A little Truth; a Little Warmth

This post is written for the Kitna chain hota hai na sachchai mein activity at Indi Happy Hours sponsored by Kinley. The write-up is truly personal and is not influenced by the sponsor in anyway.

Sometimes, there’s a subtle warmth in confessing a truth, isn’t? Invariably of how the other person might react to it!

It was the final lab practical examination day, at the end of my master’s first year. All ten of us in the class had to extract DNA from blood samples. It was one of my favourite experiments all through the year as it was always exciting to see  the end result, the white threaded DNA. It is also one of the easy protocols that involves only a series of adding buffers and centrifugation.

Courtesy: www.sciencephoto.com
Courtesy: www.sciencephoto.com

All of us were occupied doing our extraction. At the end we had to report with the vial of our DNA to our professor who would then enter the marks.

As the ending time neared, many were already done with their examination and got busy in clearing away the left overs of the experiments. Unfortunately, it was one of my bad days at the lab. Something that I was fond of and good at broke my hopes that day. To my dismay, there was no DNA in my vial. And it was late to even analyze where I went wrong or restart the whole process again.

The rest nine got their marks entered. It was my turn to meet the professor but all I had was an empty vial. Understanding my pathetic state, one of my friends quietly handed his vial to me before discarding so that I can claim it as my end result to the professor.  Nervously, I got it from him. I didn’t have much time to contemplate on the act that I was just about to do. My name was called for.

“Yes, Nandhini. How did the extraction go?”

“We….well Sir.”

I peeped a little to check the score entry. It was 10 on 10 for all other students.

“Can you brief me on the steps involved?”

I explained all that I did.

“Good. So can I see your vial? Is this what you extracted?”

All that I had to say was a “Yes” and walk away. I know I could have secured full marks easily. But an unexplainable feeling of shame and disgrace took over me about he convict I was holding in my hand. My hands refused to straighten up to let the vial on to his.

“No Sir. This is not what I extracted. I followed the steps that I had explained to you with all my attention. But at the final step, my DNA did not get precipitated. I am clueless of the error I did.”

He was taken aback. “Then what is that you are holding?”

It was the most difficult question I have ever been put to. I couldn’t remain silent. I had to speak the truth,

“That is not mine. I took it from Rahul to report to you.”

His face turned red. He gave me a sharp stare and entered “1” against my name.

I almost froze. I cannot afford to screw up my scores at the final examination.

“This is for the procedure. But as you know your theoretical knowledge cannot score you in  a practical examination.”

He gave me another last look and entered a “0” next to the “1”.

“This is for your choice to admit the truth,” he smiled, “now forget it and enjoy your holidays.”

Sometimes, confessing our mistakes and speaking the truth of it can let us sleep in peace no matter what the outcome might be!

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