Saturday, January 17, 2009

Over The Hill, Hopefully.

Eleven down, four to go.

Today, when I entered the exam hall to write my Evidence exam, it was the seventy-fourth time I was walking into that den in a little under three-and-a-half years. If God and seminar options are kind, I shall only be required to go through this ordeal six more times (I'm not counting trial because frankly, I don't even know just how many trial exams there are) in the next eighteen months.

And then, never, ever again.

I realised today that the exam hall has become this unexplored repository of memories for me. Unexplored because I insist on keeping it that way and unexplored because I fear that if I try and understand what happens inside my "middle-aged and crazy mind" (thank you, Don) whenever I do step inside, something will go horribly, horribly wrong.

However, I've already broken that silent code of conduct and perhaps this is no more than an attempt to get a little arrogant (not that I don't anyway. Sigh. See?) and say, "Och, well, the worst is over." I certainly hope so. I feel proud that I can say, hand on heart, that I've given every one of those seventy-four papers an honest effort--I've never left before bell-time, I've never voluntarily left a question unanswered, I've never even, not once in three-and-a-half years, left my seat during an exam, except to pick up fallen stationery/reading material or to pass the attendance sheet onto the person seated in front of me.

Aside from the overwhelming feeling of self-congratulation for having made it this far, by writing this (and, along with it, breaking a near-seven month blogging hiatus), I am, perversely, paying a tribute to the examination system in law school--not to our teachers who make papers that are impossible to finish, not to over-zealous exam-paper-snatching, pretty-girl-extra-time-giving, agency-lacking, Exam Department delegates drawn from the lowest rung of bureaucratic ineptitude, not even to my long-suffering classmates who have gone through just as much as I have.

Instead, here's a toast to those wobbly tables, those breaking chairs, that water-filter right at the entrance, that washroom door that never stops creaking, that black clock at the front of the hall which is (in my admittedly biased opinion) always a minimum of two minutes too fast but on which my life depends every single time (for I have, over the course of all these seventy-four papers, steadfastly/stupidly decided never to carry a watch), those nonsensical correction announcements when the first instruction on the paper says, "Students are expected to respond to the questions as it is. No clarifications are to be sought", that unpliable piece of thread that takes ages to fit through the sheets and that bastard watchman who rings that bell and makes me jump, every time.

For I doubt I will ever forget the sense of helplessness I felt at the end of Economics-II, the nervousness I felt as I was handed my Constitutional Law-I end-term paper, the sense of respect I had for a wonderful man and a brilliant, brilliant Political Science-II mid-term, the sense of not knowing what hit me in Land Law, the feeling of how I really, really did not care for a poorly executed course and a completely pointless Corporate Law-I end-term, the utter bewilderment at the end of Evidence (the first one), the very real fear I felt as the doors opened at 9.50 a.m. for DPC that fateful day in June and the more recent, frequent feeling of "I studied so much for that?!" which have all been little mental signposts, to remind me of the price I pay to lead the kind of life that I like to lead here in Bangalore (it's a cogged line, yes, but I really think so).

I know what you're thinking. Loser. Geek. You're done with exams, go home and relax, already.

I don't think you understand. Yes, I'm writing about exams. Yes, I've written about exams before (in this space, no less). The thing is, I doubt I ever will again. For I truly, truly hope that I am over that particular hill.

And that, I think, is reason enough.

I'm not sure if there's a point to this story but I'm going to tell it again.

My photo
I've been wilfully caught up in the self-defeating quest to get to know myself for years. I've never expected anything beneficial to result from such a quest. I tend to evoke extremely polarised reactions from people I get to know in passing. Consequently, only those people who know me inside-out would honestly claim that I'm a person who's just "alright." It's not a coincidence that the description I've laid out above has no fewer than, title included, eleven references to me (make that twelve). I'm affectionately referred to as "Ego." I think that last statement might have given away a tad too much. Welcome Aboard.

IHTRTRS ke pichle episode mein aapne dekha...


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