The semester exams were back, but with an increased intensity in our feeling of importance. The exam fear which eased over the past 5 semesters had surged high again. The reason being the placements and the criteria set for each company based on our CGPAs.
People worked hard to push their CGPAs up above the nearest upper limit or to support and avoid it getting lower than the nearest lower limit. It was one hell of a struggle. The range of each student was already set. Everyone bothered themselves to keep them at the higher end of their own range.
As we saw placements a few months ahead, people talked more about their dream companies and other such placement stuff. My name was completely replaced by Microsoft. I stopped protesting either because I was tired of protesting, or because I really loved being called so.
“Is Microsoft in there?”
“Ya ya I am here.”
“Hey what is the jscript code for going back from a page?”
“history.back similarly you can move forward with the history command”
“Oh then what should I do to assign shortcuts for a button in the html page.”
“Ohho!! You better take my webtech project code. We have used almost all such useful syntaxes. Have a look.”
That was one subject that was fun to learn, web technology. We really enjoyed doing the mini-project for that subject. We built the complete website for our college symposium for that mini-project.
Exams were going fine. The most awaited and horrifying exam of our department’s worst psycho ever, Dr.Sekar’s Compiler exam was scheduled to be the last exam. May be our examination authorities kept it at the last, so that, people didn’t get their hearts broken after writing that exam and lose in the other exams too.
I had done pretty well in all the exams. The one exam that was most horrifying for me than any exam in my life was scheduled to be held on the next Wednesday. My poor internals and in addition getting caught on cheating in the mini-project, the very thought of the exam was nerving.
I had been good at TOC, and ‘Compilers’ was one hell of an interesting subject. But the thing that frightened me the most was him. We finished our ‘Graphics and Multimedia’ exam on that Friday, leaving 4 days for us to prepare ourselves for the battle against phantoms.
That evening Sindhu called for a vodka celebration as we would be leaving to our NSS camps immediately after exams. I protested with reasons like the upcoming exam and our warden ma’am getting stricter which makes it very risky to have vodka in hostel.
Sangi, “Hey if you have abstained from drinking because of Shantanu, fine but why do you post insensible reasons”
“Hey don’t I make sense?”
“Yes you don’t. We have 4 more days for compilers, and warden has been strict always.”
Sindhu, “Guys it’s been almost a year.” I sensed disappointment in her tone.
Anu, “We still have a lot of time why would we have to hurry amidst exams.”
Swarna and Saranya stood there silent. They were all disappointed and they were about to leave to their rooms. I felt bad for letting them down. I suggested, “Ok why not you people enjoy without me?”
“Hmmm... never mind”, “No probs da, don’t bother yourself we just asked”
Finally I made a decision. We left to our gramps guest house. Everyone looked cheerful though Anu shared a little of my reluctance. I tried to avoid drinking, but I didn’t want to look like I was sacrificing for them. So I just had a few sips.
Next morning the girls thanked me profoundly for the place. I was satisfied that I didn’t disappoint them, yet I felt bad. One of my class guys once told me, “How come he be so solid? Have you forbid him from drinking? When nearly 100 of us enjoyed getting drunk in the election treat he never even had a sip.”
We left the place to our hostel. As usual for any intellectual paper we sat in a round circle spanning two cots and started preparing for compilers. Every now and then someone let out some fact or a rumor about Dr.Sekar like the number of arrears he had given to seniors, the way he prepares the question paper such that he could only answer them etc. Though this scared us a lot it was for the good as it kept us away from gossips while studying.
I met Shantanu that Monday, after finishing 3 units. For a few minutes things were going fine, all of a sudden he posted a query, “Where have you been this Friday evening?”
I remained silent. I was in a dilemma between whether I should confess or to wait for him to go further. After a couple of silent minutes he continued, “What were you doing then?”
I felt like my arteries would burst, as my blood pressure rose to their peaks. I started sweating. ‘How could he come to know? Who would have told him?’ but these question didn’t make any sense anymore. I became completely motionless.
“I never ever expected you would…” he continued to speak for another minute, I heard nothing. A mixture of shock and grief blocked all my senses, but my wet eyes could make a blurred vision of him walking away from me without ever looking back, without his loving smile. I sat there looking in the direction he walked away for what felt like ages.
How many types of friends are there?
5 days ago