8

Of Exams And Books

I am sitting with my laptop after nearly a month and as I type away my combined thoughts of so many days, I can feel the knot in my brain slowly opening itself and letting all the gyri and sulci breathe. These past few days have gone by in a whirlpool with the looming threat of exams and then the ongoing stress due to exams. And this is something that I hate about the Indian education system. The boards, combined with the government’s nod of approval, put just far too much stress on kids – right from the beginning. Marks are important. I am not saying that it isn’t. But when we all grow up to be forty-somethings, would it really matter at all whether we got a fifty out of fifty or a thirty out of fifty in a test held by the school in a certain month on a certain subject. The answer is no. But parents and teachers, they don’t really understand that. These marks and the inevitable competition arising out of it have led to so many rude words being exchanged and so many friendships being broken. I have seen this before my eyes and all of this saddens me because life is so much more than a mere combination of digits on a piece of paper. But I consider myself to be lucky in this case, at least. My mum and dad aren’t very strict and they don’t go hard on me if I do bad. They simply inspire me to do better. But a very close friend of mine was just telling me a few days back about her parents being really strict on her lately. It has been stressing her lately and I wish could do something to help her.

Speaking of exams, I had my Biology paper today but it has been raining so much in Kolkata for the past two days that the city has come to a standstill with water clogging up in the streets everywhere. There is water in the metro station itself and there was a river right outside my apartment in the morning. All the schools gave a “rainy day” and my exam got postponed. This really annoyed me because now I will have to prepare all the chapters again and believe me when I say this but there are only limited number of times when a person can read about Eohippus, Mesohippus, Merychippus and Equus without losing sanity. Those are the different names given to the different stages of the evolution of the horse, by the way. I have my English Literature paper on Monday and this is one subject that I truly love. I originally come from a not-so-big town and in my years of living there, my control over the English language was something that I was really insecure about. Then my dad got transferred to Bhubaneswar and studying in Loyola was a roller coaster journey. I was really pushed to my boundaries and speaking in English for so many hours daily made me more and more confident with each passing day. I had always loved reading books but over there, so many of my friends were bibliophiles like me and combining everything, I fell in love with the language. Now, an extremely special mention must be made of a certain bespectacled girl who fuelled my infinite craving for books and most importantly, introduced me to the magical world of Harry Potter. Those endless discussions about the series with her are some of my fondest memories till date. I haven’t been able to read a novel in the past few months and I can feel myself suffocating slowly. I find myself fantasizing about the books that I am going to read after 12th grade gets over from time to time. There are many titles there in the list but “A Thousand Splendid Suns” of Khaled Hossieni walks away with the cake. I had read “The Kite Runner” sometime last year and since then I have been dying to land my hands on this one. TKR was such a good book riddled with the basics of human emotion and I have been told by cousin that ATSS is even better.

And as I wrap this up, news comes to me that Roger Federer is through to the Wimbledon finals after having just beaten Andy Murray and this makes me a happy girl. Fedex has an undeniable charm and elegance on the court and I always root for him. I really hope that he lifts the cup again on the court this Sunday. Also, Sania Mirza has entered the women’s doubles final with Martina Hingis and at the same time Leander Paes has entered the mixed doubles final with Hingis as well. I really wish that these Indians win the finals and make the country proud. With a loads of wishes for all of them, I bid adieu for today.
Have an enjoyable day/night, my dears.