Exam 'Fever'

"Which chapter are you planning to study now?" Aliya entered my room. It was exam time. Organizational behavior was our next exam. We had exams continuously for a week and a half. I was currently in the third paper. I had just completed the second paper. After lunch, a mild head ache had started, which progressed to a steady nausea by the evening. In addition to it, I had a severe back ache too. I was in no state to study. I was new to the hostel. I did not know whom to confide in. My room-mate had gone to the nearby temple and was yet to come. Aliya was my neighbor. A cheerful girl who took studies and exams very seriously. She would spend most of her time on books when we spent it on idle chitchat or TV. NO wonder she was the topper of our class.

"Uh-huh. " I drowsily looked up. I was wrapped in a shawl and must have looked dreadful for Aliya's next sentence was " What the hell happened to you?"

"I'm not well. I think I should just sleep for a little while. Can you wake me up at six Aliya?" I croaked.

I still had to start on organizational behavior. Aliya tucked me in bed and returned to her room, promising to wake me up at six.

"Look what I bought" I could hear the high - pitched voice of my room-mate Dimple. Dimple was a very happy-go-lucky girl who took nothing seriously.

"Shhh.. she is sleeping. Poor thing.. not well. Don't wake her up" I could her Aliya's voice.

I slowly tried to open my eyes. My eyes felt hot and heavy. Exam exam.. my sub-conscious screamed. How am I supposed to study for the exams in this state? My back ached worse than ever. I slowly got up.

"How are you feeling Renu?" Dimple came to sit near me.

"I have a severe back ache. I think I should go to the hospital. Otherwise I can't sit for the exam tomorrow."

From then on, both the girls took charge. In less than twenty minutes, the hostel warden was informed, a special dinner for me was ordered and an auto was called.We were on the way to the hospital. At the hospital there was a long queue waiting for the doctor.

My friends made me sit in the waiting area and marched off to the reception to talk to the receptionist.

"We have to return to the hostel by eight. Please check our friend first." It was Aliya.

A nurse came to take my vital signs. My temperature showed a 105 degrees.
The next minute everybody were yelling at us, especially the nurse.

"Why din't you bring your friend earlier? She could have died of such a high temperature."

In joined another nurse, "You are educated. You should be more responsible."
I was immediately sent to the doctor. After explaining that we had exams the whole week, the doctor decided an injection was the best way to bring the fever down.

I patiently waited. The doctor instructed my friends to pin me to the bed.I did not understand why they had to do that. It was not as if I was scared or anything. Only then I saw the syringe. It was so big filled to the half with a bright yellow colored liquid, that I doubted whether it was even legal to use such syringes.

I started making protests. That was when my friends pinned me down and the doctor efficiently did her work. I was writhing in pain.

Half an hour later we were back at the hostel. I had so much to study. The back pain and the nausea had started reducing. Still there was no way I could cover the vast portions and pass the exam tomorrow. I was miserable. I had never failed an exam before.

After dinner, I settled with my book. In came Aliya nd Dimple with determined look on their faces.

Chapter after chapter they explained all the concepts alternatively, while I listened to them lying on the bed. I did not read a single page but by 3 AM in the morning I knew enough concepts to pass the exam.

We barely slept for four hours before the exam. I was accompanied to the exam hall.The exam was relatively easy but the effort of writing exhausted me. I came back to the room glad that it was over. Over the next few days, I got better.

As the results came I was surprised I managed to scrap a first class in all my papers. Aliya missed the first rank by four marks. Nevertheless both of them were happy that I had good marks. I could not thank my friends enough. They took care of me even when I did not ask them for any help. They came in unexpectedly and took care of me unconditionally. I vowed that I will always stand by them no matter what. It has been six years since that incident happened. Even today when they tease me about the injection that day, I  personally feel I would go through any number of injections like that to earn friends like Aliya and Dimple.


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