21 May 2017


Posted by Vinoth Subramanian | Sunday, May 21, 2017 Categories: , , , , ,

I express my special thanks to Srilu for her patience. After reading the first part,First part she replied,
“I would have written all the exam had I been Chennai. I can’t wait actually to know what had happened but, I will wait for you to finish the story.”
She was the one who arranged scribes for me in the beginning still, she was ready to tolerate my delay by waiting for the conclusion. As Srilu was waiting for the end of the story, the other girl was waiting for me, in the beginning of this story!

Beatrice had already reported to the exam venue. It was around eight in the morning. She had travelled nearly one and half hour to reach it seemed. And, that was why I hesitated for everything from the very beginning.
“Increase the speed. She reached the venue.” I urged my brother.
“It will definitely take half an hour for us to reach. You better ask her to wait.” My brother replied and raised the accelerator. The gearless two-wheeler was tearing the air and soaring forward whereas my mind was steering the memories backward.
It was three weeks before the commencement of the exam.
I sent a mail to Beatrice along with the attachment.
Hi Brita, I am sorry to say that the venue and time of the exam has changed. However, dates remain the same. Please look in to the attachment and decide. Don't strain and don't say
"yes" for me.

Both Beatrice and Ms Akshaya resided in Porur. Unfortunately, the exam venue was allotted in Alvarpet. I searched the distance. It took more than an hour after calculating everything. The venue was not a big issue for me but, the timing wasn’t. All the three exams were commenced at nine in the morning, which didn’t allow me to disturb Ms Akshaya. But, I gave a choice to Beatrice. She must have looked at the venue.
Venue Address
CHENNAI 600018
Note: In case of any queries regarding venue, Please Dial 1800 419 2929 and Press Option 7. (Available on exam day and previous day only).
The above number was only for me to dial, and Beatrice was having another one already.
“What is your problem now?” It was after calling my number. She continued, “I’ve no problem. I can start early. You please tell me how to reach the venue.”
“It may take around one hour to reach.”
“I’ve no problem Vinoth, for I used to travel for twelve hours many times.”
Troubling my scribes was not in my list but, I had already done. It was a working day for her. But, she had got permission. In the beginning, her principal had refused to give permission and promised her that she would arrange another scribe for me. Beatrice didn’t accept the suggestion and explained about the declaration. 
I don’t know about others but, my principle is not to trouble scribes by making them traveling far for me. In my previous attempt, I had to travel for two hours and it was ten minutes for my scribe. And, those poor souls, who read about my previous attempt, would have been aware of this.

But, it was new. She was new. The venue was new. The timing was new. Except the exam, everything was new. As Beatrice asked, I suggested a couple of routes to reach the venue. I asked her to be present half an hour before the actual time as it was first time for both. It was January 28 2017 seven o’clock in the morning. She had started from Porur and reached Vadapazhani when I had just reached Veppampattu railway station to catch the train. I guessed that she would be even earlier and would wait for me and, that was what happening in the entrance of the exam hall.
 “Are you going to write the exam?” The security, who stood in the entrance, asked her.
“What are you waiting for?”
“I am waiting for my friend.” Beatrice has replied.
“Go to the second floor. Is your friend going to write your exam?
“No, she is going to write mine.” I had reached the venue with my brother and got down from the bike. I didn’t say that word but, he might have understood when Beatrice held my hand to take me to the exam hall. I was startled by the crowd. There were plenty of bankers had approached the exam we noticed. All of us were thoroughly checked and allowed inside to take up the exam.

We successfully finished the exam and score appeared on the screen.
“Shall I reveal the score Vinoth?”
“But, unlike other exams, they are releasing the result soon after finishing the exam!” She uttered shockingly.
“Yes, it used to be.”
“So,” She read the screen, “Vinoth has secured,”
I waited with silence.
“Shall I say?”
I nodded with the smile.
She disclosed my marks and asked me, “Is that all Vinoth? Is there anything to be done?”
“No, Brita. It’s over. We can go out.”
“Do you want your score sheet sir?” A man asked me while leaving the hall.
“No sir.” I replied and continued, “Sir, the same person will come for the next two exams also.”
“Okay sir. But, you better inform the invigilator.” He replied and we left the hall.
“What happened, Vinoth?” Beatrice asked me while descending.
“I am thinking of my marks. 36! I never expected this. I’ve studied well. I was happy with my answer. But, I wonder where the mistake took place. Last time, I got 41 in this paper without studying even a single word. Even after studying this much…” I stopped. She didn’t take it serious it seemed.

We came out and my brother picked us up in the bike and rode it having two of us sitting behind. It’s illegal to travel three people on a single bike in Chennai. My brother was already aware of it. At the same time, he was aware of another significant thing in the city, which was the presence of the traffic police.
 “When is your third exam? Saturday or Sunday?” She asked.
“Saturday. Next exam will be on Sunday.”
“I don’t have any problem on coming Sunday. But, that Saturday will be a working day I think. I should get permission.”
“You don’t need to get permission Brita. If your college functions on that Saturday, you go to your job and scribe me only if it doesn’t function. You already got leave today. You better don’t ask anything in your college.”
“Who will write then?”
“I will take care of it.”
We had reached the hotel to have our brunch. I casually, with little concern, asked about her remaining program.
“I have to go to Tirunelveli today to mark my monthly attendance in our camp and should return by tomorrow.”
It would definitely consume twelve hours from Chennai to Tirunelveli and one more hour from Tirunelveli to her camp. I just calculated.
“Your journey consumes twenty six hours! Should you return to your college by Monday? Is it necessary to depict your physical presence every month?”
She said yes. What to do? She had to say yes. She had to
We three finished our brunch, sat on the bike, started towards catching the bus for her. My brother had to chase the bus. We reached the signal to catch it and she got into it finally. After leaving her, he left me in Thirumayilai railway station to go to my home. My father picked up in our railway station. I was still upset about the exam. I wanted to study well for the next exam, which was little tougher than the first one. Simultaneously, I had almost lost my confidence as I couldn’t make it in the first exam.

Days were digesting the week slowly. She called me in the mean time. It was Wednesday I guess. I had something to say to her. I thought of explaining the difficulty of the exam to her so that she would not put any hope on me in the upcoming exam. But, she already had another important thing to converse.
“I’ve given an opportunity to join NET class. Some of our colleagues thought of joining and they invited me also to join.” She said. Cracking NET was one of her aims. I felt happy for her and asked about the first class.
 “The first class will be held on coming Sunday they said.” She replied and continued without giving any chance for the silence to fill the second.
“But, I didn’t say yes.”
“You say yes.” I prodded.
“Vinoth! We have our exam on that day. I had promised to scribe you the entire three exams. Unfortunately, I said no to your third exam as it will be a working day for me.”
“You didn’t say no. I forced you to say no.” I said to myself and continued hearing her continuation.
“I shall come and scribe you.” She finished. I had to explicate to make her understand.
“This exam is not as important as you deem. It’s just an exam for increment. You please don’t worry and attend your first class without fail.” I said and she reluctantly said yes.
“How will you arrange scribe?” She asked and came back to her initial dialog,
“It’s okay. Let the class be aside. I will scribe you.”
“I’ll take care of it. I’ll arrange. You don’t need to worry.” I replied and somehow convinced her.

I thought of approaching Ms Akshaya, the actual scribe for that exam but, withdrew my idea as the time seemed to be very early. I would have approached her if the exam timing had been in the afternoon. Nine o’clock, from Porur to Alvarpet, that too on Sunday, for I-T people, was too bad. They would never mind on these silly issues. But, I did, and decided to call my friend Janet whose house was actually close to my exam venue. She was unable to promise to scribe as she had planned to go for a temple on that day. Hence, she suggested Mudasir to scribe me. Mudasir was the friend of Janet’s sister and also familiar to me as he had scribed me for SBI clerical exam three years ago. I called him. He confirmed his arrival and I confidently departed for my second exam. Previous night, we asked Mudasir to wait in Stella marries college bus stand to join us. But, he performed something unexpected which was actually not in our script. Not only him, had I also committed another major blunder which resulted in going to Loyola College. Even my brother was little upset on my mistake. I never thought that these exams would be filled with unforeseeable consequences.
“How did you forget it?” My brother asked me shockingly.
“I forgot to keep it in my bag after coming from our uncle’s house last week.” I replied
“I can drop you… I can pick up you from the exam hall… But, after leaving in the railway station, how will you go alone?” He asked me with disappointment.
“Let me call somebody and try to borrow if anybody had.”
I called some of my friends unfortunately, none picked mine. Finally, as usual, He picked up.
“Do you have extra cane Kishore? I forgot mine.”

We had reached Loyola College to borrow a cane from Kishore. He gave his wishes along with the cane. Cane, it’s a keepsake for me. One of the most necessary tools to be used by visually challenged travelers. Regrettably, majority of the visually challenged people consider cane as their inferior identity. Once upon a time, a visually challenged guy, who happened to travel without cane, was walking on the platform like sighted people by sensing the sound of a girl’s anklet to reach the spot. All of a sudden he slumped in the track and fractured his legs. That girl turned back. Only then the entire railway station realized that he was a visually impaired pedestrian. “I thought he was tailing me and didn’t guess he was…” The girl seriously uttered when he was lifted from the track.

Even I have been after men and women whenever I wanted to quickly reach my destiny. But, I always kept my cane with me. I had even been rescued from some dangerous situations only because of my cane. I thanked Kishor for lending the cane and called Mudasir while journeying towards the venue.
“I am coming by cab.” Mudasir told over the phone when we called.
It was around eight fifty when we reached the exam venue. Mudasir also reached promptly.
“Sorry brother. I was astir late today. Having no idea got a cab to reach the venue.”
“How much did they charge you?”
“Eighty rupees.” I felt unhappy for his unnecessary expenses.
We entered in the hall. They searched his name in the scribe’s list. I told them that we had already got consent from IIBF. The let us inside. We finished our exam. The mark appeared. “Above fifty or below fifty?” I asked. “Below fifty.” He said. He even said my mark but I forgot. My brother came to the spot after finishing some of his works. We traveled towards Doveton Cafe to have our lunch. Doveton Café is our favorite restaurant. Both my brother and I used to go whenever we get chance.  
“Why did you get cab?”
“Actually I was ill since morning. I woke up only at eight o’clock. I got a cab to avoid delay.”
Only then we came to know that Mudasir had been sick since morning. We left Mudasir at his home after finishing our lunch.

I was not upset as I was as for my first exam. I called my friend Raja for arranging scribe for my final exam.
“The actual scribe for this exam will not be available. I got permission for my friend Beatrice who also can’t come on that day. Hence, there may be a possibility of disqualification in the last minute; despite it didn’t happen last time. Therefore, it is better to arrange a scribe who is residing near to the venue. The most important thing is that the person should be free enough to come and scribe me. I don’t want any busy man to sacrifice his valuable time.” I told him. He called me after a while.
“I have talked to couple of juveniles who are very much free on that day. You don’t worry. Even if you’re disqualified they will casually come out of the exam. Nonetheless, I will confirm with them and let you know.” He said.
I decided not to study even a single word till I get a scribe.
I called him on the previous day before the exam.
“Unfortunately, both of them are not free Vinoth. Don’t worry. I will forward a message in a group to get any scribe possible.”

Raja was the one who had arranged scribes for my bank exams. I had unshakable trust on him.
“I sent a message. One of them from the groups called and got your number. He will call you soon for sure I think.” He said over the phone. It was six in the evening. I received no call. Six turned into seven. Seven turned into eight. I called him.
“I got no call as of now. What to do now?”
“Shall I call him Vinoth?” He asked me.
“Let’s wait.”
He called after five minutes.
“Vinoth… I called him. He’s not going to scribe you. It is his friend who is going to scribe you tomorrow he said. He also said he has forwarded your mobile number to his friend.”
“Let us wait.”
It was nine in the evening. I thought of studying. He called me again.
“Did you receive any call?”
“No. Let us wait till ten o’clock.” I said and skimming the book quickly. I have completed fifty three chapters in an hour. It was ten in the night.
“Did you receive any call Vinoth?”
“No Raja. Let us wait till eleven. Let me think of skipping the exam after that.” I said. He felt really upset.
“Is it very important exam Vinoth? Should I call him one who called me in the evening?”
“Nothing of the sort man. It’s already ten. Don’t disturb anybody. Don’t worry
I was slightly fatigued still, revised some of the chapter. Confirming the impossibility of any scribes, I called him.
“Did anybody call you Vinoth?” He was excited the moment when he received my call.
“No Raja. I think it’s over. No problem. You don’t worry. I think that this exam is not supposed to be written. It was a problematic exam from the beginning. Anyway, in case if I get any call tonight I will go to the exam. It’ll very difficult if anybody calls me tomorrow.”
“I’m very sorry Vinoth. I thought those boys would come. In the last minute, everything got collapsed.” He spoke and remained speechless for some minutes. I had to console him for my exam.
“It’s not an issue at all. Sleep well Raja. It’s already eleven twenty. Good night.”
“Good night.” He said unhappily. I woke up my mother and informed.
“I am not going to write my exam tomorrow. So, you don’t need to wake up early.” I informed and fell on my bed.

It was February eleven eight thirty A.M. I was seated in front of the exam hall.
“Your scribe had gone to the terrace.” One of the techies gave instant information.
My brother had rushed to the terrace to find a man.
A man in his twenties was descending with my brother. We shook our hands.
“Your name is not in the list sir!” A staff investigated with a shock.
“We informed in the institution sir. He has replaced the other scribe of mine.” I replied.
We completed the initial formalities including keeping our bags outside and entered into the hall.
“Have you brought the letter from IIBF?” The invigilator asked me.
“Actually yes, But, not for this scribe. As the exams were postponed, I got permission from the institution to use an undeclared scribe. They asked me to call them if any issue in the center.” He maintained a brief silence and turned to my scribe.
“What’s your name?”
“Nazir sir.”
“What are you doing?”
He said that he has been working in some private company. The invigilator was convinced and let us takes up the exam.

After the instruction, we started taking up our exam. As usual, I didn’t pay much attention to sample questions and simply asked him to click some option. We were allowed to start the main exam.
“Finally, I am taking up this exam.” I said to myself and eagerly listened to his reading. I listened to the first question and asked him to tick the first option and he complied. There was a minute silence.
“It asks ‘do you want to submit.’” He read and continued, “Should I give ‘yes?’”
“Okay.” I replied. Then only it struck me.
“No!” I prevented promptly. But, he was even earlier.
“Number of questions 120. Number of attended question: 1. Marks: 0. Click to take print.” He read with bewilderment.
“What to do now?” He didn’t fail to ask that question to me.
“We should not have given ‘submit’. There was an option called ‘next’ and, we wrongly submitted. Now, the exam is over.” I coolly described the situation.
“What! Oh my god!” He pouted, got up from the chair, whisked to one of the techies.
He came and saw the screen and yelled out of control.
“It’s over!” His voice reverberated in the hall.
Immediately, some wandering techies gathered behind me.
“What happened?”
“They have finished the exam.”
“Wow! What a speed!” One of them praised.
“Hey! They erroneously submitted before beginning. He’s visually impaired candidate. His scribe has made a mistake.” The other one explained. My scribe, the poor soul of the drama, was standing with infernal fear. Nearly four to five techies visited my screen one after the other.
“What to do now?” everybody asked one another.
“We can’t do anything. That’s all! It’s over!” Everybody answered in unison.
“I appreciate your unity people. You asked together and answered together! This is another way of disqualification.” I said to myself. I tried my level best to control my laughter.
Another staff calmly came and visited the screen to say the same dialog.
“It’s over!”
“It’s not over today. It’s already been over long back.” I was murmuring with closed lips.
The whole hall might have felt pity on me. But, I felt pity on my scribe. I knew very well that this problem could be resolved as I already had this experience.
“It’s my mistake sir. Please do something. I am his scribe. He doesn’t know anything. It is I who committed the mistake. It’s my fault sir.” My scribe pleaded. His voice was softened with fear and his visage must have evinced an inexplicable tension.
The invigilator came after getting the news.
“What Nazir?” He asked with concern and patted his shoulder.
He suggested techies to talk to the administration. One of them talked to someone and conveyed in the hall.
“They have asked us to wait for few minutes. It can be resolved once the data are deleted.”

Nazir must have got his breath back as our screen came back to the starting point.
He read the instruction.
“There are totally 120 question is given. Each and every question carries from .25 marks to 2 marks based on its difficulty.” He read the first question informed me that this question carried .50 marks.
“Ji, please select some other option. When I erroneously submitted, it showed 0 marks. So, that was not the right answer.” I was taken aback by his brilliance.
“Each and every question is allotted marks?” I asked with the at most shock.
“Yes ji! This question carries .50 marks, next is .50. Next is, .50.” He said and kept scrolling. His words were enlivening me. No other scribe had told me this.
“Each and every question?” I asked him again.
“Yes Ji. I’ve visited almost twenty questions. All of them carry the same.”
I understood the reason behind my previous fiasco with Beatrice. Even after studying well, I failed because of focusing on limited mark questions. I misjudged the marks. I failed to ask them. They forgot to notice them.
Once Srilu asked me the toughest question few months ago.
“Who is your favorite scribe?” It was a hypothetical question for I had met many good scribes in my life.
And, this time, one of the answers was sitting beside and expecting an answer from me.
“Don’t think too much ji. We are still in .50 marks. I will let you know when 1 mark questions appear.
It was an unfamiliar energy occupying my brain and torso. I felt the rejuvenation in my nerves. One hour of skimming the book was extracting its content in the brain.
“I’m going to clear this exam. It’s not over yet.” I appreciated myself.
“Question number 71.” He passed and read, “Carries 2 marks.”
“It’s time to think deeper ji. And, think deeper.” He prodded.
“Question number 86, carries 1 mark. The entire question from 86 from 120 carry the same.” He declared. And, we finished the exam after finishing all the questions. He read my marks. I was glee to the core. I said no to the scoring sheet but, he went and collected it. We came out. I forced him to consume some water at least. He denied.
“Please don’t mind some of my mistakes in the beginning ji. I am very sorry.”
“No problem at all. Actually, I was laughing inside. I didn’t take anything serious in fact. I would not have minded even if we were chased out. Please don’t think of it.” I explained.

I called Raja soon after Nazir’s departure.
“I wrote the exam today. And, thank you very much!”
“Wow! Super! Who came? Who arranged?”
“You only arranged.” I told and perpetuated, “After finishing our conversation, I informed my parents about skipping the exam and went to sleep. My eyes were half closed. We exchanged ‘good night’ at eleven twenty last night. I received a call at eleven thirty from an unknown number. A man introduced himself with some name which I couldn’t get at that time. He came today morning and scribed. I sent him just now and calling you.”
“How was the exam? Have you cleared?”
“Exam was fantastic. I failed by four marks. I secured forty six. Even my scribe felt upset for losing it by four marks. But, I felt happy. I understood how to write an exam.”
“What is next?”
“Doveton Café!”

The end.


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