Sunday, December 20, 2009

An hour of humiliation- Part II

The day Kundu sir reprimanded me, (An hour of humiliation) I learnt some tough lessons about surviving in IIT. One thing I knew, learning and earning couldn’t go hand in hand. The lecture by him unleashed my determination, as besides the obvious shame; I felt enraged when nagged constantly about this being a tough course for me to pass. Sure, this reduced my confidence as well.
Somehow, what followed easily proved the debacle at the first step wasn’t a true reflection of my capabilities in the subject. For I bounced back eventually getting 57.5/100, making the 2/25 seem insignificant. Yet when it came to the few numbers that decide the semester performance (grades), I found myself at the edge of the next grade but never tried much to force Professor into giving some marks (which I could have got on insistence, some questions could’ve been reconsidered for leniency), for I was engulfed by a strange feeling that I would be ‘gifted’ the next grade.
If the debacle at the first step was not enough, I further axed my foot when a game of luck seemed to have been favoring me. The Pre-Major Totals (PMT) weren’t ever officially displayed, but was glumly pasted outside Sir’s room. Being almost an inhabitant of the Maths Department, I spotted the sheet and almost decided to walk away on noticing the minute blunder. My Minor 2 marks had been exchanged with my namesake Siddharth Nandecha but he lay at the receiving end of the loss by a margin of 2.5 marks. Unable to cash on his earned marks, (especially since I used to value him as a roomie) my conscience dragged me to the door where the marks had been re-adjusted to the true values.
Now it was a margin of below 2 marks, that pushed me into the lower of the grades and I just wished Kundu sir could value either the honesty, or the magnificence leap to gift me B. Realizing that I needed to talk at least once, I waited until the others left, but was disappointed to see Mayur standing firm despite my insistence to move out. Mayur, as he has always been obsessed with results more than work, felt cheated that a question worth 8 marks had come in the paper which he hadn’t crammed and believed himself worthy of the next grade even at 56.5. He adamantly stood ground, and I was forced to keep my plea to Kundu sir in front of the very person, who demanded the same grade, though on different grounds and credentials.
For the first time, the stone-faced teacher along with a straight ‘no’ spoke of helplessness about being bound by rules, not allowing him to recognize strange deviations in my case through a grade. Mayur didn’t leave ground all this time, until he was shown the door alongside me. I walked out a frustrated guy, cursing the step of honesty which robbed me of a B, as Nandecha just basked into B by a margin of 1 mark.
Thankfully, I met Tripathi sir on my way who cleverly made me realize the overall loss was less than worth 0.03 and sarcastically commented ‘So now Mr. Bhattacharya, rather than passing with 7.90 may pass with 7.87. Is that your concern?’ It was enough to cheer my mood, and reinforce some of my beliefs about the uselessness of squabbling for grades.

P.S. For the other subjects: I got an underperforming 5 in EEL, 6 in Optimization (but was satisfied because I liked the subject very much), and three 9s (Discrete, EEP, Literature). Contemporary Fiction is the best course I have studied in IIT. I obtained my best ever SG of 7.24 as CGPA crawled to 6.64.


Equivalence said...

i agree on the squabbling over grades part. But i would disagree with the fact that contemporary fiction was the best course.

pgm said...

"Mayur...felt cheated that a question worth 8 marks had come in the paper which he hadn’t crammed..."
wow, what a picture of maggu this draws!

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