I had to go to the university to collect my mark sheets.

It’s been ten years since I graduated, so I knew this was going to be a nightmare.

Mostly because I did my graduation over a period of 5 years, and I had no clue which years I took the exams in. Also Mumbai University discovered the miracle of computers just three years ago.

This meant that I had to go through a few thousand names from each year before finding my name, then getting my roll number, a gist of of marks and finally being able to apply for a duplicate mark sheet.


There is comfort in chaos. This is probably the alternative motto for the Distance Learning branch of the University. After wading through a sea of students, some student-looking person directed me to the second floor to room number 45 and told me to ask someone there about my problem. I did that. Some ‘Sir’ gave me several slabs of books of about 500 pages each and said ‘Look’. And so I started.

I found my third year roll number and marks in less than 30 minutes. I found my first year roll number and marks in about 45 minutes. Then I started looking for my second year roll number and this bit almost gave me a nosebleed. I had taken these exams in either 2001 or 2002 and in either March or October.  After about 4 books I found my name and slammed the table with a ‘Yes!’. Then I happened to glance at the summary of marks as a formality and… it… said… ‘Fail’!

Suddenly it all came rushing back.

I had plugged an entire subject. Ancient Philosophy. And for that, I had to take all the exams again the following year. What I didn’t understand was, how had I managed to forget all this? I mean, it is a bit of a big deal, only because I had to study the godforsaken subjects all over again, and yet I had wiped my memory clean.

I must have toiled, stayed up late, hated Plato, whined incessantly for weeks, trudged to my exam center, taken the exam again, hoping I wouldn’t fail AGAIN.

All this, for nothing.

I mean, I cleared the exam, got my degree, probably took a photograph on the day I got my certificate, but in the span of ten years this wasn’t really looked at as a worry by my scumbag brain.

Something that may have weighed on me so heavily, and constantly for an entire year till I took the exams again and made sure I passed wasn’t even tucked away in my immediate memory.

What then of worry? My favorite hobby.

“You should give a talk on how to stress on days when you should be running naked.” Mehma said this (or something like this) to me today, but I convinced her that today was pretty hectic. I mean, I could have been wrong.


It could be one of two things.

With time and adulthood, exams from a decade ago seem trivial even though they swallowed us whole at the time (to refute this, how is it that I remember my class 10 and class 12 board exams so well?)

Worrying is rubbish (Thus spake Buddha).

If I go with the second bit, I’d have a blade of grass sticking out of one side of my mouth and a straw leading to a Mimosa from the other.


I know there’s a middle ground between these two, but I haven’t really concluded what that is.


Shame for having failed so delete delete delete?

I cleared it eventually, so do I really care?

Philosophy isn’t even really a subject, right?

If I lie to myself, it will go away.


I have bi-annual epiphanies about wearing roller blades and gliding through life. Usually they’re a bit more magnificent than me realizing I failed a year, but I guess everybody slacks now and then.

I’m gonna pin it on that.


Now where’s that blade of grass?






Published by therunawayjuiceincident

I write about my travels. Intergalactic and otherwise....

4 thoughts on “Fail

Leave a Reply to Somakrishna Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: