It’s Exam Week again. International Business and Consumer Behaviour today, followed by Ethics and Strategy later. Not that I’m going to sit in my room all day long, long faced and with a huge book in hand. It’s been ages since I have studied like that. Sometimes, when conscience pricks me (it does!!), I take the oath to study like I used to, only to see it being broken by the simplest of sounds, the bouncing of a cricket ball. I’m long past the stage when marks and grades used to drive me. But it would be fun to look back a bit.
School. Petit Seminaire Pondicherry. The typical century old male only educational institution. There was no female presence on the 150+ year old campus, except maybe the nurse, but even she was swapped for a male one later. I used to study like crazy. I contented for top ranks and woke up as early as 2 to study. I enjoyed it immensely, and had an awesome time studying. Exams excited me and I gave them everything. I remember hating the early morning Tamil devotionals they used to play loudly at a temple near home during half yearly exams. I studied on the terrace and it disturbed my loud renditions of The Battle of Plassey and Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner. I suppose it coincided with some holy month or something. Gotta ask Mom.
High School. I was enrolled in a million coaching classes and I made a humungous waste of all the money Dad invested in them. I still studied, but I thought of it as a necessary evil, something to be balanced between cricket and AXN’s World’s most Amazing Videos. My grades went down like Satyam’s stock price and by the end of it, even my friends were worried that I would end up being the lowest of our group. But I rallied in the last three months, giving the Tamil Nadu Board a good fight. My 2 am timings still worked, I found out and I switched to power study mode. About 90 days of deprivation and I had 89.9% to show for it. I was happy enough, but Dad and Mom weren’t, they expected much more and promptly applied embargoes – my week’s petrol budget was cut and pocket money was not slashed, it was abolished! All through the three months leading up to start of college, when there was absolutely nothing to do, I was invariably bankrupt.
Engineering. I ran rabid. My worst academic performances followed the renting of a flat by me and my friends in second year. All of us, excluding one, failed in at least one paper following that. I was worst affected, having more backlogs that anyone else. But it neither affected nor dampened our spirits. Exams meant all of us sitting in a room with our books open, joking around, laughing our eyes out and then exclaiming at 10 pm that not even one unit is over. Exams also meant the Tea Shop Meet at midnight, in the only tea shop that would be open at that time – the one near the main Bus Stand. The owner ran brilliant business during exams, at times there would be 50+ students coming to his shop in the dead of night. We compared jokes as to how less us or the others had studied, how we were going to employ alternative methods the next day, or the certainty of the whole lot failing. It was awesome; you had to be there to feel the atmosphere. As I still tell my friends, it was a minor miracle that we ever passed our engineering.
And now here I am. MBA 4th Trimester Exams. I’ll write about my Masters once I’m done with it.
Right now, it’s Exam Time !!!