| QUICK CALL: Students find out their ICSE results from the Net at a cyber caf' on Wednesday. Picture by Amit Datta
The tense wait that began 24 hours ago ended for most in less than 30 seconds.
With anxious students and even more anxious parents queueing up since early afternoon, a number of cyber caf's in the city had reserved computers, while some had booked the entire caf' for ICSE and ISC results.
And with websites kept open and running, it hardly took students any time to find out how they had fared.
Ankita Mukherjee was so tense about her ICSE results that she had not slept a wink on Tuesday night. She and mother Archana had been waiting outside a south Calcutta cyber caf' since 2 pm.
'There were nearly a hundred people gathered there. But the shop had kept aside three computers where the websites were open and so the results were checked one after another. Thankfully, the connectivity was good, so it hardly took us any time,' said Archana Mukherjee.
Shubho Chakravarty, a resident of Tollygunge, went to a cyber caf' close to his house. 'Since a lot of students had been going there since morning, the cyber caf' turned away all other customers during that time. All the computers were at our disposal and it took some 20 of us only 15 minutes to check our results.'
The scene was tense at most caf's, as students and parents waited with bated breath for their turn. And as the tension rose, the mercury soared. 'With so many people inside, the heat was stifling,' said Subrata Saha, owner of a south Calcutta cyber caf'.
To beat the heat, most parents had come armed for D-day with glucose powder, soft drinks and ice creams for their children.
It was brisk business at cyber caf's, but schools had a tough time accessing the sites. Officials at the Assembly of God Church School said: 'Since the sites were opened at all cyber caf's, we found them clogged and were not able to log on till late in the evening. Students knew their results from private sources much before the school could announce them .'
Kajari Mukherjee, principal, Rajasthan Vidya Mandir, faced the same problem. 'It wasn't till 7 pm that I got to know how the school had fared.'
Ananya Maitra, of La Martiniere for Girls, said: 'The Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations website did not open before 5 pm. Only two private websites were accessible on time.'
This was confirmed by cyber caf'-owners. 'Other than one private site, none of the others opened before 4.30 pm,' said Subrata Patra, owner of a south Calcutta cyber caf'.
The long wait turned out to be too wearisome for some. Anima Das, of Howrah, said: 'After waiting for an hour, my daughter grew impatient. So, we called up a relative who has Net connection and got to know the results from him.'