... It was a normal humid morning in March and the boy who had woken up early to study felt bit feverish...To make matters worse, the couple of boils on his face seen since yesterday were still there when he checked in the mirror. Since it was board exam time which is/was one of the most sacred periods in the Indian Education system, he and his parents decided to see the doctor as the boy had a exam that very afternoon.
The doctor after a quick look at boils smiled and told , "Nothing to worry, its just Chicken pox"...The boy remembered some time back when another doctor had told cheerfully "Nothing, just a hairline fracture" and thought "What was so good about Chicken pox and a hairline fracture ? Of course at that time he could not appreciate the fact that compared to the extreme cases of health issues seen by doctors everyday, such non-threatening aliments were 'normal'...
The boy returned home with his parents and the mood was somber to say the least. All 3 knew that he would not be allowed to write the board exams...Times were such that normal parents feared even over exposure to the sun would cause some performance reduction in their kids board exam. So there was no question of his being allowed to write the Exams as Chicken pox was top on the list of contagious diseases that would freak out parents of other kids taking the board exams. The boy's aunt who was a school teacher also confirmed that kids with such contagious diseases will not be allowed to write the Exam. Since there seemed no way out, the boy decided to get some sleep as there was nothing else to do and felt a heavy weight had been lifted off his shoulder, what with the rigorous study schedule that he had to follow to keep up with others...He decided not to think too much about losing an academic year, as there was lots of time left for that.
But you know Mothers...they can never think bad about you or tolerate seeing anything happening to you.
So the boy's mother went out alone, took a auto-rickshaw and went to meet the School Principal. The Principal told that if the External Exam In-charge agreed to allow the boy to enter school premises, the school Principal would open a separate classroom in another wing of the school for the boy to write the Exam. Quick discussions followed, and to make a long story short the boy who was sleeping peacefully was woken up an hour before his Exam, to be told by a joyous Mother that "Wake up and get ready, you have a Board Exam in 30 mins".
So for the next few days the boy would reach the school after all the other students had entered into the exam halls and started writing their exam. He would then quietly enter the school premises and hurry to a building in one corner of the school. He would sit alone in a room with no invigilator, but just an elderly school peon sitting outside his room, who gave him extra exam sheets, water etc. The boy would hurry through the Exam knowing that he had to leave the school 15 min before the Exam time was officially over for others, so that no one saw him or came near him, thus minimize the risk of the Chicken pox spreading.
The boy could see his friends daily sitting far away in another block writing away with gusto , but he never felt bad that he was left out of his group, or that with his unique schedule, he was losing 30 min for each Exam. Heck even the 'discomfort' (to put it mildly) caused by having full blown attack of Chicken Pox didn't bother him much when compared to the other option of missing out an entire year. The thought of using unfair means never crossed his mind...Even if he bought all the textbooks and guides into the Exam room , no one would have found it out as he was always alone in an entire block during any of the Exams. For the record, the boy never shied away from copying in Exams before and after this period ;-)
He was just glad that he was able to write the Exams at all , thanks to his Mother.
The results came and everyone was running around with happiness of getting good scores but most of them also had a tinge of sadness in not getting even better scores... Of the maximum mark of 600, only something around 530 or upwards was considered worth mentioning.
The boy was very happy and content with his marks of 480/600...the exact marks required to get a distinction for his Board Exams !
Many years after the incident when looking back, he was surprised the tension caused by those board exams days, and wondered whether the world would really have fallen apart for him if he lost an year...And although he hears/reads about heroic deeds done by Mothers all around the world , be it running into a burning house to save a kid or fighting an alligator to save her child, just as her own kid is the most precious thing in this world to a Mother, to him his Mother is the best Mom in this world and this blog is a miniscule way of showing his love for her...