Today I’m in the mood for some light-hearted banter, some goofy grinning, some sly smirking. So I thought, what is that one topic which makes all my like-minded peers smile sheepishly while exchanging knowing glances? And the answer was simple – “Things we do when we should be studying”. Yes, procrastination is the order of the day, my fellow comrades. And we, as students, have mastered this notorious art. Nothing can be postponed, put off or entirely given up, like studying can. Anyone who begs to differ has my salute, cause you, sir or madam, are truly a saint. For the rest of us mortals, I’m going to describe what I typically go through when I decide to study (Let me add that this miraculous event occurs no more than 2 days before the exams. I ought to be at least a little chagrined, but weirdly enough I am not).
5 pm: So, I have finally resolved to study, dug out the relevant books (I’m skipping the portion where I commence the hunt for books, papers, syllabi etc. for the sake of your sanity) and am sitting at my table. Suddenly, I have an earth shattering epiphany. CLEANLINESS IS GODLINESS. Thou shalt not study amidst the layers of dust coating thy filthy table. Thus begins the hour long process of cleaning every inch of that table until it gleams. Well, why not clean the entire room while I’m at it. So, I endeavor to dust, clean and polish my entire room, which has been untouched since my last cleaning bout i.e. since exactly before my last exams.
6:15 pm: “Phew! All that cleaning….so tiring. Let me make a glass of iced tea”.
6:30 pm: “Ok! I think I’ve got it. There are 4 types of hydrocarbons. Hmm…let me check out what my bestie is doing”. Now staying in a hostel, I simply walk across the corridor to her room. Stairway to heaven is blaring from her laptop (she’s got the soul of a drummer) and she’s playing Candy Crush Saga, books lying forgotten by the side. Now usually for me, every exam is accompanied by me getting crazily addicted to a game, playing it till I go mad and then finally deleting it, vowing to never to be bewitched again by that foul piece of witchcraft. Temple Run, Subway Surfers, Flappy Bird…You name it. Each of these has been the ultimate tool of destruction, wreaking havoc on my innocent plans of studying. So this time, it is Candy Crush. I am like a rehab alcoholic suddenly exposed to the smell of vodka. Thus ensues an hour of crazily playing Candy Crush, all the time discussing the woes of our lives, the sad, sad state of our academics. We curse the books, the teachers, the college, the education system, the country, the universe. Eventually we come to our senses, loudly proclaim “we are so doomed”, and I depart for my room.
7:45 pm: “There are 4 types of hydrocarbons- paraffins, aromatics, napthenes……hmmm…..that wall….it’s so….amazing…” Now here I have described me phasing out. It’s funny how the most mundane of things can become so fascinating when you are trying to concentrate on those wretched hydrocarbons. Let me elaborate the thought process of a student in a trance – “That wall….fascinating…..I wonder, was that crack always there??….Weird….Wow! I can trace out a cat there…or maybe Abraham Lincoln…wicked….Ah! This reminds me of that story I had in high school, ‘The face in the Wall’…..Oh! I miss school!! I’ll go there the next time I go home…….”- And it goes on and on. I’ve just exhausted another 15 minutes, simply woolgathering. I can bet my life on the fact that if there’s anyone with a shorter attention span than that of a baby, it’s a student.
8 pm: “Paraffins have the genera formula..” – *Ping*- Ah! The all-mighty, all pervading WhatsApp demands attention. Who am I to ignore? A 10 minute conversation follows. Beware, it can very well go on to 1 hour, even 2, but the panic is setting in now, so I curtail my otherwise exuberantly chatty self and quickly say goodbye after the usual “kitna padha?”, “Kuch bhi nhi”, “ we are so doomed”.
8:15 pm: Around this time, I always think to myself, “Well, it’s soon going to be dinner time anyways. What’s the point of studying now? Let me take a break. I deserve it (Yeah right)”. So the next half hour is spent in watching that favourite How I Met Your Mother episode.
8:45 pm: Ding ding. Its dinner time. Those, who like me, stay in a hostel, would know that any meal in a hostel is not just a meal, but an entire event in itself. First, you round up your gang. Then the entire procession proceeds to the mess. There, you all stand in queue, waiting for your turn. After getting the food (and after the daily dose of groaning and complaining about its pathetic quality), you finally dig in. Of course, this is a prolonged affair. Who wants to get back to studying? Eventually you are done. You return back upstairs, where after another mandatory gossip assembly of sorts, you finally get back to your books.
10 pm: “Aromatics are unsaturated hydrocarbons that…”-*Linkin Park ringtone *- I explain to my mother how I’ve just spent an entire day diligently studying. Of course she sees through it. Mothers!
10:10 pm: “…unsaturated hydrocarbons that….”-*Ping*- ‘XYZ just added a photo of you on Facebook’. ”OMG! I’ve got to check this one out…I told that idiot not to tag me”. I won’t even bother explaining how the next hour is spent on Facebook. We are all too familiar with it.
11 pm: By this time, I am freaking out big time. It’s do or die time. I finally put in an hour of constructive studying, which does it for me. My eyes begin to close; the text in front of me begins to swim. I shut my books with a sigh. So much for studying till 2. “Ok! Ok! No problem. I’ll simply get up early”. I set the alarm for 4 am.
8:30 am : I AM DOOMED.