The lights started to flicker, stayed on for a while and then went off, followed by the noise of a thud and the lights were back. When my eyes adjusted to the brightness, I noticed the people sitting around me were trying to suppress their laughs and I felt a sudden pang in my chin. This was when I realized that the lights didn’t flicker and went off it was me falling asleep and the thud was my face slamming and bouncing off the desk.
I shook my head trying to shake off the sleep as well as the pain. I extended my arms asking for the bottle of water from one of the girls who was seated in the row before me and was still trying to suppress her laugh.
I sipped a mouthful of water and turned my head to check the clock on the back wall – 05:05 PM – still 10 minutes left for the class to get over.
I turned my attention towards the front, the Professor, was jotting down the name of a Book on the white board which was already filled with a probability graph lots of symbols, equations and a bunch of acronyms. “Second paragraph of the 38th page…” – he yelled, still writing on the board with his back towards the class. “You should read the whole of this book, but, given your tight schedule, you must read the second paragraph of the 38th page, it is available in the library.” – He said, sarcastically, with a smile, after turning towards the class which responded with a foolish grin.
I looked around at the class – half of the people had their hands on their faces, some, sipped water, to keep themselves oxidized and suppress the yawns, some chatted away in hushed tones, while some of them where indifferent and scribbled away on their notebooks. In short, the majority of the class was bored to hell, except, obviously, a few from the front row who were listening intently to the Professor. Schmucks.
I exchanged glances of tired frustration with Umesh who was sitting beside me and we both looked back at the wall clock which showed 05:12 PM – 3 more minutes to relief. That was when the pain in the posterior of a person, sitting in the front row, decided that he wants to ask a question and clarify his doubt. The whole class grunted as the Professor reached for the board and started scribbling away explaining how the underlying price distribution model behaves under the Black-Scholes Model.
05:16 PM and the explanation continued with no end in sight. Walghare Sir, our Class Assistant peaked through the door, but the Professor ignored him and continued with the scribbling. Only after the grunting was intensified that the Professor noticed that he had crossed the stipulated time schedule and was encroaching in on our break-time. He let the class go at 05:18.
Half of the class ran towards the restrooms. I was one of them.
“Kya padha raha tha bey!” (What was he teaching?) – Asked Badal rhetorically with an irritated face while standing on my left at the urinal.
“Haan Sala! Kuch bhi samajh nahi aaya.” (Exactly. Didn’t understand a thing.) – retorted Veeresh who was on my right.
Himanshu just plainly nodded his head. He had understood everything in class but agreed with the rest of us that it all went over his head. He just didn’t want to be counted among the Schmucks.
“Be******d! Ye karna hoga kya jaake Bank mein?” (Will we need to do this once we join a Bank?) – Yelled Arora while washing his hands behind us. A participant’s of the Institute’s training programmes who was standing beside him, eyed us, specially Arora as he walked out slowly.
We walked out in a group and headed towards the canteen, when we noticed a few of our classmates standing outside the lecture hall had surrounded the Professor and were probably questioning him. Their aim in life had been to absorb all knowledge available. So, as I said. Schmucks.
The division of groups among the class was evidently visible during a break as they stood in different huddles, separate from each other. We walked past a couple of such huddles and into the canteen where Kapil, Gupta, Neeraj, Francis, Harshal and Rohit were sitting round the first table with tea in their hands, their eyes on the TV and a nearly empty packet of ‘Bhakarawadi’ resting on the table in between them.
We lunged at the packet and could get the two pieces of ‘Bhakarwadi’ that were left in the pack. We proceeded to reach the counter to buy something for ourselves but no one made a first move. We knew that any thing anyone bought first would be snatched from his hands and shared by the rest. The second person would then buy something and the snatching & sharing will then be repeated and this would go in a loop until everyone had bought something. The other way at proceeding at this was to buy packet each for ourselves and have it alone, but that is absolutely no fun. As per practice, the snatching and sharing process was followed till everyone had bought a pack of snacks each.
We had just started sipping up on our tea when Walghare Sir came in calling for everyone to get in the class, informing us that the next Professor had already arrived. Most of us simply ignored him while others made their way towards the lecture hall.
We half finished the tea and walked out of the canteen when we noticed Mishra talking to one of the juniors at a distance. He signaled us that he was done with classes for the day and was going back to the hostel. Hridesh was coming from behind him from the direction of the hostels, probably after replying to nature’s call – he has some issues with his bowel movements.
Walghare Sir came out again asking us to get in the class immediately. We signaled him to chill and made our way for one and a half more hours of torture in the class.