“Score- 85,00,000! Beat that man!”
“S**** you!” (Excuse the profanity)
“Sshhh! Sir’s watching!”
Pay a visit to the underbelly of a typical 2012 class, the back rows, where the goons of the class sit equipped with their iPhones, iPads, iPods (alliteration?), sometimes, EVEN a laptop, and the aforementioned are just a couple of exclamations you will find them bursting into as they try to establish and break Temple Run records and catapult the Angry Birds to victory, which sometimes catapults them into a soup (when the hush baritone voice is replaced by an innocent shriek of excitement which unfortunately floats into the professor’s ears).
“When the teacher is boring, you don’t have any other option. Bless the soul who invented these applications”, says a rather defiant Sonakshi Agarwal, of IP College.
Earlier the games that were close to the heart of a quintessential backbencher used to be the humble Tic Tac Toe, the brain-racking Bollywood/Hollywood, desperate times even saw students coming back to the kindergarten-ish Name Place Animal Thing. Though there has been a fall in their use (finally somewhere statistics come handy), but the technologically-paralysed backbencher with a trashy phone (like that of the writer’s) still relies on their simplicity when the professor’s words evade her comprehension and ambit of interest.
Games are not the only activity bored students have resorted to. Sakshi Chauhan, who graduated in the not-so-tech-year of 2006 fondly recalls, “Sitting in the last row, I used to prepare shopping lists for the coming month as my college was located in the hub of fancy shopping locations like GK, South-Ex, Delhi Haat etc. The professor used to think I was just being sincere and taking down notes.”
And then there are/have been/will be those, who staunchly believe in the Books-are-a-man’s-best-friend theory, though course books OBVIOUSLY do not feature in this category. These can be observed, inadvertently drooping their heads, poring over the latest bestseller, in paperbacks or on E-book. But however popular the E-Book reader becomes, as long as likes of these exist, the back benches will forever resonate with the sound of flipping of pages (mind you- STRICTLY non-syllabus).
Passing of message chits may have been replaced by texting and WhatsApp, pen fights by Fruit Ninja, but the backbenches shall forever remain lush with memories and while you’re reading this as the lecture is on, let me inform you that you have just missed your name on the roll call!