I have been a sharp student in my studies and mathematics was my pet subject. However, after passing High School, I faced some problems in this subject but the same was soon overcome and I started enjoying this subject once again. By the time half-yearly examinations were to be conducted, I was fully prepared and confident for taking the examination. The paper of mathematics was of forty marks and it consisted of eight questions of which six were to be solved. However, the distribution of marks to each question was a little strange. Out of eight, four questions were assigned seven marks each and the remaining four were of six marks each. Thus, in order to get forty out of forty the examinee was required to solve four questions of seven marks each and any two of the remaining four questions. Hence, the choice was restricted to a great extent. Since I knew the answers of all the eight questions, I made my choice accordingly. All this, including revision was over within one and a half hours while the duration of the paper was three hours and leaving the examination room before two hours was not allowed. Thus, I was to pass half an hour without doing anything.
Suddenly, an idea came to my mind and I solved the remaining two questions also, putting a note on the top of the answer book that the examiner could check any six questions out of the eight. Not only this, I proudly shared this fact with others, feeling elated with myself. When the answer sheets were shown to us after a few days, I painfully noted that I had scored only thirty-eight marks out of forty. On a closer look, I found that the examiner had checked two questions of seven marks each and four of six marks each. Thus, the total came to only thirty-eight. This made me very upset and I immediately rushed to the teacher for complaint.
The teacher gave me a mischievous look as if he already knew this. When I showed him my answer sheet, he admitted that all the answers were correct but said that it was only on my direction that he had chosen to examine any six questions. This way he had only exercised his right, which had been given by me. I almost wept on hearing this reply but then he said that he was happy and gave me full marks. At that time, I did not know whether he had done it out of mischief or had something else in mind.
I have shared this incident with many people and everyone found it amusing. But now I look at it with a different perspective. Now, I feel that it was my subtle ego which made me solve all the eight questions and direct the examiner to see any six. While it may be debated whether the examiner did right or wrong, the fact of my subtle ego is undeniable. My endeavour, now, is to get rid of such trivial ego which also comes in the way of our good acts. Thus, I look upon at that teacher as my benefactor for refusing to give me forty out of forty marks in first instance.