I still remember standing outside Mumbai’s Jai Hind College building in 2001 to check the results of the BMS (Bachelor of Management Studies) entrance test. If someone had told me back then that 22 years later, I would be writing this column, I would only have asked which exams did I fail to land up here. But perhaps, that’s the thing about exam results. Ask any Indian, even if he/she is now the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Ask them about the tension during exam results and they will go right back to their childhood faster than you can say ‘Cryversity & Delusion’.
Exams have taken on a whole new meaning in the pandemic, with online exams being about as honest as the offline college peon used to be. I still remember standing outside the tiny semi-circular window on the ground floor to collect my Sem 1 result. For the longest time, I felt like I was being judged for my semi-circular DP by the office clerk because that is all he could see.
The 10th and 12th standard board examinations, of course, are a rite of passage into the permanent cashflows you will be sending to your therapist 10 and 12 years later. I had the unique distinction of clearing 12 papers in the 3rd semester of my B-school course at Delhi University. Legend says that I was the only person who appeared again for the MIS paper, but 100 question papers were printed because that is the minimum lot size. It is ironic that the full form of MIS is Management Information Systems. Perhaps the exam’s true purpose was to test if was ready to become a stand-up comedian seven years later.
Now, I see a lot of hilarious posts about how someone quit engineering to take up comedy and says “marks don’t matter”. You can rest assured the same stand-up comedian also carries a “laughs don’t matter” attitude in his act. Saying marks don’t matter to score pop-culture likes and shares from a popcorn audience is like saying votes don’t matter to a man threatening you with a Sengol.
But, next year, we have the ultimate of all exam results in the form of the US and Indian elections. They are exams in which the whole world is invested in, and you can buy the exam paper as much as you can buy the exam itself. But enough about anonymous electoral bonds and the US death stealing crisis.The author, Vikram Poddar, is a Marwari investment banker turned corporate comedian. The views expressed in this article are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the website.