The word 'dummies' in the title is aimed at two kinds of people - those who don't know what a viva is and those who have been proven to be just that (i.e. a dummy) by the end of a viva. Instead of bragging on and on about the dire situations we students are put in, I thought why not churn up a mock viva right here right now, hoping to arouse some sympathy in the hearts of those who don't face such misery.
A pair of class three students, hereby referred to as, Defendant 1 (D1) and Defendant 2 (D2) sitting in front of the teachers, who will be further known as Prosecuter 1 (P1) and Prosecuter 2 (P2) for an General Science viva. P1 is the external while P2 is the internal.
Act One and Only, Scene One:
P2: Please be seated in this order, roll number 3 on the left and roll number 4 on the right.
P1: Which are the five constituent gases of the atmosphere?
D1: Air, Gas, Oxygen, Smoke, and...
P1(to D2) : Can you give the answer?
D2: Yes sir, oxygen, nitrogen, water vapour, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen.
P1: Partly correct. Give the chemical reaction by which carbon dioxide during respiration?
D1: I don't know sir.
D2: (Blank expression)
P1: You people should know. It is not good to be restricted to bookish information. It's time you start exploring the world around you. (meanwhile his cup of tea arrives)
P1: Which chapter have you studied?
D1: Sir, the flora and fauna.
D2(looks at D1 in agreement): Yes sir, the plant and animal life.
P1: Ok, tell me how many leaves can be there on a banana tree?
D2: I guess 8.
P1(Looks at P1 and smiles): How do you measure the age of a tree.
D1: By measuring it's height.
P1: Aapka sab concepts gol hai. You have reached class 3 and you still don't refer standard text books. D1,do you know the answer.
D2: We can cut the tree and then count the rings seen on the big branch on which the tree stands.
P1: What is the big branch?
D1: Sir I know. Can I answer please.
P1: No wait.
D2: It is called the bark.
P1: Bark? Are you certain? What is the difference between the bark and the trunk?
D2: (realising he said the wrong thing) Oh sorry, I just got a little mixed up.
( D2 giving the 'oh yeah, now I remember' look)
P1: Mixed up, bhagwaan jaane tum log ka kya hoga. I am sure P2 no tumhe aise nahin sikhaya hoga, nahin to sab students unka lectures thodi baithte. Madam (looking at P2) do you want to ask them anything?
P2: Ok, just tell me which class of species does the frog belong to?
P2: Thank god someone answered. I told you the General Science viva is not a joke. Ok you can go.
Act One and only, Scene two:
(Students emerge from the room and crowds gather around them)
DX: Kya poocha?
D1: Vaat hai yaar. Lagta hai fail ho jaaoonga.
D2: Bahut kuchh poocha lekin ek bhi answer sure nahin tha. Pata nahin kya marks degi. Saala kameena examiner.
....And then the story repeats. The later you go, the more the reactions you hear and the more tense you get. In the end, the viva voce always stay true to its nature and maintains the element of shock and surprise! No wonder students are left bedazzled saying to themselves - 'Maine uskaa kya bigaada tha.'