Skip to main content

The Girl Who Would Not Fail

Part V - The Triumph

Day of the results

The results had just been posted on the notice board and a horde of excited students rushed to check their scores. Some whooped in joy when marks exceeded their expectations while others moped. Some students were furiously debating whether to submit their papers for revaluation. Jazzy stood nearby, watching and trying to work up the courage to take a peek at her scores. She congratulated her friends on their results and assured them that she would catch up with them later at the college canteen. When they asked about her marks, she only replied that she hadn't seen them yet.

One part of Jazzy argued with the other, Don't be such a coward! You've done so much hard work, you have surely passed. Even if you haven't, it is better to know that to bear this torture of not knowing. Do it like ripping off a band-aid, fast and painless. 

Still, she waited until the crowds thinned a bit. Now only a handful of girls were left and no one was paying her any attention. First, she went up to the section where the failed students' roll numbers were posted. She took a minute to go through the short list, astounded that her number wasn't there.

I passed! But wait. Maybe I made a mistake, maybe I'm seeing the wrong roll number? 

She took a deep breath and ran her finger, slower this time, down the column of numbers. She couldn't believe her eyes but she had not failed any of her papers, not even the once-feared Accounts.

So how much did I get?

She finally found her roll number and wrote down the marks in each subject. Her legs felt like jelly, though she felt like jumping up and down with joy. She sat down to absorb what her eyes insisted had to be true. Not only had she NOT failed, she had actually scored quite respectable marks in each paper. But her most cherished result was the Accounts paper which had a 58 next to it. Not quite first class but not failure either.

Two years later

"And the college gold medal for the highest scoring student goes to Jazzy!"

The auditorium exploded in thunderous applause as Jazzy walked up and got her medal from the Chancellor.

Hours later, Jazzy was still dazed. She had gone from assured failure to gold medalist in just 2 years. Even her friends had been shocked to see just how much interest she took in her studies, through the second and final years of college. She fondly remembered the coaching classes on early weekday mornings and the hours she had spent poring over different text books - some borrowed from students in other colleges.

But the highlight of the last two years had been when MK pointed her out to his first year students and said, "This girl brings me problems even I cannot solve without studying first!"

THE END

The above story is based on real incidents and characters (with only their names changed). Jazzy is none other than my mother. Except for minor details, everything I have written about actually happened 34 years ago.

Read from the beginning: Part I - The Confession

Read the complete story in one place: The Girl Who Would Not Fail

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why Don’t We Raise Our Sons like We Do Our Daughters?

This post originally appeard in Women's Web: Why Don’t We Raise Our Sons like We Do Our Daughters?

One of the hot button topics right now in Indian media is the safety of women – or rather how our country doesn't really care about half its population. From rape, sexual assault, harassment (in streets, public transport, nearly every public place) to violence perpetrated on women, Indians are finally getting around to discussing taboo topics.
One refrain that caught my eye throughout these debates – both online and off – is the fact that the reaction of the majority of Indians is the same: girls should stay at home, not go out after dark, dress appropriately and so on if they want to stay safe. No one seems to bat an eyelid when laying down these precautions for women. Except that the reality is women would be far safer if all the men simply DID NOT RAPE or HARASS any person that looks remotely female. No one has to stay at home and become a hermit! That got me thinking further. F…

One Step Up

Diya
Diya forced herself to relax while the attendant spread a mud pack on her face. She’d been nervous all week thinking about today. This was totally unlike the little beauty parlour she went to every month for eyebrow threading and the occasional haircut. No, this was a spa and they didn't just cut hair here. They styled it. And that was only the beginning of all the treatments a woman could get done. Normally she would have been too intimidated to even set foot inside, let alone enquire about the prices which she was sure would be too high for her budget.

But this visit was a gift from her dear mother for her 30th birthday. Luckily for her, the gift card was for a particular package which meant she would not be gaping like a fool at the exorbitant rates. Once again, Diya tried to relax telling herself that these women were being paid by her. She employed them and as much as she was sure they were secretly laughing at her naiveté, Diya wasn’t the one working for a living. But de…

Bus Seats In Exchange For No More Rape? Sign Me Up!

Being a pretty outspoken atheist and feminist, I am frequently engaged by people in debate regarding these topics. Although I am non-confrontational by nature, it annoys me when people use straw man arguments or stereotypes to dismiss the feminist movement. Countless times I have debated with friends on the misogynistic attitudes prevalent in India and perhaps the most frustrating issue I have come across is when men point to small victories and say that there is no need for feminism or gender equality anymore.

I recall an incident when one of my friends tried to argue that dowry is not actually a social evil since it allows women to get a part of their parents' property. Although I exploded internally, I tried to patiently explain to him that a better way to go about it would be to make sure daughters and sons share inheritance equally, instead of pursuing a practice that leads to further discrimination or abuse against women!

The fact that even today countless female babies are ab…