be­come such a per­son in life that some­one would ad­mire, idol­ize and might want to em­u­late — you don’t nec­es­sar­ily need a mark sheet with A1 writ­ten in the col­umn on the right.

You just need to be good at who you are. Yes, that A1 helps, it gets you fur­ther when it comes to admissions etc and I’m not deny­ing its im­por­tance. I’m just deny­ing its sta­tus as sole cri­te­rion to judge your worth in life. Itna toh banta hai.


Stop mak­ing a mon­ster out of a sim­ple thing: You

have been put through ex­am­i­na­tions ever since you took ad­mis­sion in school and still used to pee your pants. So what’s so big and both­er­some about board ex­ams? It’s just that the ques­tion pa­per has been set cen­trally and that you have to go to a school other than yours to take them. Achha hai. In your own school, your rep­u­ta­tion pre­cedes you. So even if you’ve been be­hav­ing the way read­ers of this col­umn are known to be­have in pub­lic life, the in­vig­i­la­tor at the ex­am­i­na­tion cen­ter won’t know and would treat you with re­spect.

Isn’t that great? And as far as the ques­tion pa­per is con­cerned, the fact that it’s meant for a wide range of students with vary­ing in­tel­li­gence lev­els ac­tu­ally makes it com­par­a­tively eas­ier to tackle, as com­pared to the one be­ing set by a teacher who knows the strengths and weak­nesses of the class she’s taught through the year. Think pos­i­tive.


Prom­ise me — whether you are tak­ing board ex­ams or are 58 years old — that you’ll see for­ward in life and not crib about what­ever’s al­ready done and over with. Which means that I strictly for­bid you from minutely dis­sect­ing the ques­tion pa­per once you’ve given that exam… and try­ing to com­pare how you’ve done vis a vis that drama queen in the class who has a crush on the same guy as you.

You know, when God was mak­ing the hu­man body, ev­ery­thing was de­cided af­ter a lot of thought. There’s a rea­son why we have eyes and hands in the front, and they can’t re­volve 180 de­grees to turn back­wards. Be­cause God in­tended us to look ahead. So the physics pa­per sucked? Well, for once, physics is now his­tory! What’s done is done. Deal with the dev­ils when they con­front you, not the ones that re­side in your imag­i­na­tion. Based on the marks you ul­ti­mately get, sit in peace and fig­ure out op­tions for your fu­ture course of ac­tion. Trust me, there are plenty of them, for all kinds of re­sults.

Fi­nally, an ode to the cre­ators of board ex­ams: Sir, ma’am,

You’ve been great thinkers. We wouldn’t have fig­ured out a way to evolve, had you not come up with this beau­ti­ful, well jus­ti­fied, thor­oughly proper sys­tem, of judg­ing what course a 17-year-old’s life should take. It’s vi­tal to chan­nelise them in this age it­self. They wouldn’t have known what to pur­sue in life, and would have wasted time try­ing out new things. At least th­ese marks don’t leave them with much choice, hence avoid­ing con­fu­sion.

And of course, com­pe­ti­tion thrives a so­ci­ety. So in or­der to iden­tify the stronger ones among us, it’s im­por­tant that those weak at grasp­ing the nu­ances of cer­tain sub­jects be handed over a doc­u­mented proof that they are losers. They should take it in their stride. And surely, you’ve en­sured that there are enough helplines for psy­cho­log­i­cal guid­ance. Please, do con­sider my sug­ges­tion that we all take board ex­ams through our lives. It’ll be healthy. A hum­ble thank you from me and the 17-year-olds.


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