Whatever I wrote till now, be it the short stories or the long articles, was always based on any past experiences or any of my observations. But this is really special. It is in recognition of someone who has done a lot for me; it is in recognition of the rightful place they deserve. Probably for the first time, I have moved beyond the IIT life and the JEE preparing days. This story belongs to my 10th class days.

During school days i.e. till 5-6 years ago, I was really an arrogant, easily irritable and a highly eccentric child (although my family and some friends would still consider me the same now). Getting irritated easily and picking up fights with anybody and without any reason was a daily routine for me (I didn’t know why???). Something of this sort happened again.

My unit tests were going on. I had Mathematics the next day. For no reason at all suddenly I picked up a fight with both my mom and grandmother. Like an idiot I started shouting at them. Trying to recollect the reason, I actually can’t remember. May be there was no reason. It could have been some minor sound made by them. Obviously it was my fault. One can’t expect the entire house and its members to maintain pin drop silence just because I am having my exams. The daily household activities have to be done. As a matter of fact, I should mention that in spite of many works on their shoulders; they used to do their level best to provide me with a calm and peaceful atmosphere. But I, being a fool, started arguing with them and got into a fight. The fact that I had an exam the next day totally left my mind. Later when everything settled and things were back to normal, I continued with my studies.

It was the exam day. The answer booklet and the question paper were given to us. The bell rang and the paper started. My first glance at the paper, my mind was completely blank. I had no clue of what was being asked in it. The previous day’s fight did not come to mind. I don’t know what happened, but I was certainly not in a state to give the exam. It was such a weird situation for me. For the first time, a mathematics paper appeared difficult to me. I could not understand the simple figures, simple questions, literally nothing. Never had I been in such a situation. Neither could I recollect a method to solve nor could recollect any formula. The syllabus for that unit exam included geometry pertaining to cones, cylinders, cuboids; in general one can say the 3-d stuff. Read everything, studied everything, understood everything, practised all questions, prepared just like I always prepare, but still blank. After about 25 minutes of the one hour exam got wasted in this manner, my pen started writing. I could fill in some blank sheets just for the sake of it. I knew what I was doing. Knowing everything and studying everything, I am handing over the booklet filled with meaningless crap in it. What could I do? Nothing struck me, nothing came to my mind. What a pathetic state?

Exam got over and the regular classes continued that day. I sat in one corner of the classroom, trying to generate a valid explanation for having underperformed in that day’s paper. With everything stored in mind, why didn’t anything come out? It was a paper one could finish it in half the time itself. In fact few questions came from the textbook itself. But still, what happened to me? Why did I fail to answer them?

With such thoughts running in my mind, I finally returned home in a really sad and dull mood. Mom, from my grim expression understood that everything was not fine with me. She asked me “What happened? How did your exam go?” What could I say? I had no words to explain the morning experience. Slowly I narrated what happened with me that day. She then told me, “See Dear, we all know that nothing lacks in your preparation, we have full faith in you, you study brilliantly, you are up to date, you miss nothing, but how could such a situation come to you? How can a boy like you have trouble in the exam? Study aspect is full. There’s nothing wrong with your preparation. But remember one thing, for any good performance, your mind needs concentration and for concentration, first it should be stable and all those irrelevant things that go around you should just not bother you.” Slowly I started understanding the big mistake I committed the previous day.

Why didn’t I mind my own business? Why did I fight with my lovely mom and grandmother, much to the dislike of everyone? See, study itself does not decide everything. Several factors play a role. Although the fight issue didn’t come to my mind at the time of the exam, why couldn’t I do well in the exam? Reason was simple. God (as some would say) or positive energy (as others would say) has secretly played its role. It blocked my mind, made me numb and dumb, made me brainless; had no idea of what was being asked in the exam and no idea how to approach.

Elders, especially your closest ones, the parents and the grandparents are your guides, mentors, teachers and above all well-wishers. They complete your life. You are nothing without them. Hurting them or troubling them is of no good. Whatever they do, they think about you and do. Love them and respect them.

(Not to forget DAD and GRANDPA, two more people with whom I used to constantly fight/argue during school days.)

Thanks and Regards,

M.RAVI TEJA

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