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Subbu’s Sacrifice

[ 3 min read ]

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Subbu eyed the large nondescript clock on the wall. There was still an hour to go before the final bell rang signalling the end of the examination. Somewhere behind him, he could hear the padded footsteps of the invigilator as he slowly walked up and down the hall. Through the open windows, he could hear the whispering hum of the monsoon, as the raindrops plummeted to the otherwise water-forsaken ground. Oh, how he loved the rain. What he wouldn’t give to run out of this dreaded room and make a paper boat of the question sheet, and watch it float away. Well, sort of like his chances with this exam at the moment.


Somehow, he forced his wavering attention back to his desk. A single sheet with the college’s insignia emblazoned on the top right corner lay on its surface. He’d managed to answer a few of the questions from memory. But as his eyes scrolled down the sheet, his mind drew mostly blanks in response to the other questions. He was going to need a lot of luck if he was going to pass this exam.


He felt his body tingle as the nervousness started to set in. There was strong breeze floating in through the windows, but he felt warm. Suddenly, he was very conscious of the beads of sweat that were slowly creeping down the back of his neck. As they gradually slid down the arch of his back and melted into the stickiness of his off-white shirt, he shuddered. As if on cue, the tiny hairs on his arms stood up in salute. As a wave of goose bumps formed all over his upper body, he shivered from the sudden change in temperature.


Almost absentmindedly, he brought his index finger up to his lips – they were dry and rough, like the parched earth during the summer months. Inadvertently, he ran his tongue over them, gently wetting them in the process. His right leg shook restlessly, bobbing up and down like a toddler in a bouncy castle. He was going to need to calm down and think of a way to pass this exam.


Letting out an almost inaudible sigh, Subbu glanced to his right. Most his classmates were furiously scribbling away – the smooth nibs of their pens gently scratching against the rustling sheets of paper. Some of them even had their free hand over their sheets – as if to shield their precious answers from prying eyes. Somewhere behind him, he heard one of his best friends, Shiva, read the questions out loud, as if somehow the act would magically present him with the solution. A few desks in front, he spotted his other best friend, Vincent. He was staring at the sheet and muttering something. Subbu leaned forward to try and listen. And then he smiled as he realised his friend was uttering a prayer.


All three of them were in the same boat –  stuck in the middle of the sea, with no oars or paddles. And there was a storm brewing on the horizon. If only they’d studied instead of goofing around. Suddenly, Subbu knew what to do. He knew just the person who could help him.But he was going to have to sacrifice something in return – something dear and near; something that could potentially crush his heart.


“Dear God,” thought Subbu, crossing his fingers for some luck. “If you help me pass this exam, I promise to never go and watch a  Rajini movie the day before the exam again!”


Today is the final day of the #BarAThon; The prompt is : Promise

For the un-initiated, Rajinikanth is an ultra popular Indian actor. No, actually – he’s a phenomenon in India with a fan following running into millions. And even today, there are fans who will do ‘literally’ anything, to be able to watch the first show of any of his new movies. Go figure!

54 Responses to “Subbu’s Sacrifice

  • The way you wtring the words in your writing is simply brilliant; love the twist at the end.

  • Ha ha ha ha… That last part was a bit unexpected!

  • Wish Rajni could come to his rescue….:P….

  • Exams! My worst nightmare. I always have a dream that I was not able to complete my exam and time is over.

  • Haha great portrayal Sid, of Subbu’s jitters in the exam hall and his promise to God 😉 Only if he had listened in class at least….

  • Wow! That is a true sacrifice for a “Rajinikanth” fan. 🙂 I hope he passed the exam though.

    I remember watching all these mundane shows the night before the exam (because they are so intriguing only on the night before) and I would mentally decide not to watch it again only to repeat the exercise the next time. Old habits die hard I guess ! Enjoyed the post.

    • Indeed, it is. I’ve seen a couple of them promise – hence the premise for the story 😉
      Thanks, Eloquent Mind!
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : Subbu’s SacrificeMy Profile

  • I never watched a movie before an exam and finished my revision three months before the exams 🙂 Rajnikant’s movies are something else…brilliant way to end the BarAThon, happy writing.

  • Beautiful piece of writing, Sid! Loved your crisp narration. Just I didn’t expect a funny end. 🙂

    Have you ever experienced this – other students scribbling furiously while you struggling to remember the correct answer? 🙂
    Tarang sinha recently put up this awesome post : When Sita Meets Sati. Part 4 (Final)My Profile

    • Thank you so much, Tarang. I just wanted to end the Bar-A-Thon on a light note.
      I do…i mean, I have experienced it a few times …the results weren’t too bad though.
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : Subbu’s SacrificeMy Profile

  • I had two days holiday before an exam and I went out for a short trip to Chitradurga. Reached back late in the night with exam at 8 AM the next day. It was my final exam. Luckily I did not flunk. This story reminded me of that adventure,Sid. Brilliantly written. 😊

  • Hahaha..I have made my share of promises too – the most recurring one being – I promise to study from next time. Eventually I and God both got tired of these repetitive hollow promises. 😛
    Shantala recently put up this awesome post : July Wrap Up – Books and #HarryPotter fever!My Profile

  • Vinodini
    9 months ago

    Hehehe…he actually watched a Rajni movie a day before the exam?! That’s audacious! Superb take on the prompt, Sid.

  • I always watched a movie the day before the exam. I want to tell Subbu (by the way, I was often called Subbu, thanks to my maiden name Subramaniam) – Go! Subbu. Watch the movie. But prepare for your exams. It isn’t as if those three hours were all you had to study, eh? And pay attention in class – gets easier that way”. Heheheheh. Haven’t seen Kabali yet. But I am a Rajni fan, mostly for his older movies.

    Cute story, Sid. This is the universal student promise!
    Vidya Sury recently put up this awesome post : Miles to go before I sleepMy Profile

    • Is it? I didn’t know that! You rock, Vidya!
      True that – he should have studied, right? 😉

      Thanks, Vidya!
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : Subbu’s SacrificeMy Profile

  • Uhm, is this the right time to say that I don’t really waste time goofing around before exams 😛
    Loved the narration, Sid. And maybe God would have granted Subbu his wish, if he were to just tweak it to : ‘Never watch a Rajni movie again’ 😀
    But that’s as impossible as Rajni being a flop, no? 😛

    • Aren’t you Ms. ‘I don’t goof around’ 😉
      Indeed it is….I doubt that though. That’s a pretty big sacrifice to make.
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : Subbu’s SacrificeMy Profile

  • I’m going to break my Cardinal rule and say LOL. 😂😂
    Quite the build up and very realistic portrayal of the exam anxiety and Subbu, if it was Kabali, sigh, why did you do it?
    Shailaja Vishwanath recently put up this awesome post : A Promise #BarAThon #FlashFictionMy Profile

    • Oh my! I take that ‘LOL’ as a compliment.
      Well, a Barathon would not be complete without a tribute of sorts to the Thalaivar 😉
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : Subbu’s SacrificeMy Profile

  • Lata Sunil
    9 months ago

    Haha i made such promises many times. Let me pass this time, i will study the next time.

  • hehehe Students I tell you. Why don’t they just study properly? 😛 We all know how these promises end. Nice take on the prompt.
    Rachna recently put up this awesome post : My Cherished Charm #CherishedBlogfestMy Profile

  • Loved the Rajni twist ! well written.

  • A story created upon the blast from the past!! I enjoyed reading this one!

  • I can so relate to the above, Sid.

    Sunday evening movies used to be telecasted and Monday was always fearful cause either homework not done or test preparation incomplete 🙁

    Although your take with Rajnikant “The” movie star was priceless 🙂

    • Haha! I know. even in the hostel that I stayed briefly in, the warden would make Sunday movie night. Weird.
      Haha…well, had to pay a small tribute to Rajinikanth the phenomenon

  • I would say such a prayer for Monday papers since every Sunday evening there wouldbe some movie on TV and I would end up watching it 😀

    Loved your take, Sid 🙂

  • Haha! That was me, during my school exams!
    Loved the way you brought Subbu alive – his nervousness, his body language, everything about him and his classmates – shielding their papers from prying eyes – my ‘scholarly’ classmates would do that, I remember!

    • I think I was quite similar too. Not movies perhaps but I was always distracted and would read books instead of studying 🙂

  • Wonderfully done, Sid. And yes, I am pretty sure I had a similar prayer before my second internals in 1st MBBS. Of course, that was after watching Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai 5 times so it was a hollow promise to God that I would not go again… God didn’t believe it either, I guess, going by the marks I got.
    Roshan Radhakrishnan recently put up this awesome post : Recipe – Easy Eggless Chocolate CakeMy Profile

    • Haha! You too, eh? Yes, Don’t quite think God works that way – tried and failed many times. Thanks , Doc!

  • Hahahahaha! Good one, and that’s one smart promise, given the fact that Sunny’s exams shall end, but Rajnis films shall continue ;))))

  • Ha ha! This was so cute. This made me think of the examination halls how those windows were perfectly planted to distract 😉
    Loved your take on the final day!
    Parul recently put up this awesome post : Reality Vs. DreamsMy Profile

    • Absolutely! Never understood why they were there otherwise. I could often smell fried vadas through the windows of the exam hall – evil people I tell you!

  • Ha ha ha.. what a huge sacrifice – all for a few marks. Your descriptions are always amazing, so real that I felt sweat trickling down my back. Get that book done fast.
    Beat About the Book recently put up this awesome post : Tweaking the talesMy Profile

    • Indeed! Only they know how much of a sacrifice that promise entails.
      Thank you, Tulika! 🙂 Work in progress 😀
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : Subbu’s SacrificeMy Profile

  • Kind of reminded of the day I was watching the Oscars the morning of my Marathi board exam paper ( I remember Titanic took most of the Statues – the paper is a whole other story).
    PS: Your descriptions and narration – I bow down to you for the way you write. Just amazing.
    Jaibala Rao recently put up this awesome post : The Way We WereMy Profile

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