Biplab Mondal and his parents Balaram Mondal and Kalyani Mondal made history of sorts on Wednesday when they walked in to appear in the 12th standard examination at Bahirgachhi High School, 40 km from here in Nadia district.
“We are competitors in the exam hall. I have to outperform them,” Biplab, 18, told Hindustan Times on the eve of the exam.
All three have the same subjects.
The three were students of Hazrapur High School in Dhantala of Nadia district where they attended classes for the past two years. They studied Bengali, English, history, education, Sanskrit and philosophy.
Residents of Uttar Patikabari village, Balaram, 42, and Kalyani, 32, passed class 10 board exams (Madhyamik) from Rabindra Mukto Vidyalaya in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
Locals told HT that Balaram gets up early from the bed and goes to till his land. Then he returns home to study. He has about one and half acre land where he grows vegetables. Sometimes, he works as a labourer on somebody else’s land.
“I rear a few goats. I take them to graze. While the goats graze, I study under a tree. There is hardly any time to waste,” said Kalyani.
“Biplab’s parents visited our school seeking admission. The headmaster Sujit Kumar Hota was impressed by their eagerness. We informed the higher secondary council about their admission,” said Kamalesh Majumder, Sanskrit teacher of Hazrapur High School.
Balaram Mondal lost his father in his childhood. To make ends meet, he had to drop out in class IX. “But I always wanted to study. If I pass the exams, I would like to take admission in a college,” said the indomitable Balaram.
Kalyani’s parents arranged her marriage with Balaram she was a student of class VIII.
Despite their eagerness to study, poor finance was an obstacle. Only the son took private tuition. Then he taught his parents at home.
Over the past few weeks, the trio studied about 10 hours a day. “We are weak in English. So we stretched our finances and took English tuition at home for the past few months,” said Kalyani.
Balaram sounded confident on all subjects except history.
“My parents are like my friends. I am lucky that I have got my parents as my classmate and taking the board exams in same year, same subjects, same exam centre. How many can say that,?” asked Biplab.