I sat in the exam hall blank…
… and shaking. Shaking because of hunger, but more importantly, because I was very afraid I would fail that paper.
The faculty was running a newly-developed curriculum, jampacking the first semester of year 4 with extra courses, and I found myself crumbling under its weight. Somehow, the exam period had descended upon me without my opening some course notes with the intention of studying, and I was completely unprepared for that Pharmacology exam. I am not the slightest bit a crash-reader, and I only started reading a day to the exam, just after finishing another paper. It did not help either that Pharmacology was not a faculty course.
So, I received my question slip and answer sheets with great trembling and a glance at the questions confirmed all my fears- I was truly going to carry this course over. Very weakly though, I began to fill the answer booklet with my sparse ideas and in 45 minutes, I had poured out every single thing I knew in my whole life about that course in the 3-hour exam. But I dared not stand to submit! So I looked ahead, left and right to observe my environment. Was I alone in this predicament?
Just in front of me, Henry had removed his shirt wearing only an inner t-shirt that had lost its white colour. He placed his left leg on a chair by his side while his eyes darted to and fro the exam hall.
To my left, some students exchanged both question and answer sheets. They were the kind that did not care if what they copied was wrong or right as long as their pages were filled.
But to my right sat a girl. I slept and woke up, and she was still writing- very fast for that matter! I lie not, the only times she dropped her pen for about 10 seconds were to blow her nose and ask for extra sheet!! I would not have been so intimidated if she was a random student, you know, the sort that ask for extra sheets only to fill them with gibberish. She was a FIRST-CLASS student!!! The matter would not have been so traumatic if she was filling the pages with some gigantic letters, but her handwriting was small and neat.
So I went back to sleep, and awoke to submit when an invigilator announced, “one hour more.”
“Fine,” I said with that smile that made me want to cry, when people asked how the exam was.
Two weeks later, I walked to the result board with my heart thumping heavily against my chest.
The result read ‘C’.