An exam to remember

Exam days could have been testing times during academic life for many. Now that most of us have graduated, not necessarily always with flying colors, it shows we have managed to withstand the test of time. Nevertheless, an exam as an adult assesses how much we have grown beyond exams as grown-ups. I had one such opportunity and so was it for every batch mate of mine who had opted for a yoga course at a Bengaluru varsity.

I don’t think anybody was concerned with an impressive scorecard or wanted to secure the first rank. Passing or reasonable marks could have topped the priority chart for a majority of candidates. It was distance education and people came from far off to appear for examination spending a lot of time, energy and yes, money as well. So, everybody kept no stone unturned to ensure things fell in place and everything moved swiftly. Given the ‘magnanimity’ of subjects and efforts everyone took to reach there, the exam-oriented approach was perfectly justified to an extent.

Everybody was on the same page irrespective of professions, age brackets and demographical backgrounds. From group studies, hooking on books in quiet corners, referring to last examination papers, offering testimonials of past students to reading notes till the last moment, it all resembled any board exam environment. I enjoyed it up to a point it reminded me of my school days but I kept reminding myself, the exam was to test wisdom and not intellect.

Do we really grow beyond books? This question haunted me, as exam dates were nearing. At home, it was difficult (though not impossible) to ask too much time for studies while as a professional, it was not on. I wasn’t sure if I could finish off even glancing through the books till the exam date drew close. Yet, I decided to refrain from rote learning and that little time appeared to be a plenty.  It was a conscious choice, so I thought it would be better to imbibe than parroting.

It doesn’t matter how many summers we see; exam-oriented approach shows we haven’t tanned it out. Hair could be grey, but the student in us is so green that it doesn’t allow us to become a learner. From childhood to adulthood, a lot of water had flown from under the bridge but maybe, that exam fear is still rock-solid somewhere deep down in our minds. At times, it was very immature like people walking in late or even found cheating.

Many of the course participants were trying to switch to yoga from their current profession and this was like crossing a Rubicon and examination was the least challenge in the scheme of things.  Yes, I wasn’t an exception but every time when ‘typical’ exam approach woke up in me, I put it on local anesthesia. Yes, one thing that struck me that, yoga is a science to turn inward and had we lived up to its true purpose, our pens could have tuned into philosopher’s stones.  



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