Shiv Charan, a 72-year-old Rajasthan man who has pledged not to marry till he passes his Class 10 board exam, will have to wait longer for a wife. He has failed in the examination yet again!
Also known as Sheojiram, the resident of Kohari village of Behror town, over 140 km from here, has been taking the test for the last 37 years.
In the early years of his life, he vowed to marry only after getting through his secondary examinations. But he has consistently failed, including this year.
Despite low marks in most subjects, he blames mathematics for his poor performance. This time he secured 8 out of 100 in the mathematics paper.
"It's the mathematics paper, which always drags me a year behind my expectations," he said.
Having failed in the Rajasthan board, he was asked whether he would like to appear in the Open School boards, but replied: "Pran jaye par vachan na jaye (better to die than go back on your word).
"It is not in my nature to change from one board to another. I would fulfil my commitments and I would continue taking the board examinations till I pass it," he said.
Shiv Charan took his first board exams in 1969 and since then clearing it has been the only goal of his life. "For me, success is not merely clearing the exam - it will also throw open the doors of marriage for me," he said.
He has no regrets about the odd situation he faces every year in the examination halls.
"Sometimes invigilators throw me out of examination halls on the pretext that I am the guardian of a student. Whenever I go to the exam centre, people converge in hordes to see me," he said.
An eternal optimist, he is still hopeful of tying the nuptial knot after clearing his board examinations.