THE EXAM TIMES OF MANIPAL

Every morning a gazelle gets up, it knows it has to run faster than the fastest lion in order to survive.
Every morning a lion gets up, it knows it has to run faster than the fastest gazelle in order to feed itself.
It does not matter whether you are a gazelle or a lion; every morning you get up, you have to run….

Out of all the hurdles that are strewn in our paths, exams are one of its kind. They come with ‘auspicious’ date and time, when the whole of humanity is placed in the same cauldron and burnt in the fire of competition. Our ancestors wailed and cried that hard work was the only key to success, and this was ardently followed, until a revolutionary in the field of ‘laziness’ discovered that last moment ‘ramming’ of subjects brought some decent amount of success and lit the tunnel of examination with a flickering ray of hope.

And so, even today, few of the students are known to work hard, study regularly and familiarize with the subject, try to become the undisputed Heavyweight champions of their industry, others metamorphose into pressure cookers at the end moment and mug every nook and crannies of the book (including articles, pronouns, punctuations and even the page numbers). The last of the lot are unable to break free from the shackles of the ‘ Inertia of Enjoyment ( when a body is enjoying, it will continue to have a blast no matter what external stimulus is provided )’ and remain trapped in their world of ‘Legen-wait for it-DARY Stinsons ‘ and ‘Geeky Coopers’ .

The buildup to the exams are intense- burning the midnight oil has become a mere understatement; students are known to light up the daylight and twilight oil as well. Superstitions begin to magnify in the engineering minds. The number of days to an examination are inversely proportional to the congregation of devotees found at the temple, and the eve of examinations sees a capacity crowd at the temple striking deals with their respective Gods.

The red-letter day arrives and hoards of ubiquitous faces filled with anxiety are forced to experience their worst nightmares. During the stipulated time of the paper, few hearts are grappled by pain,several heads toss and turn in disdain and some of them remain to gain the ripe fruits of fortitude.
While the entry into the hall sees one expression on everybody’s visage, the return brings diverse reactions:

1. The Know-it-alls: These group of people are elected as the speakers for the discussion of the paper and their answers are declared final and binding.

2. The Curious Cats: They move from one herd to another in other to confirm their answers to questions.

3. The Diplomatic gents : They are known to have poor knowledge of terms ‘nice and okay’ and end up using these words on being asked how well they faced the onslaught.

4. The Deceivers: They are known to masters of equivocation, and often mislead the crowd with their responses.

5. The Whiner: They are known to moan and complain after every paper and are mostly ignored by their fellowmen.

6. The Poker-faced: They run out of exam halls and back to their abode ignoring any friend or foe wanting to talk to them.

However, the after-exam walk of shame is known to produce loads of creativity in the minds of students, especially when they go out of their way to explain how badly their exams went. They compare their imagination to that of a camel and their present state to a dilapidated drum. A EEE student was heard telling his friends that his condition in the examination hall was similar to that of Munaf Patel while facing Dale Steyn. “Exams, why don’t you just shoot me instead?” ask students, personifying in deep angst.

Well, the exams do come and go, but the pain lingers. And, as we all know, the only thing worse than taking bad exams are the results to those exams. Students, filled with trepidation, open the results, and either way, be it good or bad, remain in a state of shock for the next set of minutes, before rejoicing or grumbling over their results.
And then, a new semester begins. New oaths are taken. New resolutions are made. New books are bought. New subjects are studied. But then, a new episode of a ducky show is downloaded….and as the laptop opens, and with it, so does the world of FIFA, Counter-Strike and Call of Duty, life once again comes to a stand-still . We ‘keep calm’, and the universe, once again works its usual magic on us.

– Anant Ved

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