The Tuition Center
He had opted out of special coaching classes outside school, as it was no longer relevant. Time to throw some glance of his village. It was little bigger than a typical Indian village, consisted of 5000 odd households, mainly involved with agriculture and farming. You can find the children, of school going tenure, were more on fields (earning money) than in class rooms. The strength in class rooms were seasonal. During planting or harvesting they hardly find children turn to school up. It was a challenge for the board to pull and retain pupil in school. There were a few tutorial centers making advantage of this situation, convincing parents that they can make every student crack the board exam even without the help of school.
My tuition master was a clever guy. He was very clear that he wont have any assistants, as it might impact him in 2 ways. First, They can learn teaching techniques from him and create competition. Next and the foremost rationale was not to loose a single penny paid by the students. He split his students into 3 categories based on their learning curve and made them 3 different promises for improvisation.
As a single tutor, it was impossible for him to teach every student from all the group to keep his promise up. So he had laid out a plan of cascading responsibilities. He used to convince us, the first group, to teach the other groups for improvisation. He had a trump card to play against us, “if you guys could help me with this, i will share you the secrets of achieving higher ranks” which he told, “he never disclosed to other students”. Also “These sessions will take only a few hours of your time, after that, I shall start classes for you with full enthusiasm”.
We were ready for that challenge, as we were simply amused with the power we could exercise over the other group students. We could literally control them to any extent of what to do and what to study, of course, loosely supervised by the master. Unknowingly we were working as his assistants for no pay. He started our classes only by 9 PM and the sad truth was we were wasting our time from 6 PM in the center in directing other groups to study. Almost 3 hours a day we spent on teaching the other groups, literally 3 wasted hours.
A few weeks gone. He gradually started to feel that he had less time than before to prepare for himself. shortly he understood that they were being used. When he shared this with his fellas, they were too involved to understand his words. At last he informed his parents and quit from the tutorial center to concentrate full time only on his studies.
The Judgement day
There was no option to opt out from school as he did in tuition center. Hence, there was no escape from the tight scrutiny and monitoring from the staffs. The final board exam was nearing, just 30 days away. Even with all the distractions, he was holding firm with the job in hand. Putting all his efforts to pull it off.
The over expectation actually had diminished the self confidence, raising unnecessary doubts, Have I prepared enough(?), Could everything be recollected at right time(?). He thought of running away when almost everyone he came across wished him good luck to achieve the State Rank. The pressure was paramount and building every day.
Mind was mysteriously calm when he came out of the hall after the last exam. Abundant joy was gushing out when thinking of those days ahead without any scrutiny, without any monitoring, without shouldering any stupid responsibilities. The Peaceful Vacation.
The Judgement day was close as the days rolled on. Media had started with the million dollar question, what was next, the so called career options. Every 5 minutes, a Film Star or a Sport person who had never completed a degree, was advocating to join particular colleges and diploma schools.
He was sitting on his favorite easy chair on the corner of veranda, lost as usual into his own world of thoughts. Relatives and Family friends were ringing his house, frequently than before, to advise on his future plans, just for the sake of letting his mother know, how interested they were on my career – mostly a false image established by the relatives which no Indian mother would never realize. “come on guys, it was just SSLC, not the end of my life”.Every kid appearing board exams was misdirected by these kind of senseless crowd. Only because of this unnecessary pressure many of those kids lose the race. He decided, I had given my best and I would face whatever I was up to!
The Next Level
It was strange to see the faces around you were sad even after you cracked the exam with the percentage well above 90%. No one turned up, even seemed not bothering to call us. They themselves had fixed my targets and decided now that I didn’t meet them. They might have thought that i was overrated. They might have thought that i was a failure case. For them, I had lost miserably in the race that i never wanted to be in.
He didn’t bother, Even laughed at these people for their poor ideology, until his mom opened up, “Son, I didn’t care about the State rank and also never bothered about the marks you scored. But I was expecting you will surely get past Uma aunt’s Son. But you disappointed me”.
He was little shaken to hear it from someone of such an importance. At once he went pale and felt broken. He had no clue, who was that Uma aunt, or at-least if he had met her or her Son? But one thing was sure, his mom had already set a herculean expectation on him for the next Board Exam, More marks than the unknown Aunt’s pathetic Son!
He was not aware that only the odds help people reinvent and elevate themselves to the next level.
<< To Be Continued >>
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