Board exams!!! Finally there,a sigh of relief or more distress? This depends on case to case, very idiosyncratic.
Well to start with, this is my second experience of being in the same position but the parent in me refuses to budge or transform.
The day arrived. My maternal instincts started pestering me. I went straight in a prayer mode. “Show the miracle!” I ordained the top person,” Irrespective of all the preparations. Today my son needs to do well”.
I even challenged the top person’s presence in the world. Lest, I hop into the electoral list of atheism. The top person cannot get into the karma mode of the parents and the children today. Need to shed it off!!##
I sent the prayers (Read a threatening message) and I hoped (Read Expected) for the best result.
I woke my inscrutable son. Yes, inscrutable as he carries the same expression all the time. Happy, sad, excited, dead pan, anxious all are given away with the same look. I am on it to be more comprehensive. I blame it totally on puberty not on me being a dumb mom. Yes!
Sudden rush of the epiphanies or hormones, can’t say, but yes, today dahi-cheeni seemed an ideal devotional, cosmic,koshered,dietary, satvic, epicurean gourmet for that day. All old wives tales now have significance and also sudden respect for them as these do depict our customs. Irrespective of the fact that the dahi-cheeni prices always shoot up during the boards, I still went for it. My inscrutable son was finally ready! His mother too was ready, with the God’s blessing in that little spoon( dahi-cheeni) in hand. This is what would bring the best out of you my son. His blank looks showed a change and I took it as a sign of God. He quipped, “Please, let’s go.”
I gave up and finished the dahi-cheeni myself( the umbilical cord figuratively speaking still exists so it might just work).
I thought of getting a cab as my alto is turning very hormonal cause of over running. Though the maintenance is good and periodical. Still, like a menopausal woman, it becomes bit whimsy and just stops wherever we both have reached in action and our position is. My inscrutable son expressionless face maintained asked me to drive him down. At this moment, he asked if I have vomiting medicine. What!!! Queasy!!! At this moment…. “Billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles”.
I took a deep pranaymic breath, Inhaled enough oxygen for my asthmatic lungs , still holding on as an evolved being , I Panicked!!! I yelled and went to get some medicine. Next step, gave a hyper freaky call to my prodigal sister who too due to our genetic disposition freaked out and said, “I knew it! Now, what! We have lost it, Our effort of bringing him up single handed would be thrown out by this one vomit”
My son gauged that that the storm would soon engulf him along with the third sister too getting in. He gave up and suddenly felt all fit.
I started driving carefully avoiding all the cats on the roads and by lanes as well. For PETA!
We reached the center. The name of the center was as holy as my son or all children there,” Holy Child Auxillium”. Now the final instructions which would be the deciding factor of this exam. Good handwriting ( He has a very Eucaladian handwriting, all in circles and lines. He leaves it totally on the readers’ ability to decipher it. His handwriting leaves illegible wonder,”why do I even exist?”). Leave and draw a line after every answer ( This is for the poor examiner who would soon be fatigued after going through the pages which have no demarcations defined). Please for me..for the love of your mother BE NEAT.(I am neat!!! It is not me I wonder, where did he get this from). My son ordered me to leave at once.
I came back and sent another silent prayer to the top person. Even stopped my car in front of a temple, church and a gurudwara.
Clock ticking away….
Time: 12.45 o’clock
Time for the exam to finish was 1.30pm. I wanted to avoid the board traffic rush. The FM channels were even giving live updates on the board traffic rush. So following these I drove and reached well before…eh the time. Only 45 mts before.
Whoa! I was not alone. Colossal rush of parents. All standing and catching up. All dressed in their Sunday bests on a Monday with their branded bags on their arms which refused to bow down. Their designer glasses giving them denser look of the world. The sartorial nuances boasting of how despite of an exam day they took care of what their image to the world should be, Self-Love at its best. All discussing how we have become calmer parents. Few so delighted to see the other one and throwing kisses in the air. A very sophisticated elegante crème da la crème population of Deeli. Yes, this is that crowd. I am a misfit or I missed to fit…too late to think and decide.
One of the parents standing next to me as a loner too, passed a perfunctory smile. I smiled back and we bonded. After a bit of awkward silence , she asked me,” Modern mom or Sanskriti mom”. I did not know how to respond. All I could say was,”Well, I am modern while being rooted in our Sanskriti”. Good one, I told myself. She looked at me with a very sympathetic look,” I was asking about the schools”.
Oh! I felt the ground , held it and said, “Modern Mom”
I soon found that my new friend is a Sanskriti mom and going through this experience for the third time. I thought first or third she was still the same,”Hyper”
What a serendipity for the nationalism wave in our country, Modern and Sankriti Students sitting in the Holy Child Auxilium School Tch,Tch..bad joke!
I started sauntering around. Another woman dainty dressed said, “ Bored mom” Hello!!! Was I looking bored? I am very interesting. I read, I party, I am spiritual…I am happening. I am interesting. Sudden rush. My expression gave all I thought. She went away from me. She meant “BOARD MOM”
I took control and gave her a meek and a sheepish smile. She never did and I lost a friend in making.
The gate of the heaven finally opened. The kids who were held hostages for the three hours started coming out one by one. The parents hoarded the gate. All hustling to get and judge the first look of their progeny. One of the parents closed his eyes and sent another prayer. To be or not to be!!!
The kids walked out like the warriors coming back from a prolonged war. I held my position where I was.I was sure that I would be able to find him from a distance. The tallest, 6 feet 2 inches high with the hand in the hair styling it forever would not be difficult to be noticed in that crowd. No!!! My heart too was giving up. Stop being a glib!! Go and find him and judge the top person.
I gathered all my courage and entered the throng.
Some were laughing, parents laughed too. Some were not making any eye contact and the parents gave up all hopes of life. Some parents were least bothered as the proud heir was going to amreeka so board exams..don’t matter. Some walked with thumbs up and the parents bloated with pride. There was this mother with gatorade in hands…she saw the thumbs up and popped opened the Gatorade like a champagne. She forced her son to drink it to the glory of the lord.
A child came out with a droopy face, a sudden rage arose in the mother. I could see she was seething and saw her motherhood going totally wasted due to that one exam which did not go well. She told her child,” Let’s concentrate on the next one.” She refused to talk to the Gatorade mother and pranced towards her big car.
Finally….my son! The same expression…how do I say how was the exam. All I could ask was,” How was the handwriting?’ “It was good,” inflection-less he said. I sighed and thought I knew the top person loves me.”But” he added…what? I am an atheist. You lost me top person.
“But towards the end my handwriting was quite bad. So I wrote Sorry for bad handwriting in the paper”he causally added. He said sorry to the examiner in the paper and never felt sorry for seventeen years for the all the times when I tried hard for him to write a straight letter. Say sorry to me!! “ Don’t worry, will get above 90” I think I am confused … an atheist or a believer.