Once again, the time has come when college lectures come to a grinding halt and the tez talwaar of exams dangles perilously over your head. The time where all your procrastination comes back to bite you on the kundi and the 35% mark starts to resemble Mt.Everest. The worst part is that there’s no way out of this…or at least you thought so! Before you choke on your Junior Horlicks that your mummy specially brought for you because you have to do a lot of padhai-likhai, I’d like to make my point very clear. Though there isn’t a way to avoid being home during study-leave, there is a way to avoid all the hard work of studying without giving it away to your folks. In fact I can name 25 of them right off the top of my head! Now pay careful attention to this piece for a while and take in every little detail, for if you master these techniques, you’ll never have to break a sweat again. Chalo pen-pencils-paper ready? Ishtaaart
25) With a straight face, say the following to your parents. “Mere text-book knowledge doesn’t make the cut these days. There’s a vast ocean of information online which one just can’t afford to ignore.” After they are floored by your dedication, proceed online and poke, superpoke and throw sheep at your fraands on the web!
24) Ask any school or college topper what is the secret to their success and they’ll unanimously tell you, ‘Drawing two extra margins on the left and right hand side of the page’. Practice this art religiously, till you reach a point where you can draw poker straight margins without a scale. After all one has to draw the line somewhere na?
23) After you are bored throwing livestock at your near and dear ones online approach your folks once again and this time say the following, “Mere academic brilliance is not enough. One needs to holistically develop a well-rounded personality by way of hobbies.” Do this right and your folks will beam with pride even if your ‘hobby’ is collecting toffee wrappers from all around the neighborhood in a polythene bag.
22) Poor, little, innocent trees all over the world are being chopped down each day to print abominations such as Mumbai Mirror, Mid-Day and that other three lettered magazine. Off-set this deforestation by offering all your notebooks and textbooks for recycling and make Captain Planet proud!
21) Grab highlighting markers of four different shades and start highlighting random phrases in your text book from cover to cover. Make sure you look very harrowed during the process.
20) Walk around the house lip syncing your favorite song, text book in hand and Watch your parents’ eyes well up with tears of admiration.
19) Isolate yourself to a room every two hours or so and make sure you look exhausted when you return.
18) Convince your folks that you study best when you have the house to yourself and then call your bf/gf over for ‘group study’.
17) Lie flat on your back with your text book on your chest and take a nap. If your folks wake you up, immediately snap at them saying, “I was mentally doing a walk-through of the chapter. Now I’ve lost track because of you!”
16) Take the time out to tell your mom what a good cook she is. Compliment her specifically for the dishes you like and before you know it Mummyji will say, “Bas kar padhai-wadhai, main tere liye gajar ka halwa/ kheer abhi laayi! Haat-muh dho kar aaja!”
15) If that doesnt work, strike up conversation about the good ol’ days. If my complex mental calculations are correct, your mom will dreamily recount tales of times with 10 paise ka ice-cream, Aakashvani radio and Rakesh Sharma (not related to the author of this article) the astronaut.
14) Video-tape a half-an-hour study-session and then minutely analyse it for 48-72 hrs to focus on areas of improvement just like the pros do!
13) Make a mnemonic song to remember key points of your answers and then annoy the living hell out of your family by endlessly singing it!
12) Resolve to your parents that you will wake up early to study, set an alarm for 4.30 AM and actually wake up. By then your folks will assume that you really want to study. Seize the opportunity and watch badly dubbed Late Night TV Shopping Network shows!
11) Convince your folks that your professor has planned ‘extra morning lectures’ to discuss important topics from the exam perspective and then proceed to your nearest multiplex to watch the sasta morning show.
10) Refuse to study after sundown saying you are trying to offset the additional global warming caused by the simultaneous Live Earth concerts in 2007.
9) Sit at the study table and continuously stare into space for about five minutes. Then scribble something on a piece of paper for the next fifteen minutes. Repeat!
8 ) Claim you are exhausted from studying and take a nap. The claim that you are too sleepy to study and then take a walk. Then say the walk made you too hungry…you get the idea right?
7) Annoy your classmates by calling them one by one and saying , “Bas that’s all you’ve done? I’ve already finished 6 chapters!”
6) ‘Accidentally misplace’ your books a day before the exam and enjoy the chaos!
5) Engage your family members in a discussion about how the present educational system tests rote memory capacity and not actual knowledge and is therefore not a good measure of one’s understanding of a subject. If you don’t manage to convince them you’ll at least kill and hour or so. But if you do, they won’t give you a hard time even if you flunk! Win-win situation no?
4) Tell your folks that it doesn’t make sense to study until the night before the exam as research on memory has shown that the more the time gap between learning (studying) and recall (exam), the more are the possibilities of forgetting.
3) Dress up in white overalls like a Baba on Aastha TV and say that you have stopped pursuing worldly goals such as Passing exams with First Class.
2) Devise a detailed hourly plan and then follow it to the T for a day. That should shock your folks enough to not bother you to study for at least another week!
1) Write a column that gives tips about how to waste your study leave creatively during your study leave just like the author of this article!