12 Golden Rules For Tackling Class 12 Exams! The Dreaded CBSE Boards


Written with the inputs from a boy who took the boards last year.

The class 12, CBSE exams would be starting on March 1st.. The countdown has begun.

For mothers whose children would be taking the boards this year, it is going to be few nervous months, till things settle down.

1. Based on the exam calendar, backward planning should be done with adequate time devoted to all subjects and concepts. The child’s  study time  should be  properly divided and allocated to do justice to all subjects.

2.CBSE textbooks should be read thoroughly at least twice. The student should make sure that he/she has a clear cut understanding of the topics. That is extremely important, more than anything else. Revision is a must after ensuring this clarity.

3. All the exercises and back exercises should be touched upon. The bits and pieces of questions in the middle of the chapter are the most important ones because they challenge the understanding of the concepts the most and are a favorite of the CBSE.

4. It is suggested that  children should do (2-3 years) previous year’s papers, so that they have a clear cut idea about the kind of questions they could be asked and practice those kind of questions repeatedly. CBSE doesn’t change the pattern much, it just asks different questions of the same kind. So if the child has a certain level of proficiency in those kind of questions, he/she will have much more confidence and he/she will be able to handle the most convoluted of questions in that particular type, during the exam.

5. It is important that the child reads in cycles of 3 hours, as all the exams are of 3 hours each. It will gear the child mentally for the exam and also improve the child’s concentration.

6. Underlining all the important points – This is to make sure that the examiner knows the student understands the concepts. The student could highlight the key points, so that the examiner doesn’t have to read it completely. It is easier for an examiner who has to correct hundreds of papers each day, to assess an answer by looking at the highlighted points.

/* The personal opinion of someone who has taken the exam recently. Please follow this at your discretion */

7. While solving numerical problems, all the steps should be written without skipping any steps, paying attention to carry forward signs ( +,-,*,/)

8. Ensure that the child writes clearly without any scribbles, cuts or other mistakes. Try to minimize on crosses and silly mistakes as much as possible. The sentences should be simple, clear and crystal. The child should try to convey the concept as though the person reading it, has absolutely no competence in that subject whatsoever, using simple words and phrases. Big words need not be used. It sometimes goes against the student’s success.

/*Please trust me on the scribbling and the simple sentences, I am speaking from personal experience. */

9. While answering the question paper, follow the serial order rather than answering randomly. Always follow the given word limit

10. Wherever possible, write the answers in points. Make diagrams/figures. Time management is very crucial. Students should try and finish question papers 10 to 15 minutes before finish time and revise their answers.

11. Adequate attention should be given to diet, eating small frequent power packed meals (protein enriched). Golden rule for the parent as well as the child – exercise, sleep, meditate. Be happy –  Ensure that the child indulges in other activities apart from studies for relaxation. Otherwise their concentration levels could drop.

12. Do not get too overwhelmed but take it easy. It is just a simple stepping stone for the next stage. The less stress the child takes, the better it is for success. This applies as much to the parent. Don’t take any pressure whatsoever. Just relax and do what is necessary. It’s just another exam! Not the end of life..

Treat it thus and

Keep Walking

Keep Smiling

Keep Shining

My Journey

The Eternal Existential Dilemma!!

Should I or should I not?

I’m talking about the questions, you face about your career, once you discover that you are going to be a mother.

Ours is a mixed marriage. A marriage that happened after much bad blood amongst all the parties involved.

Husband and I, soon after our wedding, set up a little Mom & Pop kind of software startup. We made kickass software but didn’t manage to rake in much moolah, much to our dismay.

Just then, Senior_Junior decided to arrive on the scene almost like a Bharjatiya movie, to soothe the sour relationship between elders.

I bawled and how.

This was not in the life plan. Nonetheless I still coped with stinky poops, dial-up connections, moody animators, dripping with knowledge through toe-nails waale relatives, wobbly belly, very matronly wardrobe, adamant visual basic and erratic sleep patterns of baby, thereby me.

Before this tsunami could settle down and we could breathe, Junior_Junior arrived. Husband meanwhile, had moved on to green bucks and managerial positions in ivy league companies. With two kids, it was too much of a load for me to lug around – this mom and pop show-   So I wound it up and we followed husband around his various postings.

My parents were very upset that I chose domestic bliss over a career path. After all, I was the first one in the family to break many moulds. They had wished that I would be attending board meetings rather than PTMs.

Well, that was how the cookie crumbled.

Soon time flew and my fledgling was ready to soar and the world was his stage. As he toiled for various exams, I would often give him company. I had nothing much to do really as I was down with a major physically debilitating disease. Then death decided to strike the family with all it’s attendant vulgarities. Everything was crumbling.

My parents became pillars of strength for me

To kill time and to retain sanity, I started writing snippets, contributing to various online forums. Once I discovered the aphrodisiac  power of likes, I  moved on to write short stories and found some success there.

Now, I dabble across platforms and wear many hats. I earn my monies teaching children. I have been part of three published anthologies. I’m at a happy station.

What tomorrow holds ?? I don’t know.

I wish to enjoy today, to the fullest.

Plusses? Children are sorted, confident individuals and we are thick as thieves.

This is not to say that the children of those mothers who have chosen a thriving career, aren’t. In fact many are super stars!

It is just that I have no regrets that I have chosen this path and it has somehow panned out OK.

Ultimately it is each person’s call as every journey is so different. The needs and wants of every family is varied. There is no one shoe size that fits all.

A Indira Nooyi ( who again carries her own baggage of motherly disapproval, but that is another story) and a Sheryl Sandberg are phenomenal examples.

Make a choice and never regret it. Walk ten feet tall as it is all about your life and your choices.

When you choose to close one door, other one always opens. On hind sight it could be even better

Keep smiling, shining and soaring

VDay the DDay (Dreaded)

IMG_20150925_220737VDay the DDay conference:

Sita aka Vaidehi sat staring at her fb account. The dailies were strewn around with all ads torn and crumpled. The deluge had just started. The surfeit of red, chocolates and diamond discounts was nauseating her.

“Now everyone will status update with all those lovey dovey pics flaunting their VDay gifts. VDay! Uff! sounds more like a Venereal Disease. This hoopla is beginning to get to me. Need to head out. ASAP”

She then immediately created a whatsapp group “USlayGurrl” and started adding members-

Draupadi, Yashodhara, Rukhmini, Radha and as an after thought Urmila too.

They decided to head for a coffee soon.

But first Mani-Pedi sessions with a trendy haircut, had to be taken. They would be instagramming later all about their date. So had to look dishy with the perfect pouts in place.

After all the mandatory dressy issues were sorted, they soon settled into a no holds barred soul cleansing chatathon

Sita went first..” Love Shove. Too much to bear. About this V-Day..”

Draupadi chipped in. “I haven’t decided with whom to go.. It’s actually the turn of twins this year! More like Buy One get One Free, but my heart is stuck on the Brave Archer. Brawny one is all into flexing muscles and dazzling skin show and Wise One is always pontificating”

Yashodhara(rolling her eyes): “At least you have options. Mine has gone in search of spiritual salvation, a cure the world solution,  leaving me all high and dry.. You know what I mean.. You see”

Rukmini took over “ Look I have seven more wives to contend with. I am fed up with the roll of dice thingy. Somehow Satya gets it in her favour! Always! Me thinks, she borrows the dice from Shaks Mama”

Radha butted in. “Gurrls stop whining. You are all legally wedded wives. I have to be happy with these stolen evenings if lucky then nights.. that is if these wives leave Him”

Sita: “What about my story huh? First of all, as soon as we were married, he decided to be noble and all, gave up the Gaddi, sauntered off to the jungle. I thought it would be nice to have him all to myself and I followed him. Loving bro had to play the spoil sport and tagged along. Then this Ra-One kidnapped me. Never had a moment’s peace”

Urmila: “Pipe down sister! He put me to sleep for 14 years. So don’t you go calling him names. Lemme finish first.”

Kunti and Gandhari are nearby, catching up on good old times.. As is the practice, they cannot help but overhearing. They quickly drag themselves and join in the party quite uninvited and start dishing out time tested gyaan. Old habits die hard you see.

Kunti: “ I could mesmerize anyone I liked which I did too, but then settled to watch over kids when a moment of insane amour killed Hubby dearest. I had to bring up my Souten’s kids too. So you got it easy ladies! Don’t whine!”

Gandhari:” Well! I shut the world for him! Life long! And then sired 101 children!! Just Imagine! Could anyone of you top that?”

As they sat moping, with their chins dropping to the table, it hit them collectively.

They were super stupendous and their happiness lay in their hands.

Live it up..Every day is a Valentine’s Day, a Love-all Day!

And they marched out smartly to “What an idea Sirjee” playing in the background.

Mundane Musings of a Mom


Every person has a reason d’être, a code to define self. On the hindsight, if I were to describe myself in a single word, I would  introduce myself as a mom.

Strange because I bawled myself to near death, both times, when I saw those two defining blues lines (Quite apt I must say).

But when the kiddos were presented to me Oh so ceremoniously, it was sheer Magic!

As they say, rest is history..

On any typical working day, I am yanked out of my slumber by the sonorous rendering of MSL’s suprabhatam. I rev up muh engine without a second’s pause, crazily multi task and micro manage.

And It’s already night! The bone tired body, numb mind and tired soul, beg me to call it a day. Eyes though pregnant with sleep, adamantly refuse to comply. Sofa becomes my temporary pit stop. Smartphone plays melodic ditties filling me with new energy. As I watch rest of the family pottering about, a snug feeling of job well done envelopes me.

How did time fly by so fast?

Only yesterday, they were just babies in arms. It still feels like yesterday, when I held my lil moppets in my hand, for the very first time, totally mesmerized! Now they are grown up enough to be my buddies. Why did they grow up so fast? How did the time fly by so very quickly? If only I could hang to those mesmerizing moments, just a little longer..

As the life flashes by, eyes give in. Only to be woken up by smothering good night kisses and tender loving touches by my precious!

Makes this whole tedious drudgery oh so worthwhile! ! Would I ever have it any other way, ever?

Motherhood has changed me. As I grow older and hopefully wiser, the earlier recalcitrant, rebel of yore, has mellowed down. I slowly find myself morphing into my parents, dishing out the same gyan to my children and eliciting the same rebellious response.

Now I understand my parents and their lakshman rekhas much better and appreciate them even more. Hopefully my children will also go through the same circle of life – rebel, experience, mature, mellow and are finally completely at peace….

The business of life is serious enough. Happiness – that elusive key ‘Life Mantra’ is in your child’s unadulterated love, So I hang on tightly to every little chance, making  happiness a habit, in children and in self.  Hopefully, Happiness would be the best life affirming gift given by parents to our children.

I hereby undertake a vow that I will triple the dosage of hugs and kisses even if my kids find it very very cheesy and clingy.

Surely my epitaph is going to read “and she (s)mothered us till death!!!”