Before entering the exam-hall
Madamji: Beta, remember, don’t get nervous. You have been preparing for this viva a long time. Just don’t make any silly mistakes.
RaGa: (clean smile, hair parted to the side): No Mamma, I am well prepared this time. SaJa-uncle has given me plenty of suggestions and practice tests. I did great in them, did I not SaJa-uncle?
SaJa: Great? You were marvelous, superb, mind-blowing, extra-ordinary.
RaGa (grinning from ear to ear): See Mamma. I have also been having my Maltova and Horlicks, down to the bottom sip, have I not MaTi-uncle?
MaTi: Yes, yes you have been drinking it whole. Very holistic. Like a good little boy. But listen to me, if the examiner asks you a tough question, just raise your hand and say “Number one”. Then come out, and go to the bathroom. We have people standing there in every cubicle, waiting to give you an answer. Remember, cheats are written on the bottom of the pencil-box and your compass has a false bottom, with other cheats scrolled in.
RaGa: Yes, yes I remember
MaTi: Be careful. Last time, you told everyone that the political science chits were in your shirts and pants.
RaGa: I won’t any more. I am an youth leader now am I not Mama?
Madamji: Yes, so you are.
SaJa: You are youth. And that other boy is uncouth.
[Fifty people at same time tweet this exact message—“RaGa is youth. Other one is uncouth”.]
In the exam-hall
ArGo: Put away your exercise books. The viva will start now.
RaGa (slightly tense): I am ready
ArGo: You have been an youth for ages now. Why is this your first test?
RaGa: I have tested before. I have tasted pasta, lasagna, and one time I was at a hut of a Dalit friend, I tasted chapatti too.
ArGo: I meant….oh forget it. Anyways here is your first question. If I have two fair die and I roll them on a table, what is the probability that both of them show the face with six dots?
RaGa: [deep sigh] Let me give you an insight into how RaGa approaches the problem. I have seen two of my loved ones die…
ArGo: I do have empathy for your loss and so does everyone else. But my question was regarding “die”, as in the ones you roll to play board games, like ludo? You have played ludo right?
RaGa: Probability, I have
ArGo [slight exasperation]: Do you know what probability means?
RaGa: RaGa is not interested in probability but in possibility of every Indian. Of women, Dalits, minorities, sycophants….
ArGo : Why do you refer to yourself in the third person?
RaGa: Because only my opponent thinks of himself as the first person. I am no one, merely a third person.
ArGo: Anyways, you are avoiding my question. Okay let’s get more basic. What is probability? How would you define probability?
RaGa: How would you define probability?
RaGa (beatific smile): Yes you.
ArGo: I am asking the questions here, I am the examiner
RaGa: But it’s called a viva voce. You are asking viva, I am doing voce.
ArGo: Okay then. It is a measure or estimation of likelihood of occurrence of an event. And no I am not telling you the formula for it.
RaGa subtly turns the back of his pencil box and is shocked to see that the definition scribblings are in Japanese. He quietly whimpers “Dentsoooo”
RaGa: Oh I sneezed. Atichoo…
ArGo (getting angry): Have you read any book on this? Ever?
RaGa: Of course I have. I have many favorite books. My Pet Goat. Goodbye Moon. Bank pass book.
ArGo: I meant books on probability. On statistics. Give me a straight answer.
RaGa (sweating): One-twos are twos. Two twos are four. Three twos are six. Four twos are eight. Five twos are ten.
ArGo: RaGa, do you know the definition of probability? Yes or no?
RaGa: I might. One never knows what one doesn’t know.
ArGo: Let me try another way. If I ask you a question like what is the sum of the first ten natural numbers, will you be able to answer it?
RaGa: I cannot determine whether you will be able to answer it.
ArGo: I didn’t ask you if I would be able to answer it. I asked if you….you RaGa…will be able to answer it.
RaGa: RaGa believes all numbers are natural. My opponent likes to think some are real and that some are imaginary but RaGa is not like that.
ArgGo: Do you understand anything about the mathematical system?
RaGa: I am against the system. I don’t understand the system. They are afraid of me because I am trying to change the system. Because women are the backbone of the country.
ArGo (holding his head): Enough. Uff. Koi leke jaao isse.
RaGa: I have won. NREGA. RTI. Reservations. Growth rate. Five to the Pawar of two is twenty five. Three plus two is five. Yay !
After the exam
RaGa: Mamma, I answered all the questions. Full attempt.
MaTi: By the holiest of holistics, that was a brilliant performance. You have cracked the secret of the viva. No matter what question the examiner asks, just barf out what you mugged up. That way the examiner gets confused and wonders if he is explaining the question right. Shabaash. And smart to stop at five twos are ten, one more and you would have had to take off your shoes to count from ten to twenty.
Madamji: Very good beta. I am very proud of you. [Handing him a bowl full of yogurt] You were as brilliant as I thought.
SaJa: 10/10 for RaGa. Courageous, honest and perfect answers. Even Einstein would applaud.
[Fifty people at same time tweet this exact message]