Breaking Free Of Unreasonable Standards Set By Parents: A Student Speaks

Until now, a series of conjectures about the declaration of results have all proven to be barren. And this faux information, which is invariably birthed by hearsay, generally spreads like wildfire.

Arif Maqbool, a ‘half-matriculant’, had developed immunity towards these ‘manufactured’ truths. He was a ‘half-matriculant’ because he had been enrolled provisionally to class 11. Furthermore, no one knew about the onslaught of nightmares which he suffered from, since he was caught by the superintendent while ‘helping’ his classmate. The head invigilator had threatened to take stern action against him, while one of the duty persons assured him that no such thing would happen. He suffered from continuous mental sluggishness, leading to his preconceived notion that he would be declared a failure, in the end.

Just like any other day outside the coaching institute, he was completely immersed in a discussion with his friend. As the news of exam results being declared had been in air for the last two days, it was not surprising to see a bunch of students circling a person with a mobile handset. However, that day, the matriculation results were really declared.

One of the students came to Arif and said: “Don’t be so lazy, go and know your result there.”

The person with the cell phone was soon besieged by scores of students. People gathered in queues to ensure that everybody could view their results. Eventually, Arif’s fear vanished – he had scored 87% in the exams.

Late in the evening, when his father returned home, Arif, bursting with joy and excitement, ran quickly towards his tired father and apprised him of his achievement.

“Arif, 87% is not a big deal. You haven’t secured any position. The principal of school, too, is disappointed by your performance. Your friend, Shiraz, has taken the crown with 88.5% marks,” his father responded.

Arif was recovering from this harsh and disheartening commentary, while his father went on – lambasting and beating him, while singling out everything he had done to ensure a better schooling for Arif.

Arif’s mood, now, was completely opposite to what he had earlier expected. Expectations of being appreciated was cornered by pain and agony, gloominess strangulated happiness and his ecstasy was crushed to smithereens.

For a number of years, he struggled to meet the expectations and standards set by his father. But, he would always find himself a step behind the standards expected from him.

Right from his matriculation days, Arif was forced to work hard so that he could succeed in the engineering exam. Now, however, he is pursuing a masters in biotechnology, and he no longer visits his home – having run away from his father’s crazy set of standards when he was 15.

Arif shares his experience: “No drug or sedative can wash out those grim memories out of my life. Even now, every breath is a reminder of dejection, loneliness and agony.”

“I still remember how father scrutinised my every act of living. When at home, he would check my room after every hour, to ascertain if I was glued to the books. During his duty hours, he would call my mother to find out what I was doing. Life had become unimaginably dreary, and it was no better than that of a prisoner incarcerated for life. Though my unconscious became the graveyard for that diabolical and demonic phase of life, but the memories of it still haunt me. As Sigmund Freud rightly puts it: ‘All emotional conflicts and painful memories of life are stored in the unconscious and in the long run, these adversely affect the conscious life.’ ”

He further adds, “Unconscious is the real us – buried like the bottom of an iceberg. All we see is the tip of the iceberg above the surface of the ocean – that is the present day us. But, what really makes us is the part that lies hidden – the subconscious. We are driven by painful memories and deep conflicts. They can be dormant – but for sure, they dictate our external behavior.”

Being a ‘child of depression’, Arif has embarked upon a journey to counsel those children who face similar pathetic situations.

“I think, like us, parents also need regular counselling sessions. And this fact should be harmoniously and uniformly accepted. They should be informed about the absurdity of their so-called ‘high standards’ in this modern and advanced human society. When will they internalise the idea that positions or ranks never define the strength and potential of a human being? One should look at college drop-outs like Mark Zuckerberg, Mukesh Ambani, Azim Premji, Bill Gates, and many others, who have made significant marks on human civilisation,” Arif says.

Madni, a student of psychology in Kashmir University states: “Every student should have right to pursue their own careers. Coercion only leads to interminable, disastrous effects on human behaviour. If given a chance to seek their proclivities, a human being can unleash his/her true potential and do wonders.”

What if a person who adores football, writes about the sport, thinks about its technicalities, tirelessly watches world- class footballers, and critically analyses playing styles all through the day, is given the freedom to pursue the sport – instead of forcing him/her to sit for an engineering exam (something he/she loathes)?

Think about it – personally, I believe that person can do wonders!


Image Source: Sapne Wapne/YouTube
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