A DAY OF WAITING
Everyone was terse and anxious. Mum had made chappathi and potato sabji, something I’d love on normal days, but my heart was racing too fast in the tension that plagued me, the reason, perhaps why my memories of that day are so vivid. There were a thousand thoughts inside my head, no, there was no way I was going to pass maths, I’d failed so many times in class tests already, no matter how much Providence favoured me, I could not pass it. Grace of God, doubtful, how could he pity me when I couldn’t pity myself.
I was the first child in my family, so naive as to how my parents would react when the truth would out. The results would be announced at 09:00 online. My parents had got me net especially for that purpose. I just wanted to get away from them all and bang my head somewhere and curse myself. Maths was so cruel, I hated it, I was awful at it and I’d taken no efforts whatsoever. Here, in India, the plight or disgrace of the child infects the whole family, everyone at church, all my relatives, all our friends, all of dad’s colleagues would be dying to know my marks to compare it with their own children’s and offer consolation or a grudged congrats. Oh! The state I was in. I could hardly eat, breathe or look anyone in the eye. Though they did not believe me, I said I would surely get above 70/100.
Let me think, clearly, I said to myself. My graph for 10 marks was absolutely wrong, no way of getting good marks in objective questions. 2 mark sums, haha, who was I kidding! There was a chance in 5 mark sums though, 4 of them, I vaguely got right, but it only gave 20 marks. What about the rest of the 20 marks that I needed to pass. Oh, how Dad would disgrace me, blast me and call me names. Mom would go mad with anger. My brother would try to coo them, seeing the state I was in and not wanting to be on their bad books desperately. Grandad and Gradmum would make is seem so dramatic.
“How could you be so heartless? How can your parents bear this disgrace? You are ruined, you are going to be penniless, how insensitive you are?” I visualised the aftermath.
“Papa, its 9, switch on the system” dad yelled. Mom gasped and we all made our way and waited impatiently for the system to log on.
Thank God, I was relieved! But there was still the matter of mom and dad.
“Oh my God, papa, you’ve passed” said dad joyously!