The Exam Fever

The first heat waves were felt during the mid-semester exams.
Then the Practical classes began to roll up, ending with a viva. The nervous trembling on confronting the interviewers were quite similar to those before a fever.
But then came October, and Durga Puja  holidays, as a relief.

Idol of Goddess Durga

Durga Puja in Bengal, India

Durga Puja is the time all Bengalis, including me, look forward to throughout the year.
As do all the students of our college. But for the 2-3 week holidays they make out of it. They go home, in all corners of the country, after a long time, to spend the holidays in the calm and comfort of home.
The calm before the storm.
As the holidays dry up, students begin to fill in the rooms of the hostel again.

Brian, Andy, Hank and myself were back too, with renewed vigour. For we all were to face what lied ahead of us.

THE SEMESTER EXAMS…

I’ll stop watching movies from now on..“, Andy pledged, “I’ll have to study, or else this semester is as good as doomed !!
And Abby, you should leave chatting with Mincy all the time. You must take up your studies seriously now..“, Brian tried to preach something to me.
Yeah.. Okk“, I replied absent-mindedly. Not a single word entered my ears. I was busy chatting with Mincy. I had been irritating her by calling her ‘Mona‘ for sometime.
Mona‘ is Spanish for ‘female monkey’. At least that is what Google Translator says.
And you should leave your Facebook games, they waste a lot of your time, you know !! And you call Missy too much too. You shouldn’t cheat on her like this.“, Brian was still blabbering.
Really dude, you don’t study at all, but solve easily if anybody comes with a doubt !! How do you manage ?“, Hank picked up Brian’s tone. I returned him a grin.

A week later

Brian was studying and practicing like anything. That is, while he was in the room. Mostly he’d be with Mia and Bridget, in the library.
Andy had actually reduced seeing movies. He was being spotted with books and copies, discussing questions with guys from his department.
Hank spent his evenings memorizing his ICs and diagrams, drawing stuff in the air. Or reciting his formulas, leaving our ears to God’s mercy.
Me, I remained as relaxed as ever. Only change was that all my wing-mates began telling me what my room-mates were already yelling. “Dude ! Its time you start studying.

Often, during late nights, Brian would fall asleep while studying, laptop still running, and copies open. Every few minutes, Brian would wake up with a jerk, and then, with a very serious look, attempt studying again. And in a few seconds, his eyelids would droop down.

Watching him struggle, repeatedly, became our a leisure. Sometimes, when Brian would dive into really deep sleep, Hank or I would shut down his laptop and place them in their proper places (many a time, Brian has also returned the same courtesy towards me).
Sometimes, Brian would sleep early, hoping to wake up and study later that night. The rest of us were entrusted with the ‘monstrous’ task of waking him up.
We’d start with a mild nudge. Brian generally would mumble something in reply.
Then we’d switch to shaking and pinching and poking. Brian would unconsciously swing his fist to ward off the disturbing elements.
After that, we’d go for slaps and kicks. In response, he would aim his punch directly at our faces. And if they hit, they’d hit bad.
If Brian would still not wake up, we’d try pouring water over his face. (This piece of advice was a generous gesture from Brian’s mom).
If all else fails, I would exercise my dangerous (even risqué) last option.
I would bring my laptop as close as possible facing Brian, turn on its volume to the fullest, and play a very noisy porn in it.
It might feel awkward, but this really works. Every time I’ve had to use it, it did its magic !!
Obviously my laptop was in risk every time. If any of his flying fists had ever hit my laptop, it wouldn’t have been in one piece.
Nevertheless, waking up Brian being equivalent to a workout, the fun we had in the process was worth it.
Every single time.

The days just before the exams were really boring. Our classes had wound up. No need to go out. Rarely would Hank or Andy step outside the hostel. And rarely would Brian be seen in daytime. Everybody was immersed in their books and notebooks. The time inside the room, as if, came to a standstill. Even Mincy didn’t spend much time online. I would have given anything just to get out of the hostel, out of this monotonous campus, where almost everybody was so immersed in studying. I badly wanted to listen the lively sounds of everyday life once again. But sadly for me, no one would go with me.
One day, I got irritated of requesting Hank, dressed up myself and set off on my own, in a road I had traveled by a bus 2-3 time earlier. But never on foot.
The busy markets, the irritated bargainers, the honking of cars, all sort of discordant noises sounded like they belonged to a single soothing harmonious cacophony.
I followed the bus route on foot till the end and then returned back to college via a highway, in a different route, covering about 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) in total (!!!).

The exam came like tides, some drowned us, while some couldn’t even touch us. And then there was the wait, for the results.
In the meantime, we were off to enjoy our winter vacations. The next post begins about the trip with my roomies after the exams..

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