Of Journeys and Destinations


When I had collected the marks sheet of high school, I can’t fully bring back the exact feeling of elation now but I do remember that, I was happy and anxious at the same time. Happy because I had, by luck, managed not to get second division marks. And I was anxious that someone would snatch my marks sheet on my way to home: an eleven minutes walk. High School used to be an important and scary class. It was when one took one’s first board exam. Many used to fail, and more were scared of the instances of failures that their parents and elders could cite with exact details.

The next time round, it was intermediate, the year of Kalyan Singhji’s Anti-Copying Ordinance. “The UP board’s brochure of 1992 exams proclaims that its high school pass percentage of 14.70 was the lowest in its history and the intermediate pass percentage of 30.38 was the lowest since 1969. The 1992 exams, it may be noted, were held under the very strict Anti- Copying Ordinance of 1992.” [Source: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2008-05-28/news/27729482_1_board-exams-engineering-colleges-middle-class%5D

I was a proud first division holder of the year in which the majority had either failed or failed to secure first division marks. I remember that the first three ranks in our school had gone to Biology students, the only three in the whole school to secure first division marks, the rest had all got third or second divisions. Physics was my favourite subject and I was hoping for distinction marks in it. I was disheartened by my marks in Physics, although I had secured average marks in other subjects in a lean year.

That year was from where began my journey towards knowledge of the inherent nature of the life of the short-lived wo/man who is inherently and farcically (or tragically) short sighted too. Getting what one wants does not get one anything. Destinations aren’t ever fixed in life that is one long journey. I thought that getting first division in intermediate was something. That it was some sort of final achievement after which all would become easy. Myopia thy name is man!

It meant nothing. My marks in intermediate lasted me only two months, after which I had to face the Mount Everest of my life till then, a peak even higher than my first board exam of High School. There was only one place where I had thought of doing B Sc from (or my father had thought of my doing MBBS from, but I was sure I couldn’t clear IMS entrance test, and I didn’t). I believed, by what I had heard from my school seniors, that I would not be able to clear the entrance test, and I missed it by mere one question, i.e. two marks. The list closed at 172 and I had secured 170. There was no negative marking in B Sc entrance test.

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