- I was one of the studious ones, during my school days. In our state board examination of 10th grade, I stood second in my town. To our fortune, we had a brand new 10 + 2 school in our town which was known for their dedicated teachers. All top scorers joined that school in hordes. The school had a peculiar way of assigning roll numbers. Instead of going alphabetical or admission date, they went by marks obtained in 10th grade. Since the first-rank of our town also joined the same college, I was roll number two in the class. Since everyone knew this roll numbering policy, we continued to bask in the glory of our success in the 10th grade examination longer.
Since I had chosen science stream, we had lab sessions, in the evenings. We did experiments in pairs and pairing was done by roll numbers. Once, during one of these lab sessions, as usual the teacher showed us how to take the measurements and asked us to complete the experiment accordingly. All pairs then went to collect the apparatus from Manohar, our lab attendant. Me and my partner started right away and more than half of our observations were made before even other pairs collected their apparatus. Manohar typically had nothing much to do after distributing the apparatus, other than waiting for all the guys to finish their experiments, collect the apparatus, lock the lab and go home. When he was strolling by us, he was happy to see that we had several of the observations done, already. He praised the speed with which we were working but also expressed the regret that not every pair was as intelligent as us and how they took long time and eventually delayed him returning home. I still remember the adjective he used for those slow students – माकड छाप (monkey business).
Fast forward, we completed all our observations, did calculations and went to our teacher and showed the results. He looked at our notebook and said that he would like to see how we did our experiment. We walked him to our table and showed him our procedure. He shook his head in disapproval and explained the correct way to take the measurement. So, anyway we restarted our experiment and also realized that it took lot more precision and time to do just one observation. As we finished a couple of observations, we saw some pairs completing their work and going home. By the time we did some more observations the whole lab was empty. We too finished our experiment little later, but each minute felt like an hour to us with just us and Manohar in the lab. Needless to say, we could not look him in eyes, for many days later.
(Thank you EDUSCIENCE UK LTD. for the image)