The girl with pink calculator

- Pratik Prithak Pokharel

Apr 11, 2018-

I am a student of Chartered Accountancy. Every Saturday, us students need to take the hall test examination which we must pass in order to take the final exams. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN) conducts the final examinations twice a year, one in June and the other in December. In order to take the June 2018 CAP II exams we need to pass the hall test exams by the end of January.

It was just another Saturday in the month of December. I was taking Paper V-Cost & Management Accounting examination that day at Brilliant Multiple Campus in Siphal. I reached the place ahead of time so I began checking my name in the list to find the room I had to go to— Room no 8 in the second floor. Somebody called my name and I turned back. It was Sandeep.

“Which subject are you appearing for?” he asked.

“Cost yaar,” I answered full of energy.

“And the calculator? I don’t see one with you,” he laughed.

Oh my god! What was I doing there without a calculator? I felt like a soldier in a battlefield without a weapon.

“Or did you rote-learn everything?” Before I could even answer him, he threw another question at me.

“It’s a practical subject!” I replied in a not so energetic tone.

He was there to take the Taxation exam where you need to calculate tax liability from various sources—use of calculator is a must. Else, I would ask for his. I was in a real fix now.

I thought of leaving for home. It is impossible to solve difficult practical problems without a calculator. I asked a few students if they had a spare Cal-c. No one replied in the affirmative. There are certain things in our day to day life that we always carry with us such as wallet, bag, and mobile phone, among others and I believe the calculator is one such item for any student of accountancy. Carrying an extra battery makes sense but who would carry two calculators?

Now I had to completely rely on the student who was destined to be by my side. Would that student be a girl or a boy? Would I know that student personally or not? Would s/he understand my plight? There were many questions racing in my mind.

I entered the room. Only two students were present. My desk was empty. I sat in the right corner desperately waiting for the student in my left side to arrive. Slowly students started showing up. But nobody sat by me.

We have to register for the examination online by 3 pm on Wednesday specifying the subject of the exam before Saturday. Sometimes students register their names but do not show up. Also, we can choose any subject as per our wish. There are almost 21 Saturdays to clear eight subjects. This should not have been that big a deal.

Still, tensions were running high. Should that student not come along, how do I take the test?  I got the question paper and started working on the theory questions first. Sadly, even if I got them all correct it wouldn’t be enough to pass.

“Sir, may I come in?”

 Almost half an hour had passed by when all of a sudden a beautiful voice rang loud in my ears breaking the silence of the room. I glanced at the door and saw that her appearance matched her beautiful voice. 

She looked into the whiteboard searching for her registration number and the desk she had been assigned. Chuckling, she turned around and kept her belongings in the bench beside me. I couldn’t believe my eyes. She had this cute pink calculator.

So, beside me she sat, let her hair loose, and swayed it in the air. The fragrance of her shampoo filled the air. Then she tied her hair again, though some of her hair was twirling down her ears. I threw a cursory glance at her from the corner of my eye.

She was mesmerising. I thought I might drop dead any moment. My mind went blank. I could not concentrate on writing. Students can drop the exam if they find questions difficult after half an hour. “Should I drop or borrow her calculator?” I thought I should take the chance. I mustered up the courage and was about to approach her. I looked at her. Her eyes were already fixed on me. She raised her eyes signaling to me a question—‘what happened ?’ Then on my left palm I ran my right hand’s index finger as I would on a calculator, indicating I had none. My happiness knew no bounds when she smiled and handed me the pink calculator.

I started answering the numerical problems typing the numbers in the calculator as fast as I could. We kept it in the middle of the desk. We used it together.  I attempted 70 marks in two and half hours.

I submitted the answer sheet before time lapsed. I threw a glance at her when the guard was busy stapling my paper. She was already looking at me. We communicated wordlessly through our eyes. I thanked her. She welcomed me. We looked into each other’s eyes not moving an inch. I fell in, I was lost.

“Oh Bhai! Should you not leave now?” the guard pushed me and broke me from my reverie.

I picked up my bag which was on the floor. Carried it in style and before leaving asked her, ‘By the way, what’s your name?’


‘Sneha what?’


‘Are you on Facebook ?’

She shook her head indicating a yes. ‘Bhare friend request accept garnu hai?’


Everyone was looking at me, shocked. I didn’t care. When I was climbing down the stairs I shouted out loud, ‘Sneha.... THANK YOU!,’ repeatedly. Standing on the door—guards from other classrooms looked at me with their mouths wide open.

 I still can’t believe the turn of events that day. But every time I think about that hall test and the girl with the pink calculator, my heart warms up.

Pokharel is a student at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal

Published: 11-04-2018 10:19

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