And the Booker’s prize goes to..

It’s been 4 years, since I started my engineering which means in a few days, I will be able to call myself an engineer (Sigh!).Not that it means much, but then most things don’t anyway. The engineering degree is structured in such a way, that it consists of 3 months of undisturbed slumber, followed by a month of hectic exams. So, basically productive activity would all start in that one month. And, the first step of productivity is in procuring the books.

How you procure your books, says a lot about the type of engineer you will finally become. Buying all the books brand new,now is an expensive affair, besides most people have no need for the books after the exams (Most people have no need for the books during the exams as well ,but lets not get into that) . So, the brainwave some intellects came up with, is something known as a “Book Bank”.

Harappa and Mohenjadaro

The “Book Bank” located somewhere in the crevices of saidapet, has to be seen to be believed. It would make the harappa and mohenjadaro caves look modern. Ancient, actually Pre Ancient South Indian Architecture, with an open courtyard in the first floor. At any time in the evening you would find atleast 100 kids hanging with their books from every roof, most of them studying in the moonlight.

The Book bank rents out books and takes them back, which basically underlies that even they believe that books are only meant to clear examinations. On the “Book Collection” Sunday, Hoards of people seem to land up, from all corners making it like a family outing ,fully equipped with tiffin carriers and the works, I really shudder to think what will happen on the “Money Refund day” coming up…My humble advice don’t come within 5 kms of saidapet on June 12th.

Moore Market

For the industrious Conman, the best option would obviously be “The Moore Market”. Nope, no connection with Demi Moore(Damn!)Situated, next to the Central station , It is chennai’s largest second hand book store (might be Asia’s). The vendors inside, are all apparently long lost cousins of the inspiring Salesman Ramlal. You enter, and you are surrounded by atleast 10 hagglers from different shops, After which it is quite simple

1. Choose a vendor.

2. Make sure, you don’t infuriate the other vendors by doing so.

3. Haggle, Haggle , Haggle

4. Make sure your undies don’t get flicked in the bargain

5. Run for the hills!

So Now, you have figured out how you are going to get your books, The next step is in deciding which books you are planning to buy. Here again, the options are endless.

Anna University magnanimously, gives you a set of text books and reference books which you are apparently supposed to study from. So everyone optimistically buys the prescribed text books, then feeling happy about themselves forget that they have to open them.

Now the books you choose to study from, is basically based upon the amount of time you have left for the examination.

1-Month to go

Text Book

These Books can be doubled up as body building weights in most cases, So finally that is what they end up doing.

1-Week to go

Next option, Nathuram’s gay cousins A.Godse and S.Godse not forgetting their estranged bother Mr.Bakshi. They are the founders of the World Mensa society, and have atleast 1400 books in different subjects to their credit. Last I heard, the medical society has approached them to write a book on gynecology. As usual, it shouldn’t take more than 3 days to complete.

2- Days to go

Now we enter, the distressed phase, where we realize that the Godse brothers are taking us for a ride, besides they killed our beloved “bapu”. So,We move onto what I’d like to call “My Savior” Charulatha Publications. Affectionately called “Charu”.


  • 1/5 the size of the regular book
  • Feather weight
  • As many pages as the morning newspaper
  • Anything complicated has been omitted (Its not in the syllabus obviously)

Needless, to say this is my favourite book, and I really wish all of us can invite the editors of “Charu” to our graduation party.

1- Day to go

Now we enter, “No Hope” phase. “No Fear, Made easy is here”.

Now Made easy is advertised as the text book made easy, But on closer examination it is more like “Charu, Made easy”


  • Weightless
  • As many pages as the Young World
  • Random batches of 20 pages at every interval regularly discarded ( You must use your choice in the examinations pa!)
  • Complicated things ( Sorry Pa! We also did’nt understand)

15- Mins to go

Last option, when you have recovered from amnesia and suddenly realized you have only 15 mins left for the exam, “The Syllabus”.

Syllabus basically tells you, What you should have been studying in the last one month, which is more or less enough to write about 30 pages in your paper, and is definitely the most optimal solution as nothing can be out of syllabus in this case.

Let’s now move on to some our eclectic authors of the last 4 years, who have now gone to become house hold names

Singaravelu – Ramanujam’s nephew, and the author of every Maths book in this city from L.K.G to Maths for the mentally challenged.

Balagurusamy – The self proclaimed thalaivar of C++. It really doesn’t count for Too much cause one look at his face on the cover, and you really don’t feel like studying anymore.

Much, like the saying In the long run, We are all dead, here as well In the long run, none of this really matters”, Cause our papers are corrected by Frodo and his freckled friends. They use something known as SCM or (“Scratching Correction Methodology” )Tamil version (“Sori Correction methodology”), which in simple terms is scratch with one hand, correct with the other. The marks you get are inversely proportional to the amount they scratch. So, it does make sense to attach a small tube of “Itch guard” along with your answer sheet. No fear, If you didn’t do it the first time, do it when you send your paper for Revaluation.

Revaluation in most institutes means, revaluing someone’s paper.
But here it takes on a simpler meaning

Revaluation – We will try our best to make you pass

Now that the analysis is over, only one trivial task remains, which is to study for the exam…. Damn that reminds me, Its day after tomorrow.


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