Thumb Rule

Sham Nadgonde

Myself and my bosom friend Vijay used to sit on same bench during those wondrous school days. We were studying 10th standard, called matriculation in those days. Followed post matriculation was the college for Graduation.

We both loved English, mesmerized by its supple and rich vocabulary, expressions and the literature. We were even thinking of making our career in English – possibly teaching or writing. Our teacher appreciated our keen interest to develop proficiency in the subject and, used to pay special attention to both of us.

It was our half-yearly examination. Our teacher was very enthusiastic and looking forward to how two of us fare. The exam paper had an Essay as a compulsory question, carrying ten of the total fifty marks.

Since we both were sitting on the same bench, different Essay topics were assigned to us. Vijay’s topic was Car Accident.

Vijay was very pleased with the easy topic and opportunity to express himself with the imaginative and rich narration. He wrote at length as to how he was riding his cycle to school as usual. On a steep slope his cycle’s brakes failed, how he could not control it, and crashed in to a car coming from opposite direction, and he sustained many injuries. However, the car driver could not take notice of any serious happenings and passed through. After some time, he came out of the trauma, collected himself, and found though the cycle was damaged, he did not have any serious injuries beyond some cuts & bruises. And he proceeded to school on foot rolling his bicycle with him.

He wrote all this with picturesque details in a very thrilling sequence. He was quite satisfied with his work, and expecting good score and appreciation from the teacher.

Those days, once the Results were declared, we used to get the answer books back to assess our performance and mistakes, and to help students with corrections they need to bring in. To utter surprise of my friend, he was given zero mark in answer to essay question.

He was shocked and appealed to teacher as a protest. The teacher was calm and collected.

He said, ‘dear Vijay, what was the subject of essay?’

He replied, ‘Sir, Car Accident’

‘Did anything happen to the car?’

‘No, Sir’

‘Any damage to car or injury to driver?’

‘No Sir’

 ‘Then how do you call it a car accident?’

He understood the catch and was pacified.

The teacher further said, look boys, if you want to score high in test or in the examination, always stick to three important aspects while writing an answer. Be brief, exact and to the point.

If you follow this thumb rule, you will get what you deserve.



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