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The Tribune - Middle - Nov 26, 2005.

Date: 21-Jun-2017

PMTs of yore
by G S Battu

Being born to teacher parents can be sound academically, but can really put the carefree and playful childhood at a great disadvantage. I was born to such a pair of parents, which at that time seemed to be long-term shortcoming because dear mother was a school teacher and exacting father was a college professor, that too of science stream.

Most difficult outcome of the situation was the blurring of separate entities of school and home. All the kids cherished the sound of the bell declaring school time over. Kids would jump, scream and run out of the class. To me, it was just transition from one study spot to another. “Let’s see what you did in the school today” was the most dreaded opening sentence, which would seem like start of a sentence.

Being a close knit fraternity in a small town, teachers felt it their duty to report the deeds or misdeeds of wards of fellow teachers. Instead of parents telling me a story at bedtime, I had to recite tables till twenty. Exams would be done twice, once at school and again rewrite everything at home, for the parents to evaluate my performance “online”. That I was amongst toppers in district in all board examinations was incidental.

Come college, and joy- killer joystick control was handed over to scientist father, a gold medallist from Lahore University, whose logics of discipline defied logics of youth. To add to the misery was a whole lot of his friends, sole goal of their visit to our home seemed to be to evaluate my study pattern and my knowledge.

Questions would be asked while I served them tea, at the dining table or any occasion that would juxtapose the hunter and the hunted.

Now that they had successfully planted my two elder sisters in the medical college, I was the sole object of their attention. Then came the PMT, at last. When I came out of the examination hall, I was tired and mentally exhausted but still relieved at the thought of end of the ordeal. But lo and behold, at home were professors of all the subjects like a committee and all took their turns to ask me all the questions and the answers that I had written. Table marking made its debut to decide the fate of future doctors who will handle the fate of patients. It was a weeklong wait, but again I was amongst the toppers of the district.

I am happy that I could do it in the times when there were no paper leaks, for my parents had no money to buy such papers. Knowledge and hard work was the wealth they had and that produced the desired results.

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