When we give our Semester papers, the pages are provided by Panjab University (PU) and it has their seal and a long set of information which we have to fill up in order that they can attach a ghost roll number instead of the original one(mine) so that the person marking the sheets has no bias against any student. This system is long extinct now, with PU now expecting colleges to check the papers internally so as to save them paperwork. However, the sheets are still used like in the old days.
Now here are the details which one has to fill up on these sheets:
Name – Name of Student
Roll Number – Roll Number of Student
Subject – Subject whose paper is to be written
Paper – The Subject Code
Language – The Language in which the paper is written
Date – Date of appearance
As you have noticed, I have not given the use of the Option Field. That is because I never knew it. Even today I did the same thing I have been doing since the past four years, I crossed out the field to denote that it is not applicable.
But today, TODAY of all the days in the last 1461 days of my life in college, the Invigilator, while signing the paper, said to me – “It’s Regular.”
I enquired, “What’s Regular Ma’am?” and she replied, with nothing more than a simple glance as though it were a fairly common thing, “It’s regular, the Option Field has to be marked Regular. See you’re not giving the paper as a re-appear are you? So it’s a regular paper. That’s what you have to write there.” With this, she moved on to the next student, leaving me in utter astonishment. Today, on the last day that I would EVER be giving a theory paper under PU, am I being told that the Option field actually had a MEANING all these years? Does this tiny little thing mean something after all? Before the absurdity of the question paper hit me, I was being flummoxed by the profundity of the invigilator’s statement. The Option Field, then, DID have a meaning all these years, I just was not informed about it.
I remember that when I first sat down to give the first Semester paper of my Life back in the First Semester, I apprehensively asked the invigilator at that time about what I was to fill up in the option field. I wonder if it was her ignorance then which led her to tell me to cross it out. Since then, diligently, like a good student and as though my marks depended on it, I have crossed out the Option field in every semester paper that I have given, all, except the one today. For today, I marked the option field as “Regular”, for the First as well as the Last time of my Life.
I wonder what surprise my life will throw at me next. Till then, I wait patiently.