‘97%? Excellent. How did the others do?’

The CBSE and ICSE boards’ Class 10 and 12 results are being declared this weekend. So, I’m told, are some of the state boards’ results.

Published: 28th May 2017 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th May 2017 07:38 AM   |  A+A-

The CBSE and ICSE boards’ Class 10 and 12 results are being declared this weekend. So, I’m told, are some of the state boards’ results. Like always, that makes it a time of unbridled delight or unmitigated misery for the graduating students and their families. I’ve stood in both pairs of shoes, as student and parent, and both laughed and cried.

In hindsight (which, as everyone knows, means 20/20 vision), I needn’t have invested that much emotion in the moment. Because, in the long run, no one remembers how you did in your 10th or 12th boards. No one besides your mother and your old classmates, especially the ones who did better than you. Your boss certainly won’t care. Neither will your colleagues, tenants or landlord. The only results your shareholders will care about are the ones emanating from the stock market. But all that will come later, much later.

The day of the results, sadly, nothing but your marks will matter—to you, of course, as well as to your parents, relatives (even that third cousin twice removed whom you abhor) and the neighbours. Here’s a quick primer on what to expect, and how to interpret and respond to the comments:

That’s fabulous. How did Shashank do? What your mother means is “Of course I’m happy for you but I’ll be truly delighted if you’ve done better than my over-ambitious sister’s son. I can’t wait to see her smug face fall when I tell her the news.”

97 per cent? What did you lose marks on? You know your over-achieving father; even 100 per cent wouldn’t have been enough for him. Just laugh and turn away. Or ask him how he fared in his Boards?  
We don’t want to say we told you so: They just did, and with reason. You knew what you were doing when you were bingeing on Netflix during your prep leave and partying the night before the Maths exam. You didn’t listen to your parents’ warnings then, did you? You’ll have to put up with the sarcasm now.

Studying should be about pleasure, not pressure. Your school never understood that: Just give your mother a hug. Aren’t you sorry now that you shouted at her every time she marched into school to fire your principal for being rough on you and/or not letting you bunk class to play at every football tournament you wanted?

Oh that’s nice. Do you know whether Nanhi called? Your grandmother is pleased that you’re a good student but do try and remember that your sister has just signed a Bollywood film.
Of course I’m not disappointed. No interpretation required. Of course he is but Dadaji has always been a man of few words.  

Don’t worry beta, I’ve heard all the marks are bad this year. Sushma Aunty from next door has always been your champion; and her house the haven you fled to whenever things are bad at home. At least, that won’t change.

Marks don’t matter. They don’t measure your talent or intelligence: What your uncle means is don’t worry, he did badly at school too but is now raking in the big bucks through motivational speaking. Listen to him carefully, if you scored under 60 per cent. 

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