This one is for all you cheaters out there, always looking for better ways to pass an examination than just studying. I would call myself a pro now, but I was not always like this. Every superhero has an origin, every cheater has a beginning. This is mine and then some. Enjoy…
|Time: Class 8||The test: Half Yearly Exams|
The Problem: Computers
If cheating was a crime (I think it is somewhere in there) Angad and I would be partners. I would be an accomplice however never the perpetrator. I think I rationalized the mean streak in me by telling myself that I was only helping Angad, and asking nothing in return. We were cool that way, I kept my self respect and Angad kept his marks, everybody was happy.
It was the last paper of the half-yearly. Another one of Angad’s multiple weak spot. I knew a lot depended on me. The computer paper was almost always full of long and winding programs and flowcharts. Not only were these difficult to dictate, if you copied even a little bit of it wrong, the whole effort would amount to nothing (this is of course considering the original is correct). I was not exactly sure how Angad would tackle that, but I left it to him.
Almost half way through the exam (I guess Angad knew some answers after all), I felt the poking from behind. “Which question”, I whispered, tilting my head back a bit, seemingly thinking about an answer (yeah! I was that good). “No question, just pass the sheet.” I couldn’t believe my ears; all that rock music had finally made Angad insane. How could I (a bit of background, for our half yearly, we were given single sheets to fill up, and at the end we would tie them up and submit them to the examiner; weird right!) pass my sheets to him. Showing him the answers was one thing. But this was taking it to the next level; and I didn’t know I was ready for it. I shook my head in the negative. We could be caught (the chances of which had doubled), we could end up in jail for all I knew, they might even post a picture of me and Angad in the newspaper. I know sounds like overkill now, but those were valid scenarios to a 15 year old.
I kept shaking my head and Angad kept his irritating habit up. You know what they say about time and money (this is the last one I promise), so I made a decision, and passed him one. It was as subtle as that Hiroshima explosion, but for some reason the teacher didn’t see us.
Sheets after sheets were passed. I was sure we would be caught each time, only we weren’t. I even saw some other students catching us in the act and even elbowing others to witness what was happening. Some snickered, some shook their heads in disgust, but no one told on us. I was sweating ice cold water during that time, and if you could believe it the problems came as a welcome distraction (probably the reason I ended up becoming a programmer).
Angad was working on the last 2 sheets when the bell rang. Time was up, that lethargic motionless figure which could have passed for a dead body moments ago, switched on, got up and started collecting papers in one swift motion. The shit had just hit the fan. I started hyperventilating. Angad was one sheet extra, I was one sheet short, we were in the first column, and there was no way the last switch could take place. The punishment, the jail, the newspaper were becoming crispier by the second.
The teacher was just 2 seats away; I was the same amount away from tears (manly ones of course). That’s when I heard a collective gasp. I turned around to find sheets everywhere floating lazily in the light wind coming from the window. Someone had unfortunately and carelessly lost his sheets to the wind in his hurry to tie them up. That someone was Angad of course, immediately everyone in the class was trying to catch one, giggling away. The teacher did what he had to; started calming the students down and collect the sheets. Angad had lost all, but two, one of which he quickly passed back to me, the other he kept on his desk, so the teacher doesn’t miss the missing sheet.
Once the exam was over, the room slowly emptied out. The two of us sat there, looking at each other, more out of shock at what had just happened than anything else. Some of our colleagues passed us by patting us on the back for a job well done. The two of us smiled at each other, partners in crime, we had each other’s back.