Picture this: woman, a doctor, successful, married, with a child who’s sitting her 10th Board exams (for those of you who don’t know what that means, it’s a massive centralized country-wide general examination that takes place twice – in 10th and 12th grade – in your academic career in India).
Said doctor is always tense prior to her child taking any exam and usually takes a week off her job to coach her child through them. She also does this post-exam review of the question paper to ballpark the performance – a common practice I used to loathe and refused to indulge in when I was giving my own Boards.
After one particular paper, mother and daughter pore over the question paper and find out to their dismay that the child skipped one question by mistake. It means an automatic deduction of – hold your breath – 2 marks out of a total of 100.
Mother can’t get over it. Daughter, who sleeps in the same room as her parents, wakes up in the middle of the night and sees mother sitting up in bed, weeping. She asks her mother if anything is the matter and the mother confesses that she can’t get over that 2 mark question that her daughter missed. The daughter consoles her mother as best she could and tells her to get some sleep before going to sleep herself.
In the morning, father and daughter wake to find mother hanging in the bathroom.
The funeral was today. Where the hell does everybody go from here?