A series of episodes changed my life when I was 17 and I have been no more than a learner ever since. I have, thankfully, been learning enough to be considered as an active member of the society. I have managed to write a few columns in newspapers and I have managed to pass my online examinations for the semesters I’ve studied till now, though it’s hard to say if my offline exams will go as smooth as filling up the blanks in a Google form.
With my 4th semester examinations fast approaching, it feels as if time is speeding itself up. I know what subject I’m totally ‘zero’ at, but to everyone reading this article, I have a confession to make: I struggle with quite a busy schedule, and as a result, I don’t operate on a given set of tasks but on whatever befalls me to work upon. I can’t process things like a normal 21-year old does.
While most of my friends, in my college, head to the library borrowing books for their new semesters, I mostly play football in a basketball court. My 4th semester was hard enough. Our examination, unlike online exams during COVID outbreak, was scheduled in an offline mode and I couldn’t imagine myself struggling through it.
My teacher and our examiner in charge, Irfan sir, during a paper, stared at me while I was sitting idle after copying every single objective from my classmate I just met, thinking of what do I do next. He looked at me and told me how I had made a mistake by opting for Engineering when I could have easily gone for Literature. Yes, there’s no shame in admitting that I didn’t know a single answer to the objective questions asked in the paper and it’s yet no shame for me to say that I still don’t know my classmate’s name who helped me.
Had you been my classmate or in my college, you would know that what it’s to be low on attendance. Standard Operating Policies, for example, of our college state that you should have attended at least 75% of the total lectures delivered, should appear in every examination you’re supposed to, and should hand in every single assignment given to you. If you fail to do so, the outcome that follows is that your academic result will be determined by your HOD or a professor.
For any of my teachers reading this, I would like to address the shame I feel while telling you to check my attendance that never exceeded a percentage of 30, in any semester.
Not attending my classes, handing in my assignments late, or failing in my examinations is, of course, careless attitude and callousness towards one’s studies, but it’s not that I’m careless or disobedient; it’s just that I have some existential crises that I’m yet to figure out. You can however see me as a disinterested child to whom this world no more interests.
So, to all of my teachers, I apologise for not being sincere to your subjects, for the papers I shamelessly copied in, the assignments I got done by someone else, and for my low attendance. I will always feel a tint of shame when I remember missing your lectures, yet I am sure you feel me when I say that, “I’ve not wasted my time; I’ve just invested it in something I think is productive”.
—The writer is a compulsive storyteller. Everything that happens to him, everything he sees or reads, suggests a story. ‘The Smile Worth A Billion Poems’ was a collection of his teenage musings (late 2017). Two years after, he had to leave his home to go live in a distant city, alone, the result of which was the book, ‘Triggered Sorrows’. He can be reached at [email protected]