PDA

View Full Version : Exam Result



Gaurav
April 7th, 2014, 07:01 PM
Author's Note: I have intentionally avoided mentioning the location of the story. Hope, everyone who reads it connects with it.


1


Akash's life had vaporised, the day he wrote his biology paper. Those complex organisms he studied, had created a havoc in his life. But like every other student, he forgot his misery after the exam, until that dreaded day arrived. For him, the open day had indeed opened a Pandora's box.


A round table conference was declared by his parents and his intellectual relatives were invited to express their concern and stimulate Akash's performance in his upcoming exams.


"Is this your bloody result? You have shamed your parents. Never expected this from you!" Abhi uncle announced, while adjusting his creepy wristwatch.


"I am sorry, it will never happen again," he replied.


"You aren't a kid, Akash. You have to get serious about your exams. If you can't even score a first class in your eleventh standard, you are bound to fail next year!" said the ever poking Shipra Aunty.


Following the footsteps of Abhi uncle and Shipra Aunty, even his dead relatives called him up, from graveyard, to know his marks.


'Why in the world should an engineering student mug up the treatment for elephantiasis or the reproductive system of yeast?' he wanted to ask them. Poor boy! He ended answering all of them with a plain 'sorry'.


Post the grilling session of his relatives, it was the smashing session of neighbors. Though Ravi Uncle, his neighbor was willing to assist him.


"Akash, I can help you with Biology," said Ravi Uncle. His parents were convinced that, Ravi was the man who could be Akash's 'Agony Uncle'.


"Just tell me which chapter is bothering you?"


"Diseases! I am finding it difficult," Akash replied.


"Aah! It's a cakewalk for me. Malaria, Tuberculosis, Jaundice just tell me which one do you want?"


"Microfilaria of Wuchereria bancrofti," he replied.


A minute of pin drop silence was observed, after which Ravi Uncle scratched his bald head, put on his horn-rimmed specs and said, "Sounds interesting! Let's see, I may help you one day. Ok, I have an important meeting, I must leave. Bye." He hurriedly left for office realizing, he himself needed a teacher to teach Akash.


2


A year had leaped ahead. Akash had turned a new leaf. Maths and Physics had turned into his soul-mates and Biology, his new fiancÚ. Toiling for hours with disgusting organisms, had turned into a habit. His grades were gradually increasing, but his coaching class wasn't very excited about his improvement.


"Mr. Tyagi, things aren't looking good. Our reputation is at stake. Just look at his grades. Out of 35 tests, he has attempted only 25," Jaiswal passed the printout of Akash's yearly report and continued, "If your son doesn't score a ninety in the upcoming exams, I am sorry. We will stop his coaching."


His father was shocked. Mr. Jaiswal was about to throw out his son for being below average.


Jaiswal, the branch manager-cum-owner of Excel Classes, was indeed a dynamic figure. This sixty year old man had the courage to charge thousands of rupees for coaching and still throw out children. All the prospective engineers studying in Excel, hated him and wanted to blow up this dynamic man with a dynamite.


3


Prelims were about to start, as Akash was thrown out of his class. Mr. Tyagi, like any father, was worried about his son's future. Books had replaced pillows and notes had replaced blanket, as the last minute preparations were on full swing. 'Coffee', the national beverage for exams was being sipped every night. Engineering entrance exam was giving nightmares to all the parents.


"So how's your preparation going?" Mom asked him.


"Almost done. A bit of revision and let's see, some more practice papers, I guess." he replied.


His relationship with his Dad had dried up, post the Jaiswal goof-up. Dad had convicted him for wasting those hundred thousand rupees, but Akash was determined to brake his shackles.


Time went by, as the dreadful exam day arrived. Parents were visiting temples, classes were giving last minute tips while students were trying to soothe their nerves. Akash had to tolerate Abhi uncle, Shipra Aunty and many of his stupid relatives who called him up every hour to check his preparation.


4


Post the exam, a debacle of a performance was expected from Akash. And then it was the result day.


"How many marks have you scored?" The question was unanimously propounded, right from his house maid to his neighbor. And boy! Akash had literally slammed all his critics with a spell binding 94% score. Suddenly the situation turned upside down.


"Thanks for taking my advise, I knew my advise will never fail," Abhi uncle declared, during the second round table conference held, to celebrate Akash's success.


"Great Job, Akash. I am happy that I could help you with Biology," announced Ravi Uncle, his cheeky neighbor.


Mr. Tyagi was really upset. While his son was working for hours, none of them had even called him once. But after his success, everyone was trying to steal his share of success. 'What sort of a family is this?' he kept thinking, only to realize, even he had deserted his son during his tough times.


5


The next morning Mr.Tyagi picked up the newspaper to receive a shock of his life. The Excel Classes had given a front page advertisement with a photo of Akash and Mr.Jaiswal. Soon he realized, Akash had never taken a snapshot with Mr.Jaiswal. Immediately, he rushed to his son's room.


"I am really sorry Akash," he said with a broken voice.


"For what?" asked the cucumber-cool Akash.


"I had unknowingly planned to ruin your future. This moron has morphed your photo to market his class," he showed him Jaiswal's photo with Akash.


Akash smiled and looked at his father.


"How can you smile? He is misusing your talent for his own sake, just like our bloody relatives!"


"Dad, the day he threw me out of his class, I had closed his chapter. Also, I am not the only kid in this city to score a 94%. So, Jaiswal is simultaneously marketing me with his class. And why should I bother? I have worked hard and scored well. I am at peace with myself. And look at Jaiswal or our relatives. What have they done in life? They are taking my share of success because they don't have their own. So in a way, I am happy for them. At least I could share my success with those who never got their own."


Tyagi hugged his son tightly, with wet eyes, as this kid had taught his father, the essence of life.

LeeC
April 7th, 2014, 08:19 PM
A nice bit of writing to my perspective. It captures setting without added description, flows well with good pace, and comes to a warming, if not altogether unexpected ending, given but two avenues.

You also span the emotions from trepidation to a touch of humor without missing a beat, making it all the more realistic.

And it has depth (if one looks below the surface story), regarding cultural and educational dimensions; and how both are inevitably linked in human society. It might even coax an old coot's mind like mine to contemplate to what end all this really advances humanity :-)

Write on,
LeeC

Gaurav
April 8th, 2014, 12:01 PM
Thanks a lot for your response! I am glad, you liked it.

Gaurav
April 20th, 2014, 09:00 AM
Added a poll to this story. Hope you vote it :D

gamblingworld
April 20th, 2014, 01:08 PM
I really enjoyed this, as a cultural commentary it described 'a country' (left blank but I'm sure we can guess ;) preoccupied with a formal education system which, rather than rewarding insight and effort, rewards cold hard exam results.

It describes teachers who are paid to deliver those exam successes and have to cut ties with bad ''business prospects' (who are only children!!!) rather than get their name as deliverers of exam results tarnished.

It describes parents who see their children's successes and failures as little more than a reflection of their personal image, their children are used as tools of vanity and competition, not as unique humans to interact with.

It describes the poor kids caught up in this mess! Powerful stuff to me!

Now for the me the only real negative is that the English definitely needs to be polished, but that's a minor detail compared to picture painted and the motions elicited from the reader (me.)

A final point that I wondered was, maybe the protagonist might reflect more heavily on how arbitrary it is to consider good exam results a mark of success (what does a good exam result really show? That you are good at studying? That you are good at passing a certain system of examinations? This is surely difficult but does it reflect your competence outside of the exam system?) This is not my tale though just a thought I had while reading your one :) Thanks for making me think like this!

Missingtrees
April 20th, 2014, 01:22 PM
I liked this too. Quite profound and interesting. I was little put off by the numbering (don't know why), and it was unusual to say Abhi uncle - it's usually the other way round. I thought some bits of the speech were slightly unreal, for example, you say:Also, I am not the only kid but in reality, someone would say 'I'm not the only kid'.

Good story though!

Pandora
April 20th, 2014, 03:58 PM
A wonderful moral, I know those tears father is shedding. I will say there is nothing like that moment between parent and child. It is the purest form of pride.
I loved your story Gaurav! I don't come around our fiction forum much, I think that will change, well done! Oh and I cried . . .

Gaurav
April 20th, 2014, 07:29 PM
A final point that I wondered was, maybe the protagonist might reflect more heavily on how arbitrary it is to consider good exam results a mark of success (what does a good exam result really show? That you are good at studying? That you are good at passing a certain system of examinations? This is surely difficult but does it reflect your competence outside of the exam system?) This is not my tale though just a thought I had while reading your one Thanks for making me think like this!


Thanks a lot, for such a detailed response. I deliberately avoided any confrontation in the story. Akash is someone, who has grown up in an environment, where exam result is the only criteria for intelligence. Given his timid personality, he doesn't have guts to oppose his relatives, his teacher, nor his parents. It looks preachy and cliched, when a topper gives life lessons or talks about exam pressure. Neither can I show it, when he's a failure. So I avoided it, and gave the story a new ending.

Gaurav
April 20th, 2014, 07:31 PM
A wonderful moral, I know those tears father is shedding. I will say there is nothing like that moment between parent and child. It is the purest form of pride.
I loved your story Gaurav! I don't come around our fiction forum much, I think that will change, well done! Oh and I cried . . .

I am really glad, you liked it. It's a great feeling when a senior writer/mentor praises your work :D

Olly Buckle
April 22nd, 2014, 12:32 AM
The spacing is overdone, paragraphs should reflect real changes and be more than one or two sentences.


1


Akash's life had vaporised,

‘had’ is a much overused word, the sentence becomes more direct without it

the day he wrote his biology paper. Those complex organisms he studied, had created a havoc in his life.

You do not need the comma after studied, nor the ‘a’ before havoc. ‘but’ is a conjunction and should not start a sentence, though it is becoming more frequent. I would recommend a comma

But like every other student, he forgot his misery after the exam, until that dreaded day arrived. For him, the open day had indeed opened a Pandora's box. A round table conference was declared by his parents and his ( no need to repeat ‘his’ ) intellectual relatives were invited to express their concern and stimulate Akash's performance in his upcoming exams.
"Is this your bloody result? You have shamed your parents. Never expected this from you!" Abhi uncle announced, while adjusting his creepy wristwatch.
"I am sorry, it will never happen again," he replied.
"You aren't a kid, Akash. You have to get serious about your exams. If you can't even score a first class in your eleventh standard, you are bound to fail next year!" said the ever poking Shipra Aunty. Following the footsteps of Abhi uncle and Shipra Aunty, even his dead relatives called him up, from graveyard, to know his marks.
'Why in the world should an engineering student mug up the treatment for elephantiasis or the reproductive system of yeast?' he wanted to ask them. Poor boy! He ended answering all of them with a plain 'sorry'.

A new line for each new speaker, but the theme is the same, now you are ‘post’ that session start a new paragraph.

Post the grilling session of his relatives, it was the smashing session of neighbors. Though Ravi Uncle, his neighbor (comma) was willing to assist him.
"Akash, I can help you with Biology," said Ravi Uncle. His parents were convinced that, Ravi was the man who could be Akash's 'Agony Uncle'.
"Just tell me which chapter is bothering you?"
"Diseases! I am finding it difficult," Akash replied.
"Aah! It's a cakewalk for me. Malaria, Tuberculosis, Jaundice just tell me which one do you want?"
"Microfilaria of Wuchereria bancrofti," he replied.
A minute of pin drop silence was observed, after which Ravi Uncle scratched his bald head, put on his horn-rimmed specs and said,
"Sounds interesting! Let's see, I may help you one day. Ok, I have an important meeting, I must leave. Bye." He hurriedly left for office realizing, he himself needed a teacher to teach Akash.


2


A year had leaped ahead. Akash had turned a new leaf. Maths and Physics had turned into his soul-mates and Biology, his new fiancÚ. Toiling for hours with disgusting organisms, had turned into a habit. His grades were gradually increasing, but his coaching class wasn't very excited about his improvement.
"Mr. Tyagi, things aren't looking good. Our reputation is at stake. Just look at his grades. Out of 35 tests, he has attempted only 25,"

Commas rather than full stops I think, ‘aren’t’ is fine for dialogue, ‘just’ is a mongrel word with many meanings, but here it appears to add nothing.

Jaiswal passed (over) the printout of Akash's yearly report and continued, "If your son doesn't score a ninety in the upcoming exams, I am sorry. We will stop his coaching."
His father was shocked. Mr. Jaiswal was about to throw out his son for being below average.


Jaiswal, the branch manager-cum-owner of Excel Classes, was indeed a dynamic figure. This sixty year old man had the courage to charge thousands of rupees for coaching and still throw out children. All the prospective engineers studying in Excel, hated him and wanted to blow up this dynamic man with a dynamite.

It is not ‘wrong’ but I think ‘throw children out sounds less like giving birth. No ‘a’, ‘with dynamite’, an unspecified quantity.


3


Prelims were about to start, as Akash was thrown out of his class. Mr. Tyagi, like any father, was worried about his son's future. Books had replaced pillows and notes had replaced blanket, as (and?) the last minute preparations were on full swing. 'Coffee', the national beverage for exams was being sipped every night. Engineering entrance exam was giving nightmares to all the parents.
"So how's your preparation going?" Mom asked him.
"Almost done. A bit of revision and let's see, some more practice papers, I guess." he replied.

His relationship with his Dad had dried up, post the Jaiswal goof-up. Dad had convicted him for wasting those hundred thousand rupees, but Akash was determined to brake (break) his shackles.

Time went by, as the dreadful exam day arrived.

This is not rational, I think you mean as it ‘approached’.

Parents were visiting temples, classes were giving last minute tips while students were trying to soothe their nerves. Akash had to tolerate Abhi uncle, Shipra Aunty and many of his stupid relatives who called him up every hour to check his preparation.


4


Post the exam, a debacle of a performance was expected from Akash. And then it was the result day.
"How many marks have you scored?" The question was unanimous(ly propounded, right) from (his) house maid to (his) neighbor. And boy! Akash had literally slammed all his critics with a spell binding 94% score.

Consider losing the words in brackets to make it a bit more ‘punchy’

Suddenly the situation turned upside down.
"Thanks for taking my advise, I knew my advise will never fail," Abhi uncle declared, during the second round table conference held, to celebrate Akash's success.

Advise/advice; I advise you, you take my advice, verb and noun.


"Great Job, Akash. I am happy that I could help you with Biology," announced Ravi Uncle, his cheeky neighbor.
Mr. Tyagi was really upset. While his son was working for hours, none of them had even called him once.

Continuity, “Akash had to tolerate Abhi uncle, Shipra Aunty and many of his stupid relatives who called him up every hour to check his preparation.”

But after his success, everyone was trying to steal his share of success. 'What sort of a family is this?' he kept thinking, only to realize, even he had deserted his son during his tough times.


5


The next morning Mr.Tyagi picked up the newspaper to receive a shock of his life. The Excel Classes had given (taken) a front page advertisement with a photo of Akash and Mr.Jaiswal. Soon he realized, Akash had never taken a snapshot with Mr.Jaiswal. Immediately, he rushed to his son's room.
"I am really sorry Akash," he said with a broken voice.
"For what?" asked the cucumber-cool Akash.
"I had unknowingly planned to ruin your future. This moron has morphed your photo to market his class," he showed him Jaiswal's photo with Akash. Akash smiled and looked at his father.
"How can you smile? He is misusing your talent for his own sake, just like our bloody relatives!"
"Dad, the day he threw me out of his class, I had closed his chapter. Also, I am not the only kid in this city to score a 94%. So, Jaiswal is simultaneously marketing me with his class. And why should I bother? I have worked hard and scored well. I am at peace with myself. And look at Jaiswal or our relatives. What have they done in life? They are taking my share of success because they don't have their own. So in a way, I am happy for them. At least I could share my success with those who never got their own."
Tyagi hugged his son tightly, with wet eyes, as this kid had taught his father, the essence of life.

bazz cargo
April 27th, 2014, 07:26 PM
Hi Gaurav,
neat name by the way.

This reads like it was written by a very competent ESL so the feel is remarkably suited to the subject. The story is involving and I especially liked the ending, always was a sucker for a happy moment. Good usually stories have conflict and resolution, yours was a particularly satisfying one.

On the downside there are too many commas.

Akash is the name of a local Indian Restaurant. Rupees? Either you have loaded a few misdirections in or the Author's Note is in need of attention.

Excellent start and I look forward to reading more of your stuff
Bazz

Gaurav
April 30th, 2014, 04:43 PM
Akash is the name of a local Indian Restaurant. Rupees? Either you have loaded a few misdirections in or the Author's Note is in need of attention.

Excellent start and I look forward to reading more of your stuff
Bazz

Akash is a common name in India. One out if ten kids have Akash as their name. Thanks for reminding me about rupees. I will change the currency and replace it with 'hefty bucks'. :)

RubyEclipse
May 16th, 2014, 12:13 AM
I'm afraid I have to disagree with other comments. I couldn't manage to read the entire passage as I was always taught to keep my story with more narration than dialogue, due to this I have come to struggle to read passages of mostly dialogue as I find them too disjointed. From what I've gathered from others, it was a good story so I won't say anything about the idea as I didn't read enough, I'm sure it was good. It was simply the disjointed dialogue style that put me off but that's a personal opinion, clearly not matched by most people... clearly I'm just too picky :P

Reject
May 19th, 2014, 03:54 PM
The family conference was very believable. How many of us know someone happy to take credit for another persons labours?

Well written, enjoyed it from start to finish.

Gaurav
June 7th, 2014, 08:45 PM
The family conference was very believable. How many of us know someone happy to take credit for another persons labours?

Well written, enjoyed it from start to finish.

I'm glad you liked it. This one is really close to heart because it is based on a real-life experience. Thanks for reading it!