Monday, March 20, 2006

The results are out!

A colleague just walked by, and he had in his hand a sheaf of papers. When I saw him, he was smiling and rustling the papers at some person behind me, and his gesture was one of "Look, here it is!"

I suddenly froze, and a familiar, yet forgotten feeling crept over me. That was the same gesture that "Pyjama Tata" used to make when he brought the examination results to the department! That feeling of dread, of foreboding, of excitement, all mixed with the smell of suspense in the air!

The four years of engineering were just a blur of exams and results. We wrote eight exams and had to go through the ordeal of receiving the results eight times. Bangalore University was notorious for churning out unexpected results. You could be confident of having fared beautifully in an exam, but you could be certain that you have cleared it only after you had seen the results. So the results were much more than just a reflection of how you wrote your exam. It also told you how much luck had favoured you.

Little wonder then, that the results were awaited with so much anxiety. Even the battle-hardened veterans had to cope with increased pulse rates. Bangalore University was also very infamous for not being prompt with the results. The most common rumour in the campus was "I heard the results will be put up today!" This rumour could go on for two months, and yet we students would believe it every time!

On the day the results finally arrived, there would be a hush in the college. Urgent whispers could be heard. Someone would say that he saw Nagendra, the main office-guy, bring a huge folder and take it to the Administration building. On protests of "It could have been anything!", the informer would say, "No, no, Nagendra had a knowing look in his eyes". This bit of information would be repeated and reiterated until some guys went up to the admin building and nailed Nagendra and got him to confess that what he had brought were indeed the results and he had indeed gone to the University to get them. When this information reached the rest of the waiting populace, blood pressures would soar, barrels of water would be downed, and there would be a queue outside the toilets.

Even the seemingly unconcerned hostelites would get the message, tumble out of their beds, and come to the department, hair tousled, and eyes anxious. There The Wait would commence. Any office person coming towards the department from the direction of the Admin Department would be examined. Any person with a sheaf of papers in his hand would be scrutinized.

Many red herrings later, someone would think of Pyjama Tata. He was an ancient little man with no teeth, no cheeks, no hair, but with a jutting out jaw and an uncommonly loud voice. His role in the department was indefinite. His identifying feature was a loose, flapping pair of pyjamas. Nobody knew his name. Everybody called him Pyjama Tata.[Tata - Grandfather]. It was to him that we would finally go. He would cackle loudly and say, "I was just about to go to the Principal's office and get the results".

It would be half an hour more of drinking water and going to the loo until we saw Pyjama Tata's dirty white pyjamas flapping from far off. We would watch every step of his until he approached the department. It was then that he would smile and shake the papers at us and make that gesture of "here it is!". The excitement would reach a painful peak. As he climbed the stairs of the department, we would flock about him and beg to be shown "just one page". He would resolutely shake his head and take it straight to the Head Of Dept's office. We would watch the door of HOD's office for the next ten minutes, shifting our weights from one foot to another.

Finally, Pyjama Tata would appear from inside, pick up some board pins and with deliberate sluggishness, he would proceed to the notice board and start pinning up each page. That was one of the times I wished my name started with "A". He used to put it up alphabetically and all the As and the Bs would flock around and start calling out to each other. Then I would wait with my teeth gritted. D, J, L-M, N-P, R, and then S, finally! I would rush forward, only to be pushed and pulled, and someone would shove their elbow into my nose and I would hang on to somebody's plait for balance and then crane my neck and look at the board. And invariably, read the result of the person before or after me. My heart would plunge to my feet and my head would buzz and my vision would get blurred, and then suddenly, someone would be patting my shoulder and saying "Hey Shruthi, great results!".. and I would say, "What the..".. and would look at the board again in renewed hope, and this time read my own result. I would put out my finger and trace a straight line between my name and the new result, confirm it, and would come away from the board in whoops of joy.

I would quickly look at the faces of my friends, to verify that it went well for them. Coz if hadn't for even one, then my own success would seem insipid. Then after a series of palm-burning high-fives, we would run to the nearest phone booth to call our parents[It was the era when only a privileged few owned cells]. After that, it was time for celebration, until it was time for the next results!

By the time we reached the final year, Bangalore University had become very tech-savvy, and the results of the final two semesters were put up online. This was anxiety of a different sort. Sitting up at midnight and refreshing the web page repeatedly until we read the golden words "Results announced for 7th sem - Click here". But nope, nothing compared to the collective tension of the mass of perspiring students, waiting for the bits of paper that contained their "passports to a good life".

It seems so funny now, to think back on it. I can hardly remember the marks I scored or the percentage I got in any of those semesters. Yet, at that time, it seemed to us like a matter of life and death! :D


Anonymous said...

hehehe ! bet every Engg student of our era ( yeah its been quite some time since we finished Engg )would identify with this post. Most of the times it so happened that someone from the hostel who had afternoon classes would come to Hostel to announce abt results and we would rush to College in our vehicles making sure we passed through every time on the way !! Oh man, am I glad I finished engineering! You bet!!

Not surprisingly I have forgotten the subject names/marks etc except for two, each for its own reasons. OT - Optimization Techniques - 94 all time all subject highest in Engg.
Communication Theory Lab - Some stupid lecturer from Blore univ came for us on that day and gave 35. What the hell was he thinking ! What was he expecting from us?? ...Our lab batch final year percentages went down the drain .... :(

Did you guys use the term 'Gold Medal' - 35+15 !! Anything less would have been promptly termed as AJM by boys ;) or the dreaded word - 'Mass RD' ...

No wonder I wanted to be in industry asap!!

Kalyan said...

Wonderful shruthi, exactly what we all went through. Though, I believe BU results were fairly predictable. I used to mark my estimates on the question papers right after finishing the exams; and it did match most of the times :) for me!

Anyways... what exactly was your colleague carrying? nothing of relevance i suppose?

ANKIT said...

i certainly agree with you...
our results are showcased online and as soon as it is announced,,some or the other freind SMS'es you the the tenssion due to anxiety is not at all witnessed by us...
though what matters to me whether i have escaped from any SUPPLE exams or

Anonymous said...

Really took me back to the coll days. RV was and will be one of my best places I enjoyed as a student. Right from the moment I selected RV during CET until the very last day on Sep 22 when we had our final exam in *th sem has been a very enjoyable roller-coaster. The results day was the best of course, like u said, the rumors were the highlight. Also guys who stayed near the RV trust in Jayanagar sometimes came to know the results a day before cos Nagendra used to put it up over there at times and then in the coll the next day. But yes the unpredictability of BU was the best. Also the attendants also seemed to assume an "all-important" air on that day as if our destiny was in their hands. The HOD (ECE atleast) wud take ages to initial his sign on the sheets and then they used to close the ECE dept gates and put up the results. Then the gates wud be opened and the huge rush of bodies was enuff to cause a mild stampede. But the excitement of it all is really unbeatable, the wait for the results, the rush to the coll beating Blore's traffic, the wait again, mild stampede and the joy at last. The whole cycle is something which I feel cannot be replicated with the web results. Though there is some palpable anticipation, the overall feeling and satisfaction is never the same with online results. I guess you should write a post on the campus interviews in our coll... just a suggestion though. That was another exp altogether, the first feel that ur efforts are recognised, the excitement of being recognised as 'placed' before most of the others in the coll, the knowledge that future is 'secure' is a whole new story.

Anyway a very well written post, gave me all the nostalgia goose bumps :)

Anonymous said...

oops.. forgot to sign off .. that previous comment was mine


chitra said...

Ya...all that nail-biting suspense.... :)

Shruthi said...

Anon: Yes, all that most of us cared about was Stamp or Gold Medal, i.e. 35 :D
Don't know what the rest of the abbreviations you mentioned stand for, though!

Kalyan: I used to think BU results were predictable until I was at the receiving end, once. After that shock, I never trusted my predictions again :D That made the results all the more dreaded!
And nope, I have no idea what the colleague was carrying.. it was nothing connected to me, anyway :)

Ankit: So true! All that matters is to make sure that you don't have to write the supple :D

Shruthi said...

Kishore: Also the attendants also seemed to assume an "all-important" air on that day as if our destiny was in their hands. - LOL! So true, so true!
Yes, I remember that the ECE guys used to get the results last and would crib about it so much!
Why don't you write about the placements, Kishore :) You write well, you can start a blog on that! Or else, you can write it and send it to me, I will put up your post here as a guest blogger :)

Chitra: Oh yeah, you bet! :O

Anonymous said...

Mass RD is actually Mass Ordinance. Sometimes more than half the class used to fail in same subject ...This was common only in few streams. That was the time noone bothered as there would be many ppl to who would be writing it next time. Infact even companies which insisted on All Clear many times gave exception to these subjects [ Probably interviewers also had faced same problem ;) ]!

AJM - Hmmm I cant say it aloud here.My 'conservative' online persona stops me from explaining everything ;) JM stands for 'just miss' though.
"Samajane vaale samaj gaaye, na samje, naa samje wo anadi hain" :D

Gold Medal was not just 35 in theory. Its 35 in theory and 15 in internals. Anything less in any one, you will have to write the exam again. So guys wanted 18 atleast in internals so that even if u get 32 in theory , the total would be 50!!

Shruthi said...

Anon: Ohh we could get 35 in our exams and 0 in our internals, and still we could pass :)) - so for us Medal was truly 35! Thanks for the explanation, though incomplete :)

Anonymous said...

your blogs are too damn long yah

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the compliment, I did start a blog once but got bored and closed it. Call it procastination, laziness, writer's block or plain disinterest. I started reading blogs and commenting on them and found that I am a much better critic than a writer :) ... I am planning to start my blog afresh and if I do it will be thanks to ppl like u.

I will probably test waters by writing up some interesting piece and sending it to you.


Anonymous said...

Also I think, you are mistaken about the internals, there was a cut off to our internals. I think it was 13, our marks sheets must have them. Never bothered abput them though. I still remember reading for internals 2 hours before. For the first internal I used to start reading at the coll bus stop and in the bus. For the second one I used to start during the break between 2 internals. The tension and pressure always got the best out of me ;)


Shruthi said...

Kishore: Great, do that! :) And yes, u might be a good critic, but I can make out by the way your comments are written, that you will be a good writer too! Go ahead! And this time, no stopping! :)
Yes Kishore, I remember that 13 funda.... they used to tell us that unless you get 13, you cannot sit for the exam. But i don't think it was that strict. Coz ultimately, what mattered whether u got 35 in the exam or not! All that changed in VTU, as far as I remember.
Oh yesss I would study for the second internals only and only in the break! :D

Anonymous said...

Hey Shruthi,

I had totally forgotten about Nagendra and the result papers.It's all coming back to me now.
Yeah, all that tension over results now, all that feels so small and unimportant :).


raj plus said...

Great post. That Pyjama Tata you have described must have been quite a Malgudian character. Going about his task with a supreme disdain as if to say " students may come and students may go, but I go on forever."

Shruthi said...

Vidya: Were you in RV too? Which batch?

Raj plus: Ha ha, absolutely! :)) But unfortunately, he passed away a couple of years back :(

Nirwa said...

Heh heh..

For our prelims this year, the college didn't put up the results on net.. We were all so anxious!!

Heheh.. we keep looking for Jawanji.. :P

Nice writeup! :)


Shruthi said...

Nirwa: Thanks ;) Jawanji huh? Pyjama tata-ish? ;))


i was not part of BU ,so i cant comment much on it ,but i too had my share when i was studying .I guess if you do your engg the four years are a phase in life which will teach u a lot is the crucial phase which will catapult you into the nascent career :)

Prashanth M said...

Good old college days... I had previlege of getting results this way only two times &then they started announcing on the net

ps: now I know why you chose that name for puttacchi :p

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