Someone around me is chattering about about her boy friend. Giggling and passing lame remarks among their group of friends. Bottles are being passed cause someone is dying of thirst. As I pass the bottle I sniff and realize it’s not water. Deception, successful. Put on a poker face to not looking disgusted and pass the bottle along. Deception, successful. I used to play pass the word and now I am passing bottles filled with liquor. Which one do I hate more? Oh, it must be passing the word. It involved me speaking into waxfilled ears of humans who didn’t bother to hear the word correctly or clean their ears. Accidental miss pronunciation, childish giggles, tickles and interaction. Nope, do not want to indulge in that. So, yeah. Passing bottles is better. I start to doodle in the margin of my notebook, tiny thin strokes along the border of the margin. There is still a quarter of the margin left undecorated when the ink starts to fade and then finally stops leaving its mark on paper. I rummage through my stationary pouch, loads of coloured pencils, a 2B faber castle pencil, a pencil sharpener, a faber castle scale and a non dust eraser. No gel pen. I throw away the pen and pouch, into my bag, annoyed. I look over at the other occupants at my desk, hoping someone would have a gel pen I could lend to keep myself occupied. Nope. No gel pens on the desk. Actually no pens on desk. A few books carelessly thrown over the desk, rumpled xerox sheets jutting out of the books. Bags that hadn’t been washed since their births. Empty lunchboxes. Glowing cellphones. But not a gel pen in view. Yea I know what you are thinking, “Geez!! Why can’t you use a ball pen?” It’s simple, I can’t. I see a few staionary pouches. There might be a possibility of a gel pen in one of those zipped pouches. Why do grown ups use only zipped stationary pouches. Why dont I see anyone use a doubled sided pencil box with magnetic box locks and a built in pencil sharpener? Anyway, No gel pen, the quarter of a margin has to stay blank until I get one. I start to wonder what I must do to keep myself from dozing off. When I hear a scream.
“You! In the maroon shirt. Stand up!”
Maroon shirt guy looks around, realizes he is the only guy wearing a maroon shirt in the general area of the room being yelled at and stands up. I kind of know this guy. Not know, know him. Hmm.. how do I put it. Just a nodding acquaintance.
“What is the solution to the equation on the board?”
Dazed, he rummages through his un-maintained notebook. Trying to find an answer in his notebook when the question is on the board.
“What are you looking at in your books? Tell me the answer!”
Sudden calmness envelopes the room. Few seconds later, a guy, two chairs away from him hisses a number. They play pass on the message until the answer is receipted by the maroon shirt guy’s ear drum. Processing the payload message, he sheepishly repeats it.
“Come here and solve it.”
Visibly shaken, he shuffles around his seat. Slowly gets up and starts making his way to the front of the room. Picks up the white chalk from the long white desk and turns around to solve the equation. While he is fumbling with the chalk, someone knocks at the door, asking to have a word with the person no longer holding a chalk. No-chalk-in- the-hand guy acknowledges the request and walks out the door. Someone walks up to the front of the room, slaps the guys back, writes down the steps to solve the equation, hands the chalk back to the maroon shirt guy, dusts his hand over the maroon guy’s hair while wording something equivalent to you owe me big-time with a few abusive words thrown in, walks back to his desk and takes his seat.
Soft murmurs start to spring up from my side of the room. Some start throwing crushed paper balls at the maroon shirt guy. He amuses his seated friends by welcoming a few, while dodging the rest. When the crushed paper ball ambush stops, he looks at the chalk written solution for a while, while doing his version of SHMing. He looks at the door, seeing no one enter, he picks up the paper balls and throws them into the bin kept at the far corner of the room. On his way back to the ambushed area, he puts on his Ray Ban aviator sunglasses and does a good imitation of MJ’s moonwalk. I knew they were Ray Ban aviators cause I have one of them too, that’s how I established a nodding acquaintance with him. Someone starts playing ‘kaala cashma’, he breaks into a hip-hop/bhangada move. The song gets louder and the dance, better.
Hearing the raised decibels, the person in authority returns. Sudden calmness resurfaces. Everyone’s eyes dart towards the solution, as if to confirm its presence. The questioner assigns a different question to him so as to ascertain his credibility. He ponders over the question for a few minutes. The questioner soaks in triumph of having rightly judged his lack of ability to solve the question or rather, having caught the lie. Deception, failed.
I know what you are thinking again… “Is the questioner the professor? Aren’t you supposed to be calling him with his designated name?” I bet that’s what was written on his appointment letter, but do I care? Short answer. No. I care about not having a gel pen to decorate the margin with.
Was going through the huge pile of drafts. Was surprised to read quite a few drafts… Not because they were particularly atrocious, but because I don’t particularly remember writing them. Probably cause I wrote”better” stuff back then than I do now. So thought about publishing it even though it’s incomplete. Not sure what my mind was upto when I wrote it. Probably wrote it in reminiscence of my days at college. Enjoy it while you can… I mean your days in school/college, not the blogpost. 😛