Things were moving smoothly, our studies with friction, midterm examination was round the corner. People were getting busy preparing for it, I too started to focus a bit. I did have my strengths and weaknesses, in science I was crazy about physics and it always was and is my strength, chemistry and biology were not pleasant but do able, maths was not that hard except for arithmetics, in social studies history was my strength and geography my weakness. Greatest advantage to me was, I no longer had to study Hindi, as I had chosen Sanskrit as my first language, although both used same script, most of Sanskrit questions had to be answered in Kannada or English, which I had no difficulty.
Darshan would always come to my place for combined studies but would end up playing NFS 2 on my brother’s computer. Thereby being my greatest distraction. He had severe difficulty with English, partly because of his, English is a foreign language attitude, would always argue with one English teacher who’s English was pathetic, the imposition of English which was killing local languages. I was tired of arguing with him the importance of English and its utility when going abroad. He end up saying that he would never leave India.
Ironically, he has never set his feet on Indian soil since past 2 years and with no plans to come back stating that he had no one here. His father was long dead and his mother who had succomed to cancer few years back, leaving him alone. England had made him cold.
Sashwat, Vaidehi and Raghunath were combining their energies and focus on topping the exam. Sashwat secretly studied more and would lie saying he didn’t know anything and would even misguide. But they were a effective team.
Six days and six subjects, all were held in one week, a week prior to dasara vacation. First three days went smoothly, on the fourth day , Darshan was caught cheating in the exam, he had carried chits, neatly covered in socks, to add fuel to already burning fire, PMV was the invigilator in his room, it was science examination, he had chits containing physics formulae. PMV pulled him to our headmaster, after giving a caning , he was made to write that exam on ground in headmaster’s chamber on a fresh paper. However this incident didn’t deter other masters of malpractices. He came to cycle stand annoyed because he had to write an hour more than others owing to his grand adventure. I started laughing at his face because of his expression and remorseless planning for next day’s chit carrying technique, he finally hid the chits in his underpants. He became a master in that art.
Worst part was he topped in social studies because of the chits much to irritation of Sashwat, to rub salt on the wound he would even boast about it in front of him.
Finally midterm examination came to an end, to cool our ‘tensed nerves’, on the last day we directly pedalled to Basavanagudi swimming pool next to National higher secondary school.