This week, the all-important CBSE 12th standard exam results were out. When I say all-important I am, of course, greatly lying. For, the results have come a good 10 days after all modalities concerning my daughter’s college admission are over.
So what did the college that has offered a seat to my daughter based its decision on? I think the college went by the commonsense logic of her academic track record over the years in paying the fees on time.
Okay, I am exaggerating. But not by much. Daughter was allowed to attend the said college’s admission counseling session with the photo copies of: her application, 10th standard mark list, counseling call letter, her entrance exam hall ticket. The only document in original she needed to submit was: A Demand Draft for an amount in five figures.
The authorities, as it happens, will take a look at her 12th standard mark list only on the day she goes to the college to collect her ID card and other paraphernalia prior to the commencement of classes.
I am sure there will come a time in the years ahead when getting college admission will be akin to ordering pizza over phone. “Good evening, sir. This is College Hut home delivery division. Today’s special offer is Mechanical Engineering topped with automobile and marine flavours. Or would you like to taste our local specialty, a 3-year low-boil Tamil literature course seasoned with post-modern offerings? Perhaps you can try the diet diploma in journalism. We have an off-season discount on it.”
But you would not have guessed that these marks were so trivial in the overall scheme of things if you had seen our family (actually wife and I) in the run up till the exam results were out on the internet:
The night prior to the results:
Me (to daughter) (in a very comforting tone) (switching on the modern, caring sensitive dad mode): You look very tensed. Why worry? Relax. Everything will work out fine.
Daughter: Relax? How can I, dad? You know this is the most important day and the nerves are bound to be there. Anyway they have conceded over 200 runs and the batting hasn’t exactly clicked all season, I am not confident.
Needless to say, she was talking of the IPL finals, and it is also debatable whether she actually remembered that she had taken the 12th standard exams the results for which were due the next day.
That night, Chennai Super Kings lost. Daughter was feeling miserable, but I used all my cricketing experience and my in-depth knowledge in cricketing records to point out that the last time CSK flunked in the IPL finals (2013), her 10th std exam results were also declared on the same day and she had aced it.
”Appa, you are in essence saying that the failure of Dhoni & Co tonight has a bearing on the exams that I wrote over a month ago. Very nice. Is this also the way you offer editorial opinions in the newspaper?”
The splash of sarcasm swept the nook and cranny of our drawing room. But truth be told, most of us journos arrive at conclusions on editorial stuff on even more flimsy connections.
Anyway, on the day of the result, I woke with the cold feet that I had developed all night seeming to run right up to my throat for it to seem like a delayed onset of tonsillitis.
We were told that the results would be announced at 12 noon, and as true well-informed, intelligent modern-day parents, we began checking the CBSE site from 7 a.m. itself. It was almost as if we were under the impression that they would cut marks if we weren’t logged in at the precise moment when the results were declared.
We kept refreshing the page, but we were also clear that we should not overdo the stuff. So we liberally spaced our efforts to every 1.3 seconds. I think we personally might have contributed 27 per cent of the total internet traffic that morning.
As the clock inexorably ticked towards the deadline, our palms wet with sweat that seemed higher than the annual water released by Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, our heartbeat louder and faster than anything that Sivamani has ever come up, our BP surging skyward as if released from a bionic fountain, we clicked the site with barely-concealed trepidation, and there it was, the piece of information that we had worked for for the better part of last two years: “Page unable to load.”
If it were in a regular film or drama, we would have felt corny, for the climax was being stretched for no discernible reason. But we didn’t protest. Instead, we kept refreshing the page with even more manic ferocity, and nearly an hour later the results were eventually out.
But by then it wasn’t any more important. For, just minutes prior to that I received an even more important information via sms that practically clinched a seat for my daughter in the college: “Rs one lakh debited from your bank account”.