I could see Arjun standing outside the gallery as I reached the library. I knew he was waiting outside to speak to me. Probably to yell at me for not telling him that i was going back early. He would have gone to my house to pick me up this morning!
I didn’t want to talk to him. I checked my watch. I had another 10 minutes before the exam starts. Should I face him now or after the exam?
It wasn’t a very difficult decision.
I walked in to the library. I didn’t feel like grabbing a text book and do last minute revision. What can I learn in 10 minutes? I took the Deccan Herald paper from the stand and found a place to sit.
“Don’t you have internal exam today?” I heard someone asking and I turned to look.
Seema, also known as the the world’s best walking gossip column was staring at me. She had few textbooks and a note pad in her hand. She has been writing part 2 pathology for the last three semesters. Technically she is supposed to be a super senior. But since she was doing pathology part 2, I wasn’t sure if I should call her Madam?
“Yep” I nodded my head
“And you are reading newspaper before the exam?”
I looked at her trying to see why reading the newspaper in the morning was such a big crime.
I watched the corner of her mouth turning in to a scowl.
“influence and money can get you anywhere eh?” She didn’t even bother to wait for a reply.
If there is an award for the world’s biggest idiot, I should be the one who gets it. I was pretty sure of it.
Why am I never politically right? If I had taken any damn text book from the shelf and pretended to read, everything would have been fine. instead I chose to read a newspaper! that too 10 minutes before the exam!
Influence and money, what a joke that was.
If only Seema knew, what all I have to go through to protect myself from the influence of George. If only she knew how I struggled financially.
But what was the point? By sunset today everyone in the hostel would know that I was reading the newspaper before the internal exam and when the results are announced everyone would try to guess if I got the question paper in advance? or if I slept with the professors to pass.
There was no chance in hell that I could have worked hard and studied!

I must have been a murderer in my last life. This was all my karma returning the favours owed.
I kept the newspaper back on the stand and walked towards the gallery.
Arjun was still outside but his back was turned against me and I quickly climbed the stairs outside, to the second floor hoping gallery back door was open.
The door was open and I walked inside and sat at the back of the gallery.
Few minutes later I saw the professor Rajan Ramasamy entering the class followed by a group of students.
Arjun looked worried and I noticed him walking to Aparna and asking something. Aparna turned and looked at the back and I saw Aparna pointing her thumb to the back and Arjun looked up. The worried look was replaced by anger.
“Good morning students” Professor Rajan Ramasamy spoke.
I could sense Arjun contemplating if he should find a place to sit or walk up the stairs and wring my neck.
“Dr. Arjun, sit down” Professor was looking at Arjun
“Yes sir” Arjun nodded his head and found a place to sit. Arjun sat at the aisle seat and he turned to look at me again. I pretended I didn’t see him looking at me. I was concentrating on what Professor Rajan Ramasamy was saying!
Professor passed the question paper and I did a quick glance at the two main questions. I knew the answer for both. Phew! I sighed.
I took my pen and started to write.
My hands ached by the time I finished writing the answers to both the main questions.
The thing was I knew I had written all the points and that I will get full marks. Which meant I will surely pass the exam.
Do I have to attempt the rest of the short questions when I know I will pass the test? Do I really have to waste my energy? I never liked patho anyway!
I could walk off handing in the paper now, but that would mean Arjun might do the same. So I sat there and watched everyone writing the exam. Most of the girls were busy writing, while trying to cover their answer with their hand so no one can copy, while most of the boys were blatantly trying to copy each other’s answer.
Jyothi was sitting right in front of me and she kept on adjusting her legs and her salwar. What was she trying to do? Why was she wriggling so much? Then she lifted her right leg a bit and I understood why she was wriggling. She had written important points on her salwar pajama using ball point pen and was struggling to read the answers.
Every time the professor came near us she would put her leg down and adjust the salwar top to cover the writings While I would pretend that I was checking my answers to see if there was any mistake.
10 minutes before the bell rang, I saw that Arjun was busily writing and I took my answer sheet and quickly walked down the step and gave the sheets to professor Rajan Ramasamy and walked out quickly. I ran all the way back to the hostel. I didn’t want to talk to Arjun. I wanted to run as far away from him as possible.

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