'What’s the use of going on time for this one! Why not go, say...15 minutes late...maybe just flip through the 6th Chapter once...ChattArjee advised to do so, there must be something in that!
He is not what-he-is for nothing!'
But the last almost 16 years of giving exams has ingrained in me the habit of going for the ordeal on time, when there is nothing, apart from a few other things, I would like more than to flunk it! There was a time when making commensurate preparations to face the trial came naturally as well, but that seems so long ago now…And saying this I experience yet another twinge of guilt…
Still, despite of frequent tugs at my conscience (came to know recently that I had been wrongly pronouncing the word all along!) , the situation stands at this…I have prepared one chapter out of three in the syllabus.
Am I worried? No, not me!
I am going around merrily, making fun of my predicament, trying to assure Yamuna that looking around idly for an hour won't be that bad! She claims that she is facing a similar crisis and though far from believing her, She is A Branch Changer for the uninformed, I formulate plans with her to idle away that one hour.
I have resigned myself to the fate or so I convince myself to think.
There exists a small bubble of hope. You can never stop wishing for miracles can you?
Even if you can't figure out how on earth, or anywhere for that matter, can even the Supreme Power make it happen!
"One chapter, that's 33%, surely we will get two, or at least one question out of it?"
I make my way to the department. The sense of foreboding magnifies further as I enter the arena. Placing my trust in the Prof's ability to set a sensible question paper, I take a seat in Lecture Hall 301.
I have the question paper and answer sheet in my hand.
I pass a cursory glance over the paper.
"What the hell is this?!
Stay cool, Read it again and perhaps you will be able to figure it all out!
What is a converter, what…Patience!
First things first."
I complete the entries on the answer sheet much as I would like to leave them blank to escape the contretemps I know is on my way.
Go for it now."
I am reading…
"Transient circuits, that can be attempted…
Back to square one….
What is a Converter, Half controlled, Full controlled…Damn!
It is all gobbledegook!
Why didn't I heed ChattArjee's advice?
Chill…there IS one question for the likes of you…try it."
I get down to it….
"How is it possible?!
This question doesn't make sense! How can current flow in a short circuited circuit or a reverse biased diode?
I am missing something…I must be…."
I fail to see it.
I consume as much time as possible…better handwriting, slow calculations…but I still do not use scale and pencil for drawing the circuits. I have my limits.
15 minutes are over.
DD's words resound in my ears…"Start explaining all what you know about thyristors, that will save you from the embarrassment of submitting a blank answer sheet and who knows! It might as well get you some marks!"
I draw some random, and I mean random, graphs…a lucidly pathetic attempt!
I give up!"
The next problem arises….
"40 minutes left to go…."
I write my name on the question paper, on the back page of answer sheet, on the eraser and again on the question paper, this time on the lower part.
10 minutes gone. Yeah, writing one's name takes that much time if you do it my way.
I look at my jeans, bluish white strip on a blue background.
Blue pen in my hand, I start making the deft strokes…15 minutes later my jeans sports a graffiti... of my name!
15 minutes still left….
5 minutes later my eraser is all blue…or so it would seem to the observing invigilating professor from that distance. It actually has a crisscross design on it on all sides save one which has my name. I wish he would mind his business. He is the same one who knows that I read novels in class.
I see my internal assessment marks taking a dip, if they were still afloat that is.
10 minutes to go….
I look around…I surely chose a wrong place to sit…everyone in my line of sight was scribbling away.
"I can leave…I could have before also, but it will be all the more embarrassing, if there is any scope left for it. I need to know how others did…I am not leaving."
There is a new bubble of hope now…wishing for relative misery concept to come to my rescue.
Did I just say I was distressed?
"Is this how the underperformers in school felt?"
I am wearing a string of beads in my hand. I get down to count them. The bigger ones turn out to be 35 in number and the smaller ones are a whooping 267! Never thought there were so many of them!
Time is up.
It's over…I survive, even if with a considerable loss of dignity!
There is always a next time…I still have end sems!"
I submit the answer sheet, relieved!
People look happy…happier than me anyway!
Even Mr.L has done better than me, but to do him credit, he did study this time, in Library!
A lot of people apart from me will bear testimony to it.
But still, doesn't mean that you commit the heinous crime of Discussing the Paper!
The most dastardly thing to do in the face of the likes of me!
As if there weren't enough of their likes around!
I am left stranded in the sea of well performers.
The Sage's also didn't go well, I come to know. Bad!
He did study and much more than Mr.L….
DD has done the usual,that is, good.
I am supposed to be ashamed, I am not…and I am not proud of it!
I resolve to myself to do well in the end sems…as has become customary now….
This is yet another landmark reached…yet another one I would have never liked to encounter!
Declaring my vow to take whatever advice ChattArjee throws my way in future, regarding studies, I pass out into the sun, alive…but badly bruised!