While many students passed their CBSE and ICSE Board examinations with flying colours, there are also a lot of them who are bearing the brunt of having scored much lower than what they (and their parents, relatives, family friends and others) had expected. Such is the pressure that students face, that reportedly, a 17-year-old from Mumbai committed suicide after his results. Which is precisely why, this man’s Facebook post is important. Vaibhav Jha, based out of Chhatarpur in Delhi, wrote from his experience that it’s okay to fail, because your Board results most likely will not decide how your life turns out to be.
Talking to indianexpress.com, Jha said people fear failures and have made the word a taboo. This results in the depression and withdrawal symptoms that students show after scoring below expectations in exams. He wrote about how he didn’t allow his disapproving relatives to get to him and sat to clear the compartment papers anyhow. Even though he agrees he gave in to the pressure many times (including the time he even considered selling his kidney so he could pay for getting the paper leaked), he went on to assert that he is now doing fairly well.
I flunked in my 12th Boards. Me, coming from the Maithil brahmin ‘paida hotey he ladka hua toh engineer banega ladki hui toh doctor’ family.
I was almost abandoned by everyone around me. There was a constant cloud of SHAME, in bold, hanging out everywhere I went. Neighbours loathed me, parents hated me and the mother wouldn’t go a second without cursing her womb for carrying me, a failure, for 9 months. Like that thing comes with a display “fail hoga ye baaraveen mein, isko gira do doosra upload karo”.
My family didn’t like me. Or so I thought. In reality, they didn’t understand me. They didn’t understand that brainwashing a kid into taking up Science stream for a better prospect in the future does exactly that. I will be dead honest. I am an intelligent dude. I failed because I would do anything. And I mean ANYTHING to avoid studying. I would sit on the study table for three straight hours, making little balls out of papers and playing a mock football match to avoid memorising a Gatterman-Kotch reaction. And the results spoke for it. I failed. Boo fucking hoo.
Now, I wasn’t depressed. Because I knew that this was my doing. I didn’t want to study what was piled on me. I hated for my parents to be ridiculed by the relatives and others around so I kept at it. But it showed, the unpreparedness. The results came out and it was out there for the world to see. Vaibhav Jha has flunked his 12th standard CBSE Board exams. But what irked me, or rather, made it very amusing, was the fact that rather than my world coming crashing down (I was pretty cool about it. I knew what I had written in the papers afterall LOL :P), everyone else around me acted like I had committed a crime. Relatives who I to this date think are folklore and urban legends, who I have never even seen a picture of, all of them had something to say. And everything they said was underlining the sentiment of “Now this dude done fucked up and he gotta be grounded for possibly forever and made to sit in a small shop that his dad invests in or join a call-centre because dude can atleast spit angrezi because fancy public school”.
None of that happened. Nope. I decided that I will study a bit(I swear that was hard), cheat a tad, and pass my compartments. Kaisa bhi karkey. Tution masters who charged as high as 1500/- and hour (And this is way back) were summoned. They realised in a day that I simply loathed the subjects I was made to study, so to make sure my parents got their monies worth, they thought me innovative ways to cheat, or put a word to the invigilator in my centre so that he let me cheat. The world conspired to make sure I passed. I swear to god, the pressure was so much, that some dude told me that he could get me the question papers a day before the exams from CBSE itself and I needed to pay 25k a pop. So, me being a 17 year old, went to inquire how much a kidney sells for. No shit. I bought into the pressure too. So I know it gets to you. If it got to the cool cat that I thought I was, it ought to get to anyone.
Cut to today, the 26 year old me runs a small design/advertising setup and has worked with the biggest names in the business. I have marketed start-ups, Production-houses, Film Festivals, Feature Films, Restaurants, Hotels, Actors & Directors. You name it. I make a pretty decent living and so do the people that work with/for me. So, I pay salaries. Me. The dude who was scheduled to sit in a grocery store or a telemarketers chair. I know countless other folks like me. People who failed thrice! (OMG imagine how that would be) And they make 6 figures every month doing what they love. Don’t get sad. Especially if what you are studying simply doesn’t appeal to you. It is OKAY to not like what you study. It’s OKAY that you hate graphs and eco makes you react to gluten. It’s OKAY. It is just a passing phase. Don’t kill yourself over it. Don’t harm yourself over it. Don’t go screaming at the top of your lungs to your old man and woman, telling them off and blaming them for your failure. They didn’t do jack shit, really. They will shout and scream and call you a disgrace to the family. Well, that is standard Indian parenting, tho. But it will pass. I promise it will. No one gives two shits about your 12th std marks after an year.
ABSOLUTELY NO ONE! Trust me. I have interviewed people and I don’t understand the ones who write their 12th marks in their resumes. That shit doesn’t define the skills that you carry. All of us have a specific set of talent. Yours wasn’t getting a 90% in your 12th boards. Be thankful that atleast you know that much. Google about things that you think will make a legit career for you. Ask your friends. Talk to the girlfriend/boyfriend. But please don’t think of your failure/bad result as the end of the world. Your parents scream at you because they paid that tuition fee, boy. And it takes a lot of effort, making money. Avoid what they say. All the bad things that the Padosi aunty or door ki Maasi says, avoid that too. Channelize yourself into finding out that one trade you think you could master and do it. And if you fail at that, try again or find something else that’s caught your fancy. But live. Be willing to find what you might like doing. Life is beautiful if you want it to be. Give it a chance. Don’t hurt yourself, physically or emotionally. I am saying this as someone who rode the same wave that you are right now. It will be fine. Trust me. :)”
Among the positive reactions his post garnered on social media, Jha said a young boy from Mumbai who is awaiting is results wrote to him saying he thinks he might flunk the exams, but still aspires to make it big in photography.