Aniket Bhave
on 01 January, 2013


"The best brains of the nation may be found on the last bench of the classroom"

                                                                                                                                                      - APJ Abdul Kalam


Once I was busy in my own zion uninterrupted by the external crap and gazing at the gloomy sky, I wondered wish you were here (I may not be referring to one of Pink Floyd’s chef-d’-oeuvre) and suddenly .. *poof* .. the teacher punctuated my wonderful utopia and forced me to stand up against my will. I was clueless about what chapter was being taught as always. I was told my distraction in class was due to sitting on the LAST BENCH and whiling away my time looking here and there. Okay! I reacted apathetically and sat down.

I remember the times in school when being late for the first lecture meant sitting on the last bench. There was this unestablished protocol where a student who comes late had to occupy the last bench. Traverse life phase to college and as always when I am late, I am greeted by empty pale front benches as there is this compulsive need to occupy the last benches to refrain from the normal college lecture and indulge in nefarious deeds (not per se).
Again, I may be generalising this but it is not equivocal that last benchers are careless and chilled out. I myself have experienced a complete paradigm shift in one single row. The first two - three bench people are often mocked at and referred as nerds and idiots who pay attention in the class. The real notorious chaps are the ones occupying the last two rows of the class. They are actually bitten by the Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter bug, followed by the stereotype hiding and eating snacks, checking out classmates (actually, this is done by every bench) and gossiping till last breath.

I have even noticed that a teachers’ viewpoint towards a last bencher is very prejudiced. He is a trouble, a menace, comes only for attendance and is least bothered is a clichéd belief. With due respect ma’am, everyone comes for attendance *straight face*. It is not 100% true but backbenchers, though absolutely unbothered about lectures and studies, score good marks in exams and are smart and crafty freaks. Last benchers mind are perpetually distracted like ADHD and as of my observation, they take pride when asked to stand up and being questioned about their ignorance. Attitude haan..!!

The aerial view of the last bench would chuckle someone with amazement as it comprises cell phones, lunch boxes, unorganised assignment sheets and the best sleep under the sun. Maybe some things are meant to be that way. The last bench is not just a place, it’s our abode-for pragmatic people who skate through school/college enjoying but making it a point to study home and passing with well, let’s say flying colours. It’s a trend that these lazy kids are the ones to raise their voices against extra assignments or for that matter it’s because of these prolific brains that a teacher realises that she has exceeded her lecture duration.

Last benchers are an uncanny species altogether. It’s a haven for the ‘mujhe farak nahi padta re’, hardcore texters and gluttonies who can quench their appetite. The kala dhabbas of the class really often turn out to be the most brilliant, inquisitive and esoteric minds of the class. It’s time we change the mindset and accept the fact that backbenchers are smart nerds.

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Aniket Bhave

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