Exams are back again! But don't worry hope is on the way
Each one of us has experi enced the life of a student. It's an important phase that takes one through not only books and academics, but also the subtle mathematics of life. It tutors a person to make friends, share goodies, give respect, adjust to hardships, erase offences and forgive and forget. While adolescence is mostly about friends, fun, sports and extra curricular activities, what one dreads most about student life is the examination-the one inevitable pain of growing years. Semester after semester, year after year, exams fill students with goose bumps and fright.
It is something that every student dreads-even the high rankers. Most students start studying months before the 'D' day. Some start late but finish in time. Some get examination fever, and to some it apparently doesn't matter. But the truth is everyone is scared. Some fear failing, and others fear losing their best records. But at the end of the day, the conclusion is the same-'It's inevitable. It's not fun. It bothers.'
A RITUAL BEFORE WRITING
No matter what category of students one belongs to, no matter what family background he comes from, one of the most important parts of the examination day is one's prayers to the Lord. The student is expected to take blessings from all the elders of the family and bow down to their ista-deva (the favourite Lord) or their kula deva (the family god). For some, prayers are answered. This results in increased faith in the Absolute and more prayers. For some others, they're not. But their faith is still intact, based on the experience of others. Therefore they pray harder.
Why does one pray during exams? Simply because he's scared of how he will fare in exams. Whether he will live up to what is expected of him? Whether his mind will provide a back-up of information he has been trying to store? Studying is essential but so is memory. He is aware that he can't get through it without help. But who can help? "The Lord, only the Lord," the parents say. "It is only He who can make miracles happen." The kid follows what his parents say. He himself may have little understanding of God, but has faith in the words of his parents. He may also learn from the experience of his peers.
AND WHEN THE TEST IS OVER
A student observes examinations as a test. Therefore, he seeks help from everybody around, as well as The Lord. But once out of the exam hall, he leaves behind not only his exam fears, but also his prayers. For him, these exams act as mere academic or theory tests that will spring him to the next grade. But he seldom realizes that life will spring up tests even when he is out of school. A human being's life as a student starts the day he sees the light of this material world and lasts as long as he breathes his last. His learning process never ends, and neither do the tests. Life invariably delivers sufferings, troubles, doubts, and confusions- to do or not to do; how to do; where to go; whom to go to. There will be tests of faith and belief- his belief in himself, his pa rents, peers, and also, at times of defeat, his belief in the Supreme.
What is the common response during these tests? One seeks help from everyone around him-his parents, peers, past professors, even his experiences. But try hard as one may do, one thing will not change: nobody can be helped at all times, places, and circumstances. And when nobody can reach out to help, there is just one source of hope. This source is the ultimateThis source is the Lord.
When one walks down the memory lane of the pre-exam adolescent period, he can see that the alarming examinations have, perhaps, acted as a blessing in disguise. They have lit within us a spark of faith and a prayerful mood whenever we have been in genuine need of help. Examinations are the only times in our lives when we most faithfully remember the Lord and become traitorous to the call of our senses (remember skipping the cricket final on eve of final exams?).
Therefore, devotees of the Lord always look at examinations with a welcoming eye-be it an academic test of a troublesome student life, hardships tossed about by an office colleague or even the troubled waters spilt by our beloved. It is 'the' chance to go back to our old practice- fold hands and simply pray.
Rashi Parikh is a Bachelor in Mass Media specializing in Journalism. Currently she is working in the creative department at a FM Radio station in Mumbai.