"so,what are we gonna eat today?"asked sharma,"its your turn
"yes"replied Pulkit,as they approached canteen."lets see what they have for us today. hope its not macaroni,i hate it."
"good for me,i'l have the full plate for myself.anyway,somehow i feel today is my lucky day"said Nikhil cheerfully,"i wanna sing banda ye bindaas hai....."
"han han stop it now,what makes you so happy today?"asked Pulkit.
"just tell me"
"okay",said Nikhil,"you might not find the reason to be anything special,but for people like me who are not bookworms,its huge"
"will you tell me whatever on earth it is?"asked Pulkit,now irritated
"yeah,tommorow's chemistry test makes me happy"
"what,dont tell me you know the paper?"asked pulkit
"na,but for the first time,i am well prepared.i have studied well and in no mood to take any tension,just wanna sing banda ye bindaas hai......"
"SHUT UP!!!"said pulkit,loud enough to make nikhil shut up
"i'll do anything for you my best friend"said nikhil and put his arm around his friend.
"here we are"said pulkit as they reached the canteen.
"damn"he said,as he saw a girl carrying macaroni in her hands,"you are lucky today,here,take the money and go get yourself a plate full of crap."
"i will,thank you"said nikhil,taking the money.
"you waiting here?"he asked
"yeah"answered pulkit,"it was never my dream to see you eat up my money some day"
"cool.wait here,i'll be back"said nikhil and he left.
"han,hogaya?"asked pulkit as nikhil returned 5 minutes
"hogaya"nikhil replied,putting his hands on his stomach."lets go,its time we reach the class"
"hmm,which class?"asked pulkit
"it's chemistry,the class i hate the most,but at the moment,my favourite period is chemistry.we'll have a question answer session.she said so yesterday.remember?"
"yeah,yeah.lets get a move on"said nikhil,wiping his mouth with the sleeves of his shirt.
"good morning,children"said the chemistry teacher,entering the class,as the children stood up to greet the teacher,"sit down,everyone,and lets begin"
"my first question" continued the teacher,"stand up prateek"
"yes mam",said the tall fair boy,standing up.
"i know your current level,so the simplest question for you,just tell me if phenol is acidic or basic."said the teacher,and picked up the duster from the blackboard. everyone knew that the duster was going to be used as a weapon.
"mam,actually,i have not read this chapter yet"prateek said,acting as nicely as he could.
"to kab padhoge?shouted the teacher,your paper's tommorow,isnt it?"
"yes mam"answered prateek,looking down,as if he had never felt so ashamed in his life before
"okay prateek,i'll give you another chance,a more basic question.when is any substance acidic or basic?"
"okay,just tell me what is phenol"said the teacher angrily"or i'll use the duster"
"mam,c6h5oh."said prateek as fast as he could,afraid that someone else might answer it before him.
"yeah,atleast your level is that of a 6th class student,but unfortunately,you have a class 12 exam tomorrow."said the teacher. nikhil chuckled,as the teacher said these words.
"how much marks did you get last time,nikhil?.stand up and answer.bahaaut hansi aari hai na"shouted the teacher at nikhil.
"mam,33"answered nikhil,as he stood up.
"hmmmm,zabardasti pass kiya hoga ."continued the teacher as all the students listened silently,trynig to grab the least attention."what about tommorow?hai kuch ummeed?"
"yes mam,i'm well prepared this time.i'll surely pass with good marks"said nikhil confidently
"okay,answer this question then,the 5th question on page63."
"this is easy mam,can i calculate the molality on the board?"
nikhil solved the whole question on the board,and was going back to his seat when the teacher asked a girl to come forward and explain what nokhil had done.
The teacher then asked more questions to different students,nikhil knew all of them,except one.
"i'll go and ask mam the answer,you come along if you want"nikhil said to pulkit,as the bell rang and teacher left the class.
"lets go"replied pulkit and both of them followed the teacher outside the class.
"mam",screamed nikhil,but the teacher didnt seem to hear him.
"mam"shouted nikhil,a little louder now,but still no response.
suddenly a paper fell from the teacher's diary and before pulkit could shout to tell her what had happened,a hand closed his mouth.
"nikhil,what were you trying to do?"asked pulkit astonished,as the teacher went out of sight.
"nothing,lets just go back.oh wait,you go back.i'll go and ask mam the answer,i'll give the paper to her as well."
"okay"replied pulkit and he went back to the class.nikhil then went on to pick up the paper,with every intention of reading it.
"yes!!!!!!! boy,its my lucky day" he said to himself as he read the first few lines.
"thank you mam,i no longer need the answer to that questions,for i got a copy of tommorow's question paper"
He quickly wrote all the questions in his notebook,and went straight to the chemistry lab.
nobody was there,but the diary from which the paper had fallen was on the table.nikhil quickly drew the paper from his pocket and kept it in the diary.He left the lab,before anyone saw him.
"mam,may i come in?"nikhil asked the maths teacher as he stood at the door.
"yes,go take your seat."came the reply.
"you returned the paper"asked pulkit.
"yes"nikhil answered back truthfully.
The next 2 periods nikhil spent on deciding whether he should tell anyone that he had found the question paper or not.Thousands of questions occupied his mind,"will someone would be stupid enough to tell mam","but they are my friends,its my duty to tell them"he said to himself.
"but what if i get caught?"he asked himself.Nikhil,by the end of 7th period had finally decided not to tell anyone. "after all,this is the safer option"he said to himself.
"which class is it now?"nikhil asked pulkit,as the ring of bell
signalled the beginning of the 8th and the last period.
"english"pulkit replied,taking his english books out of the bag.
"half the chances are that shoma mam wont be here and....."
"good morning mam"chorused the children as the teacher entered the class.
"good morning children.sit down everyone.lets begin,we are already short of time and i might not be able to come tommorow.so,where were we in the last class?"
"mam,we were doing the question answers of 'evans tries an o-level',we were on the third question."said a student sitting in the first row.
"ok,mridul,will you please stand up and read the next question for us"said the teacher,pointing her hand to mridul.
mridul stood up to read"how did evans escape the prison?"
"so who'll answer this question?"asked the teacher."c'mmon this is simple"she said,when nobody raised thier hands to answer"just write about how evans escaped with the help of his friend"
"but mam,how can he be evan's friend when he helped him in doing evil,instead of correcting him?",the stupid question had to come from a stupid girl,but the teacher looked eager to answer the question.
"see,i dont think a friend is a person who always helps you do the right thing,he's the one who'll help you in any case.He should care more about helping you than saving himslef.that's what the guy in the story did.he came to the prison to rescue evans,not caring about getting caught himself.he wanted to escape with his friend evans,or die with him.a true friend........."the teacher continued about what a true friend is for the rest of the class.Nobody was listening,except nikhil.He was listening with all his attention towards what the teacher was saying.The more he listened,the more he realised that he was doing wrong by not telling his friends about the paper he had found.
The teacher finished her lecture about a true friend as the bell rang."So nikhil,be a good friend,that's what will make you a good human.Since you were the only one listening here,i'll be happy if atleast you be a good person.
"yes mam"was all nikhil could say.
"i'll be a good friend,how could i have thought of not telling anyone,thats selfish"he thought to himself.He rose up to tell others about the paper,but the teacher called him.
"nikhil,can i have a pen please,i need to sign the log book."
"yes mam" replied nikhil and by the time he was left alone by the teacher,the classroom was empty."what am i to do now?"he asked himself as the teacher left the room too.
"what the hell!! i should have told everyone thequestion paper,i have been such a fool"nikhil thought,with his chemistry book infront of him."The only option i have now is to call as much people as i can.But then,i'll still be doing injustice to most of my friends,i don't have everyone's numbers.I have only pulkit's number right now.God,tell me what to do."
"i guess,i'll just throw the paper away and believe that the whole thing never happened.".He brought the register out from his bag,tore the page on which he had written the questions,and threw it in the dustbin.
"there,its over now,i found a paper and i lost it,no harm done.i can now start with chemistry like all my classmates."he again tried to divert all his attention to his chemistry book.
"the hybridisation of......no,nothing's coming from this topic,damn,ofcourse i still know all the questions."nikhil thought to himself.
The rest of the day passed,with nikhil thinking about what he should do.Whenever he tried to revise,the words of his english teacher filled his mind "he wanted to escape with his friend evans,or die with him".
"i'll die with my friends"said nikhil to himself.He had made his decision.
"if i catch anyone cheating,be mentally prepared to go out of the class with a -20",the invigilator,meneka mam told the classs,as she distributed the papers.
The exam began with the sound of a gong,3 hours seemed a long time to nikhil as he had decided that he will not be writing anything,for he MIGHT not have known the answers,if he had not found the question paper.Anyway,he knew the condition of most of his friends,and how they were all going to fail."i'll just add one name to the long list"he thought.
He suddenly remembered,as he sat idle on his chair,that the numerical in the paper was same that his teacher had asked him."I did not have the paper when i solved this,i have every right to do this one".
he solved the numerical to earn himself atleast 6 marks in the exam.The rest of the time passed without any action,without nikhil writing anything,though he knew every answer.
"the time's up",announced the invigilator,as the sound of the gong filled the room.
"so,how was the paper?"asked nikhil to almost everyone he could
"fine","good","great",was the common replies he got.
"damn",he thought to himself,"am i the only one failing"
"hey,nikhil"somebody called from behind nikhil,he turned his worried face around to look.
"hey,pulkit"he replied gloomily,"how was the paper?"
"difficult,but i could manage,like all the rest"pulkit answered,"what about you?"
"nothing,lets get outta here.so,well prepared for the physics exam tommorow?"asked nikhil as they walked.
"yeah,hey looked there' the physics teacher,lets talked to her"said pulkit,as they saw the physics teacher walking a little way ahead.
Suddenly a piece of paper fell from the pile of books the physics teacher had in her hands.
"YOUR PAPER MAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"shouted nikhil, as his deafening sound,filled the entire corridor.