In Memoriam: The Tests That Weren’t

Well, at last the ominously awaited board examinations are done and dusted with.

The most disturbing fact about them (other than being deplorably overhyped) was that they started around 2 p.m. 

The time I usually set aside for a (much deserved) siesta. 

It annoyed me to no end and had me looking forward to six odd sets of three-hour exercises in anger management. Surprisingly, what those extra-conscious hours resulted in is far different from what I had expected.

Here’s to the end of school life, former boys and girls:



                                 A hurried eternity
                                 of casually meticulous
                                 preparation.
                                 The First Hour.
Prayers and blessings                                  The race begins
sought in earnest.                                     with smiling competition.
Momentary distraction                                  One after another
of benign handshakes                                   persistent roadblocks
                                                       vanish.
Enlightened reading                                    A few are shoved aside,
suppressed by sharing                                  to be stormed later
and choices.                                           with renewed vigour.
Fill in data                                           Fleeting nods, smiles
unknown about yourself.                                to ascertain
                                                       uncertain kinship.
                               All is well.
                               The  world just began.
                               The Second Hour.
A timid mechanical                                      One's yawn is actively
voice announces the                                     stifled, while another
transit.                                                relaxes, takes a drink.

Everyone's on a clock-                                  Sheep move around
they dare not think                                     in gladiator skin.
to look out.
Mistaken whispers reign                                 One breaks the monotony;
supreme, provide shadows                                rides into the sunset
of satisfactory answers.                                to take a leak.
                               Humour just returned.
                               The world is ticking.
                                The Third Hour.
A whisper no longer                                  Automated herald announces
qualifies as a whisper.                              the last quarter,
                                                     unyielding to silence.
A few strategically                                  Calculated madness
drunk, in mirth,                                     strikes in a burst
while still fewer lost in                            of euphoric adrenaline.
webs unscrupulously strung.

Twilight beckons longingly                           The sheep stoically
as sheep awaken to threaten                          maintain their act,
lambs with wholesale slaughter.                      of shepherds.

Some begin the long                                  At last, it ends
relentless tread, to the end                         with jubilant renunciation
and back.                                            of laboured scripts.

Imperfections weed                                    The setting sun
themselves out-                                       promises home- 
natural selection.                                    until next time.
                             All the while,
                             he contemplates a poem
                             on examinations.

Thank you for reading through, folks!
~Arunava.

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