An Exam is as an Exam Does

Must be blogging after something around two or more months or so. And it feels like an eternity. Not because I am that fanatical a blogger or anything, but rather because of what happened in the last few weeks. Now, there can be only one thing to drive me roAn exam isund the bend in that kind of a manner; exams. Despite my rather high-falutin, highly-strung resolutions at the end of last semester exams, it was again back to square one. There are always two contrasting urges I feel on the eve of examinations; firstly, the urge to start studying and secondly, the irresistible urge to kick myself in the butt.

Now, clearly the latter is not an option, as in order to perform that act, either I would have to be a contortionist of incredible ability and maniacal proportions or a medical miracle. Unfortunately, I am neither. Therefore, the only option left is studying. Then comes the issue of motivation. Even that isn’t easy. You have absolutely no idea of the depths of despair an individual plumbs when he has the entire syllabus yawning in front of him and barely enough time to complete a quarter of it. Still, I take a shot at motivating myself by a two-pronged process of mental abuse and reference to previous feats of a similar nature.

And even if somehow I am able to motivate myself that all is not lost, what if there are only two days for the examinations to start, what if I cannot understand the handwriting of the person whose xeroxed notes are before me (PIL), and how the same situation confronted me the last exam, and the exam before that, and the exam before that…., my misery is compounded by the bugger next door who would be revising for the fourth or fifth time. That is one of the not-so-good parts of living in a hostel. The good part is that you also tend to find a number of kindred spirits, who although not in that precarious a position, are still roughly on the same plane.

Still, somehow, this sem’s exams are over and done with, and as they say, alls well that ends well. I have vacations to the tune of three months streching in front of me. I have an internship lined up with a lawyer in Cal. I might even go and work under my uncle. Might learn how to drive during these hols. I have got a number of books to buy and read. I have already mde a start by picking up a few books at the Great Oxford Sale yesterday (more about that tommorrow). Watched a cracker of a match between SA and Aus today. Listening to plenty of music (currently Bad English’s When I see you Smile). And my exams didn’t go that badly either. At least, not as badly as I had expected them go.

Examination Blues

Hell, Its been quite a while, huh? You know, its kinda weird, the sheer range of emotions you go through, during an examination. A month left to go ; Sheeesh, haven’ touched my books so far, no bloody idea what the teachers are blabbing about in the classrooom, better start studying. A fortnight left ; Aww hell, still haven’ started, better roll up your sleeves Shekhar or you’re gonna get it royally this time.
Two days left ; Finally start, with the time divided equally between praying to God, berating myself for having wasted so much of time, promising not to keep things till the last moment in the future, motivating myself by telling yours truly that its still not too late and that I can still do it. Day or rather, night before D-Day ; Stay up till four or five in the morning. Hit the sacks resolving to wake up in 1 or 2 hrs of time. Don’t hear the goddamn alarm and wake up at around 8:30. Do whatever little I can, and then pray to The Lord God Almighty with a fervour and intensity as yet unknown to mankind. Examination Hall ; Still praying, and hoping, fingers crossed, to get lucky, just a leeetle wee bit of luck.
And finally the exams are over. But what really pisses me off is that why do I have to do this over and over again, year in and year out. Why the hell can’t I start a little bit earlier like the other guys around me and at least finish the bloody syllabus in a propah manner.
Ever since Class 9, 10 this has been the way it has been and whats worse, I don’t seem to be able to change it. But still, during these exams I have made yet another resolution (for the next sem, that is). Remains to be seen whether it will go down the drain like all the others or I will be finally able to grow ot of my disease of procrastination .

Mr. Pandey, I presume

The time to roll up my sleeves and get down to some serious studying has finally come. I will be leaving for college tommorrow and will be staying in the hostel for a couple of days atleast.Hopefully, I should be able to complete the syllabus in the next two days and not have to take recourse to the path of selective study. God, I still remember that Bio exam in Class 8 when I had left one measly chapter dealing with some weird classification of some sort and around half of the bloody paper dealt with that chapter only. I barely managed to scrape through. Now, if skl was bad this place is worse. Really, anybody who ever said law skl was easy didn’t have the faintest idea what he was talking about. Deadlines upon deadlines, assignments and whatnot. Thankfully, after the VIVAs only the end-sem exams would be left which would start in roughly a month’s time.

With all the hoopla that has been surrounding The Rising and the hype that has been created around it, I just can’t help wondering about the movie and its central character. Not to indulge in a baseless excoriation of a man who has been variously hailed as the forerunner of other like-minded, hot-blooded revolutionaries such as Azad or Sukhdev, but can any individual be truly hailed as a patriot, who was galvanized into action not by any sense of a loss of a national identity, but instead of a fear of religious persecution. Would Mangal Pandey have been Mangal Pandey if the Enfield cartridges had never been introduced in the first place? Patriots are fuelled by the courage of conviction not compulsion. Mangal Pandey was compelled into action by virtue of the prevalent societal norms and consciousness which placed religiosity at a pedestal far above all others. It was the internalization of this aspect which resulted in whatever followed. Undoubtedly, Mangal Pandey was an individual who had a determinative role to play in the events of his time, but whether he did so in the capacity of a patriot or not is something, which is in my opinion still open to question.

I-Day, VIVAs and Green Day

First time I attended clg in weeks today. Nothing else has changed in NUJS except that Indian flags of all shapes and sizes were littered all around, an Independence Day hangover probably. Nevertheless, none of the teachers suffered from any patriotic fervour as such and we had regular classes. Still, the day was pretty enjoyable with a rather elaborate enactment of one of the scenes of the year so far. Enjoyable would be an understatement, though. It was positively hysterical with absolutely everybody in splits. I would have probably put down the episode here itself, but for my failure to translate that instance of comic brilliance into words.

Moving over to some mundane matters now, I have my VIVAs scheduled for Saturday and I have a gargantuan syllabi in front of me. I haven’t touched my books in something like an eternity and sometimes classroom dicussions are as unintelligible to me as Egyptian hieroglyphics. I had planned on sitting down with my books today, but somehow I neither have the inclination nor the motivation to do so at present. I just hope that this all-too-familiar syndrome of procrastination does not extend to tommorrow as well otherwise I would have really landed myself in a real soup.

Lest I forget, today’s posting is dedicated to my current favourite video clip, “Wake me up When September Ends”. Though it never comes even close to matching the lyrical supremacy and sheer imagery of the more-famous, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, there is this underlying layer of angst coupled with an almost esoteric air about it, which alone imparts that extra bit to this clip.