Recently Prakash had started hearing a lot about a ‘board exam. Whats that? he wondered, Was it a ‘bored exam where children and teachers yawned all the time? Or was it a test with questions on blackboards?
No, silly. Its just another exam, but a very important one,” replied his brother, Anand, who had suddenly become a VIP because he was going to write the board exam.
Suddenly everyone at home was behaving strangely. His mum seemed to live in the neighbourhood temple. She was praying for Anand to do well in the board exam. She appeared only at meal-times and plied Anand with holy offerings.
His dad had stopped laughing, and wore a grave face. He disconnected the cable television and came home early from office. He didnt want Anand to take any study breaks except to go to the bathroom.
His grandma complained loudly about how she couldnt watch TV serials any more. So dad bought her a radio and earphones, and told her to wait until the holidays.
Grandpa was in charge of Prakash. His duty was to prevent Prakash from disturbing his brother. He shushed Prakash all the time. He even shushed Prakash for chewing too loudlyWait until the holidays, then you can eat more noisily,” he said.
Prakashs brother Anand was due to write this examination in March.
In all this commotion about Anands board exam, nobody noticed that Prakash had bagged the role of a bunny in the school play. Nobody noticed that Prakashs loose tooth had fallen off, or that he could finally ride a bicycle without trainer wheels.
All everyone said was, Wait until the holidays
So Prakash waited. He didnt make too much noise. He read some Enid Blyton. He did some colouring. He stopped pinching his brother altogether.
And finally, Anand finished his boards. Prakash waited and waited. He stood by the door on the day of the last examination.
Boy, I am glad that the board exams are over,” said Prakash. Can we play carrom? Can we watch TV? Can we go out for an ice-cream? Shall I show you how I ride my bike?”
Oh no! I am even busier now,” said Anand. Now I have to write my entrance exams. Ill be busy preparing for them. Go away. Dont disturb me. And for heavens sake, please be real quiet!”