Back in College, they used to give out this “Best Outgoing Student Award” every year. There were two frontrunners for that award in our batch.
This first guy, lets call him Drinivas, was easily the smartest guy in the class. The second contender, lets call her Dwetha, had a photographic memory, and had straight first-ranks.
So in the final year, the day of the awards ceremony finally came, the whole college is sitting in the massive auditorium, and the Head-of-the-Department is on stage, about to make the announcement for this year’s award.
HOD: “We have a very special winner for the award this year…“
Drinivas is getting very nervous with anticipation. He adjusts his tie. Finally, the peak of his academic career is here. Winning this award will complete his Engineering degree.
Dwetha is on the edge of her seat. She’s wondering what she’s going to do with the award money. Maybe buy some shoes.
I’m sitting in the very last row of the auditorium, telling jokes about chicken and frogs.
HOD:”…and to honour the spectacular achievements, this year’s ‘Best Outgoing Student’ is…“
Drinivas is sweating like crazy. He’s very close to having a heart attack with all the anticipation the HOD is building up with the award. He decides he’ll snatch the award from the HODs hand when he goes on stage to get it.
Dwetha prepares to get up and wave to the crowd as it will go out of control with glee when she wins the award. Oh! Think of the applause!
Me: “…and the chicken says to the frog…“
HOD: “…goes to ADITYA KULKARNI!!!“
There is a stunned silence in the entire Auditorium. Now, it is true that I was well known in College with all the profs, but for all the wrong reasons. Everyone waits for the HOD to apologize for her mistake of reading out the winner of the ‘owner-of-the-dirtiest-bike’ instead of the best student.
After 30 seconds of pin-drop silence, everyone realizes that this is not a mistake. The audience lets out collect gasp of shock.
My friends next to me elbow me, telling me to get up and go on the stage. I’m so shell shocked that I didn’t even finish my joke. As I make my way from the back of the last row, someone hands me a tie that I clumsily put on, combing my hair with my hand, and carefully avoiding Drinivas and Dwetha, who look like they’re going to kill me.