Abbas has been looking for a friend(S) of his from school who he sat adjacent to for many years together. He has been furiously googling, searching all social networking sites to find trace of this guy who has been haunting his memory. S apparently was academically good and scored well in exams. Abbas was an average student and merely photocopied what S jotted down sitting next to him. Abbas claims that he always scored a mark or two less than S (I marveled at Abbas’s copying skills more than S’s studiousness) and once he even managed to score more than S in certain paper. Gosh! A copier with a mind of his own, eh? (Nakal mein bhi akal)
Abbas also picked fights with his peers to stick to this coveted seat which contributed to his exam scores. It seems, that day was the gloomiest of all when one of his classmates acquired the place and did not let Abbas sit there then on. One fine day, S shared a secret of his with Abbas. Instead of living up to S’s trust, Abbas spread the secret which created some havoc, I believe. Although I don’t know the exact details, Abbas has been regretting for a grave mistake that he did and wanted to badly apologize to S.
Finally, after years of rummaging around the world-wide web, he cracked S’s mobile number through a friend’ friend’s friend. He spoke his heart out to S on Sunday which was after a gap of 14 years. Were we elated or what? It was as though God had finally appeared live after years of exile J
This episode reminded me of many tales from my memory lane.
In my case, I was the ‘S’. I always tried helping out my classmates who sat next to me in the exams. There was one girl whose name also started with S and her roll number was one less than mine. There have been instances when she sat in front of me and I whispered answers to her almost till midway of the exam duration. Then she herself would tell me – “Seema, I think I have answered enough to clear the paper. You start writing; I don’t want your marks to suffer because of me”. I used to also help many of my friends during lunch breaks, after school hours by staying a bit late at school or calling them home and teach them. Just before the exams, I used to get huddled by many of my friends just to listen from me probable questions, or a quick verbal recap of all that I taught them. It gave me enormous satisfaction when their scores improved and they came back to me after exam and thank me. Even now when I talk to a few of them, they express their gratitude and it fills my heart with a strange fulfillment.
Although I helped others in cheating in exams, I was myself an honest student. I still remember during my Class 10 board exams, many expected me to score well in Mathematics as I had scored a centum in my Class 7 boards (Yeah, in Karnataka Class 7 was a board exam then) I still remember the night on the eve of Maths paper, one of my elder cousins(C) came home. I was studying in the drawing room then and rest of the family was in the dining room entertaining some guests who had come over for dinner. He came and handed me a few sheets of paper. And this is how the conversation went:C: Tomorrow’s paper has leaked out and I managed to grab a copy for you. Me: Whattt??? Thanks but I don’t need it. You please take it back. C: But you dream of scoring a centum this time around too right? There’s no harm in going through the questions. Me: Yes, but whatever I score, I’ll always have a guilt that the marks might have been different had I not seen the paper. C: Oh please, this might not even be the actual paper. I’m not taking it back. Do whatever you want with it.
He left leaving me trembling with nervousness. But I was damn sure I wasn’t going to take a glimpse even. I was worried that my siblings might just read out questions to irk me. I told my parents, they asked to me take a call. I hid it somewhere securely.
I came back from the exam next day and straight away brought the paper out and was astounded to see that most questions matched with the actual paper.
And guess what? I scored 100 in Mathematics in the final board exams. My name was published in the local newspapers. I was on Cloud 9 more so because I did not see the fake paper. Had I seen it even once, I wouldn’t have been a morsel proud of my score as much as I preen today. 😀
Tell me, do have such memories from school that are you cherish dearly?