Night Out with an Engineering Drawing sheet

9:00 a.m.  Engineering Drawing (ED) Hall

‘This’, said one of the minions of ED professor, ‘is a Glass Copy’, as he
held up my sheet against the sunlight. He signed the sheet and graded it six.
Everyone around me scored more than nine. The world around me crumbled, and I
was too dumbstruck to argue.

Six hours ago

It was 3 a.m. The air was dancing to the sound of mosquitoes and crickets.
The regular late-night-nerds cram till 2 a.m. and the early-morning-swotts
begin at 4 a.m. Only those students who have to submit an assignment the next
morning, are wide awake at 3 a.m. And as you might already have guessed, my ED
sheet was incomplete.

Two hours ago, my bedroom resembled a Rave party den. (Not that I have ever
been to one, I am studying in Gujarat.) Six people were simultaneously working
on their ED sheets, and the floor was strewn with A2 sized sheet rolls.
Drafters were engaged in complex acrobatics. As the traditions follows, in all
engineering hostels, when more than 3 people gather in a room, there shall be
music and food.

With Bollywood tracks shouting on mobile phones and masala chips, we
carried on with our slave labour. But not quietly. Girls don’t gossip nowadays,
we ‘talk men’, ‘Did you see that senior in blue shirt in the front row? Wow!’

And now, two hours later, my room resembled an abandoned crime scene. The
messy elements were still around (discarded sheets, dismembered drafters, empty
food packets and the works) but all my friends had left. Their sheets were done
and mine wasn’t. That’s devdaas for those
who don’t know how ED sheets are prepared. Because there can be no bigger
tragedy than finishing an ED sheet alone.

And an idle mind, besides daydreaming about that senior in blue shirt, also
lets the evil in. An evil called Glass Copy (GC). For the nerds, this word is
like Voldemort, you just cannot say it out loud. For the dudes, it is like- they
do it often, and they do it with pride. And as I was neither, I had no scruples
in giving it a shot. But my condition was like the Aam Aadmi. I had the will, I had the power, but I did not have the
resources.

A regular hostel-made GC set consists of a transparent glass (obtained by
dismantling a dorm window), a chair, a sheet to be copied from and a sheet to
be copied upon. A sheet to be copied from (call it Sheet A) should be ideally:

1. Corrected, signed, graded, and obtained from either a senior or a smart
batch mate from other division.

2. Graded 8+

The GC procedure can be detailed as follows:

1. Prop the chair 90 degrees laterally in such a way that front view shows
four legs as four points and top view shows two parallel lines.

2. Place the glass on the overturned chair.

3. Pin the sheet A on the glass then plain sheet B on it.

4. Illuminate the bottom of the glass with a flashlight and voila ! The
drawing on A is visible on B, ready to be traced.

But all this extensive information was purely for the reader’s general
knowledge, because at 3 a.m., there was no way by which I could arrange all of
it, and thus GC was a worthless idea, at least for tonight. Thus it was the
lack of resources, rather than the good-heartedness, that won over evil. I took
a deep breath and took up the herculean task ahead with my arms (pun intended)
in place.

‘Herculean? What’s so hot about it? It’s just an ED sheet.’ If you said
that in mind, you are not an engineer. They let you in an institute, but you
cannot be an engineer. Because only an engineer knows the patience required to
NOT tear up those rolling sheets into little bits. Leave a sheet unattended, unpinned,
and it will roll. That’s the life ambition of a sheet, to roll.

But I fought on bravely, pinned it to the drawing board, set the drafter on
it and made scars on the sheet that it would hold forever. And the battle raged
till 6 a.m., leaving my eyes swollen and back aching.

……9:00 a.m.   Engineering Drawing
(ED) Hall

‘This’, said one of the minions of ED professor, ‘is a Glass Copy’, as he
held up my sheet against the sunlight. He signed the sheet and graded it six.
Everyone around me scored than 9. The world around me crumbled, and I was too
dumbstruck to argue.

Moral of the story? Destiny does not distinguish between damnation of evil
by good and damnation of evil by lack of evil resources. So about 90% of the
engineering population is already doomed, because life has too many
submissions, viva and examinations to be good all the time.

This article is part of PaGaLGuY’s innovative internship certification programme for engineering students. Currently, two such programmes are on – one is an Internship in Creative Writing, and the other is a Certification in Digital Media. If you are interested in partaking and bagging a certificate, besides learning the nuances of effective writing, write to us at wordslingers@pagalguy.com.

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