I met a kid I know after her Board exam. “It was super easy,” she said. “Everyone cheated.”
We all laughed. That was funny. And then sad.
It took me back to my own student days. I remember an exam where I squinted hard at question no. 29, all the while being prodded by someone’s foot from behind, getting a loud whisper from the left, and a dig in my ribs from the right. The 2 students ahead of me had their heads joined into 1 big solar eclipse.
Did I cheat?
No. Maybe…. Yes ! Once or twice. Or maybe thrice. To help out a friend in need. Or just to be cool, and ‘with it’ and ‘with them’.
It took me to the future too. What am I going to tell my own little boy? To draw the line? To be honest, and then get shredded to pieces outside the class by his mates? Will I sweep up the pieces, cello-tape him up and tell him I’m proud of him? Or will I tell him to go by his instincts? To go with the “flow”? To do what he wants to do?
No, I will have to say No. Not once. Not ever.
Because I’m not his pal. I’m his Ma.
Because I first put that pencil into his tiny hand. And now, if I don’t teach him to draw the line, who will?