It was already ten minutes past two and I was still supposed to have lunch. Tearing half of the chapatti, I stuffed it with sabzi, then finally my mouth.
Sitting on the outdoor staircase with one hand adjusting my feet in shoes such that it didn’t need the laces to be untied and the other hand was busy checking messages for the class to be called at two.
I usually didn’t take a rickshaw for college until I felt sick or too late for the class as I was that day, so I called one, “Rickshaaaa!” with one hand waving in the air. “Bhaiya, Gate No. 23 but I’ve only eight rupees..” because the usual fare was ten. I climbed up and as I was busy counting my coins, I heard a familiar groan. ‘HS-4’ was written in bold on a square piece of yellow cardboard and it was my bus. Strange! isn’t it? That we wish to own all that we like, all that we do not have just as that four-year-old child in us, leaping onto the floor of some shopping mall to buy a toy. I didn’t get down my rickshaw to catch the bus because this time I hadn’t missed it, but there was a lot that I missed.
Our world is like a room full of strangers, few among them become friends and again disappear into the crowd once we find our way and maybe someday I’ll look at a rickshaw and say, “Ah, that’s mine!”.
Thirteen years of fluctuating my presence in school, I became a cry-baby in college. Looking at new faces, sensing their accent and body language, I kept pointing out to them, “Haven’t we met earlier?”. Now it was time to climb on the lift which was already occupied with people and I ran without letting people know about my hurry so that I do not get embarrassed if nobody stops the lift for me. Someone did calm my thoughts by holding on the lift. Breathing heavily, I entered those three walls and as the fourth one was about to close itself upon me, my eyes fell at a man wearing sky blue shirt and had a built exactly like my senior secondary school Chemistry teacher. ‘Sameer sir!’, I whispered as the door closed in front of me and I even lost the time of passing a smile at the individual who stopped the lift for me, so now it was turn for me to imagine myself asking the professor if I could enter while the entire class stares at me. I was reminded of how desperate I was in school to get attention. After every few days, I used to silently tell some of my classmates that it was my birthday, then I’d tell them to stand and clap wishing me and I acted surprised as I entered into the class again.
But that day, I prepared my heart to experience an insult, in response to which, I would always smile hidingly like as if the teacher was lauding my presence!
The wooden door was shut, meaning thereby that I couldn’t even sneak a peek at the expression of my classmates and the level of seriousness in the atmosphere, so I took a moment to check the class group messages and found in bold, “Plant Physiology class has been canceled today.”
I opened the door and had some difficulty entering since my classmates were experimenting with the sport of cricket with a broken bench and a coconut ball.
Written in response to the theme: ‘My Transition From School to College’.
Source of featured image: Hamza Butt on Flickr.com