I only discovered the ‘Harry Potter’ series in my tenth standard. I dived right into it, often reading non-stop through the day and night. It was the morning after one such readathon when I was to appear for a Chemistry exam. Spending my night with the third edition of Harry Potter didn’t help much, and I fared poorly. –Sonam Kapoor
This story is about an exam and it is related to my English literature studies.
I was a student of English literature in my degree. When I entered the subject in PUC, I have good number of students in my class. I reached second year. It is my fortune that I am left single in my class. I have seven lecturers, each one of own type, none of mine.
Our head of the department is GSM. He is serious and I am a toy like something sitting before him, on first bench and on last bench also. There are many benches besides and behind. He goes on giving his lecture, forgetting I am on first bench, he looks often last bench.
He is my Linguistics lecturer. He is a sincere and workaholic with an obsessive-compulsive streak.
English is what he eats, drinks and sleeps. He is a devotee of English. We students know that fanatic English following is a famous feature of GSM.
I ask about a leaf. He starts digging the root. You know, the leaf disappears soon. It is somewhere in between.
He looks at me as if asking me with a little frown. I know, frown is not to be extended. So I smile. He never smiles, as if smiling is a sin.
There is one lecturer, I forgot his name. I remember him as “Und Then” as UT is a must in every sentence.
“Und Then, u know….Und Then…they think…Und then… we find” like this he gives his interesting lectures.
Let us pass through Und Then to some other lecturer. He uses jokes as life, like ‘Son of Gandhi drinking Brandi’ and words like hugger-mugger, hocus-focus and many more.
He is very knowledgeable lecturer. He is university gold medalist. He is KK. He is my lecturer of History of English Literature. The subject is thought tough. It is my luck that my lecturer is easy. He made this subject of tough iron balls as a subject so easy like light and tasty popcorn.
“See my BR, you know, single student is not a class. You know, I am somewhat interested to say jokes in the class and love to see the girls in first bench laughing.” He said.
I remember that incident, the girls in first bench are laughing. They see him and laugh. He thinks that they are enjoying his jokes.
I cannot keep quiet. I stood and pointed at his unzipped place under his shirt. He found the reason of laugh. He turned back. He corrected the zip story.
“Sorry, forgot.” He answered and continued his lecture.
“BR, I am saying something, very important. Hear me carefully.”
I am hearing him carefully. You know, I have extreme interest in his classes and his readymade language jokes. He knows well that I am his extreme follower.
“Follow me. Don’t read lot of books. History of literature is the subject like ocean. Why swim in ocean? I give you a very light boat, sit and go. Cross the ocean as the Victor.”
I was looking blank and then he started filling the blanks. His puzzle is clear by his solution.
“I give you small bits of papers with important history of literature. You know, I am university Gold medalist. Just believe me. These papers I am giving you are like golden sheets. Read less and write less, score more. I am sure that those papers will help you win the wars of exams.”
I got great knowledge. What I understood is “No HL Classes” needed. Light boat enough.
What KK gives me is really a good script, very short. Each research paper consists of 8 or 10 lines. Don’t have to doubt of any pre or post incidents and details. Just close eyes and memorize the golden sentences. By heart the heart of historical incidents of English literature. That’s all. How easy a ocean is made as a glass of water.
So we pass through English literature to some other subject. It is “The Rivals”, a comedy of manners play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. (The term ‘malapropism’ was coined in reference to Mrs. Malaprop, one character in the play).
The lecturer is new and he has joined the college few months back. He took me to college canteen. We had delicious spicy Masala Vadas and strong coffee from the hands of Palghat Ayyar. Our new lecturer did not allow me to pay the bill. While eating Spicy and delicious Vadas, he served me hot topic of the Drama ‘The Rivals’.
“I have the best notes of The Rivals with me. I have followed the same, passed my MA, now I will give the same notes to you. You can study at home, why classes for a simple subject like this?” He said.
Thus I have a lot of leisure or you can say FRENCH LEAVE from so many classes. Authentic Leave (Our principal is very nice, he sees everything and knows all, he swallows the truth and never let it come out)
I have a friend in the college. We often spend time together. He is Sheshagiri. His subject is Political Science. So we don’t have any common interest related to college. We go to college together from town AKP to college on bicycles, He enjoys his classes and I sit somewhere in a vacant room or under a tree and spend my own time, without disturbing anyone, reading something.
Do you know, what is this something? Yes, it is anything you like to read. Sometimes it is Earle Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason (like “The case of the Demure defendant”), or sometimes, it is a novel of Nick carter. You know, Nick Carter (who is licensed to kill) is a series of spy adventures published from 1964 until 1990, first by Award Books, then by Ace Books, and finally by Jove Books. At least 261 novels were published, I think. What we like to read more than our text books are only these books. Unfortunately, “Harry Potter” series are not out and the writer may be thinking about them, in those days, which I don’t know.
As soon as Sheshagiri comes, we go back home and spend time in a park like Sarvakamadamba. We read magazines in the central library in the park. We often go to films. We go to the big merchant’s association library “Sharada Grandhalayam” opposite old bus stand. There we have the old chandamama issues in bounds. Old Bharati and Sahiti (literary magazines in Telugu) issues are also available in bounds. So reading is a best recreation for us.
The second year exams are coming. We have combined studies in somebody’s home. This time I am alone and cut off as I have none to club in combined study. You know, I am a lonely student. None will ask what I study.
“Tomorrow is no exam. Let us go to a latest film.” Sheshagiri said.
I am so happy and ready to celebrate the holiday in between the exams. You it comes very rarely.
We have celebrated the day. On the other day we have gone to college.
Sheshagiri has his political science exam and I have to write my English exam.
Ramu is one of my English lecturers. He is our poetry lecturer and poetry is his life like subject. He gives his lecturers as if he is either PB Shelly or John Keats, living in the souls of the poets. As he saw me asked me with a great curiosity-
“How did you write your poetry exam?”
I am wondered at the question. Exam is not yet started and this question?
“What exam sir. Today is my first exam.” I said.
He frowned at me. I am fool before him. He is one who is anxiously awaiting my best score in the exam. It was his subject, his lovely subject of poetry.
“Your exam is over yesterday. Today is a holiday for you, why you came today? Did you attend the exam yesterday or not?”
His question is answered. It is with timidity of some unknown fear.
“I attended the film sir, yesterday, thinking it is holiday.”
“Go and enjoy today also. Attend another film. No exam today for you.” my lecturer said.
I was silent and I felt alone.
I don’t have someone to remind me yesterday that I have an exam.