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Thursday 28 December 2017

Exam Fever - Part 2

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Read Exam Fever - Part 1 - Burning the midnight oil

I Promise 

3.00 a.m.
The rains seem to be abating a little I notice with alarm. ‘How can you, ye Gods? This is the first time I am asking something of you. I have faith in you; maybe it’s still raining heavily in Sector-9. Please let it keep raining. I’ll study day and night henceforth. 10 hours a day, nay, 20 hours a day shall I study and walk all the way to Siddhi Vinayak wearing only one chappal,’ I vow.
With this fervent appeal, I attack with renewed vigor the dreaded mounds of knowledge. I pick out a slim stapled bunch and look at the theorem in front of me. They expect me to comprehend and reproduce this gargantuan piece? How come I don’t have the faintest recollection of having come across this stuff? I peer more intensely at the notes. The handwriting is not that of any of my usual notes-sources. I am smart that way! At the bottom right hand corner of the last page, I spy the name of the notes-creator. Hmm, the name doesn’t ring a bell…yes something is wrong. I finally deduce that these must belong to my brother, two years my senior. Cursing him under my breath for messing up my notes, I segregate the treacherous set of notes; mentally marveling that my brother has bigger horrors to deal with.
Ahh, the next bunch seemed promising, I know everything! My hands flick one page after another with amazing speed; my deflated ego, bolsters a mite at having studied something so well. A doubt niggles. I look at the date on the notes, they are dated a year ago. Who on earth mixed trashed, last year’s notes with my carefully sorted current study bundles? My mind wanders to last evening’s fight with my brother. But even by his standards, this kind of sabotage is too devious! Arghhh…just my kind of luck!
3.34 a.m.
A trip to the balcony informs me that the rain Gods haven’t heeded my prayers. The sky that had been pregnant with possibilities has aborted the mission and crushed my hopes.
I return to my study table. Anxiety and despair at rebuttal from the rain Gods, fuel me with a new kind of energy, one determined to even out the odds against me! I decide on a new course of action. In fact I wonder why I hadn’t thought of this earlier.
The Question Bank! I will simply go through this treasure trove which carries question papers and their solutions from the last five years. Why pore over countless pages of useless information, simply concentrate on the questions that are regurgitated year after year! Brainwave, this!!
I breeze through one set. It is rather easy to answer questions when they are accompanied by the solutions. My effortless run makes me itch for a challenge. I decide to attempt the next question set without looking at the answers. This attempt reminds me of a scene from my favorite Bollywood movie, ‘Lagey Raho Munnabhai’. I seem to have been afflicted by some kind of a ‘chemical locha’ wherein my brain responds to questions only when the answers are known or accessible. Without access to the answers, I know nada! I am well and truly in a soup!
4.15 a.m.
I need some cheering, like desperately. Food usually comforts me but tucking into another bowlful of curd isn’t appealing. I contemplate between waking mom for a cup of tea and making one myself. A bit of diversion will no doubt refresh me and of course the tea will keep me awake. So I potter around the kitchen and in a jiffy produce a brew much more fragrant than anything my mother concocts. I must tell her to make this…ermm…yes, Chamomile tea, it really is exotic! I take the cup upto my room and make myself comfortable on the bed. It doesn’t taste as good as it smells but still nothing beats the feeling of a warm cuppa on a lonely, rainy night. My eyes are red and itchy after poring over the mountains of notes. The rains have started pelting once again and their steady beat soothes my jangled, tensed nerves, slowly and steadily as formulas, diagrams, equations fly past me at a dizzying rate.
8.01 a.m.
The sudden, jarring grate of the mixer from the kitchen has me waking with a jerk and a palpitating heart! I snatch up the blasted bedside clock, knocking over the tea cup and staring at the time in horror! The day outside looks bright and sunny. So much for my prayers, no dawa nor dua can save me now! 
‘God, help me through this one,’ I chant desperately, jumping out of bed, hurrying through my toilette and grabbing my exam paraphernalia.
Mom is in the kitchen as usual, busy with breakfast, while dad and big bro are arguing over the newspapers. I can’t believe that these people are having a routine day oblivious to the trials I’ve been through the previous night or the disaster looming ahead of me.
I ignore the tantalizing smells of Aloo paratha wafting from the breakfast table and avoid meeting mom’s eyes that are following me. With the courage of a soldier off on a “Mission Impossible”, I hurriedly mutter a goodbye and make my way to the door, muting out mom’s plaintive calls asking me to sit down for breakfast. Such civilian niceties were not for me; I am off on a battle I can’t hope to win.
As I am about to slam the door shut, I hear dad asking mom, ‘Isn’t it a holiday for everyone today?’
‘No one tells me anything these days,’ Mom starts off. ‘Who’s been having my Dream Sleep tea and leaving the box open?’
I stop dead on my tracks. HOLIDAY?? I snatch up my bag and pull out the exam time table.
Who makes these absurd, NO, thoughtful exam timetables?
All I understood is I can die another day! Today Aloo Paratha beckons.
‘I promise, I promise, I promise God, I'll be better prepared, next time around!’

Phew!! Nina sure has some wacky experiences and memories tucked away in her diaries! 


Read other stories from Nina's World:  Click on tag/label #NinasWorld

Disclaimer: All the characters in the Nina's World series are fictional, any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental and unintentional.

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