Never Again!!8 mins 10.9K 8 mins 10.9K
The clock struck 6 and her heart-beat was faster. She lay down on her bed trying hard to sleep but all her attempts failed as she consciously waited for the clock to strike 7. That one hour was the longest and the shortest for Saloni. Longest because she wanted to sit with her physics book, the exam of which she had the very next day. And shortest because she was so terrified of the next day’s exam due to her under preparation.
While her body lay still, her mind underwent a huge storm. ‘What if I fail? What if I get the least marks in class? How will I face everyone at home? I should have prepared for it from beforehand? I hate myself for letting me land in such a situation?’ Saloni’s mind was embroiled in such thoughts and the ticking clock sounded more like a ticking bomb to her.
Saloni was a sincere student and studied in Std 7. She was very hard-working and gave highest priority to her studies. What landed her in such a situation? What made a sincere girl even think of quitting her exam?
1 month ago
“Sir, We want Saloni and Tvisha for the annual day practice!” uttered a Std 9 student as her eyes looked for the girls in the class. Soon, the two girls jumped out of their seats and looked around with pride and privilege as they were the only ones selected to perform on the school’s annual day from the class. And this was just the beginning. For the coming month, almost every day the girls missed their physics period as that was the period they were usually called in. While Tvisha had tuitions at home, Saloni was not even remotely bothered about the missing periods. The overwhelming joy of participating in the concert and playing the lead role made her forget about her exam. She did not even care to find out about the missing sessions from her friends. She was on cloud nine for getting that opportunity.
The concert went on successfully and everyone congratulated Saloni for her wonderful performance. The spirit of concert had still not dawned upon her when the next morning she sat with her exam time table in her room. She was terrified to realize that there were hardly seven days left for her final exam. She shivered to think about her lack of readiness. She did not budge from her place sitting with her school calendar for hours figuring out how to plan for that crucial exam. It was only when Saloni’s mother called her for lunch that she left her room.
Saloni’s coming days were full of nervousness and anxiety. Her appetite had drastically come down and she hardly ate anything. Her exam started and she managed with her other papers somehow until it was the turn for her physics paper which she was dreading the most.
Saloni twisted and turned nervously in her bed when the clock finally struck seven. She got up with a jolt. She came out of her room and looked around. Her brothers sat in their room discussing something. She stared at their faces and they looked happy. She envied them for not having exams. She peeped into the kitchen and saw her mother cutting vegetables with no expression on her face. She envied her too for she had no exam to appear for. Disappointed and jealous of everybody in the house she forwarded towards her room. Slowly she took out her physics book from the rack and opened the first chapter. She tried remembering the things she had learned for her previous exams. Nothing, absolutely nothing seemed to be familiar. The equations danced in front of her eyes. She turned the pages and there was nothing different with the other chapters too. Her heart-beat was fast and she sat with the book in her lap helplessly. She stared at the clock which neared eight now. She took out her physics notebook and made a futile effort to gather some clue from it. Her mind was more occupied to look for a plan ‘B’ at that juncture.
She was lost in those thoughts when the telephone rang. Saloni’s mother picked up the phone and called for her as it was Tvisha’s call. Saloni picked up the receiver slowly and said hello.
“Saloni I had a doubt in physics. Can you help? The third question in the fourth chapter…………” Tvisha was still continuing when she heard a hung up tone. “Hello , Hello, Saloni are you there?” She continued but did not get any reply.
Tvisha called up again and before she could say anything Saloni blurted out, “I am not coming for tomorrow’s exam.”
“What?” a stunned Tvisha asked.
“I am not prepared at all for tomorrow Tvisha, I am certain I will fail. Its better not to appear than fail.” Saloni was already in tears.
She continued, “I am very disturbed, so can’t talk now, bye.”
As Saloni hung up the phone, she found her mother and brothers already standing behind her.
She turned to go to her room when her mother inquired, “Are you not going for tomorrow’s exam?”
Saloni went to her room without answering. Her mother followed her and asked again, “Saloni, Which paper do you have tomorrow? Take help from bhai. I am sure he can help you, whatever it is.”
“Mummy, I don’t want to go for tomorrow’s exam. Please allow me to do so. I am not prepared for it. I will not pass mummy 100 percent. I don’t want to fail. Please mummy.” She cried and pleaded simultaneously.
“What will I tell your papa?” her mother sounded worried.
Saloni’s father stayed out of the town and came only on weekends.
“I will convince him mummy I promise.” Saloni was confident.of convincing her father.
“Saloni atleast try to study beta. Make one attempt with bhai.” Saloni’s mother was apprehensive.
“Mummy please na.” Saloni said and went into her room.
She covered her face with the blanket and tried sleeping. It was 9 already. She slowly slipped into deep sleep.
4’ O’ clock in the morning, the silence of the house was broken by the ringing of the phone. Saloni dashed towards it to pick it up and found Tvisha on the line.
“Tvisha? Its four in the morning. Are you serious? Who calls at 4 yaar?” Saloni expressed her irritation.
“Sorry, sorry, I know its four. I woke up to study so thought you might change your decision. Think about it again Saloni. It’s the final exam. It’s also going to affect your rank.” Tvisha reiterated.
“But its anyday better than failing. All the best for exam and thank you so much for the concern. You are my best friend forever Tvisha. Love you.” Saloni hung up even before Tvisha could respond.
She went into her room and was about to pull her blanket when she found her physics book lying near the end of the bed. Saloni hesitantly picked it up and started turning its pages casually.
K.E= ½ mv2 -Kinetic energy is directly proportional to the mass of a body and the square of its velocity.
P.E = mgh – Potential energy is directly proportional to the mass of a body, its acceleration due to gravity and its height in metres.
Saloni could somehow understand its meaning now with a fresh mind. She further turned the pages and tried understanding the matter given. For some reason, Saloni could register all that she saw. She kept turning to the other chapters which were coming for exam. She saw a ray of hope. And as she kept turning the pages, She found herself more and more confident.
Soon she sat there with her rough book, solving equations and scribbling the formulae. One hour passed, two hours went by, She tried solving as many equations as possible. She knew for sure that one thing that could fetch her marks at this juncture was the numericals. She wasn’t very sure of by-hearting definitions at that time, so she went by her gut feeling and held on to the doable part.
Everyone at home was up and her brothers left for their school. Saloni’s mother didn’t bother to look into her room. She presumed that Saloni was asleep as the door was close.
The clock struck 8 and there Saloni stood near the kitchen in her school uniform.
“Saloni???” Her mother said with her eyes almost popping out.
“Are you going to school?” She continued surprisingly.
Saloni replied with just a smile.
Tvisha was equally dumbstruck on seeing Saloni walk into the school gates. She giggled and hugged her best friend. Both went inside the exam room.
Saloni gave her hundred percent and took a deep sigh of relief on coming out of the room. She felt much more confident and was happy that she had not let herself down.
A couple of weeks later, Saloni sat with her fingers crossed as the teacher entered the classroom with the physics bundle. The teacher announced the marks aloud while simultaneously handing over the paper. The time stalled for Saloni on hearing her own name from the teacher’s mouth. She closed her eyes and crossed her fingers harder.
Everything appeared to be happening in slow motion as the teacher uttered these words - “Saaaaaallllllooowwwnnniiiiiiii thhhhirrrrttttyyyysssssiiiiiiixxxxx……………………….”
Saloni jumped from her seat on hearing her marks and yelled, “ Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!”
Everybody including the teacher looked at her in surprise. It was unfathomable for everyone to figure out what made one of the toppers of the class jump out in joy on getting just about the pass marks?
Tvisha came running from her seat to congratulate her and joked winking at her, “ready for the next annual concert???”
Saloni held her ears, “Never Again!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
They both laughed their hearts out.