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The 10th board results were to be announced in a few minutes. I knew I had given it a good shot, but I could never be too sure. All through school, I had been a 60% kind of a guy. The website as usual conked, and I was trying for the last 2 hours. It finally opened at around midnight. I saw the bottom of page – PASSED, FCD. So I did manage to get more than 75%. I scrolled up to see my marks.

English – 75, Hindi – 63, Science – 89, Social Science – 88, Mathematics – 97

I scored a brilliant 97, first time I crossed a 60 ever. I woke up mom and, dad, and called my tutor.

I used to travel some 10 kms by cycle to reach my tutor’s place. He was an engineering graduate who had just started tuitions. It was in a village outside Chandigarh, and you could see cow in the shed outside the house. He would even be milking cows sometimes.

Every class was a test, and I was ranked in a class of four. I was usually the last one of the lot. But he never lost hope. “Vineet, every math problem is a riddle; think of ways you can work around it. The solution is the prize for you”. So for every math problem, I had work out two solutions with descriptive answers.


After two months, I had started scoring well. I was now topping a class of 5 and irrespective of difficulty I got them right. I continued with the two answers always. He continued giving me extra work after class which I solved in my Hindi class at school or late at night. By the time the board exam came near, I had solved just about any problem in any book.

The last test exam I wrote, he gave me a special paper. It had the most brilliant problems. I had never fathomed people could even draft such questions. I scored a 30 on 100.

“Vineet, never be too confident. You’re good, but not that good. A paper can be tough, but you got to be tougher man. I myself scored 50 in my board exams. I was not geared for it. I am preparing you for the worst. You might want to argue that the others got easy papers and you got a tough one. The fact is, if I had given you that paper you would have rogered it and it would never prove your worth. You prove your real worth by sticking up when the world might seem unfair. Having said that, between you and me the 30 you scored is worth 300 on 100. I could not solve those problems. You stood up and took the test. Take some rest, tomorrow is the big day”.

As I rode back I looked at the dark sky. I could hardly see any stars. I was symbolic; in a world of darkness a single star could have brought all the brightness. That star was riding the cycle back home for dinner.  Tomorrow I’ve got to solve some riddles!

25 Responses to “Riddles”

  1. I’d like to say - It’s deep but then, to be honest - I like your funnier posts better.
    Hoping you’ll write one soon.

  2. PratsNo Gravatar says:

    Wow!!! Simply Wow….
    I can understand the sentiments.. This one stands out the rest.
    “You prove your real worth by sticking up when the world might seem unfair.”

    This is so so so True….

  3. BhavyaNo Gravatar says:

    Liked the moral of the post
    “Always be prepared for the worst, and never be over-confident.”

  4. vinniNo Gravatar says:

    :) thanks guys! i am sure you have all been through this sometime or the other. mind sharing those?

  5. lol…good one…reminded me of the time when i was in 10th and i consistently failed in all my hindi exams, including the APSE exam…my mom thought I would be the first compartment case in the family!! i ultimately scored 87 in my board exam!!! woooo hooo!! :)

  6. vinniNo Gravatar says:

    way to go princess! 87! very cool, i say!

  7. PreetiNo Gravatar says:

    When I read you called your tutor, i dint realize who it was, but then when I read the thing about cow (funny :D :D) I realized it was Ranju! I am just amazed at what a great impact a good teacher can make in your life.

    Even I had one like that, Soni Ma’m in DAV School Ambala.

  8. MeghanaNo Gravatar says:

    Riddles are exactly how I got hooked to math. It was my dad’s idea….Hooray for creative education and for innovative teachers!

  9. GayatriNo Gravatar says:


    we should have a chronological compilation of all these events sometime you know

  10. vinniNo Gravatar says:

    preeti: of course i have taken some creative liberty! :)
    meghana: yayyy!
    gayatri: i like randomness in this chronological world!

  11. veluNo Gravatar says:

    Reminiscin post.. The picture was good.. :)

  12. proud to have students like you..i still remember, that was my first batch..things changed now..there r very few students who give credit to their teachers..
    thanks 2 remember

  13. vinniNo Gravatar says:

    good to see you sir! :) am glad u still remember! :)

  14. shaifaliNo Gravatar says:

    awww this is so nice. feel good sorts

  15. apocalypseNo Gravatar says:

    Kinda reminded me of my 12 grade situation… My Dad found my report card hoax, he thought for the worst… It made me work my ass off, i pulled out with flying chicks…:-) I hate colors :-)

  16. KetanNo Gravatar says:

    Well, we all have someone is our lives who keeps us grounded. My math teacher used to be one such wizard. He used to come to teach me at 12 midnight days before the exam…sometime i felt it was more of his exam than mine… [Note to Self : will have to write about that...will have to write about that]

  17. meghanaNo Gravatar says:

    awesome ! I got 98 in my 10th boards and had an awesome tuition teacher too :)

  18. vinniNo Gravatar says:

    ketan: hope u do write about it! will look forward to it.
    megs: its high time u visited my blog once in a while.

  19. AnwinNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Vineet…. guess you will be there for the Heavy Metal bloggers meet… great. This is a reminder and it will be great if you can confirm again by putting a comment on http://www.indiblogger.in/bloggermeet.php?id=24 or mail me at anwin at indiblogger dot in or give me a call at 9880518019. Thanks

  20. SowmyaNo Gravatar says:

    Maths was a pain until I started solving those problems and after that it was pure pleasure… with each solution that you derive, you feel like a scientist…

    I liked the last line about symbolism… u r very confident…

  21. SameeraNo Gravatar says:

    That was inspiring! :)

    I got a centum in Maths paper 1 in my 10th boards,and a total 193 in both papers which was something of a surprise for everyone at school as I was a disaster in the subject and had long back decided to drop it after 10th,which I did :P

  22. AngelismNo Gravatar says:

    As usual loved the pic..and i believe in indications too :)

  23. vinniNo Gravatar says:

    soumya: thanks! and congrats to you too!
    sameera: when we look back at all the things we have done, we know we have come somewhere and achieved something.
    angel: thanks! what indications are we talking about here:

  24. RituNo Gravatar says:

    Incredible thoughts and a very apt pic too. Incidentally I was a 60 kinda gal in Math thruout school but scored 96 in my boards…all becoz of the support of a friendly neighbour who told me to practice sums every single day..and I did.. And boy, was I thrilled with my result!!

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