It was the first day of April. I had my English examination the next day. I had just taken out my books to revise and there was a power cut, as electricity board declared a complete blackout and battery of our inverter had already exhausted. I was sweating all over but the power breakdown made the things horrible as I had to revise my syllabus. I became nervous and started crying. Mother lit a candle and consoled me. She said that God would certainly help me and I should not lose heart. I am not used to reading in candlelight. The flames flickered and I had to draw the book closer to my eyes. The heat and suffocation were becoming unbearable. I had made a fan with a piece of cardboard but I could not use it. The flame would go out with the first whiff of the wind.
I thought of moving under the street light as it was the only source that could be tapped. When I opened my book under the pole of the street light, a scooter passed by. I started looking towards the rider. I could not concentrate at all. My mother advised me to go to sleep and promised to wake me up when the electricity supply would be restored. It was like a camel sleeping with the whole burden tied on its back. Who could think of sleeping under these circumstances? I closed my eyes like an obedient son but sleep eluded me. The figure of the exam haunted me all night. The question paper appeared before me and frightened me out of my wits.
Electricity supply was restored at around 2 a.m. My mother tried to wake me up but I was already lost in nightmares. My mother told me later that in sleep I was murmuring all the sentences and paragraphs of my Syllabus. One can easily imagine my fate in the ensuing examination. All thanks to the complete (electricity) blackout, that I scored badly in my English examination. But I realised we should never leave things to the twelfth hour. Had I studied well in advance I would have scored well in my examination.