Exam-hunger


Most people talk about exam fever, but does anyone talk about exam-hunger?

What’s that, you may ask! It is definitely not the ‘hunger to write exams’, rest assured.

Exam-hunger is the sudden and exponential increase in hunger exhibited by students, when they are preparing for exams.

What moms bake or cook or buy never seems to be enough. One of your children is at the refrigerator all the time, raiding.

Was I like this, I wonder. Yes…my thoughts go back to college and hostel life, where we would pool our money and treat ourselves to samosas and coffee. A small plate with 5 pieces shared by eight or nine friends.

Studying late into the night, shocked to see some chapters for the first time, wondering if we slept through the lesson.

Trying to stay awake with barrels of tea or coffee, feeling hungry, cooking instant noodles, wolfing it down, studying some more. Feeling world-weary. Battling sleep, compensating for the lack of sleep by eating. Small comforts as we plodded through exam week every semester.

My children now exhibit this familiar symptom as they prepare for their finals.

“Is there anything to eat, Mom?”, they ask every half hour.

I keep stocking up, trying to balance between healthy food and fun food (not calling it junk food lest I activate my mom conscience)!

Midnight meals, mini meals, mini breaks for snacks, all to feed the brain to do well in the exams.

What do we truly own?


Many years ago, when my daughter was around four, one of my cousins had come to visit us, with her son, who was the same age as my daughter.

The children eyed each other and then slowly left the comfort of their moms’ presence and decided to play and explore the house together.

We lived in an apartment complex, on the 20th floor. The view was fantastic and my daughter pointed out the beach and the trees to her cousin. Then she pointed to the garden below (belonging to the complex) and said proudly, “See that’s my garden.”

Her cousin was not to be outdone. He said, “No, this is my garden.”

“No, mine”, said my daughter firmly.

The boy was tough as nails, “IT IS MINE”, he screamed.

“Miiiiiinnnnnnneeeeee”, my daughter shouted right back.

Stamping feet and tears threatened. Both kids pitifully pointed out to the garden below and claimed possession. It was a question of toddler egos now, both stood firm, eyes blazing with indignation writ large on their faces.

As moms, we knew they would quickly come to blows! We quickly separated and consoled them, each of us assuring our child that the garden belonged to him or her.

I laugh at the memory now. But seriously, this set me thinking.

What are the things that are truly ours? When we live we covet, possess, buy and own. We hoard, we stack, we trash and we buy more.

When we leave this world, we take nothing with us. Every single thing that we possessed would have become like the garden in the apartment complex, belonging to some one else.

What we will probably truly own is space in the hearts of people we loved and who loved us back, the wishes of people whom we may have helped, the sunshine we brought to somebody’s life maybe!

We will never truly own anything else.