Final exams are mercifully over and it is time for merry-making - going to see films, to restaurants or even out of the city. But for the younger siblings of those taking the board examinations, holiday time is full of "Shh, don't make noise" because 'bhaiya' or 'didi' is studying.
Most schools are done with their final examinations and this is the time when the holidays are really "freeee" - no boring homework, no projects and, more important, no studying for tests.
With the board examinations ending late this week and the new academic year to start April 1, the younger siblings have still to wait to "freak out".
For 11-year-old Arvind Krishnan, his plans to call friends over have been turned down by his parents. "It is just not fair. My exams ended last week, and it is my right to enjoy my real free time. But with elder brother's board exams on, my parents have banned my playing on the computer as he might get distracted. I have also been told to watch TV with the volume at a minimum," said a visibly unhappy Arvind.
An avid computer gamer, Arvind had planned to catch up with his favourite video games after his exams got over as well as watch movies. But mama said a firm "no".
"I feel sorry for him, but what can I do. My elder son is taking his Class 10 boards and gets inevitably drawn to the computer whenever Arvind decides to play. So, I have pleaded with him not to play on the computer," explained his mother Mina.
The Class 10 board exams end March 27, leaving Arvind with just a few days before he begins Class 6 on April 1. In the meantime, books have to be bought for the new class - and covered with brown paper and plastic sheet, a time consuming affair for most parents.
Satyajit Ghosh, who goes to Class 4 in the new session, has resignedly put up with his elder sister's board exams. His parents have promised him a holiday during the summer vacations. But with many schools beginning their Class 11 lessons even before the board results are announced in mid-May, Satyajit's hopes of going on the promised holiday might just not take off as his sister would be neck deep into studies.
Aishwarya Jaishankar, who goes to Class 5 this session, gets just two days to go out with her parents and elder brother. Her elder brother's Class 12 board exams end March 26 and her new class begins March 28.
"She is okay about it. There is no other way out, I guess," says her father Jaishankar. "We've promised the children a good holiday during the summer break."
The month-long board exams have also begun telling on the patience of the students taking them. "I wish the exams would end, it is beginning to get so boring. I am tired of studying," said Srikant V., who has only two papers to take - Science on March 25 and MCQ or Multiple Choice Questions on Science on March 27 - before his Class 10 board exams end.
For the parents too, it is a relief each time their wards finish a paper. "It's four papers over, and two more to go. I'm counting the days when my daughter finishes her board exams," said a tense Meenakshi Loomba, who has been trying to help daughter Ritu with some of the subjects for the Class 10 exams.
(Ranjana Narayan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)