It is a beautiful day. The sun is shinning. The birds are chirping. The sun’s ray flicker on the leaves as they rustle in the gentle breeze that gushes softly from the river below. Inside the class, the fans swing their hands slicing the air like warriors in a heated battle. The fans’ rotating sound is disturbing. Other than the soft flipping of the pages, falling pencils and pens and a little cough here and there, nothing is heard in the room. A pin dropping on the floor can be heard. Naïve but stern faces over papers are a spectacle to observe as each individual face has a story to tell.
First, there are the ‘no-nothing’ faces that are the easiest to spot in the group. It is amusing to watch them as they sweat and scratch their heads as if doing that will make the answers fall out of their jammed heads. Their eyes linger in mid-air thinking about what they should write just for the sake of not leaving the answer scripts blank. But at the same time it is painful to watch their struggle. There are moments when I feel I could help them, may be give them some clues, point out some correct multiple-choice answers etc. But I cannot forget that I am a teacher and being there is to make sure that the exam goes fair.
The next are the confused but ‘little knowing’ faces. They also have their own share of the struggle - the price they pay for not working before. Since there is not much to write, the part they do write is given all the time they have and as far as the neatness is concerned they get full marks leaving aside the correctness of the answers. They are also interesting to watch. They roll their eyeballs here and there hoping to catch a glimpse of what their friends are writing. Some stretch their necks so much towards their friends’ scripts that I have to ask them to stop or they might turn into a giraffe.
For some, the exam comes as a delight to satisfy themselves with the answers they promptly know. And for others still, it is the reward for all the hard work they have put in. Some receive the question papers, go through it, and smile a satisfied happy smile as if they got the toy they always wanted for their birthday. Some smile at the question paper as if they have met a long lost friend. Their smiles sing of happiness. It is a smile you are happy to join, as a teacher.
However, in the end everyone is happy. The exams are over and a vacation is waiting.