Tuesday, 1 October 2013

War and Exams !!

Wars and exams aren't much different if you look at them in a certain way. That's what I've tried - to bring out an analogy of sorts between the examinations and war.

It was late in the night. Thunder and lightning made us remember those lectures concerning the speeds of light and sound, back in our school days. The nostalgic memories brought a smile. I looked around. The reality was far different. There were countless terrified faces staring into their books. We had camped in the TV room. I’ve heard reports of similar camps in other parts of the hostel. There were bottles of water, Tzinga and packets of Lays, Kurkure lying around. A comrade of ours had gone to fetch the required articles to replenish our depleting supplies. We haven’t heard from him since.

The university had declared war on us. The students were caught unawares as the university released a revised examination schedule just a day after the practical exams ended. The exams were stacked tight, to be completed within a fortnight. It was a torturous timetable. A useless paper was blessed with 3 days of luxurious free time before it, while the unconquerable ones left the toppers shivering out of fear, for they had just a day’s time for preparations. The battleground was an hour ride away.

The frightening silence was broken when our commander Ved ‘Champ’ Gupta entered the camp. He was the topper of the CSE department and was unanimously chosen as our commander to lead the attack on the university.
“Lt. Shiva, what’s the status??” he posed a question, as calm as a windless morning.
“Sir, we have completed the first 7 chapters of the total 12 chapters.” He pointed out the covered chapters in the index to the commander.
“We seem to be working in a limited time, therefore we decided to skip the numerical parts of chapters 2, 4 and 7. Some important formulae have been highlighted and should be enough. ” he continued. His face reflected the pressures and tension of the task ahead. However, Ved was calm and composed.
“Hmm... We can spare a couple more hours to cover chapters 8, 9 and 11.” Ved added. “It’s too late to attempt the rest.”

“Our informant has WhatsApped us that the group led by ECE topper Arya Nayak has covered chapters 10 and 12.” Intelligence Chief Adi added. “We can offer them some Lays or Tzinga in lieu of their services regarding the chapters we’ve been unable to study.” He suggested.
“Or maybe we can offer to explain some chapters to them.” Ved suggested. He had enough experience and he knew these situations in and out.

“Since both CSE and ECE have chapters 1, 2, 4, 7, 10, 11 and 12 common in the syllabus, I think we can help each other out.” He added, intently gazing at the index as if it were a real battle area map. The lieutenant and everyone around looked impressed by Ved’s vast knowledge concerning the job he was leading.
They all nodded in agreement.
Ved looked up and seeing the convinced expressions of his team-mates, continued, “Ok. It’s decided then. Adi, send a person with a couple of Tzingas to negotiate our terms. Meanwhile, since I have covered almost all the topics, I’ll explain the remaining topics to our group.”

“We will get a nap at 0300 hrs and start the revision at dawn-break at around 0530 hrs.
IS THAT CLEAR ?” Ved was crisp clear in his instructions and plans for the morning.
“We will leave for the exam center at around 0800 hrs. Ok. That’s about right. Let’s begin.”
He infused a spirit of confidence in his group who relied on him to cross the barrier of passing marks.
“Ok, let’s start with chapter 1.” It was to be a long night ahead of them.

Meanwhile, in the hostel mess, where Nayak’s group had camped –
Knock, knock.
“Who’s there ??”
“Jeevan who ??”
Arre  g1cos(x) hai 4th question ka answer.”
“Babboo, open the gate.” Jeevan instantly identified the voice. It was Nayak. He had explained some topics to Jeevan furing the minors.
“Hi Jeevan, what brings you here bro ??” Nayak greeted him.

Jeevan knew how precious every second was that night. Without wasting any time in exchanging pleasantries, he put forth the terms Ved had trusted him with. Unlike what Jeevan expected, Nayak and some half a dozen members of his group jumped up with delight.

“This is excellent.” Nayak replied. “Ok, now let’s do one thing…” he turned towards his group “Corby and I are going to the TV room to get an overview of the remaining chapters. All of us will read those together when we return. You guys continue with the rest or revise what we’ve studied so far.” The group members agreed and Nayak, Jeevan and Corby went their way.

“Anyway, where’s Devdas ??” Nayak asked on the way.
“Well, you know him. He studies alone. That idiot. He must be in his bunker (room)” Jeevan replied, mocking Devdas.

Ved and Nayak greeted each other upon reaching the TV room and continued with the plan they agreed upon.

At dawn break, everyone woke up and started revising. The faces that were dead afraid the previous night, seemed a bit relaxed now. Nayak had gone back to his comrades. Ved assembled his mates around and re-told his plans to tackle the university paper.

“Attempt all the questions no matter what. It’s not necessary to answer what the question asks, write whatever the hell you know. There should be no casualty this time around. We are better prepared now as compared to the previous semester. If it’s war the university wants, it’s war they’ll get.” His inspiring words lifted the spirits of his group.

“The university is very predictable,” he continued, “we know that now. We’ll always be one step ahead of them all the time. We’ve studied the previous year papers very closely. Let’s just pray to God there is no change of pattern in the question paper. Other than that,  it should be a cake-walk. But still, being complacent may prove to be costly. Keep your eyes open. Use whatever resources you can in the exam hall. Just do not get caught.”  
With that, everyone headed back to their quarters.

The soldiers (students) were an inspired lot, compared to the previous semesters that took numerous students as casualties. They suffered countless wounds (backlogs) but were still standing. But they were an experienced lot this time around, better prepared to avenge last semester’s results.

Maybe this time was destined to be different.


  1. That's a great post you have here. Loved every bit of it!

  2. Reminded me some of my college adventures as well!

  3. This post has been selected for the Spicy Saturday Picks this week. Thank You for an amazing post! Cheers! Keep Blogging :)

  4. Right now my teen's exams are on and can identify with your post.

    1. haha... that's one brave soldier :D


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