It was a fine, fine morning. Birds were singing, trees were swaying, young people were going to colleges, old people were jogging outside, older people were sipping their teas. Everyone was happy. Wait, let me first tell you who I am. I am YOUR HERO: Siddharth, just an average kid, well not so average to be modest, only the topper of my class, so far. 😀 By the looks of it, will be in 10th standard too. 😀
It’s a cruel cruel world, and one has to survive, there are cool kids and then there are legends like me. My Dad prepared me to be like that, otherwise we will be killed in the stampede, right? He is a Doctor, and I am going to be just like him. This year I will prove my worth, and my parents will finally see me as their perfect son.
Anyway so, where was I? Oh yeah, the D-day of my biology exam and this is going to be my perfect story.
THE UNNECESSARY INTRO(S)
“Dad, I feel like I am blanking out” I said.
“Nonsense, you do not blank, you stay focused. It is absolutely imperative, that you get an A+ today, Okay? So, no anxiety, no distractions, just focus.” Dad said sternly.
“Hey Sid, ready to leave?” Abhi chirped from outside.
How the hell is he always so calm, I feel like deflating him someday. But I have to calm my inner evil to focus on exam. So, here goes nothing.
“Hey Abhi, I didn’t even read properly last night, dozed off so soon. Btw, how’s your prep?” the walk to school seemed so short today.
“Dude, you’re the topper, you’ll be fine, Mine’s just okay.” He chimed.
“I don’t know man, chances are pretty slim for me this year. Maybe, you will be first finally” I said, though my anxiety was catching up, what if he really does win this year. With second position, he’s got the best shot.
“Ooo, don’t get your hopes up, I can’t wait for this exam to be over, and enjoy holidays.” he said coolly.
And then before I knew it, the bell rang and I was facing my demons. Slowly, take deep breaths Sid, you can do this.
Sure enough, this is good so far, I’ve got this. The examiner was passing by my seat and stopped at the back.I hate it when they do that. Why do they have to read your sheets, this answer isn’t even complete yet and it looks, well, umm, raw at the moment. I slid my pencil box to cover my answer. The examiner smirked and went off. Ah, the Snape likeliness was uncanny. Whatever, dude ! Find some other Harry to fry.
Let me revise what I wrote on the last one. I will revise and re-revise if that’s what it takes.
A stupid song starts playing in my head. Tera pyar pyar pyar, hookah bar. Really? Of all the songs, you choose this..!! Focus- focus Sid, and as I say this to myself, the funny image of Snape dancing to this song starts forming in my head. ROFL. I shush him away. Probably the song in my head was too loud. Sure got my Snape’s attention.
“Ahem, you want something boy?”
“Then please keep quiet, unlike you, others are trying to work here.” he slythered.
I roll my eyes and nod. What did I ever do to you, you grumpy hag? The bell rings. Few minutes to go.
And we are in the final countdown ladies and gentlemen, I break away from my spree and try to concentrate. Just like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Climax, it’s like the last few minutes of the showtime but my fingers are numb from the writing.
I check the other side of the question paper, a satisfied smile about to form. The smile never comes, my face turns from shock to panic to HORROR in milliseconds. Even Flash couldn’t fathom so many emotions in that time. THREE QUESTIONS PRINTED ON THE BACKSIDE???? Whatt??This is the world’s shortest horror story.
I see my trophy being vaporised in thin air, the fear of sinking low in the report card creeping in. This Snape-ish class teacher telling my Dad, “Sir as I always suspected: Sid is an AVERAGE. An average.” and his maniacal hissing laughter ringing in my ears. I speed up, the paper would burn if i go any faster.
TWO questions done one to go : Two minutes to go. AND the timer buzzes. My paper is Taken from my hands more brutally than Liam Neeson’s daughter was kidnapped in the movie. The exam ends and now my wait begins.
“So Topper, how was the battlefield? ” Abhi asked.
“It was not good. I almost lost a w-whole q-question, Now I’ll never get the A+. ” I said choking.
“Hey, you okay, dude? Trust me it doesn’t matter. I practically wrote and rewrote just two lines in the essay type question.” He grinned.
“Aren’t you worried, What will your Dad say?” I asked.
“Yeah it’s not too bad. Dad told me anything better than a B will do. But cheer up Sid, exams are finally over, you got to relax too.” He said beaming.
“No you don’t know my parents. And what if I don’t get good grades next year too, my future is doomed.” And I ran off.
“WHAT WHAT WHAT?????: JUST AN A, NOT AN A+. Look at that Verma Ji’s son, Abhi, he is your friend isn’t he, Even he got an A.” The day of the report card, my mother shouted, louder than an Opera singer and all the windows in the house rattled.
“But Mom..!! I tried..!! J-j-just lost an entire Question. D-didn’t look at it in t-time.” I stammered.
“Well you didn’t try hard enough. This is so irresponsible.
You have disappointed us Sid, and you are grounded, until you understand how important it is to win. That is final.”” Dad asked, though he liked looking at the window more than me.
And my whole world came crashing down, from my final victory and all the dreams and historical record-breaking schemes of being the topper, being the perfect son put to rest in the grave and my dreams shattered, JUST LIKE THAT…!! I went to my room sobbing but noone seemed to notice.
“Hi Champ, looks like we are sharing Spot 2 this year. Come to my place, I got my new playstation.” Abhi grinned from the window.
“What? You got an A right ? And you- you are also second like me. So why, I mean how did you get the playstation still?” I was mad, this wasn’t fair.
“I told you my parents celebrate for me. Each year, even when I was second or third or fourth. They didn’t force me to work too hard, I do it coz I like it. A is not the end of the world mate. It is a damn good grade. Anyway, coming or not?” he said.
“I can’t, I’m grounded. Good for you, though. Wish my parents were as cool as yours.” I replied sadly.
“Its okay, they will understand too, someday.” Abhi said and went off.
Will they ever understand? Is it really not so important? Better grades mean better future right and I belong at the top. That’s what my father tells me. Its all a race right? And I have lost. But i tried, I really did. I wish they saw. I wish they knew. How much it mattered to me to be the perfect son, now I’ll never be. I am a failure, and a disappointment. From Legend to Loser, this is how my perfect story turned into a Sob Story.
THE END (sighs, sobs, sorrows)
SIGNING OFF: Sid 🙁 🙁
Author’s note: I know this one has a sad ending and I apologise, but this is how it is in a child’s head. Sid is still sulking in the corner, unable to share his feelings with anyone. This happens to several children around us. They are all living in an imaginary rat-race of peer pressure, competition and of wrong motivation. So, I hope that your final takeaway, from this piece: if any, would be to understand if you are ever in a similar scenario and get rid of it. First: Please don’t compare your children, please don’t equate their success with some impractical perception in your head. Let them be. Yes, motivation is necessary, but the right kind, and in the right amount. Also, that next-door-neighbour comparison is done to death, it needs resting now. Play it cool, just like them, be their friends. Listen to their problems, don’t be too hard on them. If they didn’t win this time, congratulate their efforts, reward their strength. I remember when my family used to celebrate my brother’s brilliance and my average performance in the same way. It matters. It goes a long way. With children working hard it’s good to work with them…!! Only you can create a happier ending to this story, and I am counting on it.
Wow,very nicely presented.
Thank you so much, Mommy dearest.. 😀
Sid is back after a long time. I haven’t had to sing “Wake up Sid”. Thank God for that.
Exams are here again and your thoughts should be read by all parents. And by the way you were not average. You ARE NOT AVERAGE my dear.
Hahaha, well I hope I surely am not Sid, thankfully.. anyway wonderful comment, thank you so much Papa..Remember your good old writing days? Want to do a guest post?
Superb!!! Interesting story with funny elements and a wonderful message in the end. Always look forward to ur writings 😍
Thank you so much as always, it is a pleasure having you here 😀
Wow Mauli!!! This character is so real and funny!! Just LOVED IT!! Can’t even imagine a girl of your age can think so deep ❤️❤️
Thank you sweetheart, we see this character everywhere, don’t we? I’m really happy you loved it and thank you for always taking the time out to visit and comment beautifully..!!
“Yes, motivation is necessary, but the right kind, and in the right amount.” – This is by far the most interesting and comprehensive phrase I have ever read or heard. It talks About how to balance life in a deeper sense.
Congrats dear good to know that you have finally followed your dream of helping others reach there maximum potentials.
Have a great future ahead :-)😁