South Indian parents remember God the most during summer break every year, which is when the infamous 10th grade and 12th grade results are announced. Every time I came close to complaining about the stress of 10th and 12 grade exams for children, people wasted no time telling me that no matter how profound the child’s anxiety was, it was nothing compared to that anxiety which parents feel when it comes to their children’s exam results. Well I guess this argument is not without merits.
Between Rao uncle’s daughter who won the 100% attendance award (poor thing spent her childhood trying to earn validation for herself, ever since she disappointed her parents by being born a girl) and Anu aunty’s son who cried for two entire days because he lost a whole of half a mark in his math final exams (With a 99.5 instead of 100, the gap between the second rank holder and him decreased by an abominable and shameful 0.5 marks), I can understand why parents feel competitive. It is not our success or failure, it is the success or failure of their genes. I now concede that when the ladla aka project child prodigy fails to make it to IIT-Kharagpur, or makes it to IIT-Kharagpur only for computer science instead of Electronics and Communications, the parent’s are clearly to blame, for the following reasons,
- Failure to eat the right kind of brain food before conceiving. Dal cannot be a substitute for fish, vegetarian values notwithstanding.
- Failure to consult the astrologer as to the best time to attempt procreation. Not only did the child turn out to be a daughter, but she chose fine arts, all because of the astrologer not supervising and recommending the right time to have intercourse.
- Location, location, location- if only the venue for the amorous encounter was the study room instead of the bedroom, the soon thereafter beta would not be sleeping all the time and would actually be studying, for purposes other than curing insomnia.
- Failure to cross breed. When horses from different pedigree and regions have sex- the resulting progeny is smarter and faster. But when daughters are routinely married off to maternal uncles over generations and cousins marry each other as well, the results are often disappointing. Generations of intra familial marriages due to our ancestor’s poor socio-economic vision have compromised the quality of the parents’s genes and therefore by definition, that of the children as well.
The above list is no doubt illustrative only and not exhaustive. But truly, when a child scores well or does not score well, it is the parents to blame.
So to all the children who have the privilege of having just one college option instead of many, the ones who provide the meaning to the term “plausible deniability” in the parent’s dictionary, the ones who made the mistake of being happy, to the ones who are offered the sympathetic and almost comically insincere “don’t worry, its the ones who don’t score that do well in life” and to the one who set out to become a child prodigy but became a prodigal son instead- remember its not your fault, its your parents’.
So don’t kill yourself and certainly don’t despair. Instead do as any responsible adult would, blame it on some one else. Motivate your parents to see their failures and their poor upbringing. Remind them that sending you to the neighbouring Prema aunty’s tuitions instead of buying the subscription for the IIT alumini driven online tutoring led to the debacle.
Help them realise the error of their ways- Did your mother check your father’s report card before agreeing to marry him? Because if she had shown that concern and diligence, the father’s lack of aptitude in mathematics would have been a deal breaker. Did your father not realise that your mother holds only a Bachelor of Arts and not a Bachelor of Science? If he had thought about his marriage logically instead of being enamored by your mother’s good looks and virtues, today you wouldn’t have invited the shame of scoring well in social studies but losing your shit in science.
Your 90% versus the neighbouring kid’s 98%, would not have happened if not for parental incompetence. And if you think that your options have become limited, that you will command less dowry during your wedding and will probably have to settle for becoming a lawyer instead of a B.E., MBA stud that you thought you would become- you are probably right.
But honestly, life is not so bad on this side of the achievement spectrum. If not anything else, you get to write a blog and address children facing their 10th and 12th exams. Its not a bad place to be…… No really its not. What? I mean it. Really…………………
This will go on until I convince myself. Excuse me.