Every exam causes some anxiety, especially amongst those who care. Every class has some people looking forward to exam results, as if their life depended on it. At times it does, but when you have 4 years to survive in an engineering college, i guess the first year exams can be taken lightly. But none of us were taking them lightly at all. Everybody was giving their 100%, be it studying for the exam or finding innovative ways of cheating. We were all in it. The results were awaited and you could sense the tension amongst our studious lot. Sarab, Vishal, Mandi, Charan, Kulwinder, Lalit, Vinod, Gaurav Kapahi, Sharma, Gurdeep were all anxiously waiting for the results. There were a couple of instances when this wait got to the nerves of people and they openly stated that we’ll find out who’s better when the results come out.
The results did arrive and the Sarab secured the first position, expectedly, but the surprise package was Rupinder ending in top 5-7 !! It was all the vindication we needed to give up even attempting to study. On a personal front i was in for a shock. I was sure i would flunk 2 subjects, Engineering drawing and workshop technology, but the other papers were decent. If you remember, my engg drawing sheet was a small house with lots of casing and i attempted only 40 marks in WT, which was like our history paper. I scored 65 in Engg Drawing, 20 more than Mandi, which upset him no end. Also, the stupid board gave me 5 grace marks in WT and cleared me with a score of 40 !!!. Definitely not what i had in mind. It upset my plans to improve my percentage no end. Also combined with the fact that me and most of the batch had failed the maths exam, and would have to reappear, it was far from an ideal scenario.
Back in the hostel after our results, Mandi could not believe that I, of all People, scored more than him in the Engg Drawing. He asked me what i drew and i told him i was clueless. He went and confirmed with others if they saw what i drew, still clueless. His expressions were so funny and were worth all the marks i could ever score. Vishal and me had a hearty laugh about it. Sitting in Mandi’s room, we could see how upset he was, but still we laughed and laughed. Elsewhere, Kullu and Lalit were going on about where they missed the answers and Kohli, Rohit and gang were happy, just like me to get past the first hurdle. Having said that, there was also gloom over some of our friends not making it to second year with us. We were individually happy but collectively sad.
Meanwhile at college we were divided between our two foremen for 2nd year, Pasricha sir and Jagga Sir. Since the division was basis our roll numbers, both the teachers got a fair sprinkling of naughty n good kids. they couldnt have complained initially. Also, we were eagerly waiting for the fresh meat, juniors, to come in so we could play the ragging game.
Our first year taught us that if anything, our foremen were not to be feared, we could ask the seniors for help with the work at workshop and as long as our lectures were taken care of, we could trust each other and some common engineering sense to get by in the exams. As a result, our foremen never really got the respect they deserved. It was also made difficult by the fact that Mangal’s father had taught Jagga sir, and Mangal always used to get preferential treatment with leaves and stuff from him, even though he reported to Pasricha. We never complained, we were all happy and very accommodating.
Our Re-exams were scheduled for December and unlike the previous time, i really wanted to do well, on my own in this particular exam and Mandi and Vishal made sure that i had my attention to it everyday. A couple of day scholars from 1st year decided to opt for Hostel in the 2nd, and Gurdeep and Kamal joined the hostel family as roommates. Other notable inclusion to our batch this year was Gurjeet (Pinki) who though our senior, never quite managed to earn our respect and paid heavily for it…
Having day scholars at hostel for lunch was one thing, but when Kamal and Gurdeep joined us we realised what we had been missing the first year. We were a nice lot and our only prankster till that point was perhaps Ankit and even his jokes and deeds were more restricted to our batch. Kamal changed all that. The naughty quotient of the batch went off the roof and we were now not only playing pranks on each other but through Ankit and Kamal, we could raise hell hostel -wide. A very significant naughty brigade was taking shape in Kohli, Rohit, Ankit and Kamal. They would often hang around with seniors, or should i say the seniors would hang around with them. There were parties in hostel rooms and this lot, could literally, burn the hostel down. And to compliment their naughtiness, we had alternate personalities coming to fore as well……