Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Degrees of Ecstasy

20th May,2008
2.55 pm.
I was sitting in front of my PC for one and a half hours. The internet connection was excellent. It did not show any sign of getting disconnected in spite of the fact that millions of students were trying to view their ICSE, ISC and Higher Secondary (State Board) results simultaneously. But, inexplicably and much to my frustration, I got the following message on the screen exactly at the time I mentioned at the beginning of the post: "Local Area Connection:A cable is unplugged." After that, I simply could not connect to the internet anymore. Five minutes past three, ten minutes past three, fifteen minutes past three....the time was flying! But, I was sitting helplessly as I continued to see "Error 678: Could not connect...." on the screen . The results were supposed to have been declared at 3.00 p.m.

Then, suddenly, my father called me and started telling me my marks! He said that my mother had been able to know the results through SMS and both of them had forwarded the marks to me. When I checked my cell phone, I found that I had received the messages but somehow, the message alerting tone had not worked. Both of them were on their way home!

Coming to the marks, I have got what I had wanted. My overall percentage is 94.4. This is according to the ICSE rules. There are seven subject groups. The English marks has to be taken into account along with the marks of a student's top four other subjects to calculate the overall percentage. I have got 90% in English, 96% in Bengali, 98% in Environmental Education, 94% in History-Geography, 94% in Maths (what a pleasant surprise!), 94% in Science and 90% in Computer. I have stood fourth in my school. The top three are Krishanu Ray (95.6%), Souvik Choudhury(95.4%) and Soorma Das(95%).

Yesterday was one of the most fantastic days of my life. My parents were so happy. My mother was extremely excited and a broad smile lingered on her lips all evening. And, I have never seen my father so happy before. Their smiles mean a lot to me. I'll just remember the expression on their faces and that is my greatest gift. My other relatives were so happy too. My maternal grandparents have a very disciplined lifestyle. But, yesterday, they forgot to take their evening tea on time after knowing about my results! My paternal aunts started informing all their neighbours about their only niece's results! These are not material gifts but they are invaluable. They clearly show that I have been able to live up to everyone's expectations. My teachers were very happy too!

I am extremely happy and satisfied. I have only one demand. I want to celebrate with everybody one day. A party will be organized in a few days. And, this is just the beginning. After this, I have miles to go. The next big exam will be the ISC exam. For that, I will work harder and much harder than I had done for my ICSE.

I thank my parents and all my teachers( both of school and of tuition) for helping and encouraging me so much. They have always been beside me. You all obviously don't know who Bonu is. Well, her real name is Radha and I have been calling her 'Bonu' since childhood. She has been a sort of a bodyguard to me and has looked after me all day in my parents' absence. Although I go to school and tuition classes all by myself now, Bonu used to accompany me till I was in Class 10. So, her contributions are not less and I thank her too. Last, but not the least, I thank all my fellow bloggers because they too have wished me luck before my exam and have been such good friends that I have had reason to enjoy myself in the midst of studying.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Name problems

After reading my last post myself afterwards, I was convinced that it was my worst post ever. So, I request all of you that if you haven't read it already, please don't. Let me just talk about something different.

My name, as you all know, is Sinjini . But, the spelling of my name should have been Shinjini because that's the actual Bengali word. So, in Hindi, my name should be written using 'Shalgamwala sha' . But, my father had written 'Sinjini' in my birth certificate.

When I was in the sixth standard, I first became aware of the fact that most of my friends and also some teachers pronounce my name exactly like its spelling. I used to become very irritated that I was being called by a different name. It was always "Sinjini", "Sinjini" and "Sinjini", but never "Shinjini". Then, I told some of my friends, with whom I interacted the most, the actual pronounciation of my name. After requesting them repeatedly, they gradually started calling me "Shinjini". I don't really blame them for calling me 'Sinjini' because I can't blame them. It's not their fault if they correctly pronounce what is written.

I have often asked my father the reason for which he had written that spelling. Every time, his reply has been the same. He says that writing just 'S' and not 'Sh' implies that my name should be pronounced as 'Shinjini'. He says that trying to change the spelling in the birth certificate itself will give us enough trouble for a lifetime. According to him, another reason had also motivated him to write that spelling. He had intended to keep the spelling very simple so that I would not suffer throughout my life like him and my mother for a long and complicated spelling. "Would one additional letter have made my name so complicated?", is what I ask him in return. His reason is not entirely rubbish. I have seen different people writing his name in different ways. His name is Saumyabrata Sengupta( quite long!). I have seen rarely seen that correct spelling written anywhere. It's either 'Soumyabrata', 'Soumyobroto', 'Soumobrata', etc. If he writes the correct spelling somewhere and somebody else pronounces it, the pronounciation is deliberately wrong!

For my mother, it is still worse. Her name is Nabanipa. A very similar and a very common name is Nabanita. So, people always write Nabanita Sengupta! Even if her name is pronounced laying special emphasis on the 'p', nobody writes 'p'. The spelling of her name has been changed to 'Nabanipa' for her bank account after repeated efforts.

In future, I can't expect many people to call me 'Shinjini', specially if I move out of West Bengal. I also can't try to correct everybody. So, I will have to live with that spelling for the rest of my life. After all, it's my name, it's my indentity.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

'Great Expectations'

Ten to fifteen days later in this month of May, I'll be sitting in front of this very PC and viewing my ICSE results. For the past one year or so( yes, that's even before I actuaaly sat for the exam) , I have often pictured myself sitting in front of the PC, typing the URL of the website in the address bar, waiting for a minute or two while the page remains white with the cursor and dumble and suddenly shows me my result, my percentage....Then, I had pictured myself laughing and going to inform my parents that I have got above 90% and informing my tuition teachers the same thing. I had even thought that if I become the school topper, my name will be published in the Anandabazar Patrika( every year, the newspaper publishes the names of certain ICSE schools along with the ICSE and ISC school toppers' name and percentage and we had seen our school's name in that list) . I have expected too much and no matter how much I make myself understand that it is not good to expect much, I have failed to control my imaginations.

The main reason for which I desperately want to get above 90% is that I want to give something to my parents. The more I think about how much they have done for me and how much I have done for them, I feel that I just have not done enough. They love me much more than I love them. But, they do expect a lot from me. I have found it in their eyes and words.

I also want to get something that big because I want people to notice me. When I say people, I don't mean my parents or other family members, I mean my classmates and the entire school. I know why they don't may much attention to me (there are, of course, exceptions among them). It is because I don't flirt with the boys. It is because I don't indulge in the gossip about new and old student couples. It is because they have not been able to relate me to any boy. It is because I never cheat during the school exams, unlike most of them, and don't show them my answer script during the exams. It is because I am short and not so attractive. So, I just dream of getting above 90% in my ICSE exam with the hope that I'll probably be noticed by them after that.....

But, these are great expectations. They will never be fulfilled too easily. They are not giving me any happiness. Just making me feel more desperate and lonelier the more I think about them. I have to stop expecting greatlty. I just have to....