As a child, I was never an ideal student. My situation wasn’t as bad as Chaitrali’s, but I wasn’t Nupuri either. I was never the one who stood first in class, prepared for the exams well in advance or completed the homework before it was too late!
I always kept all the preparations for the last possible minute (I still do for most of the things). The reason why I scored well (reasonably well) was not because I was well prepared but because I had good memory and would just remember things.
And then, all hell broke loose during the semester exams in fourth standard. I had lost the exam timetable and Aai was upset about it. I assured her that I knew it by heart and reproduced it for her. Given my track record with remembering things, she didn’t say much.
The exams began and I was happy that my timetable was spot on! And so I prepared for the English paper. I didn’t mind studying because I love languages. The next day, I reached school just before the bell went off. I quickly took my seat and waited for the class teacher to distribute the question paper. When the paper was handed is when horror struck! I looked down on the paper only to read
I am usually calm even under extreme pressure. But this was a little too much to handle even by my standards. And what worried (scared) me the most was not that I was unprepared but the thought of what would happen when Aai found out.
Or worse, when Baba found out!
I shook all the thoughts and focused on completing the paper. Once it was done, I came home and dreaded confrontation for the rest of the day. In the evening, Aai Baba came home and like routine, Aai asked for the question paper. I timidly handed it to her and braced myself for what was to come.
That day was one of the worst when it comes to Aai yelling at me. And then when she was for lost words, she asked Baba to take over. Now in a house full of women, our Baba rarely talks. So you know you have screwed up real bad when he is not only talking but yelling at you.
The only defence I had was that I had lost the timetable and that this was a genuine mistake (not a great defence, I know). I remember being sorry and crying my eyes out – not because they were yelling, but because Baba said.
“If you fail, which you will, I will not sign that report card and neither will Aai!”
Failing! I hadn’t even thought about it. I had never failed in my life. I dreaded the results for the first time in my life.
As the report card came, I had no guts to look at it so I took it straight home. When Aai Baba looked at it, they weren’t mad, upset or even angry. What I saw on their faces was pure shock and utter disbelief.
So I snatched the card out of their hands. And what I saw was just unbelievable. Not only had I passed (by God’s grace – it WAS a miracle) but the red star indicated that I had topped in History 😂
Not wanting to push my luck, I quietly took Baba’s signature on the card and went about the day as if nothing had happened!