The Exam Effect

Exams seem to bring out the weird streak in people.

Now, as to the question of what it was, that brought forth this particular observation, the answer is twofold.

Incident 1:

I got up a little early yesterday.

And when I say early, I don’t mean the ungodly hours it’s easier to stay awake till, than to get up at. I got up around 8. Now, this, though unusual, does not by itself, warrant a blog post being written about it.

So, I got up at 8, and thought to myself that I should probably go brush my teeth, perform the morning ablutions so to speak. And, I promptly went out of my room, toothbrush in hand. And now, here’s the weird part. As soon as I opened my door, the scene that was unfolding in front of me was something out of a…, well, I don’t really know what that scene could have been a part of.

There were 3 people out in the corridor just in front of me. All of them wide awake, lucid. And, they were performing tricks, with matches, or at least, trying to. And these guys seemed pretty happy, which in itself is more than a little unusual, it being exam season and all. I am, I like to think a fairly level headed guy. I can take the rough with the smooth, and when it’s all rough, stiff upper lip is the mantra to be followed. What I mean to say is, I take things in my stride.

Now, one of the guys seemed to be getting a little bored, and he turned towards me, and smiled a smile that I can only describe accurately as alarming. Having found in me, what they thought was a willing audience-I think they misunderstood my inability to respond to parlour tricks at 8 in the morning-he wanted me to try it. To see if I could do it. That’s when I finally managed to get a word out. Up till that point, I had apparently been staring at the three of them, toothbrush in hand, like a fish out of it’s depth.

“What are you doing, exactly?” I said, getting straight to the point.

“Performing tricks with matchsticks!”, a little too enthusiastic, the tall guy replied.

“Aha”, for, it was all that I seemed to be capable of at that particular point in time.

“It’s 8 in the morning.” said I, and I remember thinking to myself, that it was a good counter.

“So?”, said the little guy, seeming to think ‘so’ was a good enough counter-counter.

And, I would have to say I agree, because there’s not really much you can do with a counter like “So?”. If he had talked about the thing in detail, I probably could have argued with him on the finer points of it, but “So?” is open-ended. It would require me to fill in the details, which I just couldn’t be bothered to.

“When did you guys get up? You seem awfully fresh for this time in the morning.”

“About 6.30. Woke up early to study, you see.” the tall guy said.

“Uhuh. And then you decided to go into the matchstick trick business. Makes sense.”

I have always lived by the motto of “Live and let live”, so if a fellow wants to go into the matchstick trick business, who am I to stop him. I wish such people the very best of luck.

“I say, would you have a stapler?” said the fat guy.

“I used to, but I don’t really know where it is. Feel free to perform a search of my room, and if you do find it, take it.” I said, as I trudged off, slowly, to the bathroom, too afraid to ask what the intended purpose of the stapler was.

Incident 2:

Now, fast forward to the afternoon, when I had gone to the Electronics department, to submit an assignment. I did not know, where the professor’s cabin was, and after asking around in the reception area, found out that it was on the first floor.

And, as I made my way up the solitary flight of stairs, there was this guy making his way down. When he crossed me, I happened to notice that his bag was open. And, the good Samaritan in me, just would not take this lying down. So, I pointed this out to him.

“Hey, man, your bag’s open.”, feeling that I had performed my good deed for the day.

“I know.” he deadpanned, and walked away, without so much as a by your leave, making no visible attempt whatsoever to close his bag.

To say, that I was nonplussed, would be overstating things just a smidgen, but I wasn’t far from it.

Are we really ready to live in a world where people don’t close their bags? I mean, what’s next? Because you never really know where these people are going to draw a line. Is there anything at all that they consider sacred?

Nevertheless, I moved on.


So, as I said, exams seem to bring out the weird streak in people. Some start playing with matches, some don’t close their bags, some get entirely random urges to do stuff they wouldn’t have given a second thought to, had the circumstances been different. Me, for example. I started this blog, something that I have been meaning to do for a long while, but never really got around to.

“2 days from the end semester exams. What should I study? I don’t know. Maybe I should start a blog! That would be awesome!” I said to myself.

And here I am.

And there you are.

Hello, anyone there? No one? Not a single person! Ohh, well, I will just go.


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