My academic performance followed a sinusoidal curve; a high was always followed by a low – and it was quite a roller coaster ride for my folks. In the high school, when the Eapens and Urumeses got serious about studies – and when I discovered books big time – my rank, which always hovered around 4, dipped to the early teens. But I recovered in time for SSLC.

Pre-Degree in Maharaja’s was quite unlike Rajagiri. The faculty didn’t care if you attended the classes, no tests, no report cards. Heaven. And while the Sangham averaged 98% in the first year, all I could manage was 98 out of 140. (The day after the results broke, when we were hanging out near the cycle stand, Panku of Physics came over and enquired about our marks. Biju, Jose, TV, everybody went 97, 98, speaking percentages of course. When my turn came, I said ‘98’…bwah!)

bijub.jpgBijubhai, Feb 1981 

Second year was much better thanks to Biju who made me join the classes of Iyer Sir and Ramaswamy Sir. Along with the second year stuff, I ‘improved’ my first year papers also. Finally the big day…results…and the college office refused to hand over my marksheet as I did not have my hall ticket. After much wrangling, they agreed to issue the marksheet if I produced my first year marksheet. I rushed home, picked up my old marksheet, got back and collected my new marksheet – 94%, boo haa haa.

I bounced out of the room, and in front of my batchmates who had witnessed the whole drama, tore my old marksheet to pieces, and threw it into the wind. I believe the crowd applauded…

A low was right around the corner; I flunked Engineering Entrance.