After the 12th boards exams, I would wake up early in the morning and spend my day making embroideries. Mom would get so upset. I was to be enrolled for M.B.B.S. degree soon, what was compelling me to sit and prick my eyes making those intricate stitches. Mom was a Testile Designer too. She had enrolled for her classes before I was born. I had taken the same box out of the stacked objects that she had used twenty years back and used up the threads.
I have been fond of hand crafted articles. I was even more fond of making them on my own. Thread- work, painting, drawing was amongst the forbidden practices for me (I was to stay focussed about becoming a Doctor and all that) After almost eight years, I had still not lost my touch. The 1st time I had pricked needle in fabric was when I was in IInd standard. The last was in Vth. In 4th standard, when I had appeared for my Domestic science practicals; Ahuja madam had commented that she wouldn’t have believed that I could do such intricate hemming had she not observed doing that. Some senior class students were still busy fiddling with threads, when I had completed the assigned thread-work for exams, handed over the fabric and was gone. I had missed the exam on the scheduled date because of my health. I had been granted permission during the regular class- period to sit for the missed out paper again. I clung to the wooden frame upon which the cloth is fixed and stretched as if that was for my Life. This went on for some good amount of time.
Soon, my 12th boards results was out. Mom had not let me go to collect the report. She was scared of the fact that I may not go home if I didn’t score good. That was nothing new. She had carried that fear for the last 11 years. She would stuff up like a wet bird till I reached home after collecting reports. Once it so happened that I missed my school bus. That was the result collecting day of 7th grade, to be promoted to 8th. I had reached home along with a teacher (I was pretty well- known in GFPS 😀 ) after 2 hours. It had taken another half hour to locate my mom.
She was locking the house to go to the Police Station to file a complaint of a missing 12 year old- LOL. Neenu’s mother, Goel aunty, all of them had sat panicking; not because Neenu had reached home and I had not, but because mom had been rolling like a fire cracker for the past 2 hours.
If only mom had overcome her fear and let me go the way she had let me the last year. I had given her in writing that come what may, I would go home straight after collecting my Academic report card. I had certainly not disappointed her. The last and the last ever time, she had let Samanta go to my school. Only for him to return with a fake report, to scar my Life.
He had declared that I had flunked. I had flunked in Physics and also in all the practicals..!! My cousin Anup Patra (eldest masi’s younger son- only 6 months younger to my mom) had called up to check my scores. So had masi. No one had expressed as much concern when dad had left; or when mom had left too. I guess Bengali families are more concerned of 12th boards result than the deaths in their family. How pseudo and cultured he was; was soon confirmed. Only mom wasn’t around to witness that. He had blatantly criticized my rank. Guys, I had flunked.. However, my LIS friends stand witness to the fact opposite and so does my Cetificates and mark-sheets.
A day before my 1st 12th boards exams, I had wanted to talk to mom. I had a gut feeling that I may not be able to pursue Medical Education. Uncle was too careless towards my studies. I didn’t have books. Neither any tuition. Both mom and uncle had graduated from Calcutta University and hence there existed a huge language barrier. Moreover, Conductor (electrical) meant a bus conductor to them. They had not known an iota of what Science (as a subject) was all about. There was no seriousness at home. Most of the time there were cat fights about the regular issues. Moreover, Medical studies would have taken a lot of investment.
I couldn’t stay in GFPS because of the school fees. How was one to expect to get funded for Medical studies? Mom had blown that out of proportion; screaming, that I was looking for alibis. All I had said was that she was expecting a little too much and that there was no point in sitting for PMT. Uncle had again tried to beat me up. Mom had intervened.
I wasn’t surprised at my uncle’s declaration of my boards result. I was sure that something wasn’t right. I was only surprised at my mom’s idiocity. She would not let me go to collect the report. I had to fill in application forms for my Graduation, if not Medical. I had flunked- how could I have? It was further agreed upon that I was soon to be married off. No point appearing for re- tests. Not worth.
Mom did push me to collect my mark-sheets and certificates, but on the last day of collecting them. I had sat for the AIIMS and Maulana Azad Medical College Entrance exams before the boards result. Oh, I had flunked those too. No point in appearing in the other entrance tests, since I had flunked my 12th. I was the last one to collect my result from the school. The school office had expressed concern.
I had tried not looking at the mark-sheet since my certificate said I was “passed”. One of Samanta’s lies stood confirmed. I had headed straight to the AIIMS centre to check my result. I had earned myself a seat for medical studies there. Ditto in MAMC. All admissions had closed including the B.Sc. college admissions too. I had scored the maximum in Physics out of PCB. Practicals were all scored out of 30; 28 isn’t a flunk mark. I had scored the least in maths. Yet, I had passed scoring IInd Division grades. I guess a lout that he so was; his staying in Delhi for years could not change his mannerisms. Either he didn’t know how to read the lines or did that intentionally.
I had reached home. I was beyond feeling depressed. He had managed to ruin it really well. All college admissions had been off. I may have wanted to get into Genetics Engineering or Microbiology Research. Thanks to Samanta; I was left good for nothing at all. Mom lay on that Diwan that we bought years back. It had been my dad’s till he resided with us. Mom had made me swear that no matter what my score was, I was to go home the 1st thing.
I had. Obediently. I had lost all my patience when mom had wanted to ask if any other classmate “bumped” into me to embarrass me. I had flung the certificate and marksheet at her and resigned to my room.
I was stuck.
Samanta had succeeded in his wicked plan. He then constantly brainwashed mom that I should be enrolled in some small time vocational studies for 6 months, till I reached 18 and hurriedly married off. Mom had been too shocked to react. I had entered into a Denial Mode. What I had been striving for since my childhood was lost. Re- appearing the next year was out of question. He had it fudged that year; he would have ravaged it the next year too.
From August till October, till mom passed away after 3 months; she had stayed glued to me. Masi was too shocked at Samanta’s act. I wasn’t; I was worried about the next one. Silently, it had killed me, inside me. Skipping meals, staying lost and quite; constituted my daily activities.
I stay confined to my room. Not speaking with anyone who paid a visit to cheer me up.
I was so doomed- forever..