Question paper quivers…Exam Chronicles.
I am a severe Testophobic person whose mind gets disarrayed at the mention of the word called exam. During such days, my dysfunctional mind never failed to beget more anxiety. The college from which I got my bachelor's degree was a major contributor of my insomnia. I don’t remember going to college for fun. It had to be either a mid-sem, model, practical revisions, practicals or semesters. In-between these exams, do they teach? Please don’t ask that question. I had waited for 4 years to find out an answer only to become an insomniac Engineer and by Bhagwanji’s kripa, got an employment.
All of a sudden, exams and scores became very important to me after joining this college. Absence or complete cut off from the extra curricular activities had probably triggered this sense of responsibility and craziness over the score cards. Those 8 semesters had given me indelible exam memories and galloping heartbeats. When it came to exams-syllabus and question papers, I was a deemed impressionable girl who swayed to the core of negativity with all the predictions/forecast and last minute oh-I missed-to-study-portions . In fact I followed a good “study holiday” routine which apparently involved studies most of the time. Still, the battlefield gave me shivers.
Let me tell you that, it took huge amount of gumption and self motivation to confront the exam fears. And "immense self confidence” to take those exams being seated just behind the most brilliant, honest and very disciplined class topper (here I concede that he was such a composed and modest person, compared to those girls who cried and applied for revaluations, if they missed out subject topper awards). Yet, he was a difficult exam-mate.
Before I could comprehend the first part of the question paper, he would have already started pictorial representations of his answers by using all possible geometry box tools, different shades of pencils and highlighter pens.
When I sat there boring holes at my question paper not knowing about the next move, there he would move his entire desk by seamlessly writing, plotting graphs and drawing diagrams as if that question paper was the easiest thing that had ever happened to him. If I have to talk about the torture of the “extra-sheets” demands he used to make during difficult exams, it might take more than few paragraphs. Being such a dear friend of mine he was hated to death during such momentous days. And adding to the list of miserable one liner dialogues in my life is his declaration of ‘ I have done just ok” after stepping out of the hall and also, the way his words left me to deal with the despondency I felt inside the hall needs a special mention. After graphical, pictorial and theoretical explanations of the answers, that too after borrowing dozen extra-sheets, if he had done just ok! I just had to control my mind from replaying the scene of my results being greeted with derision and mockery.
That person had made my practical exams even more complicated. I used to stand in the queue being jumpy and all worked up narrating Hanuman chalisa for umpteenth time from morning following strict vrat, just to pick one of the easiest experiment.
Whereas, he would take his own sweet time to finish his “good morning- have a -great day” sessions to the staffs, sub-staffs, helpers before choosing a question paper. I have ended up being warned severely for behaving like an enthu-potato and have had to exchange several easy experiments, for impatiently picking the question paper before him.
During one such exams, everyone seated in the exam hall had exaggerated worry and tension adorning their faces. Much awaited question paper distribution started. And once I received the question paper, I completed my list of extra shlokas-during- tough exams, offered lots of prasadam bribery promises to Bhagwanji and slowly went through the 2-marks-section of the question paper. Within few minutes, tears started streaming down my cheeks uncontrollably. I started counting my Possible Scores from 2 Marks section, only to realize that I would get nothing more than just 2 marks from the entire section. In the 10 marks section I knew “few words’ mentioned in one question and that was the only ray of hope in the entire dark paper. God heard it and suddenly, another friend of mine stood up and complained to the invigilator that the question paper given to us was probably not the right one.
The great valour inside me yanked the door of my heart and stepped out to wipe of my tears and gave me a pat of assurance. Of course!!!I was not alone! And a grin appeared on my face. Thereby, I started writing all that I had studied irrespective of being questioned or not and also answered the only 10 mark question which had some relevance to my 3 days of earnest preparations, only to be interrupted by our HOD to avoid it as it was an incorrect question.
Yet again I lost all hopes of clearing that exam, and the front-desk friend innocently asked for extra-sheets and spare-pencil , highlighter to the invigilator. Even before she made a public appeal, I donated my entire pencil box. Till date I do not understand where and how was a highlighter useful in such a pathetic question paper.
P.s : Prasadam bribery worked and I scored 68 in that paper. And offered the tastiest prasadam to Bhagwanji.
Viva questions were always met with stare-at-the fan creepily- response. Once during one of my lab viva sessions, I was asked about a hose, related to an experiment that I had successfully performed. I had no clue about that and followed my best friends strategy of thoughtfully looking at the ceiling for minutes together, till the examiner gets irritated enough to chuck me out.
It dint work. He was more calm, very patient and also perseverant. So I randomly pointed at one ‘hanging’ thing, somewhat close to that device, as my response to that question about a hose. He nodded in negative and gave me another chance. Once again I pointed out to some crap.
This time he looked at me with an utter disbelief and said “ you people amaze me. Really! Do you think that’s the hose I had asked you?” What you are showing is a CLEANING PIPE!😝
I nodded my head in all possible directions. He gave up and barked an angry ‘leave’ at me and scoffed to the other examiner that “ This girl is showing a cleaning pipe as hose, previous one showed a shaft belt and called it hose”.
What he didn’t know was that, other intelligent girl and me did combine studies as we were lab-partners.
To compensate for a Mahapurush co-exam-writer, God ji had blessed me with such intelligent lab mates. Jai ho!
Thanks to my friends especially to the Mahapurush, who have all helped me to sail through Testophobia with such wonderful memories.