Tryst with Trust

Vimal Kumar

Credit: Dave Lowe on Unsplash

If you are a proud resident of Delhi, you must have seen blue rectangular metro card.  If you have seen, you all are my league: riding the convoy of six or even eight cars, in par with convoy of President Trump. As soon I come out from my car, moving stairs pull me all the way up and throw me near to the fare gantry. I take out my blue card and tap. Greenlight beeps, the door opens, and I exit. Among the blue card, green and go light, there is one more thing: DMRC do not trust you like a zealous lover; they believe that if there is no check at fare gantry you will take a free ride.

While riding the train of time, I will bring you few decades back. I was five or six years old then. I do not recall the year and if I recall it, I will not say you because I want you to focus on more important rather estimating my age. My parents decided to put me in the boarding school. It was fun until I reached school. Everything was regimental. There was time to eat, there was time to drink, there was time to sleep. There was even time to poo and pee. I was able to endure all, but I could not endure another episode and that was an examination. I felt it like an irony which promotes racism among humans. Fancifully, we believed that racism is a curse to human society, which we had liberty not to create another, but we have created it very successfully. We conduct an exam to rate humans. We rate humans to find someone loser. And because we find someone loser, we glorify the winner. Whatever it was I could not run away from destiny a human child has to go through. The moment finally came, and it was a mathematics exam.

We conduct an exam to rate humans. We rate humans to find someone loser. And because we find someone loser, we glorify the winner.

I was carrying pencils, eraser, sharpener, and standby pencils as if I was going for Kargil war. Everything was set. I got the question paper and tried to understand what it says. The questions were mainly summation of two and three digits. There were few questions related to subtraction. As I turned the next page I almost fainted with the pungent smell of single-digit multiplication. It does not mean that I knew nothing. I knew just single-digit addition. Nothing and nothing else. 1+2=3, 3+3=6, 6+2=8. My ultimate knowledge was 9+9=18, and 10+1 was like the theory of relativity for me.

In just fraction of second, game started. On my right, my friend was writing so fast that it was shaking my table and chair. my friend, in the left, raised his hand asking for additional paper in barely fifteen minutes. The invigilator was a tall gentleman. For him, there is no need to add “gentle” as an adjective. For him just bare man is good enough. While conducting the exam, he would take out his sleeper and walk like a cat. He walked so silently that it confuses me whether he was trained to catch a thief or to be a thief.

I was still staring at the paper; I saw a shadow. I raised my head and saw the invigilator was staring at the blank sheet of paper. He mockingly smiled and said, “What! You do not know even such silly maths?”  Problem was not only unawareness to the questions. Problems was also not torture from the invigilator but remaining 45 minutes. I got an idea! I kept the question paper aside and started writing just what I knew. I started to write 2+3=5, 5+3=8, 8+5=13 and written the same and similar for thousand times. In the end my ultimate knowledge was carved on the paper: 9+9=18. Exam finished and game started.

In India, people believe in the law of Karma. You will get what you have done. One Friday evening, we were told that the exam result is ready. The news came and hit my heart with thousand tonnes of hammock. It came like the news to the prisoner that you will be hanged on a Monday morning. In such situations, the pain of waiting to be hanged is much more painful than the hanging itself. The math teacher started calling one by one and started giving the paper. He was not shouting marks unlike another teacher who shout so loud that parents sitting hundred miles away can listen to the marks as well. It was a little relief that my extravaganza will remain with two of us. The last piece of paper was mine. I went there putting my hand on the cheek with a thought that even if I get a spurt of slap, merely hand would get the hit. He just gave me the paper, and, on the top, it was marked 50/50.

It was a moment of trusting someone more than someone deserve. It was a moment of trusting someone blindly. That trust pushed me to prove my trustworthiness beyond my might. I have always scored 50/50 in my mathematics exam from then to now.

Coming back to first question: what if there is no check at fare gantry or from lover? Will, you not burdened by the moral obligation to be in check?