The rain lashing was truly wondrous. It began with a cloudburst and continued for a good couple of hours. The rain, though physically ingrained in my mind, was, by convention expected to fall from the sky to the ground below. Funny I think, that we should assume that's the only way for rain to go.
I watched in bewildered astonishment and awe as the rain actually seemed to be falling sideways. Being carried to the left for a few seconds, then suddenly snapping to the right, carried by the wind.... It was'nt just stunning though, there was this invalidity that engulfed me and my thoughts.... I watched from my balcony as the lash of the rain struck the building opposite and backlashed over eight feet from the wall, The sheer power of the forces of nature are so beautiful and awe inspiring, it was simply incredible in all it's simple magnificence.
Watching a four wheeled creation of mankind lift itself off onto two wheels several times before giving way to natures throes and flipping onto it's side and being carried a foot on its side is something that really leaves an impression of weakness in our minds.... I was totally lost in this display of unstoppable and determined force.
All this ended just as abruptly as it began, and I was left, in it's aftermath, gazing back through glazed eyes through the wonder that I had just experienced....
Absolutely amusing you say? :)
Absolutely moving I say! :o)
Day of the exam: January 30'th, 2004.
I wake up early as the day by my sister, I'm supposed to drive her to her internship. So well, a cup of tea and a warm woolly sweater later, I wriggle into a weather jacket and drowsily kick the engine to life.... Drawing into a tender gallop past the gates, the wind hits my face and fluttering lids open wide, taking in the view of the morning filtering into my system.
Drive like a maniac they say, but today, I feel free, and having awoken so terribly early, the roads open up so fantastically empty. What do I care? Gun the motor and race fo'ard and aft. I'm back home in a jiffy, having done 30 Kilometers, gone and back, all in a mere 20 minutes. That's pretty darned awesome, considering the fact that I drove right through town to Cyberabad and back, complete with twisting streets and a few red lights.... An incredible mind job! :)
Well, I get back home and am immediately absorbed into the duties that call at me every day.... Breakfast, a bath, some typing on my computer, then lunch and a twisted ankle later, the realization of the pending exam dawns upon me.... Blanketing my self gently in a mental twitch, I slap on my favorite denim Jacket and grabbing the car keys, I do a 100 meter dash, turn on the ignition, and roar through packed streets, dodging slow moving cars and other equally irritating moving objects....
Music, courtesy of Neil Diamond, ripping at every soul that's equipped with sound perception organs as I zip past them. I observe candidly, as pedestrians automatically reach for their coats and head gear, trying to keep their ultra-violet sensitive epidermal layers from exposure to radiation as I go past, carrying more space around my car than can be comfortably allowed by traffic regulations anywhere in the world. :)
I reach in what seems like seconds, but what was in actuality only 18 minutes. Incredible I hear you say? Haha! Well, I'll tell you where it was that I had to go for the exam. I had to go to one of the more crowded and traffically congested areas in town, It was King Koti! :) Before that idea begins to sink in though, here's the good part.... I drove there from my home which is (for those of you who are'nt so 'up to date' with my life) in Tirumalgiri.... Well, it was'nt incredible actually, it was a Miracle. :) A miracle and a bit of excellent driving! I'm not gonna be repeating a performance like that again for a good long time to come. :)
Well, once I was there though, I really was in trouble. Having never seen the Examination center before, I did'nt know where I was supposed to go. As fate would have it, I found the center with a mere five minutes to spare, having spared around it's locality for the larger part of twenty minutes before I managed to zero in on its exact co-ordinates.
Grabbing my relocation permit from Delhi to Hyderabad and my admit card, I do a quick dodge and run past scrambling students and get to the main seating-arrangement board. Looking for the hall I'd have to be doing the examination in, I am seriously taken aback to realize that my name is'nt on the board!
Finally, having made certain that my name was'nt anywhere in sight, I went up to the university representative at the deans office and begin my argument. With astounding foresight and manipulative skills that I never knew that I had, I convinced him I was caught in a genuine game of 'error' and he was at dire fault for letting such a situation formulate itself.
Twenty minutes into the examination, and ten billion apologies later, I'm seated at a table, examination papers spread out carelessly. "I'm really very sorry about this, I as informed by the University that you'd be doing the paper here, I just never realized that your name was'nt on the board. You'll get 20 minutes extra once the examination is over so that you can make up for the time lost. My apologies once again." I smile at him and tell him "It's all okay, problems happen all the time, people make mistakes, and sometimes, people have to suffer.... People suffer, and once in a while, I suffer too.... I'm just another statistic today. :)" To this, he lets out a soft chuckle and leaves.
Before he leaves though, he hangs himself by a hooked fist around the edge of the door and drawing out a smile under his beaked nose, he goes on to wish me the "best of luck!" before vanishing altogether never to be seen again.
Grinning crookedly at the papers laid out around me, I fight the urge to light up a cigarette and get the examination over with and instead, I careen backward, tottering on two legs of the chair, and scan the question paper. Seventy Questions.... Hmmmm!
There are about forty people in the same hall doing the same examination, some of them doing different papers, but most of them doing the same paper as myself. Invigilators moving past us and between rows and columns.... Snapping bitterly at people whispering in vain attempts at cheating. :) Who needs to cheat, I wonder!
The exam is supposed to be three hours long, I got in twenty minutes late, and I was done forty minutes before the time limit. In effect, considering how late I already was as well as the twenty minutes grace, I finished my paper in record time. One hundred minutes! Ha! That's a total of one hour and twenty minutes before schedule! God I felt Kaydeeyoh!
Well, Having checked my answers and then re-checked them one last time, I stood up to leave ten minutes before the final bell. I submitted my paper and feeling all great and thankful, I made my proud departure come alive with a content smile. The rest of the people writing their exams were all staring at me like I'd just committed a serious crime or something. Maybe killed someone.... Or better, maybe molested a kid or something. Or even better, Molested a dead kid. Haha!
Frowning with a smile (something I never realized could be genuinely accomplished!) I crept toward the door wondering at the sudden attention from everyone. With a little hesitation, I even stole a glance at my fly to see if all was well and tied down in the lower section. Seeing all was fine, I continued my candid gait toward the door. As fate would have it, the ten minute bell rang and in an instant, the soft, quiet exam-hall was ruffled into a frenzy of action and blurred motion.
One examinees got out of his seat and reached into the thin air, inches from the pot-bellied Invigilator who was caressing the crisp sheets I had just handed him so proudly. I froze in my stride and stared at what was happening....
Pleas and commandments were being sporadically belched out at and from the people right across the hall. It was shocking to say the least! All this while it was like a holy shrine and now, suddenly, all hell breaks loose.... The Invigilator hands my answers to the guy mentioned first and he religiously copies everything he can.... Within minutes, my answers are crawling around the entire place, from hand to hand, from corner to corner, I did'nt know what to say....
I went to the Invigilator and asked him what this was all about. His answer was most pathetic in all my mental frame of the moment. Boiling down everything he said into a short version, here's what the essence of his tale. Apparently, the last ten minutes are reserved for co-relating and balancing answers among the people writing exams.
Now, if only I'd known this earlier.... Hmmm.... Actually, I'm glad I did'nt know about this weird form of testing because I know I'm in the clean as always. :o) I spun around on my heel and resumed my speedy journey to my car. Was stopped a few times by different groups of people who were trying to explain to me how glad they were for my answers.
I frankly did'nt want anything to do with them or their form of life and ignored their thanks. One thing I should mention though was the fact that I was stopped twice by groups of ignorant, unenlightened blushing damsels who thought they'd been saved by some all-knowing, brilliant knight in shining armour.
Some of those females actually looked decent and edible by high-society standards. Having already spaced myself out mentally, I was in no position to grant them thy peace and drew my ass out of their thorny paws and made my way to my waiting tow-truck (A Rose by any other name is still a Rose and pretty darned surely smells the same! I'm talking about my car silly!).
Sliding into the drivers seat, I dislodge the hand break (was parked on a serious slope!) and feel the car roll down the road. Ignition, music and windows down, I engage the gear and with four smooth motions, I'm cruising through evening rush hour traffic at illegal speeds once again. :) Where better to keep a caterpillar than in it's cocoon? Neil Diamond gave me the gratefully enthusiastic company I needed all the way home. :)
The day was strange, both illuminating and enriching in more ways than one. I know I'm gonna sleep warm in the arms of my dream come true.... There are more dreams, and I'm quite confident they'll come true. If not all, some will, I know, come true. :) With my eyes closed, I can feel every heartbeat accompanied by something that's not silence. God bless Me, God bless Oh! And God bless My! :)
Go figure that out yourself!