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Hopes, tears and smiles

education Updated: May 26, 2010 09:31 IST
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Vanshika (83.25%) DPS, Mathura Road

7.45 am in the morning. The last six minutes are actually killer. The countdown begins 10, 9, 8, 7,6,5,4,3,2, and 1. 84 per cent. Expected.

Back to few hours. I was anxious about my result and decided to call a friend (who is two years elder to me and doing well in one of the best college of this country) over for a night spend. At 3 am we went out to the balcony and sat down discussing about how the entire year went. We got my I-pod and started listening to ‘Yellow’ by Cold Play.

And God knows from where I came up with this — ‘Look Malika, I don't know how I am going to score, all I know is that I've learnt something in these 14 years. My biggest enemy is my own self. I create the pressure. And that's the reason these exams weren't the best I took. There's one more thing I've learnt. If I am at my best, no one can take the destined away from me.’

There have been people who could win Tour de France despite having cancer. I don't attempt to be an Obama here willing to give you tones of hope. But maybe some day when we trouble ourselves too much, inable to think beyond the insecurity of our future, we need to do some rethinking. Something might stop you from doing that at times. ‘There's only one thing you get for free in this country — advices.’ Go to a coffee shop, and think what's good for you. Using all the energy on sobbing on the not-so good score or using it to the best in whatever is left. It's never too late! And by the way, guess what we played before, we hit the bed before my result? It was Bob Marley's, ‘Don't worry, be Happy!’

Saumya Aggarwal (84%) Presentation Convent

When I think about school, I'm at a loss for words. Trying to capture the 13 years that I have spent in my school into 100 words is tough, almost impossible. These 13 years have been a kaleidoscope of a myriad colours, all encapsulated into one single unit called your-school life. It's been one hell of a ride, passing from one class to another, making lots of friends, participating in inter school competitions, standing up for friends, finishing each other's assignments, the exam pressure, mass bunking and what not. And class 12, has been the epitome of it all, the very best of it.



Although a majority of people believe that 12th is one year of hardcore and strenuous studies, peer pressure, college cut-offs, cut-throat competition, no fun-no play, books, books and books. I beg to differ. I believe that if one is able to balance studies and co-curricular activities, then they can both have their cake and eat it too! Class 12 brings with it a different sincerity and focus, it also brings along the feeling of it being 'the last year in school'. All through March, I had been preparing myself for a very average aggregate, but having scored 84 per cent with distinctions in all five subjects left me amazed and elated, but also a little disappointed. I know I'm capable of much more, and because I did not put in my best, I had to settle for whatever I got. Even my parents were dissatisfied with my performance, but at last, they are happy for me. After all, you reap what you sow. Now, my only aim is to get into a good college. It's make or break time!

Gauri Saxena (92.25%) Gyan Bharati School


And there it was, that morning that I'd been dreading since I can remember. 7:45 am, the digital clock of my cellphone said. It was chilly inside the room, I hadn't switched off the AC the night before, so still unable to deal with my apprehensions I covered myself with blanket and looked at the time again, it said 7:50 am now. Strange but true, I felt something churning in my stomach, and no it was not the seekh kabab from the previous night's dinner but the oddity of being absolutely oblivious to what I was to witness in the next 10 minutes.



My parents had already switched on the PC, and typed in cbseresults.nic.in on internet explorer. I was still in my ‘waking up’ phase, finally toughening up to face the reality that would decide my future. I got up and asked ma if the results were out yet, she said there was still around five minutes to go. I looked around the room, everything was the same except my condition. This condition was of nervous wreckage. As the time went by, my heart throbbed like I had run around several hundred yards. And there it was 8 am. My father typed in my roll number, and my equilibrium maintenance system went awry for those few seconds. And there it was, my father reading out the marks one by one, more like the butcher and lamb thing. But it so turns out, that the butcher instead of cutting the lamb into pieces was caressing it with words.



Well, my result was pretty impressive. I was deliriously happy! It was a 93 best of four, with the highest in political science with a 95. And then came the inevitable cut, by the butcher to the lamb, a 63 in Economics.



I've never seen my parents smiling with pride about anything so much, for a second, we had a family moment. The only thing going on in my mind through this euphorical parade was utter disbelief, in a good way of course. I had never thought that I'd be on top of the world on the result day, because whatever you say, if people around you are proud of you, it takes you to state which is overwhelming. I'd admit, I did reach that state. But then it sunk down too, freakonomics ruined my mood every time I thought about it. Later I put a stop to it, why should I not enjoy the other nineties because of one subject that I never really got the hang of.

Kshitij Sharan (85%) Vasant Valley, Vasant Kunj

246810….no this is not my landline number, its more like an identity, a number which reflects my intellect (apparently) and my ability to mug up. It is my CBSE roll number. I was woken up at 7:57 am of May 21 by my mother saying “Beta, result nikal gaya." I got up in hurried enthusiasm combined with nauseating stress, and ran to get my laptop. To add to my anxiety, my dad was already on the bed, with his morning tea and the laptop along with the website open. I carefully typed in my roll no. and as the numbers unveiled in front of me, I sat there agape. I will reveal these figures only later in this article.



I am afraid to say that I was wrong all my life. I believed I could beat the system, but on 21st of May the system beat me down. It made me loose all self belief, all ego, all pride; everything. From nursery to class 12 I don't think, I have ever scored less than 85 per cent in an English paper. But I could not beat the Central Board of Secondary Education. Guess, how much I scored in English? A 60 percent; the lowest in class.



As I spent the morning sobbing, my friends and teachers, either cried with me or laughed at the incongruity of the situation. I am the same student who scored a 2130 in his SATs with a perfect score in my writing section, after studying only for two days. Please don't mistake this as me boasting; this is just what everyone around me was saying. I topped throughout the year, but obviously my English is almost the worst in Delhi.



Brain Drain is a term which is ever-there on our lips. Yesterday I understood that the system doesn't leave us with a choice. It leaves you bruised and battered, extraditing you from your country, where you want to be, but your talent is not recognised.



The board needs to understand that it has in its hands the future of over five lakh students. I'm sure it understands this responsibility, but when will they show us that we can trust them? When will they be accountable enough? Can they look me in the eye and tell me that we have checked your English paper and you deserve a 60? Why should we rub our noses on the ground because of inconsistencies in a system which we don't even believe in?



I call out to the youth of our generation, Let’s create change. Let there be light in the dark alleys of our system. We have the power, we have the skill, we have the strength, let us be known as the freedom fighters of the 21st century.



To all those who are trying to convince me that there is obviously an error in the correction of my paper; I say Thank you, but there is no point of making any excuses now, because in the end that mark sheet on your bio data matters, but I promise that the world will overlook my bio data to see my actions. And to all those who have suffered because of the system I say **** the education system.

Arushi Kaath (91%) DPS, Gurgaon, Sector 45


So, the verdict is out, and I passed! Not exactly with flying colours, but yes a 91 per cent does deserve a pat on the back. Most might think I'm more than content with my grades, but the fact of the matter is that I'm just glad to be able to voice my "discontent" with our education system.



I was always indifferent to the critique of many when they'd talk about just how unfair the system is in our country. Being a recent victim of the same, has got me thinking differently. I am more or less satisfied with all my grades. However, one subject, History had me shell- shocked! I scored a 75 per cent in the subject is just amusing! I have a real love for the subject, but before I could think of winning the race to a 90, the system beat me to it.



It still gives me chills when I have flashes of those cringing digits, ‘75’, against my name — a thought however, accompanied by a strange relief, for it seems that I am not the only one who sank in the historical boat. My grade remains an ‘A1’, irrespective of my marks.



How is this justified though? Are we being told that the majority is hanging between a 75-80 per cent (in terms of history of course)? Not only is that a sad thought, but one that on some levels reveals the ineptness of our system. Those for whom 90 plus had been a year-long feature, have been surpassed by the whims and fancies of their examiners; while those who were praying to nearly all Gods so they may save face, have surpassed their own whims and fancies! Is it just me, or has education in our country gone haywire!

Soham Shiva (90.25%) The Shri Ram School. Gurgaon
Sitting in an apple orchard amidst scenic valleys and distant white peaks, embraced by a cool morning wind sounds incredibly peaceful, doesn't it? Unfortunately all that serenity is lost when I know that in a few hours, the world will begin to weigh me, evaluate me and rank me in their mental hierarchy based on a new unit — Board marks.

Atleast this was the case on my D-Day. Being in ISC board, my results were due to arrive two days before my CBSE brethren at afternoon, and the entire purpose of a quiet retreat to the mountains seemed defeated. It's funny how a two digit number can entirely regulate a person's outlook. In my case, fortunately, it was a happy surprise with the calculator returning a neat 90.25 per cent. Yes, there were a few disappointments, but its human nature to always wish for more.

While I was happy at having crossed the coveted 90 ribbon, there was a feeling of sadness at cutting off the last thread of my connection to school life. No more of those corridors, no more of reminders for putting up seriousness expected of a board class. Fortunately, as the pressure piled on, we indulged more in everything classified — anti-diligent. This, I believe, was instrumental in whatever degree of success I've been able to achieve. My strength for deceiving my brain to fall in love with books for two months was drawn from a single prospect — “There's so much to do once the exams are over! That too without the accompanying guilt of indulgence...!” One shouldn't get too serious about life. It ain't worth it. College life awaits, and the cycle continues.

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