When the shadows of examination started looming large, some of the students applied all their time and strength to studies enthusiastically while many others got panicky about their studies. Vijay, Priya, and Rajesh too were among those who were enthusiastic about their studies since they were not among those who would get tense because all their studies had been already completed as per the planning done by Vijay right from the beginning of the academic year and now only the revision was what perhaps only necessary thing to do. Above all they were fully aware of the fact that the HSC examination is a vital turning point of life.
One funny aspect of the HSC examination is that the real merit of the students truly gets tested only through this exam. What this means is that the erstwhile scope of hiding one’s merit otherwise does not become possible in the case of this examination and everybody gets to know his or her real intellect or true merit only through this examination. Obviously therefore, once after completing the studies, during their short break for relaxation, a topic pertaining to this dimension of the examination, came up between Vijay, Priya and Rajesh.
‘I heard Shyam is going to take a drop this year!’, Rajesh enquired.
‘It is an excellent escape route to hide one’s own weaknesses!’, Vijay remarked, ‘but how long can one continue escaping from the reality. Some or the other day the truth is bound to come out in the broad daylight’.
‘He must not have been able to complete his studies!’, Priya argued, ‘his father had come to our home sometime ago and he was saying that Shyam’s health did not keep good throughout this academic year harping his studies adversely!’.
‘What health problems he is trying to make an excuse of!’, Rajesh taunted, ‘he continues showing his body muscles behind the girls throughout the year!’.
‘But next year he will come in the merit list!’, Priya argued, ‘his father was saying it so confidently!’.
‘What kind of people are these?’, Rajesh said sarcastically, ‘So far Shyam has never secured more than 60% marks in any of the classes and now he is talking of directly winning a position in the merit list!’.
‘Frankly speaking, it is the parents who go wrong in such situations’, Vijay reacted, ‘they must recognize the true ability of their children before forming any expectations!’.
‘Then what do you think is my ability?’, Priya tried to build proximity with Vijay.
‘I said, abilities are to be tested by parents and not by friends!’, Vijay tossed her question funnily.
‘I am confident that you will secure an admission to medical easily and nothing needs to be spoken about a bright student like Vijay but it is me who is headed for a major debacle’, Rajesh said in a depressed tone, ‘I will be grateful to destiny even if I manage to get an admission for agriculture!’.
‘Now look at this how demeans he makes himself!’, Vijay instantly replied, ‘This is your main problem!’.
‘Wasn’t it the same you spoke about?’, Rajesh argued, ‘that one should be clear about one’s own ability!’.
‘I repeat, I had said about parents and not about oneself!’, Vijay remarked.
‘Anyway, let it be!’, Rajesh said and raised the same topic again, looking at Priya now, ‘Who else is going to take a drop this year? What is the ‘insider news’?’. He was obviously pointing toward the group of girls.
‘You won’t come to know that unless the examinations begin!’, Priya replied, ‘because girls do not usually disclose this so overconfidently like the boys do!’. Further she easily said, ‘What is so great about taking a drop? Just abstain yourself from appearing for one of the subjects examination and the drop is made!’.
‘You are saying it so easily as if you are yourself intending to take a drop!’, Vijay mischievously asked.
‘Let us see!’, Priya only shrugged her shoulders.
‘You crazy girl! Are you seriously saying this?’, Vijay asked.
Priya said this so casually that Vijay genuinely felt apprehensive that she was indeed thinking of taking a drop.
‘No guys! When you are there constantly to accompany me in the studies why do I feel the need to take a drop? And so also, thanks to you, my studies have been prepared well in your shadow!’, Priya clarified.
‘Studies is an activity of self-learning and it never happens because of somebody’s company!’, Vijay said firmly.
‘No! What I mean is that if we were not to have adhered to your plan then we would have definitely been panicky today!’, Priya thanked Vijay.
‘You are perfectly right to say this Priya!’, Rajesh endorsed, ‘more important than actually studying is how to study following a proper design and schedule!’.
‘All I simply mean is that the success comes in the lives of only those who understand that it is he or she alone who has to face the battles of life!’, Vijay passed a concluding remark.
‘Priya! Don’t you feel nowadays he has started talking more and more like a philosopher?’, Rajesh taunted.
‘Of course! He is indeed a great philosopher!’, Priya said it with pride.
‘By the way, what is happening between that Pinky and Sanjay nowadays?’, Rajesh turned now to a relatively soft topic.
‘It seems that they both have come too closer to each other!’, Vijay remarked, ‘they meet in gardens and keep roaming together!’.
‘Indeed both of them love each other!’, Priya said.
‘Love? What foolish concept is this?. How can they even think of this when examination is confronting them so bluntly?’, Vijay replied, ‘They must have come to know about their true fate now. Those who cannot face the harsh realities of life only sustain themselves in such dreamlands!’.
‘See the philosopher again!’, Rajesh again pinched Vijay.
‘I fail to understand what is wrong between love and this chap?’, Priya instantly remarked, ‘raise the topic of love and he is bound to speak against it!’.
‘When he will himself fall in love will be the only day when he will realize its significance’, Rajesh remarked.
‘Keep waiting for it infinitely!’, Vijay confidently said, ‘I don’t even see a remote possibility of me falling in love!’.
‘So confident about yourself?’, Rajesh asked.
‘In this world there is only one thing that is truly worth believing and that is none other than one’s own confidence!’, Vijay said.
‘You are quite right to say that!’, Priya replied, ‘if you cannot believe in yourself what iota of expectation can you have to seek confidence from others?’.
Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode
English Version by Girish Katre (GirishKatre@gmail.com)