Saturday, 3 May 2014

The JEE!

Dedicated to: My future Children!

Of all the villains I am going to warn my kids about, the first and foremost of them would be the JEE.

I have lots of plans for them. I want them to start playing chess at 5. Learn tennis. Play a lot outdoors. Never touch a gadget till 20. Tour a lot. Develop passions. Study with passion. But then, work towards their passion. Be happy.
Without subscribing to the post-modern false concepts of a careless abandon towards studies, it makes more sense to me to give them various choices of career paths and let them choose, rather than the extremes of brainwashing and devil-may-care.

*********

8 pm, May 24th, 2009. Day before the announcement of IIT-JEE 2009 results.

Yesterday at this time was fun. I was just coming out of all the praise I got after my BITSAT exam on 22nd. Lots of calls. Uncles right away suggesting me to take admission at BITS-Pilani. But then here again I am, as nervous as ever. Tomorrow is the big day, the final judgement of my last two years!
I came from my college at 5 or something.I don't miss that, ever. In fact, I have gone to Paravyoma till the day before I left for Chennai. Surprising because I have not visited my school even once after graduating. Well, I loved my teachers, Period.
Alok sir said I might get around AIR-700. Aditya and Anmol had performed almost on the same level and might crack around AIR-300. What if they perform better than expected and nature balances it out as me?! Maybe I will have to do long-term. Maybe I will crack the paper next year. Maybe this year isn't for me. Maybe I should just shut up and go to bed!

7.30am, May 25th, 2009.
Dondaparthy 48A bus-stop.


The final moments(!) are just an hour away. In a couple of hours my future is going to be decided. Yesterday was so much fun, results weren't going to be announced then, peaceful life. But time has flown, yesterday has become today. Unfortunately.
I took the bus and reached my college in Muralinagar.

9 am.

Results are supposed to be out by now. But they are not. Probably a bad connection.
Some of the students seem so care-free. Some of them are trying to beat the stress by patronizing others. Some of us are trying to calm the hell down.
Bam! The AIR-1's name is out. So is 2,3 and 26. None of them is mine, thank god! What is this name, Gopi Shivkanth, anyway?!
Heart is beating faster. Mind isn't working clearly. What is happening in the world? I think it's going to get mashed in a few minutes. Time is slowing down at the rate of... Oh, damn it!
Alok sir went again to the internet cafe to check the results.
"Results are out," Alok sir says. I don't understand what that phrase means. Does he mean that the paper was leaked out and they cancelled the test? Ah, the refuge of hope!
Anmol got 504. Aditya, 484. Ok, probably I won't get a rank this time. They will easily get Mechanical Engineering in Chennai. I'll take that any day!
"The internet is a big mess right now. I'm trying to get yours too." Of course.
I cannot take this anymore. Maybe I should go off to Himalayas. Sleep there peacefully in a tent. Oh, what about all the avalanches there? Maybe the Western ghats, then. They say Kerala is a beautiful place. Stop it.
Alok sir comes the third time. He says my rank is out too. What does he mean by that, again?
1315.
My heart skipped three beats. First one when I heard it. Second when, well I can't remember, although it was just a couple of moments ago.
I am fighting my tears. I didn't expect a 1000+ ever in the back of my mind. What would my family think of me now? What about my relatives? Did I just let down everyone who has had a hope on me? Maybe, but I cannot think about it all now. The bubble was burst, and there ain't gonna be no fixing it.
Alok sir says, "It's ok, you got a decent one." I think he knows I am depressed.
I take 48A back home. I am lost in depressing thoughts. Have my family already known it? Have they already planned ridicules on me? I do not know. But first I have to give money to the conductor. He's asking for it.
I enter home.
Biggest surprise of my life. "Congrats!" shouted everyone.
"For what?," I throw my bag (Why I took it to the college is a long-forgotten dream) and slide down the reclining chair. This is my favourite chair. "Well, this is going to be the favorite chair of a loser," I think.
Now I am feeling drowsy, with all the pressure gone in a few minutes.
"Let me sleep for a few hours," I say to the air around me. It was clear that everyone heard.
I wake up. I get on my bicycle and am going to Ravishankar's house, although the main reason is to go to Harish's house.
Results of people all around me are now making me rethink. I think I haven't done all badly. 1315 is a decent rank. Neither of them qualified. Ravi is not down. Harish is forlorn.
I reach my home and sleep more. And wake up, only to sleep more.
More depression awaits me.

                                                                   **********

Many parents came to me later on with their sons for some 'counselling.' In one case I blatantly told to the mother that she's putting her kid through more pressure than he can handle. She thought I was stupid for saying that. She said that too.

The stress of the JEE (or similar 'competitive' exams), although it didn't take on me at other times than the D-day, thanks to my college, is something where the kids are helpless. Parents who were with us in the worst times of our life as solace, suddenly become the unforgiving antagonists of the story. Relatives are their side-kicks. You feel like you have to fight the whole world all by yourself.
I sincerely pledge not to make my children go through such cut-throat competition without their will. I sincerely urge my friends and family not to make them go through with this. Please let them pursue what they like to do, as long as you see they are at something productive. Please don't be over-awed by possible glorification from the relatives. Live, and let live!

Ooh, by the way, Merry JEE-results day!

4 comments:

  1. I see a great writer in u. it's well narrated one... Btw how's ur job

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  2. Awesome narration Sampat!
    Thumbs up

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  3. i went to harish's house as soon as i came home frm college....!!! luckily made through extended merit list..!!!! some respite( infact an excuse!! :) ) to tell my parents about... :D

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  4. you wrote this article on my birthday !!! :D

    ReplyDelete