I had come across several ups and downs in my small life but to me my darkest hour still has to be the 27th May, 2000. How could I forget that day that shattered me and my life turned out to nowhere? Today though I did fight with the odds and came out winner but still I have that day, a darkest dot in my life. I would like to make my readers believe me that I had RW during my B.Sc examination. I never knew that RW meant ‘Result With-held’, until I saw my remarks along the graduation part 2 result posted at the notice board of Sikkim Government College.
It was some eight years back, the world then was excited with the Y2K bug and I was one in the crowd at Tadong, Sikkim Government College nurturing dreams to make big. I had been staying at a small room at Daragoan those days with two friends, one of whom was my batch mate and the other one my old school friend who during those days was working independently at a private firm at Tadong. My college batch mate, who is now in a respected post used to live with bunch of other friends who spend most of their time loitering around. I was told by one of his friend who was from Humanities Course to take him with me so that he could concentrate more in his studies, as we were competing for Science Courses. I never had any doubt and asked him to stay with me till the examination gets completed, which he could not deny.
We used to share up our notes and study together till early morning. Those days we had a habit of writing off exercise notes in small chits and keep it in our pockets, as we could go through it whether we were at toilets or had gone for outing or at any free time. Our examination started off, my botany papers were good. Now we were busy preparing zoology papers.
The 27th May, 2000 we had zoology second paper. I was prepared but I never knew something horrible was waiting for me. It happened that my room friend and I shared a same bench and only the invigilators in front of us. The big thing was that my friend had that chit we used to study at our homes along with him. I could see he was copying it. A little later he asked the invigilator the permission for short break where he mistakenly and unknowingly dropped the small paper at the ground. The note he had brought was mine with my handwriting in it. After my friend had left the room, I was being watched by one of the invigilator, a humanities lecturer from North East India. He came straight to me and made me stop my answer scripts. He collected that chit paper my friend had dropped and asked me to follow him. I was taken to the Principal where I was not allowed to speak, as I was to speak they would cut down my words, the invigilator added I had been copying for long time. The only thing I was asked by the principal was whose handwriting was that and I had not words than to accept that it was mine. I was told nothing would happen and asked me to complete rest of my examination better.
I left the college compound and went straight to my room, that evening I had gone over night popular. Many friends came to visit me and told me to meet the Principal at his residence and asked to beg for forgiveness. I did the same but he did not believe me. I told him that I had forgotten the chit in my pocket and I had unknowingly dropped it while taking off my hanger chief. I could never say that my friend brought it. I even said that they can tally the answers I had written and the answers that was in the chit paper. The Principal just said to do rest of my examination better. When I returned back to my room I was soulless, I did not knew what I should say to my parents and what to do with rest of the papers. The next day I came across that North East invigilator, he was bit scared with me and just added my case had not been reported. I was a helpless with nothing going through my head.
The hardest part of my college life was to begin, my botany honours lecturer would look at me and talk with me as if I was the culprit. I was on numerous occasion insulted in front of other students. Those lecturers who used to like me began to avoid me. I felt bad and I had cried many times. I could never explain them nor could they read my restless face. My examinations ended along with practical exam. Two months later when I came to college to look for my result all I could read was ‘RW’, I asked a friend nearby and he told me ‘Result With-held’, my darkest fear was growing my heartbeat. I went on to meet the Principal who told there shall be an explanation call and I need to explain to the board committee at Siliguri. He further added it was good of him that he did not do RA, I never knew what was that when I later came to know it was Reported Against which meant more serious than being RW. I was later told that the Botany Honours lecturer in the examination committee could had omitted my name but he did not showed any interest on my name.
I was again the centre of attraction at College; I had visitors at my room some of whom I even had not come across in my two years. I had to tell my parents, I told I had paid a heavy price for a small mistake which I had not done. I still remember, my mother told me then, what so ever happened is gone and do have that feel whatever happens, happen for the best and move on. I had only one thing in my mind that I did not want to step back, I wanted to complete my graduation and show everyone. The following year was not so good for me especially due to that unpleasant approach I had from my lecturers. In my mind, I only knew I was completing my Botany Honours graduation and I did it. Even after such long years, I am still reminded that I was a culprit. I never applied for further studies after my graduation since I had lost my goals. Now years after I am setting off new dream, a dream of becoming a Sikkim Historian. But even to this day when I find May 27 approaching, my darkest fear do follow me.