Getting your kid admitted to a reputed school is as good as fighting enemies at the border, or maybe as hard as hitting a six to win on the last ball. At least, I had these kind of feelings when my elder daughter got admitted in a reputed school in Salt Lake. That time I took only 4 shots, but later on I realized that it was a kind of gamble. The first and the last shots were on target, while the other two resulted in failures. We admitted her in the fourth school, as it was better between the two. After getting her admitted, I took a sigh of relief, and told my wife that admitting the younger one two years later would be a cakewalk, as schools have quotas for siblings. But, last year I was rudely awakened from my sense of complacency when I heard the news that no sisters were selected (at least 3 cases were cited by my wife). She pronounced that there was no such rule, at least in my elder daughter's school. So, we have been on alert, and have tried to be prepared for the battle. Two daughters at two different schools could be a real challenging task from the point of view of time-management. But as we could not take chances, we again filled up forms for 4 schools. I had no tension regarding my 3 year 10 months old daughter's abilities. She knows alphabets, she can write both capital and small letters, she knows the names of domestic animals, wild animals, sea animals, vegetables, fruits, flowers etc. She knows all the colours and shapes. She can sing a lot of rhymes, she understands the questions put to her in English, and can come up with short and crisp answers. She knows numbers from 1 to 109. She hardly fails in writing after and before numbers in this range. She can do small additions and small subtractions. She is deft at counting. Most important part about her is that whoever sees her loves her. Regarding myself, I am fluent in spoken English. My organisation has given me a respectable salary and a highly respectable designation. But, my real cause of concern was my wife, who is a product of Bengali-medium school, and hails from a very humble semi-urban background. From my previous experiences, I have noted that whenever she opened her mouth, we lost the match then and there. She was not asked any questions in the two schools where my elder daughter was selected. Like the last time, I gave her probable question-answer sheets for memorizing. Like an obedient student she said that she would remember them, but whenever I wanted her to appear for a mock interview, she evaded. So, I was very tensed. The first interview, which was for a different school, went so hunky-dory that I thought we hit the bull's eye. My daughter fared very well, and my wife was asked a couple of questions about her qualification. The second interview was the interview that we aimed for over a year. This interview, too, went very smoothly. The Principal was very cordial, and she explained to us the circumstances when they didn't admit the sisters. She told me that my elder daughter's reports would be sought from class teachers. She asked me how did I evaluate the school. This was the question, I was well-prepared of. She also asked me about my job. My daughter was again at her best, answering all the 6 questions asked to her correctly. The good news was that my wife didn't have to face a single question. The little hiccup occurred at the end. The Principal offered my daughter a toy camel and 2 toffees ( one for her and one for her elder sister). I had tutored her hard to thank the teacher after receiving such gifts, as I knew that they want to know whether the child is well-mannered or not. But, the toffees made little Rai so excited that she forgot to thank her. So, I told her in English that she forgot to thank, and she immediately complied. The Principal laughed, and said it was okay. While returning home, I asked my wife about the performance of my elder daughter in the school. "Immaculate", was her answer. Tinni, my elder daughter, had 99% in attendance, only 1 B rating (in singing) among 25 categories, and most importantly the class teacher had praised her in the PTI. That was assuring, but still the incident of not thanking the Principal remained like a thorn in the flesh for me. When I told my elder daughter, who is not as bright as her sister, about her sister's performance in the interview, she quipped in a hushed tone to me, "Rai will not be selected. Because she didn't say thank you." Sibling rivalry at it's best, I thought. These two interviews happened in Octocer. The other two would happen in November. The result of the 1st school would be out on 13th November, while the results of our choicest school would be announced by the end of November. There was a catch, though. The problem would be if my daughter got selected in the first school, I would have to admit her there as I could not take any chance, and if she was to be selected in her sister's school, I would have to cancel the first admission. That was cool, but what was not was the fact that I would have to lose the entire admission fee, which would be around 50000 rupees. Should I or shouldn't I admit her in case she got selected? For me, the amount of 50000 rupees is not a small amount of money. But how would I take chance? What would happen if she failed in her sister's school? So, I was in a great dilemma. As far as my wife was concerned, she had no dilemma. She prayed hard to God for my daughter to be selected, and she would not blink in admitting her. The reason? She would not then have to appear in the remaining two interviews! Is this why it's said wives don't care anything about their husband's finances? 13th November appeared, as it had no other option. The result was to be declared at 5 PM in the afternoon. My wife said she would go. I was waiting for the phone call. But by 5-30 no phone call came. I didn't ring her. When it was 5-40 and she didn't ring me, I got a hint that my daughter wasn't selected. Within 5 minutes she rang me, and yes, I was right in my guess. Her name didn't appear in the names of 200 selected candidates. I was morose because my deserving daughter was rejected. My wife was shell-shocked, mainly because she would have to appear for the interviews again. I observed a sense of satisfaction in Tinni's face, though she didn't say anything. This result made us go into the panic mode. I told them to prepare hard to appear at the interviews on 17th and 24th. Little Rai was promised a lot of gifts if she answered all the questions asked to her. Among the promised stuff were a toy guitar, a toy mobile phone, a bicycle and a few other things. On 17th, I had to take a leave to appear at the 3rd interview. As usual my daughter came with flying colours. But here I was asked about my elder daughter, and they asked directly what I would do if my daughter got selected in her sister's school. I had no other option but to come up with the honest answer that this school was our second choice. So, the result of this interview, too, became a matter of grave concern. So, we had to go all out for the 4th interview on 24th. On 22nd, I got a viral fever after so many years that I can't even recall. While returning from office, for a moment, I thought that I would go senseless in the train. The fever must have been as high as 103° F. Somehow, I managed to get back, but I was in a no mood to open the Internet. At 10 PM, after taking medicine and sufficient rest, I got back some energy. Before going to sleep, I opened the Internet, and there popped up a mail. What was that? Out of curiosity I opened the mail, and boy, I got the best news of the year. My daughter has been selected among the 100 students. Everyone celebrated, but my wife became happier of the fact that she would not have to appear for the last interview. My daughter was selected in the 3rd school, too.