Aparna was walking up and down the corridor and revising when she saw me.
“Oh Nina, Did you know we have Pharmacology internals today? Why did you have to go and visit your father when you knew you have internals?? Did you revise for the Pharmacology test? Prof Murthy said he is going to use today’s marks for internals! Oh God Nina! What are you going to do? What are you going to do if you fail?” Aparna was staring at me.
I had no idea what I was going to do. I had studied Pathology because it was my weak subject. But Pharmacology was my favourite subject and the only reason I didn’t revise early was because I thought I had 2 days to prepare for the test.
“What time is the test?” I asked Aparna
I looked at my watch. 1:37 pm.
I looked at Aparna, hoping she would have some idea as to what I should do? How was I going to revise entire part 1 syllabus in less than 30 minutes? Perhaps she would have some idea about the possible questions
“Any idea what is going to be the main Question?” I asked her
“Prof Murthy said it will be from Autonomic nervous System”
“Ok, Thanks Aparna”
I ran to my room and took my notes out. I tried to read as much as I can. I just wanted to know the points and I knew I could elaborate at the exam hall. I tried to stay calm and read. I kept flipping the pages in the folder to see how much more I had to read. There was so much to read.
“Nina, come let us go. It is already 1:50 pm” Aparna opened the door and called me
1:50? So fast? I looked at the clock. Aparna was right, It was 1:50.
I was on the verge of panic. I had not revised even 1/10 of the subject. But I knew, it was ok. After all I wrote Anatomy part 2 final exam without revising. If I could write and pass Anatomy without failing, then I sure can write Pharmacology exam. I had scored the highest marks in every single pharmacology class tests.
I closed my folder, took my pencil case from the drawer and walked to the exam hall with Aparna.
“Where is Shylaja?”
“She is with the other Kannadiga students” Aparna
“hmm” I mumbled
“Nina, wait up” I heard someone shouting.
I turned to look.
“Hi Arjun” I spoke
“Did you get my message?” He asked
“Your mom came to my house the other day” He spoke.
Aparna was looking at both of us. I looked at Arjun, begging with my eyes, please Arjun, please don’t tell Aparna that my mom came to your house to borrow money from your father. May be Arjun noticed that Aparna was watching us, he didn’t say anything else about my mother.
“Did Liza get selected?” He asked
“She was telling me that she might get selected for Sports Authority of India’s training”
“Oh that, I don’t know, I didn’t get a chance to ask her that” I lied
I had no idea what training and selection was Liza talking about. But more than that, I felt uneasy. What was my sister doing with my classmate? I was not in love with Arjun and I wasn’t possessive, but still there was something about the whole thing that bothered me.
“Don’t be stupid Nina, you don’t own Arjun”. Sensible one spoke
“I never said I did” I replied
“Then what is your problem if your sister is going out with your classmate?” Sensible one asked
“There is no problem. Now shut up. I have an exam to write” I told her off
“Nina, I am talking to you” Arjun spoke
“yeah, what?” I looked at him
“How was your trip?”
“Good” I replied.
“have you revised everything?” Arjun asked
“No. I was planning to study and revise this week end” I replied.
“Oh Nina, why would you have to revise? You are a walking Pharmacology encyclopedia. I saw your Assignment on Cholinergics. My God Nina, most of your points were not from our Text books. where do you get all these information?”
“Found a book on Pharmacology at the British Library” I replied.
I felt so proud. I knew I was a good student. It felt so good to know that even Arjun felt the same way.
“What about you? Have you revised everything” I asked him
“Me? revise? Nah,Nah Nah. Me don’t believe in such things. I studied 10 most common questions from the past 5 years. If you take the probability, Prof Murthy might choose 4 out of 10 questions I studied. Even if those questions come as short Question, each gets 5 marks. We only need 20 marks!! So there!” Arjun was smiling
“oh. Which ones did you study?” I asked.
“Principles of drug action, Muscle relaxants, Local Anaesthetics and Anti histamins”
“oh” I replied. Damn I thought, I haven’t revised any of those.
Prof Murthy was already in the lecture hall when we walked in and Arjun wished me “good luck Nina”quickly and started to walk up the stairs.
Prof Murthy was looking at me. I hoped he didn’t notice Arjun wishing me. I didn’t want to get in to unnecessary trouble. Girls and boys are not supposed to talk to each other.
According to even the most well educated Professors, It is an offence for girls and boys to talk with each other.They are convinced that talking leads to romance, which in turn leads to petting and loss of virginity. To prevent the loss of virginity, it is important that girls and boys don’t talk to each other.
I looked down and walked quietly to my favourite spot, first seat in the front row near the middle, facing the professor and sat down.
“All notebooks in the corner please and remember, If I find anyone copying, the person who copied and the person who let his friend copy will be asked to leave the exam hall immediately and both will get a total score of Zero ” Prof Murthy Announced
“Ahhh” Most of the boys at the back seats sighed loud.. I wasn’t the only one who didn’t revise for the exam!
Prof Murthy started passing the question paper and I took a copy and started to read. I wasn’t really worried. Like Arjun said, All I needed was 20 marks to pass. I glanced at the questions trying to see which one I should attempt first. First 2 main questions were on Anti histamins and Myasthenia gravis I didn’t know the answer. Each carried 10 marks. I didn’t know the answer to either of the main questions. My hands started to shake and my mind was going blank. I looked at all the short questions again and again. I couldn’t remember the answer to a single question.
No this can’t be happening. I checked the questions again. I should know something. My brain was like a sea of blackness. I just couldn’t remember anything. Everyone around me was writing the answers. I knew even Arjun would be able to answers the main questions.
I had nothing to write. I tried to concentrate and visualize my text book. I could usually visualize the pages, but today I couldn’t visualize anything. I couldn’t visualize and I couldn’t remember the answers. I felt so incredibly stupid.
I realized, I couldn’t just sit there in the front seat and not write anything on my answer sheet. I didn’t want to write another Titanic story and get in to trouble either. I watched Prof Murthy going out of the lecture hall to speak to another Professor.
I took my answer sheet, kept it up side down on Prof’s desk and walked out.
5 seconds later I heard footsteps right behind me. I hoped it wasn’t Prof Murthy. I didn’t want to get caught. I quickened my pace.
“Nina Wait” I heard the familiar voice
“What are you doing?” I asked him
“Keeping you company”
“What do you mean keeping me company?”
“ek duje ke liye, hai nah?” He was smiling
I looked at him trying to see what he was talking about. May be he understood my confusion. He spoke
“Nina, I know you didn’t have time to revise and I could see from the back bench that you didn’t write anything.”
“So nothing. I just wanted to keep you company. chal, let’s go and drink some tea” Arjun was walking towards the canteen. I didn’t know what to feel.
I just handed in an empty answer sheet for the Pharmacology internals and my classmate decided to hand in an empty answer sheet as well to keep me company? He knew the answers for the first 2 main questions and still decided to hand in an empty sheet because he wanted to keep me company!