Much as they were dreaded, The Practical Examinations threw up some of the most hilarious instances in my college life. They are scheduled just after all the written examinations get over and the new semester starts, and there is this fear factor associated with them partly because of the Lottery that happens at the start. The examiners place all the possible questions within answer sheets and we go on and pick one up and that is the ‘question’ we got to ‘answer’. Its like putting your hand in a huge can of snakes and hoping that you get a baby boa rather than a black mamba.Once you are done with the test/experiment and ensure that nothing is going to blow up (atleast until you exit the lab), there comes the Viva-Voce part when the examiners have their share of the limelight; they may turn villain and quiz you on the works of the latest Nobel Prize winner or they may still turn villain ask you the “What-happens-if-you-pour-petrol-in-a-diesel-engine?” types questions which you thought are only going to be asked by your kids 15 years later. Answers to these questions often range from the ‘Aushwitz-tortured-prisoner’ look on the face to the ‘Bangladeshi-cyclone-victim’ look on the face, hoping to somehow extract that last drop of generosity in them.
Metallurgy Lab Exam circa january 2005
H has successfully dealt with a baby boa and is over-confidence personified as he is next in line for the Viva Guillotine where A is getting himself chopped into pieces by the smiling examiner(E) with more than a tinge of schadenfreude visible on his face. E then suddenly decides enough is enough and that last drop of generosity comes through in the form of….
“What is the percentage of Carbon in steel?”
A: gulp..err…around seve…ntyyy percent?
H<in his mind> ha ha ha its ninety..this nincompoop A doesnt know a thing
E:<getting over the initial Oh-my-good-lord-what-have-I-done-look-on-his-face>:Whaat?!!! you expect iron to be 100 percent carbon?!!!!
H<in his not-so-sure mind>: err…it must be around fifty then
E<looking at H and guffawing>: hahaha look what he is saying…seventyy percentage….hahaha
H<in his not-at-all-sure mind>:I better start laughing…it got to be around forty percent then
H: ha ha ha….
<A stares at H with the “you (^&*(^&*^&*^&*^&*” look on his face and H gives a sly “I-am-sorry-I-had-to do-it”face and continues laughing>
E: Most steel contains less than 0.35 percent carbon….how can you call yourself an engineer…<continues his loud boisterous laughter>
H<in his it better-not-show-it-outside mind>:phew that was close!
H:<with the you-are-real-funny-sir face> ha ha ha
As H is good with his theatrics he managed to get through his viva with a ‘Khmer-Rouge-prisoner’ visage adorning his face. According to reliable sources, he still manages to showcase his stagecraft at a certain Western India Agro Products company when his PM asks status reports.