Its 4th march 2009. I awaken to find no sunshine comming through the window, or the sound of someone sweeping the road on which my house resides. The digital alarm clock reads 05:07 AM with an alarm set for 04:00 AM. An alarm which never sounded. I'm nervous.I finally hear a crow. I've just lost one whole hour. An hour in which i could've atleast attemped to learn all the coal mines, Steel plants, cotton Mills and what not, for a six marker in todays paper. Yes. The first public exam i will give. In exactly 5 hours, i would be writing my first board exam. Oddly enough, the vodka last night hasn't given me a hangover.Nor has it helped in making me feel better(well okay, maybe a bit). Yes Your reading right. I admit to being nervous. what a shame.
I wonder, if a person like me( an invigilator's nightmare and a candidtaes epitome of frustration, something which i'm proud about mind you. ) is feeling a tad bit jittery, what the kids(lakhs of them across the country) at this time( Who take their grades seriously) are going through. The thought makes me feel a whole lot better( better than what the nice Romanov last night did).Suckers all of them.
Time flies by as I browse through my bibles. The NCERTs. Oddly enough i feel as if i've known them for ages, yet they seem alien to me. What a shame. I extinguish my 7th or 8th cup of coffee in 24 hours. I get dressed and go down to wait for a friend who wishes to tag along with me. In the meanwhile my grandmother has plans. I find myself in a position where flowers from the altar are being put into my pocket, and dried drops of dried 'dahi' (atleast that what it seemed like) being put on my forehead. It reminds me of those cheesy scenes from those melodramatic Bollywood War movies based on the Indian Army.I have the urge to say" main phir aoonga ma" and sing a song from the movie "Border". Somehow no ones laughing or smiling(apart from me that is). I get into the car to find my friend sitting inside. He is going through his notes over and over again(much to my annoyance) as if his whole life depends upon it (Ironic much?)
My Mom is navigating through heavy 'office rush' traffic. I make a mental note about how there won't be anymore crude oil on this planet in 40 years, so my grandkids won't have this particular problem while giving their exams. hmm everything does have a postive side. I realize that my dad all this while was giving me instructions and tips of what NOT to do while giving an exam. "yea yea okay" is all I say.
And there I am. My examination center happens to be the school i changed from after Nursery.Except now its being renovated by a new organization that has taken over. Nope, no sense of nostaligia.I wave to my friends, who give me the 'whats up" head shake. The guards frisk me( I make a mental note to take Kalashnikov Rifles and Grenades in my pockets with me the next time ). I am informed that i cannot take anything other than my stationary and admit card.I miss my bag. I see a very pretty woman i know. I know this isn't the best time, but hey, what the heck. Then I see her mom. And Dad.And brother.And is that her boyfriend? And the sample papers in her hand. And i let that moment of courageous weakness pass. I can't make a move until my communicative English paper. Thats like two weeks.14+ days shucks.What a shame.
I am sitting on the last bench of a very nice refurbished classroom . The cute colorful posters of "pollution", and "Global warming" make me wonder if I can skip the last two chapters of my Science syllabus and attempt to copy it off from there.I drop the idea. People all around me seem determined and apprehensive. I can't hold it in any longer , "WHY SO SERIOUS???" I ask the girl sitting in the row next to mine. The class breaks into the "WTF?? expression and then laughter follows. The invigilators don't get my joke. We exchange names. I make a new friend.
I (like millions of guys before me) with a comical hitler like expression warn all the guys in the classroom. " Bhench*d, agar kissi ke tees ke upar aaye to main uski ga#nd maar doonga, Bhosad*e ke aage dekh" .More laughter.I go through the question paper. Then i start with the bad ones. The really bad ones.The ones that make the guys wail in despair and the girls cry. I stop when i sense the girl across is about to slap me. She sadly doesn't . The 15 minutes of reading time pass away.
" Oii!!! You taking up the sciences??" A good friend inquires." No. Commerce with Physics".I say.Class breaks into laughter and applause this time. I don't get the joke. I do intend to take Physics as a sixth subject if i'm dumped into Commerce next year.(Which is a sure thing by the way.)
My paper is in front of me. After filling in many different blanks with the necessary details I am all set to write. The one markers, , the three markers, the four markers and the map question. I am at the end of the paper, the last 4 marker, I'm exausted. I have enough time. I see two guys with the same name ask each other something. " Oye Dekh, Vishnu Vishnu se pooch raha hai, ahahahahaha" . They both look back at me.I see murder in their eyes. I think i should write my will.There's enough paper. The teacher tells me to keep quiet.
"which part of the service sector is not growing in importance? Explain with examples". That does it. I have strong urge to write, that the world is going through bad times, and nothings really improving and the service sector has taken a hit bad, especially the BPOs. That and Prostitution. But No i don't. I've learnt from the last 3 exams i've given in school. The people checking your paper don't have any sense of humour.What a shame. There are 20 minutes left. I wrestle with the tag to tie my map so it doesn't come off. 3 minutes. I Underline the main points and words, and like a good boy draw a line after each answer. I realize i've forgotten my new friend's name. What a shame. But as egoistic as it sounds, I'm pretty sure everyone in the room knows mine.
My dad has taken leave. My friend is back in the car and discussing the paper( something which makes me want to take his head and smash it through the window". " I used to never discuss the paper" My dad says" It was always a bad thing. Oh by the way, what did you write for this one?" I don't think he's doing it on purpose. My friend and my dad seem to get along very well. Mom asks how the paper went."Okay i guess" I say.
It was a good paper nevertheless. I knew where the answers were. In the textbook atleast. I mean, if you wanted me to i could show you. Now....... If only i had payed attention to Vietnam and textbook economy while i was looking for illegal "Guitar Pro" or making "beatz" with FL Studio(love you imageline) in january , maybe i'd have written exactly that. But then theres no fun in doing that na?