Wednesday, 26 March 2008

cheated out

Numbered answers sheets distributed after the invigilator put his initials
On the second bell, question papers were handed out in orderly manner
There was no sound other than pens scribbling on the sheets
Some hurried, a few paused and one or two just stared at the walls
Or maybe out of the windows
Like any other day in examination times
Time was getting shorter
Desperation increased
One of the examinee tried to cheat
Invigilator objected
Thinking it was only a token protest, the examinee continued to copy
When the invigilator took away the answersheet,
he was not expecting it-

He was shot on his head at point blank range, his brains smattering the glasspanes


This is true account apart from the fact that the teacher was knifed. This happened last week. In India, specially in some areas, copying and cheating are very widespread. Done with the help of powers that are and higher officials. If the concerned invigilator objects, this is what happens. This is not an isolated case.


  1. Gautami, I was just flowing along with your words, reliving taking exams - and I got smacked right in the face with the ending... I knew as I read that line I would find confirmation beneath from you that it was based on a sad reality.

    I wish we could figure out how to stop it...

  2. Like Marcia before me I was just reading along and following the flow when I came to the last line that didn't seem to rattled around in my head for a bit before I read your explination below. I had no idea that type of thing happened in India..or anywhere! How horrible!

  3. I didn't even see the explanation below it until I saw marcia's comment. That's tragic and infuriating.

    The poem does the scene justice, I think, by putting you into the exam room and then whomping you in the gut.

  4. You've done this one justice Gautami...extremely disturbing that this type of thing happens; you've written this well.

  5. Oh, wow, I think you stabbed me with a knife with that ending.

    It's crazy how kids act these days.

  6. .The inherent privileges of cast society are difficult to dismantle, the ideology of entitlement ultimately must be found detrimental to progress. Knowledge is not acquired by brute force and to destroy those who deploy knowledge is akin to lacing your foundations with dynamite. All hard lessons.

    so sad

  7. i wish this didnt take place in india..of all places! the land i was raised didnt make criminals out of kids, not in this way, what's the world coming to..

  8. Holy cow.

    Ok, I was reading along, thinking of taking exams myself, laughing when the kid first got caught cheating. Wow... that ending totally came out of nowhere at me. And to know this really happens makes it that much more horrific.

  9. My God! That ending, especially being true, just slammed me up against the wall. How much crazier can this world get? I think you made the reality more real by giving no clue to the ending.

  10. that's a dose of reality I wish I wouldn't true. totally surprised by the ending.

  11. maybe its time we really stopped all this examinations...just get them to do practicals. they learn and they use, no need to force them to remember inane stuff. and have separate skills classes for different disciplines, and then get the students to choose what they want to learn or do.

  12. Wow - I was so sure this was strong fiction. Sad, sad, sad. Well told, however.

  13. wow!
    like others, i was knocked out by the ending and it being true is all the more poignant.

  14. wow.... kinda dangerous being an educator these days isn't it???

  15. The shock value of words is absolute.

  16. WOW! That last line caught me off guard and then to read it's true!

  17. This is hard core cheating! What a drama you create, even worse knowing it is based on fact. Life is always stranger than art. Great job setting the stage.

    You taught me a new word too, invigilator. I've always said "proctor."

  18. Despite the horrible subject you have an amazing way with words

  19. not a pleasant thought
    i have spent many hours invigilating - glad to say i escaped unscathed
    thank you

  20. Wow, that last line slapped me in the face, I so was not expecting that! I can't believe things like that really happen, that is so awful. But, it was a great read!

  21. gautami,
    Doing the "right" thing has become too passe today if not outright dangerous as you've so aptly detailed here. Gives one pause to see what mankind has come to.

  22. wow, who knew.... still thinking abt the reality of the event...

  23. Tami this is excellent. What a dreadful story. Things like exams are very important in India but it is only a test.


  24. Oh my goodness! I was reading along thinking how well you had captured the experience of an exam, and then...

    How sad and tragic and awful and wrong.