Exam bells a-ringing

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By Tinky Ningombam

Some wise men said that the fruits of labor are the sweetest, that if you succeed after having worked harder, it gives you more joy. But the happiness of scoring higher in your papers when you have absolutely NOT studied anything, that is the sweetest moment of all.

The 12th board exams are almost here and like all the least liked things in life, they dictate your days counting up to it. So, from what you eat, to where you go, to the choice of music you hear, people suddenly start judging you to the point of irrationality. Suddenly everyone starts asking you where you are and whether or not you been studying. I particularly love the best question of all “Have you studied everything?” That is an improbable situation. One can never be done studying. First of all, one should really think on the questions one is asking before they are asked.

I will understand if one asks

“Are you done reading more than our neighbor’s kid?”

or “Will you score more than my friend’s nerdy daughter so that I can gloat about it and when they walk past me, I can ask them how her kid has done while secretly laughing inside, like a sinister evil mastermind?”

or  “Will you just read enough and pass the papers so that I can send you off  to some college that one of  my uncle’s son’s second cousin’s wife’s kitty party coordinator has suggested?”

We have always been told to be honest and not to lie, so why not ask honest questions? Let’s start at home.

As for the kids, you know how easy it is to fool people. Parents have hated exams even when they were kids. You know the best way to irritate them and drive them off your backs during preparation time? Ask them an algebra question. Ask them to solve it for you. That should drive them away for a good 10 hours. But downside, they might just get started with it and keep you occupied for the next 10 hours. And if any of your folks is a math’s teacher, kid, god save your soul. But for the rest, it’s easier to fool older people:  keep erratic sleeping patterns, skip your meals from your usual time, leave your milk cold on the side table, start wearing glasses, scribble on the wall with a pencil and act as though you are brooding, keep your phone ringing for some time and when asked tell them that you are reading one important chapter and you do not want to be disturbed, start praying, ask for your mother to pray for your papers(this can backfire, mothers can get way too wishy-washy and emotional), sleep on the couch for one night and the best dramatic finale, read under your neighborhood streetlamp (there’s a reason why film directors love this, people go crazy on these intense moments).  And just carry a book all around the house, sleep with it, drool on it, dog-ear some of the pages. And the bigger book you carry with you the better. That way, people sympathise. No-one will be convinced with your 5 pager notebook, carry around an encyclopedia, those are books that shows what it’s all about.

They say that an enemy of an enemy is a friend. We have all hated exams. I have not heard anyone who have told me otherwise. I have not had one person who have rejoiced on the thought of an examination. It can mean two things:

1.         Exams are universally hated

Or

2.         All my friends are dumb

One of the reasons that I hate exams is because of the very foundation of examination: the competition. I hate competitions, not if I win but if I lose. And I am a sour loser. The kid who beat me in Mario Brothers knows that, his broken tooth reminds him. But coming back, exams instill a sense of competiveness in people. Everyone is competitive in real life mostly for the wrong reasons but exams create this sense of cut-throat competition. Don’t be bothered with this. This external stimuli, the sense of incentive, the sense of achievement and the lucrative-ness of Victory is paramount in moulding us into winners. However much we hate it, there will be Winners and there will be Losers. One will win in some, one will lose in some. But without a big reward, there will be no effort to achieve something or succeed. In the end one has to figure out what we want to WIN in life, but figuring that bit out will have its mix of hurdles and equalizers. And besides, this is not the end of life’s test and when you grow old
er, you will laugh at the memory of the exam-fever. You might not be laughing now, but you will laugh my friend, I tell you that. Either of happiness or insanity, but you will be happy.

And for that alone, I will share with you an inside tip that I heard doing the rounds , it is said that 80% of the final test paper will be based on the one lecture you missed and the one book you didn’t read. So, time to take your notes back and consult with your trusted mates. The idea is to be strong, to be able to watch that movie for 3 hours but to put in an extra 3. Its way better than sitting in front of your text book, staring at the wall and thinking about the movie. Get on with it and be brave to take the decision. No matter if years of logical self-realization will eventually make you question why you needed to read 50 pages of literature or memorize by-heart complex algorithms while no-one taught you how to file your income tax papers, but that’s ok kid, one hurdle at a time. Because this is not the time to ask these questions now. These will come with experience and you will not escape experience, unless you are dead. But that is also logically wrong, because you will have the Death experience. But enough with that. What you should focus is this . All you kids there sweating bricks for the exam, you need to feel good at how smart you are and how you are learning 100 different things from 100 different teachers , while 1 single teacher have not mastered all these different subjects. But you have. And bravo.

So with the thought of happiness and moral strength, here’s wishing all the 26,682 students who will face the examination this year and taking  one of their first leaps to unique dreams and carving out their part of the world. Best of Luck guys.

(Some time tested tips from the author: Listen to music. Eat healthy. Release frustration by screaming into the pillow. Exercise. Talk to people. Spend 2 hours daily just doing whatever you like. Remember “A happy mind is a more vibrant mind.”)

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