Kids, different people have differnet ways of feeling as well as expressing anxiety. Some people start sweating so much that no amount of AXE effect can help them, some develop a headache, some feel suffocated and worse still some wet their pants. I like to take things one level higher.
Yes, your superdad suffers from what they call the tense tummy trauma. So, on the eve of every big day in my life, be it exam results, JEE, first date, first make-out, I get to know how excited/anxieted I am not from my increased heart beat but from the sweet cacophony emanating from a little lower. I know Darwin would have approved of it as a natural anxiety control measure. You get so busy with the knots in your stomach and regular visits to the washroom that you no longer have time to dwell upon your original worries. Yeah, it didn’t make for a pleasant scene on my first date with Divya but she must have had fun discussing it with her friends later on.
Ok, Ok, you must be wondering how I can be a superdad if I suffer from a stupid triple-T trauma but kids, you must know that there are atleast seventy-three documented benefits of this condition and I am going to share one of them with you today.
Aristotle once famously said, “Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end” (Yeah, these Greeks wasted all their time stating the obvious. No wonder they had to borrow money even from erstwhile Pakistan). But he didn’t say which should come first. So, I’ll tell you this incident from the end of my IIT life skipping the beginning and middle for the time being.
Kids, the MTP (pronounced as empty pee and written as MT :P) presentation marks the last academic day of one’s IIT life. In twenty minutes, the professors judge the project over which you’ve toiled for more than a year. Even a movie was made on this theme starring SRK where he delivered his famous speech, “Bees minute, bees minute hai tumhare paas. Shayad yeh.. tumhare zindagi ke sab se… khaas bees minute. Aaj tum aacha bolo ya bura, yeh bees minute tumhe zindagi bhar yaad rahegi. Is bees minute ke torture se tumhe khuda bhi nahi bacha sakta” (Or maybe it was hockey, my memory fails me). Sounds unfair. But the grading system is quite transparent. If you manage to keep them awake for less than five minutes, you get a D, ten minutes-C, fifteen minutes (only three reported cases in the last fifty years), it’s a B. Oh, and if they are up for the entire twenty minutes, you are dead. ‘Cause this is possible only if they found a flaw somewhere in your presentation (wrong slide number, small font size, poor aesthetics/organization) and spent the entire twenty minutes castrating you, humiliating you on your inability to make a nice PPT even after five years in IIT. Who gets an A then? Well, fifteen minutes plus some menial jobs for the supervisor generally does the trick.
I had my presentation ready three days in advance with utmost care for font size, colour and style, edited a book for my inviligator and took enough lozenges to wake up the dead. So, I was pretty confident just before the D-day when the evil triple T caught me with my pants down. No, actually it was the one responsible for taking my pants down.
The PPT was scheduled for 9 in the morning and I was worried that I might not get up in time. But it made sure that I was up and running (from washroom to washroom) by six. In between, I borrowed toothpaste, shampoo and soap from here and there and got ready for the final battle, the battle between knowledge (mine) and ignorance (theirs), hardwork (mine) and sloth (theirs), night-outs (mine) versus sleepy day-outs (theirs) . I reached the department building at half past eight and when I eventually came out of the washroom at two minutes to nine, I looked at it longingly like dreamy-eyed lovers promising to come back, just give me twenty minutes. But I had forgotten something very important. Something very very important.