bhOndOO was happy — since there was no reason to get sad. He came to the lab, checked Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, replied; checked his Orkut scrapbook, replied; checked Shami’s Orkut scrapbook; and then started chatting with his old classmates.
After half an hour, when the chatting got over, bhOndOO was in a dilemma what to do. He was thinking of starting his project work when he realized that he had not yet checked the CSA mails. The thought pleased him — since he had found another reason to postpone the work.
bhOndOO typed pine -i and saw a new mail. He and other research students were sent an email by the CSA office to collect their transcripts (mark sheets). Suddenly, the joyous mood changed to that of gloominess. bhOndOO remembered his extraordinarily consistent track record: grade C in all the courses. “I have created a mess out of the courses and they have created an official certificate out of the mess!”, he thought.
Since the transcripts would be required after finishing PhD (if he does), bhOndOO went to the office. As he entered the office, he turned and came back to the lab: Prof Krishnamurthy, bhOndOO’s advisor, was present in the office and bhOndOO did not want to receive the ‘scholarly’ certificate in his presence.
bhOndOO waited in the lab for 10 min, doing nothing. He kept thinking about the courses, exams, and assignments. He remembered how he finished assignments, how he submitted them, and how assignments got deleted. “I should have done the assignments sincerely. I would have at least received a B grade. Had I done some more studies, I could have secured an A in at least one of the courses! But now all I have is a pile of C grades. C is a grade of Cowards, C is a grade of Catastrophe, C is a grade of Criminals!”.
Marking C as the grade of criminals dreaded bhOndOO. He shrugged and brought himself back to the senses. He came out of the lab and started walking cautiously towards the office. He did not notice that the security guard was suspiciously looking at him. When he reached beside the office, he raised himself on his toes and looked inside the office from the window. He could not see his advisor. Then, like a thief, he held his breathe and peeped inside the office from the door. He saw the office madam in her cube, another staff member printing xerox, and nobody else. Seems Sir has left, bhOndOO relaxed and started breathing. Exactly at that moment, he received a pat on his shoulder. bhOndOO almost got a shock. He lost his breathe and turned around to see his advisor standing behind looking angrily at him. bhOndOO was frozen to death.
After a second, when he came back to life, he realized that Prof Krishnamurthy had grown a big moustache. After bhOndOO spent another second in thinking about the sudden occurrence of the moustache, he realized that it was not his advisor, but was actually the security guard. He started breathing again, when the guard asked, “Kya hai?”.
“Kuch nahi.”, bhOndOO replied, relieved himself from the man of moustache, and rushed in.
bhOndOO was managing his breathing rate, when the madam in the office asked, “Kya hai?”.
The madam started checking in the pile of transcripts one by one. Although bhOndOO knew his grades, he was curious to see his name in print. He kept looking at the pile. As the madam reached towards the end of the pile, bhOndOO got suspicious: Is my transcript not available? Is my transcript put on hold? Is it stolen?
Finally, the madam found the certificate at the end of the pile. bhOndOO felt happy that the transcript was not stolen, but felt sad that it was kept at the end: Seems I have managed to score the least.
With a heavy heart, he signed a sheet acknowledging that he received the transcript — as if he was signing his will. Looking down, feeling gloomy, he left the office and came to the lab. He made sure that the academic section had not made any mistake in printing his grades (like printing A instead of C). The column of grades was a monotonic sequence of C’s. The sentence kept coming back to bhOndOO’s mind: C is a grade of Cowards, C is a grade of Catastrophe, C is a grade of Criminals.
bhOndOO felt bad and almost threw the transcript on table. The transcript whirled in air, turned, and fell with its face down. bhOndOO noticed that the back side of the transcript had a table. At least after the midsem, I should check the back side of every paper, he cursed himself and started reading the table.
On reading the table, bhOndOO got puzzled, then surprised, then pleasantly surprised, and finally overjoyed. He started dancing in the lab while kissing the certificate.
The table contained the qualitative assessment for grades. It read as below.
bhOndOO changed his mind: C is a grade of Champions!