Showing posts from March 30, 2014


The Board exams in India are a rite of passage. They are long-drawn pseudo-ceremonial processes of initiation; as much a personal or even family affair as a community affair. The board exams are the “Ah…” moments at get-togethers; mention of a family member or friend’s imminent Boards are effective ice-breakers. First, there is a thorough discussion of the pattern, portion and latest news about the government’s latest rules and regulations about it. Thence follows the barrage of unsolicited advice, the war stories, the glorious successes... The shameful failures remain unspoken, and to fill the awkward silence that ensues, the topic of stress, pressure, trauma etc are touched upon.

But that is not all. At re-reunions, there is yet more left to be discussed about the Boards. The student in the host family is subject to intense humiliation at the hands of his/her own parents (Et tu, Brute?) and stands there, hands in ever-shrinking pant-pockets, head hung low with shame and unspoken ange…