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Fear creates genius

I was sitting beside an open window in an empty classroom. I was waiting for the next class to begin. An important quiz was coming up and I was wondering how I could simulate the symptoms of high fever. I studied for the test but it was one of those days when you want to crawl under the bed and remain there. The book was open but my mind was elsewhere. I stared out the window hoping something interesting or disastrous to happen. The cars in the street were whizzing by without hitting each other. Not a single pedestrian was being run over. No one was being even slightly mutilated. People were walking along neatly jumping over the open manholes with the ease of a ballet dancer. No one was disappearing with a splash. It's amazing when you have such important matters on your mind, well, your mind wanders. Matters like exams and similar impending doom require you to employ your grey mater. But incredibly your mind focuses on other things and you view the world in a different light. No longer is anything grey. In fact grey clouds seem to have an alluring beauty. You begin looking for the proverbial silver lining.

The more you think of the exam the more you notice details. You can spend long minutes wondering such profound matters such as why do dogs wag their tails. I noticed a stray mutt nearby and it was displaying horizontal tail movements. It made me wonder whether such an act was involuntary. People say they wag their tails when they are pleased. I've noticed dogs always wag their tails even when you shout at them. It proves either they are on drugs or they are brain dead. No one can be happy all the time. It's doubtless that the great scientist must have come up with all their theories in such a manner while waiting got give an exam they have not studied for. Newton must have been under that apple tree prepping for an upcoming exam. Apples fall on peoples head all the time. In fact all sorts of things fall including bird droppings and coconuts (the later according to a Bangla proverb). But instead of rubbing his sore head he started contemplating why it fell on his head. And thus gravity was discovered. So it is really not the apple that we should thank but the exams Newton did not study for. Were it not for that gravity would not have been discovered and we would have been floating mindlessly without any notion of what holds things down. Studies have shown that fear releases chemicals that make the body react in unusual ways. Adrenalin makes your heart pump faster and release all other kinds of chemicals that act like the fuel for the cars in Fast and The Furious. You hear more, feel more. Blood is rushing all over the place and any moment you might jump up and tear off all you clothes and run naked down the streets shouting 'Eureka'. This goes to explain what happened to Archimedes. He was preparing an answer as to why the majesty's gold crown did not weigh right and instead understood the theory of floating.

A wandering mind coupled with fear made him see things differently. To counteract this rush of adrenalin the body releases endorphins. These are pain relievers and help to bring about calmness. That's when the person looks doped and has a goofy grin from having discovered something. Although in most cases such discoveries are pointless. I for example realized that dogs wag their tails because they are too dumb to understand abuse. For me the adrenalin was starting to rush. By now things were starting to look desperate. If this continued any longer I would actually have to take the quiz. To make matters worse I noticed my course faculty getting out of his car. Should I continue reading? I tired but then I notice that birds are such wonderful creatures. They are often beautiful. Their shape is a work of art. The one I was looking at had a mesmerizing design on its beak. It was black with orange and yellow highlights. I am not a bird person but for some reason I felt drawn towards this specie. Probably the impending doom effect. I noticed the bird had a strange hopping style. The teacher was walking downstairs and somehow I got the feeling the bird was watching him. It hopped along the same angle he was walking below. The bird flicked its head toward me in the twitchy way they usually do and I understood what it was about to do. Loud cursing followed. Then the teacher got back in the car and drove away. I was waiting for something interesting to happen and the wait was worth it. The quiz was delayed and endorphins started rushing my system. My heart rate slowed down and a glassy doped look came over my eyes. Birds needing to 'go' seem to have an affinity for people walking underneath. My bird (yes, my affection was overwhelming) seemed to aim at the teacher. Maybe the word birdbrain is undeserved. Birds are actually quite smart. What an amazing discovery. The bird looked at me once more and held my stare. Was that a smile? But birds don't smile. I started recalling Hitchcock's movie. Maybe birds are too smart. A shiver ran down my spine and I felt chicken. Mirth turned to apprehension and slowly overtaken by fear. I looked away. I packed my books hurriedly and walked off with a copy held above my head. There goes the adrenalin again. Let's not discover anything else today.

Shopnil Mahmud

Shopnil Mahmud

A software engineer with avid interest on any form of arts and philosophy. Likes to write codes for a living and poetry for the soul. Currently residing in Toronto, originally from Bangladesh.

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