The Moonstruck Columns


Now, I am the kind of guy who gets rid of the question paper as soon as he steps out of the examination center. But the world would have been more beautiful if only people were like that. The main problem with the planet today is not war or global warming, but people who take pleasure in discussing the question paper afterwards. They are those clothespins, clinging to the cloth, never willing to come off and making life miserable for the one who wishes to put on the handsome silk shirt.

Being good at something is really bad. Nay, “Painful”. But much of the disaster is naturally averted if the only person aware of the fact is you. The situation gets worse when other people too come to know that you are good at that ‘something’. And in some cases it takes a cruel turn when your name is something too rare to be mistaken as any other person.

In my Fall Semester last year, I wrote a computer program in the eleventh hour and showed it to my Professor. He just asked me one question – “Did you write this all by yourself?”

I should have said “NO”.

I have been bearing the consequences ever since. A young innocent soul full of regret, paying the price of a momentary craving for recognition. This semester, he picked me, against my wishes, to do a project whose mere title is an agonizing nightmare for me; even to pronounce, to start with.

So, there was kind of a test in college today which we were forced to sit in. I was pretty revolting of the idea, not only because it was completely useless, but also because I had a really bad headache and I had to take three pills to suppress my residue illness from the previous night. But life would have been simpler if this was the end of the story.

After the test, I got away from a whole bunch of crowd, avoiding to talking to anyone to reach the bus stop as fast as I could. I got on the bus, settled myself in a seat near the back and took a deep breath of relief, picturing myself patting my own back for a clean escape, when suddenly…

“Dude!” the guy in the back of my seat claps his hand on my back.

“Oh No!” my first reaction, that too – shamelessly aloud.

“Did you see question No. 2?” the clothespin said.

Perhaps he had missed my reaction.

“I haven’t even very much SEEN the questions man!” I said.

“But you are good at C (a programming language) right?” he said excitedly.

“No man, I am not good at anything!”

“I know you are! Try this…”

At this point, I would like to mention that my name is quite infrequent to come across, thanks to my grandparents. So it was fruitless telling him that he had mistaken me for someone else.

“Aaargh!” I shouted out in agony. I threw five bucks for my ticket to a bewildered conductor and broke into a run in pursuit of the bus door.

“Hey! But I thought you lived near the 7th Avenue! Its 30 minutes from here!”

“I have changed my address recently. Now its ‘The Footpath!’. Thanks to you!”

And before he could decode what I had just said, I leapt off the bus out of view…


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