It’s the big day. I’m ready to take up the cudgels, after weeks of solid procrastination. So solid that a neutrino would slow down and kill itself rather than make an attempt at penetration. Breakfast was unhealthy- pakora with a slice of pastry. It hasn’t exactly done my stomach any favours but it’ll have to do. Lesser people have completed it under more daunting circumstances.
I need to secure the area.
I have a customary chit-chat with my next door neighbour. We discuss how Mourinho might get Pepe killed before leaving Real, that is of course if they lose La Liga (which they seem to at this point). I nod through the discussion and think of the classes I’ll encounter in the week to come, an excessively fruitless endeavour seeing that 4-2 in Chemical is a vacation in sheep’s clothing. The sun is out and we move in. I don’t have to worry about anyone visiting my room anytime soon.
It’s my moment of glory.
With a deep breath (very deep since I wanted this gust of oxygen to symbolize the gravitas of the occasion) and a quick prayer to the one above, I begin.
Five minutes in, I can afford a smile. A five star Sudoku and I’m three boxes down. I should now draw energy from my immeasurably large reserve of intellect and razor sharp decision making prowess. I should unsheathe my sword of purpose and kill the beast.
I start singing.
A minute in – I’m singing an MJ track in a falsetto which sounds very close to the original. If only I could thrust my pelvis in the same way- I see that something is very wrong. I’ve slowed down. I had been sailing through the puzzle with the winds of inspiration blowing me on. Looks like I’ve hit the doldrums. I need to regroup. Stick to the basics. Approach the most conducive of empty spaces and count. Everything that you’ll ever need to solve this infernal logjam is there in front of you. Don’t worry that it’s a five star puzzle and you’ve only ever solved a three star before taking on the ….
I am panicking.
It’s at moments like these when you need the weight of experience behind you. I knew what must be done. I pull my lappy towards me and open Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, xkcd and a dozen other standard web pages. There, that should take my mind off the tension of morale sapping defeat. Apparently the Wrestlemania battle royale between Cena and the Rock was fixed. Puh-lease, as if anyone outside the States didn’t know that. Just to make sure, I watch the link on Dailymotion anyway. Concentration is difficult to attain especially when you’re supposed to climb Nanda Devi with a pair of sneakers and low waist jeans (they might get you chicks (I doubt that) but what about Sherpa babes). I can’t allow my time to be desecrated when I have about five comic strips to go through and someone might just have retweeted my views on Coal India’s land acquisition policy. At the same time I don’t want a sea of guilt to wash over me all day. High tide. Low tide. So I keep an eye on the puzzle and try to find out if there’s a way to seek inspiration from an episode of Family Guy.
I hate myself.
In the end, after an hour of pointless jabbing (as pointless as cutting through Cautley bhawan’s rotis with an instrument as classless as your teeth), I still go on. I’m not joking. I’m not a coward and I pack up my focus. Genius is 99% perspiration. Ekla chalo re. This is my chance at redemption, a chance to make my four years at IITR all worth the lost sleep.
Until I realize I can blog on it instead.