Nothing quite prepares you for this gruelling process. We were probably one of the few parents who were seeking an admission for our son under both categories — music and sport. Bless the son, who after scoring 90s in four of total five subjects, chose to study one of the most sought-after subjects, which makes it a trifle tougher. The last few days have been spent in claustrophobic rooms or in hot, humid playfields.
We set off early morning, lugging the tabla, guitar, processor, amplifier, sport shoes, t-shirt, snacks, nimbu pani and documents (originals too in case a miracle occurred and we procured admission somewhere). Chaos characterises most of these trials. Besides talent, this is also a test of endurance. Reach one college at 7 am for a sport trial to be told they accept only a certain combination of subjects; what are websites for? Next day an unbelievable marathon from 8 am till close to midnight. It was another story; aspirants whizzing around trying to make sense of four clashing trials. Survive on chips, coke and adrenaline.
You begin by digging out information from websites with hawk-eyed prowess. You are at fault if you mistook last year’s dates for this year’s. If you don’t check the sites daily you could miss that crucial last-minute change of date/ shortlist/ instruction.
Numbers jostling for these trials are in hundreds, probably the highest this year. Hardly any of the colleges read any meticulous documentation you may have put together for love of your child.
Most want to assess for themselves. In at least two colleges, those shortlisted for a subsequent round were told late evening there wasn’t going to be another round as they had already made their selections.
Whimsical? While a set of instruments was out of tune for one participant, for subsequent players the same was deemed fine. Acquired style aka showmanship may triumph over pure classicism.
At one college they want you to play what they want to hear. It can sometimes dent confidence. At another, the judges left by the time son’s chance came and plonked some students to assess. Yet another redeemed itself by calling in professional judges and taking the time to appreciate performers.
Yet we keep scrambling for what many call the Harvard of India, that too the hallowed North Campus, while there are choices like Ambedkar University (AUD). Set up by government charter, the university has a system of credits/semester, flexi-curriculum, option of a double major and a smart website. Research has elicited a positive perception.
Till today we’re just about bearing up. Yes you may have guessed, am off from work yet again. My foreign boss is perplexed. What a shambles our system is; I can’t even explain it with clarity.
While a particular set of instruments was out of tune for one participant, the same was deemed fine for subsequent players