When you are in school or college, you cannot wait for the holidays to start, thinking you’ll be free from all the study for a while. And sometimes, with exams after the holidays, it gives you enough time to prepare thoroughly. But remember the moment you start regretting your holiday desires when you know it is Diwali? Because Diwali is not only a festival of lights but it also means turn-your-house-upside-down-to make-everything-look-exactly-like-it-did-before time. And what better manpower than the all time “available” off springs of the house? Diwali preparations start around a month before the festival and it sure is a test of our temper and patience.
But worry not, because we have come up with a full proof plan to tackle all the extra chores that are going to be thrown at you. And believe me, they are. Make sure to read the instructions carefully and follow it in the exact same way because, well details matter.
Step no. 1: The Expectation Setting Session.
Most of the problems between people are because of lack of expectation setting. It means to set the expectations that two parties have from each other.
Lack of it means, for all the time you aren’t in front of your family, it is automatically assumed that you are enjoying your life and doing nothing. On the other hand if you mention it in the beginning itself about your unavailability because of studies, it will be easier for your mom to organize everything in time by optimising all the resources available. But then sometimes, your presence in the house in itself is assumed as a resource. So, in the middle of your important study time, there is a possibility that you would be sent out to get Maida. This brings us to step two.
Step No. 2: The Isolated Island.
To study with concentration and focus, we all know the importance of an environment which facilitates just that. Which means no younger siblings asking to play ball every 5 minutes. A good easy way to do that would be to isolate yourself from your family. Keep some food stocked including snacks, maybe some namkeen which is prepared for Diwali. Close the door and hang the “DO NOT DISTURB” sign. This sends a clear message that you are not interested in anything else and will not come out unless it is lunch or dinner time. But again, you belong to an Indian family, so chances are your mother will bring down the door either by sheer force of her hand or by the threats of horror that you will have to face later. If so, go open the door and move to step three.
Step No. 3: The Ultimatum
Nothing works like magic than telling Indian parents that their child will score less marks to freak them out. It is a known fact the Indian parents take their child’s marks seriously.
And when you tell them that you are definitely scoring less, you’ll see how your bedroom will have a well stocked food counter and your mom outside the bedroom like a bodyguard, ready to scare away people from you. Finally! The support and peace you require to study. But wait, there is still more. Indian parents are sensitive when it comes to marks in exam, but they also know which exam to be sensitive for. If it is an important exam like The Boards, JEE or GATE, it is fine and you are in the clear. But if you have followed all the above steps for your school or college exams, this step won’t work because they know that you can handle it without spending so much time studying. Yes, they understand the bluff very accurately. Let us just jump up to step four.
Step No. 4: The Plan- Operation ‘Just-Find-The-Time’
After step three, there is actually not much left to do except for finding whatever little time you get to study. At least you can cover the topics which are easy and don’t require lots of focus.
During Diwali preparations, usually morning time is the best to study because everyone is asleep. Morning is the peaceful time of the day when there is no noise and you will get lots of portions covered. If your family follows the nap in the afternoon rule, you can squeeze in some of your study there too. Cover all the easy topics, complete your notes enough to go into full swing preparations once Diwali is over. That’s about it that you can do. But wait we forget many times that even we are students. Why on earth will we wake up at 4am in the morning to study for an exam that is weeks away? We are quite confident we can do enough by just studying in the afternoons. Or not. Let’s go to step five then?
Step No. 5: The ‘Chuck it’ Part
I’m sure a lot of times you just give up on a certain concept if you don’t understand it or give up on a situation if you can do nothing about it. How do you plan on bringing down the enthusiasm of an Indian family on Diwali without getting excited yourself? And so we present to you the last part. It is famously called The Chuck It phase. It is when you lose all hopes of getting time to study or even getting your family to let you study and simply give up. Just Chuck it, because Ab Toh Naa Paayega.
Exams come and go, they happen almost 6 times a year on an average. If not this time, maybe next. But honestly, 4 out of every 5 students start preparing for their exams just a week before, sometimes maybe later, so we know we’ll ace it anyways. Instead, take the time out to relax a bit, go for walks, enjoy family anecdotes during dinners and teach your young brothers and sisters to make Diwali snacks.
Writing this article reminds me of all the time I pretended to study just to avoid arranging the china crockery in the same way again, which is never used. But failed to fool my family every time. Everyone has their own Diwali stories. What’s yours?