The Superhero of the CBSE Paper Leak

Humour

The Superhero of the CBSE Paper Leak

Illustration: Sushant Ahire

O

n March 19, CBSE students picked up the newspaper and regretted it. “CBSE orders re-test of Class XII economics, Class X maths papers; Delhi Police begin probe,” read the headline.

The news was received with a great outpouring of fury and severe distress, especially from students all geared to hop onto the vacay bandwagon.

One reader in particular was grinding his teeth and clutching onto the sides of his newspaper. His hands were shaking violently and his eyes were red from the strain of coping with the fresh void that occupied the space where his heart used to be. The void, a result of the depressing headline, had made him realise that he had failed in clearing traces of the leaked papers. This reader was the hidden face behind every leaked paper – the hero without a cape. And all he wanted was for the lazy scoundrels of CBSE to get better marks. He is the Paper Leaker.

The Paper Leaker was a janitor at a New Delhi school, caught passing chits to students during exams. He was promptly sacked, and although it is claimed that the janitor disappeared immediately after, his whereabouts remain unknown.

Such leaks aren’t peculiar for a country like India. In fact Indians have been infamous for their mastery over cheating. Back in 2015 in Bihar, we witnessed saw an incident of mass cheating wherein parents scaled a four-storeyed school building to pass chits to the students taking their exams. The case ended with the officials denying all allegations regarding copying despite the whole troop of Spider-Men caught on camera. Just last week, we had a similar headline about a tuition teacher who leaked a paper on WhatsApp. The teacher was later arrested by the police.

Perhaps the tuition teacher’s story scared Paper Leaker, but he decided to boldly soldier on. After all, his mantra has always been “No Trace Left Behind”.

His mission was a simple one – make CBSE great again. Despite being the patron saint of every student smuggling chits into the exam hall, not much else is known about him. Rumour has it that The Paper Leaker was a janitor at a New Delhi school, caught passing chits to students during exams. He was promptly sacked, and although it is claimed that the janitor disappeared immediately after, his whereabouts remain unknown. We may never know his true story, but the myth endures.

At the moment, his arch-rival is Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar, who is attributing the leaks to an organised gang and assuring students that the ministry will take strict action against the guilty. Upon reading this, our hero hurled the paper across the room. “Idiots!” he screamed, feeling a white-hot flash of anger thinking of the asinine cops vaguely accusing some gang for his handiwork.

According to CBSE sources, the board was apprised of another probable leak on Tuesday night itself. The Paper Leaker took pride in being ten steps ahead of the cops, but this was getting tight. His informants, his spider’s web of whisperers, had done a pretty good job with the leak. He knew that the exam questions had managed to reach the deepest, scruffiest corners of the student drawers, thanks to the readiness people displayed to cheat.

Hasn’t cheating always been an innate part of Indian culture? We’ve seen prodigies like Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya, Ramalinga Raju, and Lalu Prasad Yadav enter the cheaters’ Hall of Fame. Together we’ve witnessed loan default, corruption, tax evasion, embezzlement, extortion, and identity theft, but we’ve never learned from any of these crimes.

Paper Leaker clenched his fist and decided that he had to come up with a plan, and in order to do so, he had to know his rivals’ next move. He lifted the crumpled newspaper and read the article to its conclusion. Towards the end, he spotted a notice for re-conducting examinations for the students, which stated that the retest dates would be announced within a week.

Our hero now has seven days to leak the paper again, and get it right this time. Hopefully, a week will give him enough time to prepare and return to save the day. Amid the likes of students who hide chits in their ties, write answers on their bodies and uniforms, create distractions in the class to let backbenchers copy, and the legends who use invisible ink, Paper Leaker is truly a messiah of cheaters.

Because in a country where scams and scandals are a way of life, he is the hero we deserve.

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